Expanded transcript from video… Wouldn’t it be nice if you could wake up every morning with smooth, radiant skin? Well, before you rush off to your local beauty store, think about picking up some skin-friendly nutrients at your local grocery store.

In The Healthy Skin Diet (Vitamins), we took a look at the foods that provide the key vitamins you need for healthy skin. Today, we’re going to focus on the minerals and essential fats that’ll help your skin function and look its best.


One of the key  minerals that counteracts the effects of premature aging is selenium.  Great sources of selenium include:

  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Mushrooms  
  • Seaweed
  • Wheat germ
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Grains

Selenium protects against the damage caused by free radicals and promotes the absorption of vitamin E – one of the essential vitamins needed for healthy skin. Seafood is also rich in selenium:

  • Tuna
  • Salmon
  • Snapper

Selenium content is dependent upon the amount of selenium found in the soils where plant foods are grown or where animals graze. Researchers found that soils in the high plains of Nebraska and Dakotas are selenium-rich. In contrast, China and Russia are known to have low levels of selenium in the foods they grow due to low levels of this mineral.

One of the most concentrated food sources of selenium is:

  • Brazil nuts – So if you like them, you’ll have to limit yourself to just one per day! Taking in too much selenium (selenium toxicity) can result in gastrointestinal upsets, hair loss, white blotchy nails, garlic breath odor, fatigue, irritability, and mild nerve damage.


Next is the zinc.  This mineral helps to make collagen – the fibrous protein that gives your skin strength and firmness and it also decreases the breakdown of collagen.
Great sources include:

  • Oysters
  • Red meat
  • Poultry
  • Eggs
  • Various nuts, especially pecans
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Beans
  • Dairy products

Zinc maintains the integrity of the skin and aids in healing and also protects it from the damaging effects of the sun. Other good ways to get zinc are from:

  • Fortified cereals
  • Whole grains – e.g., brown rice, oats, popcorn and whole wheat

Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids

You’ve probably heard that omega-3’s are good for your heart, but omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are also great for your skin. Rich sources include:

  • Flaxseeds
  • Avocado
  • Cold-pressed oils, especially soybean and canola oils
  • Fish – e.g., salmon, tuna, sardines, and anchovies
  • Other fish – e.g., herring, rainbow trout, lake trout, sablefish, whitefish, bluefish, and halibut

These oils stimulate skin growth and maintain skin moisture. A sign that you’re not getting enough essential fatty acid is dry skin.

Karen’s Fit Tip: Remember… vitamins, minerals and fats are great for your skin, but they can be TOXIC in megadoses. Try and get them through the foods you eat as you’ll also get a healthy dose of antioxidants which aren’t necessarily included in oral vitamin supplements.

Karen Owoc

Karen Owoc is a certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist specializing in cardiopulmonary rehabilitation and lifestyle medicine. Her science-based approach to longevity, nutrition, and muscle health has made her the go-to source for health seekers and medical professionals alike. Karen's best-selling book on functional longevity, "Athletes in Aprons: The Nutrition Playbook to Break 100", and her transformative perspective have mended many minds, hearts, and spirits.

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