On a quest for beautiful skin, we pay a lot of attention and $$ into what we put on our skins surface. I urge you to not forget about how what you’re putting into your body also plays an important role in the health of your skin! Let me outline three essential vitamins that play a vital role in skin health, along with the best ways to get these vitamins through food.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C plays an essential role in building collagen, which is the structural protein necessary for the extracellular stability of the skin. Observational studies have shown that people with lower levels of Vitamin C in their diet tend to have a higher amount of wrinkles. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant that protects the skin against free radical damage from the sun.

Food Sources:
Kiwi’s – 250% daily value (DV) for 2 small kiwis
Red Pepper –
140% DV for 1/2 cup
Papaya 
– 100% DV for 1/2 cup

Vitamin E
Vitamin E is part of the epidermis and is secreted onto the skins surface through sebum, an oily substance that coats the outer layer of skin. It is an important protective factor on our skins surface. When combined with vitamin C,  these two vitamins help absorb energy from UV radiation, helping to prevent damage to the cells. Our levels of vitamin E tend to drop as we age.

Food Sources:
Sunflower Seeds – 47% DV for 2 tablespoons
Almonds – 37% DV for 2 tablespoons
Avocados – 16% DV for a 1/2 cup

Vitamin A
Topical vitamin A, or retinol, has been effective in treating sun damage and acne. This is because Vitamin A promotes cell turnover and regulates sebaceous gland activity. Rough, dry skin is a common sign of vitamin A deficiency, which often first appears as rough, raised bumps on the back of the arms. Look to increase foods rich in vitamin A in your diet if you have this issue.
Tip – Combining vitamin with a source of fat increases vitamin A absorption.

Food Sources:
Sweet Potatoes – 350% DV in a 1/2 cup
Carrots – 225% DV in a 1/2 cup
Kale – 206% DV in 1 cup

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