5 essential nutrients for people with chronic skin problems
Certain chronic skin conditions such as rosacea, psoriasis and eczema can be alleviated with changes to your diet. If you can change your eating habits in favor of a few essential nutrients, there’s a good chance your symptoms will subside over time.
The skin is an organ, and as such it relies on a series of vitamins and minerals to function properly. Give your skin the nutrients it needs, and you can better prepare it for the fight against some of these conditions.
If you’re not already doing so, make sure you’re eating foods and supplements containing these five essential nutrients.
1. Vitamin A
Vitamin A has been used to treat skin conditions such as acne and psoriasis for many years. This essential nutrient suppresses the formation of androgen, regulates the sebaceous glands and promotes dermal growth. There is also evidence that vitamin A promotes faster skin cell regeneration.
Fortunately, vitamin A is relatively easy to come by in everyday foods — including liver, dairy products, eggs and chicken. If you’re not getting enough vitamin A, you might notice a deterioration in the symptoms of your skin condition. Indeed, the tell-tale signs of a vitamin A deficiency include dry, rough skin and the presence of scales.
Zinc is essential for the creation and maintenance of the proteins and enzymes that are related to a healthy immune system, cell division and protein synthesis — all of which are directly linked to good skin health. Zinc is also a natural antibiotic, an important part of the skin’s natural UV protection and one of the minerals required for the successful absorption of vitamin A.
The richest sources of zinc are usually animal-based foods — particularly offal such as kidneys and liver. Red meat such as beef and lamb are also rich in zinc. Vegetables high in zinc include garlic, chickpeas and peas. If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, make sure your diet is rich in pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, watermelon seeds and squash seeds, all of which contain levels of zinc comparable to those in red meat.
Lactoferrin is a protein found in the milk of mammals, particularly mares and cows. By binding itself to iron, lactoferrin becomes a powerful antibiotic — suppressing the growth of bacteria. This benefit, combined with the way the substance promotes a healthy immune system, makes it a powerful agent for good skin health.
Clinical trials have demonstrated lactoferrin’s efficacy in fighting skin infections and inflammatory conditions. If you’re worried you’re not consuming the substance naturally, Equilac capsules contain enough lactoferrin to deliver relief from psoriasis and other skin ailments.
4. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that protects skin from oxidative damage. This essential vitamin is also important for the production of collagen — an important substance for skin strength and regeneration.
Vitamin C is found in abundance in citrus fruits, as well as certain vegetables such as broccoli and bell peppers. Other foods rich in the nutrient include berries, cherries and leaf vegetables. Wherever possible, try to eat these foods raw, as vitamin C is particularly sensitive to heat.
5. Fatty Acids
Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are crucial to good skincare. These polyunsaturated fats give skin its natural, oily barrier — keeping it well hydrated and relatively youthful. A deficiency of these fats can result in dry, overly-sensitive and fragile skin, so consuming them regularly is essential.
The most obvious sources of omega-3 fatty acids are oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines. However, walnuts, soy, eggs and safflower oil are also rich in omega-3s. For omega-6s, consume plenty of poultry, grains and vegetable-based cooking oils.
Good skincare and fighting the effects of skin diseases starts with good nutrition. But if you’re not consuming enough of these essential nutrients, it might be a good idea to introduce natural supplements such as Equilac.