Expanded transcript from video… You may have heard the saying, “Great skin begins from within.”  Well, it really is true. The skin is the largest organ of the human body and has to work hard to perform all its functions and still look its best. Your skin regulates your body temperature and provides protection, absorption, secretion and sensation.

To do its job, you need several essential vitamins, minerals and fats. In this segment, we’ll zero in on the vitamins and teach you the ABC’s and E’s of good skin nutrition.

Vitamin A

Starting with vitamin A…this vitamin keeps your skin soft and rebuilds your body tissues.  If you don’t get enough vitamin A, you’ll end up with dry, scaly skin.  This antioxidant destroys the free radicals that break down your skin’s elastin and collagen – the vital components of youthful, firm, and resilient skin.

Vitamin A can be found in the form of a pigment called beta-carotene. Great sources of vitamin A include:

  • Egg yolks
  • Deep yellow and orange fruits and vegetables

Also, think dark and leafy green as these foods are excellent ways to get vitamin A. Vegetables like:

  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Kale

Think of the colors of a carrot (which are orange and leafy green) to help remind you what foods have vitamin A.

Vitamin B

Next, is Vitamin B. B vitamins promote a glowing, clear complexion and help renew skin cells. Without enough vitamin B, your skin will crack and become inflamed and irritated. To help you remember some foods that are great sources of B, think “B ” for “brown” like:

  • Brown rice
  • Brown bread (Be sure the bread is brown due to its whole grain content.  Some manufacturers use molasses and caramel coloring to make it look whole grain when it is not.)
  • Wheat germ
  • Eggs (which are also available in brown)
  • Chicken

Other foods packed with B (and also start with the letter “B”) include:

  • Bran
  • Beans
  • Baked potatoes
  • Beef
  • Broccoli
  • Bananas

Vitamin C

After A and B, there’s vitamin C. This antioxidant is vital for healing wounds, resisting infection, and for collagen formation. Collagen is a fibrous protein that is the key to having firm and plump, youthful skin. Lack of vitamin C can result in skin that bruises easily, doesn’t heal, and is dry, rough and scaly.

Foods packed with vitamin C:

  • Citrus fruits
  • Citrus juices

Other good sources that also start with the letter “C” include:

  • Cantaloupe
  • Currants
  • Cabbage
  • Chilis  (But…it may be harder to eat a cup of red chilis than it is to eat a cup of cantaloupe!)

Other good sources are:

  • Pineapple
  • Peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Strawberries
  • Kiwi

Vitamin E

And last but not least, you need vitamin E. Think of “earthy” foods like:

  • Wheat germ
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Olives
  • Avocados
  • Soybeans
  • Whole grains

These foods increase the flow of oxygen to the skin which speeds healing and reduces damage caused by harmful free radicals.

Karen’s Fit Tip:  Your skin really is a reflection of what you eat and taking in plenty of vitamins A, B, C and E will help keep it healthy and radiant.

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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