Friday morning I got to share a few facts about nutrition for healthy skin on Fox31. You can watch the video here and in the article I'm going to share more about skin health and why your nutrition matters!
Your Skin is Your Defense System
Our skin is the largest organ on our body. It protects us from external toxins and keeping it healthy is important to keep our immune system healthy.
When we eat, the nutrients get broken down into their building blocks. For example, when we eat protein, the protein breaks down into amino acids. These individual amino acids can be thought of like an individual pearl. When our body is building tissues back up, it takes individual amino acids pearls" and makes a necklace.
Collagen is a protein that when broken down gets its amino acids mixed up into a small storage system called the amino acid pool in our cells. When. needed, the amino acids in the pool, will be built back up. Collagen is the tissue that in the most abundant protein in our body, and yes including our skin.
But collagen doesn't do this alone. Vitamin C that plays a major role in making sure collagen can be built up.
That's why in the recipe demo I talked about the collagen-rich bone broth but also included vitamin C rich foods like red bells peppers.
Lycopene is an antioxidant in tomatoes that also plays a role in healthy skin integrity. When our cells are exposed to toxins, the pho's-lipid bilayer that surrounds each individual cell loses its integrity, therefore breaking down the integrity of the cell, which in turn damages the tissue. To keep our cell layers healthy we need to fight those free radicals and that's exactly what lycopene (among many other nutrients!) does. Lycopene is also what gives tomatoes that pop of red color.
Lastly, we cannot overlook the importance of hydration in our skin health. When we are dehydrated our skin looks different, it loses elasticity and turgor. We look puffy too, as the body attempts to hold onto any moisture it can. While we need to make sure we are drinking water, eating vegetables, fruits and whole grains that are cooked and soak up water are going to contribute to your hydration.
Arugula is the dark leafy green in the recipe. It's high in Vitamin A and water so the skin benefits greatly from those nutrients.