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We’ve heard the saying that beauty comes from the inside. And we are constantly learning how nutrition plays a role in our health and wellbeing. But more recently we are understanding more about nutrition’s role in the health of our health, the body’s largest organ. Here are five nutrients, that in addition to an overall healthy diet, may help maintain skin.

  1. Protein: To help build and repair body tissues. 1
    When choosing protein, choose lean meats and skinless poultry, and strive to incorporate fish two times per week.One serving of protein from animal food sources, such as poultry and fish, is approximately 75 grams (2½ ounces). For plant-based ones such as beans and lentils, one serving is ¾ cup (175 mL). Plant-based food sources are high in fibre and low in saturated fat compared to animal food sources. Other examples of protein servings are two eggs, 2 tablespoons (30 mL) of nut butter, or ¼ cup (60 mL) nuts and seeds. Sources of protein also include: meats, poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, beans and lentils, and dairy products.Dietitian tip: Try incorporating protein at each meal to help you meet your nutrient needs.3

    Eggs are an excellent, low-fat source of protein. Photo: Flickr/Creative Commons, Patent and the Pantry.
  1. Vitamin A: To support healthy skin. 1,4
    Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that is stored in the liver. We get vitamin A from animal food sources, but we can also make it from plant-based foods.Plant-based food sources contain carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, which is used to make vitamin A in the body.Carotenoids are found in dark green and yellow, orange and red vegetables and fruit. Sources include: leafy vegetables, carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin, squash, and tomatoes. For vitamin A, consider liver, dairy products and fish.Dietitian tip: Include one dark green and one orange vegetable or fruit each day.
  1. Vitamin C: To reduce free radicals and lipid oxidation in body tissues.1  
    Bring on the citrus for its invaluable vitamin C and skin-friendly benefits. Photo: Flickr/Creative Commons, Patent and the Pantry.

    Vitamin C is a dietary antioxidant that may be beneficial for skin appearance and growth and repair of skin.6,7 Fruits and vegetables are the best source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, so our body does not store extra vitamin C, meaning it is important that we get what our bodies need to stay healthy.Sources include: berries, citrus fruits, bell peppers, strawberries, and broccoli.Dietitian tip: Choose vegetables and fruit with little or no added salt, sugar or fat.

  1. Zinc: To aid in the maintenance of normal skin.1
    Zinc is a mineral that helps in the maintenance and healing of skin.Zinc is found in grain products, milk and alternatives, and meat and alternatives. Fruits and vegetables contain very little zinc. Most people get enough zinc from their diet. Food sources include: seafood, meat, beans and lentils.Dietitian tip: Try adding shellfish such as oysters and crab to your dinner routine.

    Nuts are an invaluable source of vitamin E, an important anti-oxidant. Photo: Flickr/Creative Commons, A.Ddiction.
  1. Vitamin E: To protect the fat in body tissues from oxidation.1
    Vitamin E helps protect the skin from damage from the sun.10 Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin and most Canadians can get enough vitamin E from the foods they eat.11  Sources include: wheat germ, nuts, seeds, and vegetable oil.Dietitian tip: Try making a healthy grab and go snack with nuts, seeds and dried fruits.

Are you looking to help optimize your health and nutrition through what you eat and drink? Registered Dietitian services are available through Shoppers Drug Mart at shoppersdrugmart.ca/dietitians. Book your personalized nutrition appointment now.

The information provided is for personal use, reference and education only and is not intended to be a substitute for a physician’s advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult your healthcare professional for specific information on personal health matters. Please note: Dietitian services are currently only available in select Ontario stores. Please contact your store to learn more. ®/TM 911979 Alberta Ltd. ©2018 Shoppers Drug Mart Inc

Emily Campbell has a master of scientific of foods and nutrition and is a registered dietitian who works for Shoppers Drug Mart.

References

  1. Canadian Food Inspection Agency. (2018). Nutrient Function Claims. Retrieved from: http://www.inspection.gc.ca/food/labelling/food-labelling-for-industry/health-claims/eng/1392834838383/1392834887794?chap=9
  2. ca. (2018). Introduction To Protein And High Protein Foods. Retrieved from: http://www.unlockfood.ca/en/Articles/Protein/Introduction-To-Protein-And-High-Protein-Foods.aspx
  3. Health Link BC. (2016). Quick Nutrition Check for Protein. Retrieved from: https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/hlbc/files/healthyeating/pdf/quick-nutrition-check-for-protein.pdf
  4. Dietitians of Canada. (2014). Food Sources of Vitamin A. Retrieved from: https://www.dietitians.ca/Downloads/Factsheets/Food-Sources-of-Vitamin-A.aspx
  5. ca. (2018). What You Need to Know About Vitamin A. Retrieved from: http://www.unlockfood.ca/en/Articles/Vitamins-and-Minerals/What-You-Need-to-Know-About-Vitamin-A.aspx
  6. Cosgrove, MC, et al. (2007). Dietary nutrient intakes and skin-aging appearance among middle-aged American women. Am J Clin Nutr. 86(4): 1225-1231. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17921406
  7. Dietitians of Canada. (2017). Food Sources of Vitamin C. Retrieved from: https://www.dietitians.ca/getattachment/c15a51ce-ab6c-4c46-bac3-924e8e213e6b/Factsheet-Food-Sources-of-Vitamin-C.pdf.aspx
  8. ca. (2018) What you need to know about Vitamin C. Retrieved from: http://www.unlockfood.ca/en/Articles/Vitamins-and-Minerals/What-you-need-to-know-about-vitamin-C.aspx
  9. Dietitians of Canada. (2017). Food Sources of Zinc. Retrieved from: https://www.dietitians.ca/getattachment/e7b8fc00-09ad-4d4e-860a-eb9722f21adf/FACTSHEET-Food-Sources-of-Zinc.pdf.aspx
  10. Nachbar, F, et al. (1995). The role of vitamin E in normal and damaged skin. J Mol Med (Berl). 73(1):7-17. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7633944
  11. Dietitians of Canada. (2017). Food Sources of Vitamin E. Retrieved from: https://www.dietitians.ca/getattachment/341815c0-a66a-4cdb-a6e7-33606b74d5fe/Factsheet-Food-Sources-of-Vitamin-E.pdf.aspx