A balanced diet ensures your body gets the minerals, vitamins and nutrients it needs to stay healthy. Eating the right foods can therefore impact our brain, heart and energy levels, not to mention our skin. Antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, and E all play a role in helping us feel our best from the inside out and can help to combat against the detrimental affects the environment can have on our skin’s appearance. Here’s how…
Vitamin A, also known as retinol, helps keep skin and the lining of some parts of the body, such as the nose, healthy1. Good sources include cheese, eggs, oily fish - which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids - fortified low-fat spread, milk, yoghurt and liver products. In addition, you can get vitamin A from foods containing beta carotene - this turns into vitamin A in the body - from yellow fruits such as mango, papaya and apricots and green (leafy) vegetables such as spinach, carrots and red peppers. Adults (19-64 years) need 0.7mg of vitamin A a day (for men) and 0.6mg a day (for women)2.
Good sources of vitamin C include oranges and orange juice, red and green peppers,strawberries,blackcurrants, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and potatoes. Vitamin C can't be stored in the body, so adults (19-64 years) need 40mg of it every day3.
The skin is greatly influenced by external factors due to it being the body's first line of defence against outside elements. With this in mind, many studies have shown that vitamin E is a highly efficient antioxidant and can offer protection from ultraviolet light-induced skin damage4.
While you should be able to get all the vitamin E you need from your diet, it can be found in plant oils such as soya, corn and olive oil, as well as nuts, seeds and wheatgerm. Adults (19-64 years) need 4mg a day (for men) and 3mg a day (for women).6
Supporting our skin
Vitamin-rich diets aside, getting enough sleep, regular exercise, using a daily sunscreen with a high SPF and drinking water can make an important difference in the way our skin looks and feels.