BY JEAN TONG, NUTRITIONIST, HALLEY MEDICAL AESTHETICS
As the saying goes, let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. This is true even for your skin. Why is this so?
Our skin, the largest organ of our human body, involves hundreds of steps in the cycle of skin cell regeneration and the foods we eat provide the necessary vitamins and nutrients to support the process.
A review of studies showed the following nutrients and foods to be helpful for skin cell regeneration:
Vitamins E and C
Vitamins E and C are anti-oxidants that have shown to aid skin cell regeneration and fight against free radicals damage such as the ultraviolet rays from the sun. In particular, vitamin C helps our skin to form new collagen for repair of skin tissue.
Food sources rich in vitamin C include citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, papaya, and grapefruit. Get your sources of vitamin E from foods such as broccoli, leafy green vegetables, sweet potatoes, nuts, olive oil, sunflower seeds, and avocados.
Vitamin A plays an important role in skin cell regeneration and it comes in two forms, retinoids and carotenoids. Retinoids, in particular, have also been found to be beneficial for acne and photo-ageing when applied topically to skin.
These two forms of vitamin A are readily available in carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, spinach, and kale.
Selenium is an anti-oxidant that helps in skin cell regeneration and protecting our skin from free radicals which cause skin ageing. While working hard as a defender of your skin, selenium works in combination with vitamin E to enhance your skin regeneration and repair. What’s more, it can also help with reducing skin inflammation and pigmentation, giving you a healthy glowing skin.
Foods rich in selenium include tuna, salmon, garlic, nuts, eggs, and wholegrains foods such as brown rice.
It is no surprise that water plays a vital role in skin cell regeneration as one of its key functions is to deliver the nutrients and vitamins to different parts of your body for use. Without water as a means of transport, the metabolism rate of our skin and body will be lowered, resulting in a slower cell regeneration and repair rate. With that, your skin ages faster and the fine lines, wrinkles, dark, and age spots will appear.
A good guide is to drink at least six to eight glasses of water daily!