When you think of minerals, food isn’t necessarily the first thing that comes to mind. But, just like vitamins, we require minerals to help our bodies stay healthy. Minerals are part of every living cell of the body and they work together to build and regulate a multitude of bodily functions from building strong bones to transmitting nerve impulses to making hormones.
To reap the health benefits minerals provide to the body and your skin, keeping you in optimal health and glowing from within, focus on improving your diet; swap trans fats, processed foods, sugary drinks, alcohol and sugar for a well balanced diet rich in high quality protein, plenty of water, fresh, organic fruit and vegetables and essential fatty acids:
ZINC helps with cell growth and speeds up the rate of skin healing after an injury plus which it’s highly beneficial to all parts of the immune system – the body’s system for fighting off illnesses and infections. It also controls the production of oil in the skin and is believed to have antioxidant properties helping protect against premature ageing of the skin and muscles. It’s also required to break down alcohol, so over indulgence will lead to a deficiency, which is why, after a heavy night of drinking, your skin looks dull and your face looks tired.
Dietary Sources:Brazil nuts, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, walnuts, rice, barley, sunflower seeds, rye, sesame seeds, olives, lean meats, liver, cooked dried beans (legumes), sea vegetables, fortified cereals, soy foods and peas. NB: Soak grains, nuts and seeds in water overnight before eating them as this will help release phytic acid which can interfere with zinc absorption.
COPPER works alongside vitamins and zinc to assist in the creation of elastin, a protein which give skin its strength and elasticity; it also helps to enhance the function of antioxidants which help to protect skin from oxidative damage.
Dietary sources:sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, pistachios, cashews, pecans, coconut, mushrooms and soybeans.
SELENIUM is an antioxidant important in maintaining skin elasticity and flexibility. Some studies suggest selenium has health benefits that could help protect against skin cancer, as it protects skin from UV damage.
Dietary sources: Brazil nuts, fish and chicken.
MAGNESIUM is essential for skin, bones, teeth, hair and muscle health plus which it helps keep the nervous system running smoothly. A magnesium deficiency may cause accelerated ageing of the skin.
Dietary sources: chestnuts, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, almonds, pecans, coconut, walnuts, buckwheat, barley, kidney beans, Lima beans, beetroot greens, spinach, dates, lentils, brown rice and wheatgerm.
CALCIUM is well known for its role in maintaining healthy teeth and bones but did you know it also benefits the skin? It plays a major role in providing firmness and elasticity for the skin as well as all tissues and cells of the body. A calcium deficiency can result in fragile and thin skin, loss of hair, weak bones and brittle nails.
Dietary sources: sesame seeds, kelp, collard, kale, watercress, parsley, dandelion greens, chickpeas, dairy products, beans, nuts (especially almonds, hazelnuts and pistachios), sardines, leafy greens, fortified orange juice. Too much soft drink, alcohol, red meat and coffee can cause a calcium deficiency, as can stress.
POTASSIUM is an electrolyte which means it holds an electric charge, required for cells to function normally. Potassium, along with sodium, helps regulate the amount of water in your body’s cells, so a lack of potassium in the diet can lead to dry skin and other skin disorders.
Dietary sources: bananas, oranges, milk, bran, kiwi fruit, Lima beans and lentils.
SILICA is a trace mineral that helps strengthen your body’s connective tissues — muscles, tendons, hair, ligaments, nails, cartilage and bone — a deficiency could cause the skin to loose its elasticity, leading to premature ageing and a slower healing of skin wounds.
Dietary sources: leeks, beans, chick peas, strawberries, cucumber, mango, celery, rhubarb.