Take care of your body’s largest organ – your skin

Take care of your body’s largest organ – your skinHaving healthy skin is much more important to our overall health than just having a beautiful complexion.

Your skin, which is also our largest organ, has many functions including acting as a thermostat to trigger the body’s heating and cooling mechanism, protecting us from external damage, toxic substances, bacteria and radiation, as well as helping to make vitamin D, to name a few.

While many people think proper skin care is keeping it clean and adding different toners and creams, but the best way to have healthy skin is to nourish it from the inside out by way of good nutrition.

The best source of nutrition is whole, unprocessed foods and to ensure you are getting the proper amounts, you should follow Canada’s Food Guide, but of all the vitamins and nutrients we should be consuming for good overall health, there are four in particular that affect the skin: Vitamins A, H (or biotin) C and E.

Vitamin A helps to maintain and repair skin tissue. It can be found in abundance in meat and fish and in orange and yellow produce such as carrots and sweet potatoes, or greens such as broccoli and spinach

Vitamin H or biotin is a member of the vitamin B group and is a nutrient that helps to form skin, hair and nail cells. It can be found in foods such as bananas, eggs and oatmeal, but is also produced by bacteria in our intestines.

Vitamins C and E have antioxidative properties that help to prevent skin damage by free radicals and when consumed with supplements or via creams, have a sun-protective effect. Foods where these vitamins are found include citrus fruits, peppers (C), nuts and olives (E).

Drinking plenty of water is one of the best things you can do for your skin because it moves nutrients into the skin and flushes toxins out. It also helps to make our skin appear to fuller and healthier because water increases the integrity and shape of skin cells. Dieticians of Canada recommend 3.7 litres of water intake daily for men and 2.7 litres for women.