The state of our skin is often dismissed as nothing more than a beauty concern, but, in reality, it is much more important than this.
The largest organ in the body, our skin is one of the first places to show signs of problems within the body, particularly deficiencies and imbalances.
Micronutrients are vital for good health and radiant skin, but almost everyone survives on less than optimum levels.
What are micronutrients?
Macronutrients are the different types of food, which you might adjust if you were trying to lose weight such as fats, carbohydrates and protein.
However, if you were to break these components down even further you’d discover the very building blocks of our food such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids and essential fatty acids. These are known as micronutrients.
Micronutrients are essential for glowing skin and vibrant health. Keep in mind the recommended daily allowance for micronutrients (RDA) are simply the MINIMUM levels to prevent serious diseases associated with deficiencies. To truly thrive rather than just survive, you will likely benefit from more than the RDA.
The effect on the skin
The appearance of your skin will be a good indicator as to whether your body is suffering an imbalance or a deficiency of micronutrients.
There are many different ways in which this could manifest, such as dryness, wrinkles or even conditions such as psoriasis, eczema or acne. These skin conditions are not always caused by a micronutrient deficiency.
There are a number of different underlying causes, but I find that micronutrient deficiencies are, at least in part, a primary root cause for many skin problems.
Micronutrients for the skin
It’s important to stress that although there are a number of micronutrients that are particularly good for the skin, they will only achieve the maximum benefit when used in combination with others. Micronutrients are a team, not a solo act, and help each other to be absorbed by the body, so focusing on just one in isolation generally does not yield the best results.
There are some individual micronutrients that are particularly beneficial to the skin, and many of these are anti-oxidants. The body is damaged by free radicals, but anti-oxidants gobble these up and help cells to renew and regenerate, which is particularly helpful for our aging and sun-exposed skin. Examples of these are Vitamins A, C and E – all which are fantastic for the skin. Vitamin D3 is another healing skin micronutrient that can be particularly useful for combating psoriasis if the cause is a deficiency.
Essential fatty acids are also essential micronutrients for skin health.
Omega 3s are anti-inflammatory as well as nourishing and hydrating for our cells. Omega 3s from fish oil contains the critical components of DHA and EPA in a form that’s easy for our body’s to use (I recommend Pro-Omega). Most skin conditions have an underlying inflammatory cause (“skinflammation”), and the anti-inflammatory effects of Omega 3s can help to counteract this.
Where to find micronutrients
Lots of micronutrients can be found within food, but it’s absolutely critical to get it from the right source.
Choosing organic, local, GMO-free, free-range, wild and grass fed foods does make a difference in micronutrient levels. Produce that is organic, local and fresh is going to have much higher levels of micronutrients over processed, chemical-laden foods that travel long distances. The closer you are to picking your produce, the less time it has had to dissipate naturally occurring micronutrients like antioxidants.
Farmed fish, caged chickens and cows that don’t get to eat grass, similarly, will not deliver the same results as those that are “wild” and “free.” Just like what we eat makes a difference – the foods that the animals eat that we then consume is important too!
Many people need supplementation in order to get the right micronutrients that their skin and body needs. There is so much I can say about supplements (more on this at a later time), but the most important takeaway is QUALITY.
There are loads of supplements available today, but they are not all created the same. And, in fact, some are actually dangerous for your health. I’ve spent the last 15 years in practice and even longer researching and learning about supplements.
Because of what I’ve learned, I created some of my own supplements. Here is the product that I personally take and recommend to my patients – Daily Nutrients Packets
A few more things to consider…
If you have a super healthy diet and even take supplements, but you’re still showing signs of micronutrient deficiencies such as dry skin, brittle hair and nails, and chronic skin conditions, you may have an absorption issue.
If you have any digestive symptoms such as gas, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea, that can be a sign that you’re not digesting your food and absorbing nutrients from them. However, not everyone who has absorption issues has digestive symptoms.
To support your digestion foods and absorption of micronutrients, you may want to consider digestive enzymes and probiotics (such as Probiophage ), and talk with your naturopathic physician or functional medicine doctor about getting tested for absorption issues and nutritional deficiencies.
“Addressing micronutrient deficiencies will support a healthy glow that comes from within.”
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For more information on Mira and Jayson Calton, visit their website.