An alarmingly low state of nutrition awareness prevails in the U.S. As a population we generally fail to make a direct correlation between our diets and our state of health and well-being. Many of us often deliberately choose denial over proactively learning about core simple issues that, if embraced, could alleviate a great deal of physical suffering, including the acceleration of our aging process. Minerals are one component of very necessary human nutrition, but how often do we think of minerals for skin health?
We all lose minerals as we age or live in stressful environmental conditions. Certain minerals are needed to hold hydration in the skin. Without them, creams won't help. Skin can't be properly hydrated without a sufficient mineral delivery system.
Certain minerals and trace minerals play an enormous role in maintaining the day-to-day health of our skin as well as providing therapeutic benefits for various skin conditions.
One of the most destructive influences on skin health and aging is continual blood sugar spikes caused by eating foods that release sugar into our bloodstream very fast. If excess sugar reaches the dermis, it quickly begins to bond with collagen and elastin and then continues to create cross links between fibers causing the collagen lattice to become stiff. This leads to a loss of youthful elasticity of the skin and acceleration of the process of skin’s aging.
The trace mineral chromium helps stabilize blood sugar levels meaning there will be less likelihood that sugar will be deposited in the collagen matrix of the skin. Broccoli, brewer’s yeast, barley, oats, green beans, tomatoes, romaine lettuce, and black pepper are good dietary sourcoes of chromium.
The trace mineral selenium is a key player in longterm skin health mostly because of its powerful antioxidant activity. Selenium is a cofactor (a substance required for the production of another substance) in the production of another extremely powerful antioxidant known as glutathione peroxidase. Glutathione plays a significant and very vital role in protecting cells and tissues from damage caused by mutated cells or free radicals which are responsible for aging.
Selenium is also anti-inflammatory for the body and skin. Get selenium by eating brazil nuts, shiitake mushrooms, sunflower seeds, whole grains, potatoes, prawns, tuna, oysters and salmon.
Silica activates certain enzymes involved in the production of collagen. It rests inside collagen acting like glue between connective tissues. It helps prevents wrinkles, provides a lifting effect, and strengthens and regenerates skin and bone tissues. Silica is a strong carrier of oxygen which helps to give skin a healthy glow. It also assists red blood cells to carry more oxygen throughout the body which, in turn, helps improve skin hydration. It is imperative for healthy youthful skin.
We can derive silica from the horsetail plant as an excellent source and also from cucumbers, watermelon, echinacea root, alfalfa, kelp, bell peppers, leeks, green beans, wheatgrass, apples, berries, onions, almonds, sunflower seeds and grapes.
Sulphur, the beauty mineral, is one of the most important nutrients for the structure of the skin. It is a key component of proteins and essential for healthy skin. Deficiency symptoms of sulphur are dry scalp, eczema, rashes and acne.
Get sulphur in eggs, meats, fish, garlic, onions, dairy, beans, greens, dandelion greens, celery, cabbage, kale, soybeans and asparagus.
Iodine assists in healing skin infections, increases oxygen consumption and the metabolic rate in the skin. It also, importantly, helps prevent roughness and premature wrinkling, and contributes to skin tone. Consume iodine by eating blue-green algae, kelp, barley grass, sunflower seeds, and sea salt.
Zinc is a trace mineral, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant that stimulates the synthesis of collagen and elastin. It is very beneficial for the alleviation of acne and it’s naturally photo-protective. It accelerates wound healing, cell growth and immunity. Zinc can be found in pumpkin, seeds, mushrooms, spinach and shellfish.
We can derive zinc naturally by eating blue-tree algae, barley grass, alfalfa, seaweeds, nuts, seeds and green leafy vegetables.
Manganese is a trace mineral or salt important mineral for everyday skin health as it plays a significant role in collagen production. is involved in the synthesis of vitamin B1. It acts against free radicals and has soothing, calming and protective properties. It aids in protection of the skin against oxygen related and damages caused as a result of exposure to ultraviolet light by functioning as an antioxidant. Manganese is an ingredient in Ageless La Cure’s Five Secrets Serum and Cream Duo for a 3-Week Cure and in PHYTO5’s Oligo 5 Mineral Spray.
Manganese can be found in nuts, beans, legumes, whole grains, green leafy vegetable, pineapple, açai and dark chocolate.
Magnesium is a trace mineral that has the ability to cleanse the skin and detoxify the epidermis. It is quite effective in treating the areas of the skin that are prone to allergic reaction. Magnesium is very effective in reducing wrinkles and fine lines. It helps to combat acne and skin breakouts. It acts on cellular renewal and on the production of energy within cells, because it contributes to glucose transport. It is very beneficial for people who are tired and overworked. As a cellular protectant, it fosters the restoration of cellular magnesium levels, facilitates effective and safe detoxification, provides pain and spam relief, relieves aches, and encourages healthy skin tissue growth.
We’ll want to eat avocados, nuts, seeds, whole grains, legumes, tofu, and dark chocolate to ensure we get magnesium into our bodies and skin.
A good mineral intake is important at any age and the optimum way to achieve this is through a whole foods diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables and other plant-based produce. Rather than worry about what to eat or what not to eat to make sure we’re getting all we need to look and feel younger longer, make consuming a rainbow diet with foods from each of the seven colors of the rainbow the foundation of your meals and snacks and build around that always making the most sensible choices we know intuitively are best for us.
Pinnock, Dale. The Clear Skin Cookbook: the Vital Vitamins and Magic Minerals You Need for Smooth, Blemish-Free, Younger-Looking Skin. Seven Dials, 2018.
Null, Gary. Get Healthy Now! with Gary Null: a Complete Guide to Prevention, Treatment and Healthy Living. Seven Stories Press, 2006.