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info@uidaho.edu
Phone: 208-885-6111
Toll-free: 88-88-UIDAHO
Fax: 208-885-9119
Student Union Building
875 Perimeter Drive MS 4264
Moscow, ID 83844-4264

Boise

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Fax: 208-364-4035
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Boise, ID 83702

boise@uidaho.edu
www.uidaho.edu/boise

Coeur d'Alene

Phone: 208-667-2588
Toll-free: 888-208-2268
Fax: 208-664-1272
1031 N. Academic Way,
Suite 242
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814

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www.uidaho.edu/cda

Idaho Falls

Phone: 208-282-7900
Fax: 208-282-7929
1776 Science Center Drive, Suite 306
Idaho Falls, ID 83402

ui-if@uidaho.edu
www.uidaho.edu/idahofalls

This Winter Quench Your Skin from the Inside Out | Dec. 22, 2011

For glowing, vibrant and younger-looking skin, what you put on your plate is just as important as what you put on your skin.  Everything that you eat contributes to the inner and outer you, so why take chances when it comes to healthy skin?  A balanced diet is the best insurance for skin, but here are some nutrients to pay particular attention to.

 

Water

The human body is made up of about 70 percent water.  Dehydration contributes to dry skin.  If you don’t like plain water try jeltzer – 100 percent fruit juice plus seltzer.  This will not only hydrate you, but fruit juices are filled with the added bonus of antioxidants.  It works to prevent dry skin by improving blood circulation and helping cells take up needed nutrients.

 

Vitamins & Antioxidants

When the cells in our body use oxygen, free radicals are made which cause damage.  Antioxidants prevent and repair this damage.  They include Vitamin A (which is made from beta carotene), C, E, selenium and lycopene.

 

Vitamin A is involved in the maintenance and repair of tissue.  Topical vitamin A creams have been proven to increase the rate that skin is replaced.  Consuming food that are rich in vitamin A – such as sweet potatoes, carrots, butternut squash, spinach and kale – is a good way to improve dry skin without the risk of irritation by these creams.  Low-fat dairy products are one of the best places to get the “true Vitamin A.”  The body has to convert beta carotene to vitamin A, which is difficult form some people, so dairy is an important source.

 

Vitamin C helps with the production of collagen and protects from free radicals.  The highest food sources are red bell peppers and citrus fruits, but it is also found in kiwi, broccoli, berries, brussels sprouts and tomatoes, which are also abundant in lycopene.

 

Vitamin E protects skin’s moisture from the inside out, keeping it looking young and fresh.  Avocados pack more of this nutrient than any other fruit.  That’s right, avocados are a fruit.

 

Selenium is a trace mineral, and its occurrence in plants and animals depends on its abundance in the soil.  The highest source is Brazil nuts, and it is also found in fish, shrimp, barley and lamb.

 

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats that make up the cell membranes in our bodies.  They play an important role by keeping harmful substances out and retaining moisture.  They also fight inflammation that can cause skin irritation.  East plenty of salmon, trout, flaxseed, walnuts and olive oil to make sure you get enough of this vital nutrient.

 

Supplementation is sometimes needed, but eating a variety of fresh, whole and colorful foods will ensure that you are getting all the needed nutrients to prevent dry skin and improve your overall health.  The next time you want to reach for that donut, think about your skin.  If you reach for a piece of whole wheat walnut cinnamon carrot bread instead, your skin will thank you.  Spread the word:  “Quench your skin from the inside out!”