Chard LeavesA healthy diet is important for healthy skin. But what nutrients specifically are good for your skin?

Vitamin A is necessary for skin cell regeneration and repair as well as to reduce wrinkles and acne. Vitamin A and carotenoids are chemically and functionally similar. You can find high levels of vitamin A or carotenoids in orange and green colored fruits and vegetables and these herbs: parsley, dandelion, peppermint, alfalfa and red raspberry leaf.

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is necessary for the production of collagen. This large protein helps support the skin to reduce wrinkles. Vitamin C is found in many fruits and vegetables including oranges, strawberries and peppers.

Vitamin E (tocopherol) is a great antioxidant and can help even out skin tone. It can be found in a wide range of vegetable oils including sunflower oil, almond oil, olive oil and grapeseed oil. Vitamin E is also found in parsley, kale and broccoli.

Vitamin K promotes capillary health. It can decrease bruising and dark circles under the eyes. Basil (Pesto!), parsley and leafy green vegetables are high in vitamin K. Be careful if you are taking blood thinning drugs like Coumadin though as vitamin K counteracts Coumadin.

Vitamin B deficiencies can lead to dermatitis and hair loss. Vitamin B is typically from animal sources but can also be found in eggs and brewers yeast.

Copper is an element important for collagen production and may help tighten skin. It can be found in Swiss chard, spinach, kale and sage.

Zinc is good for wound healing as well as for the immune system. It is found in bilberry, sage, fennel, alfalfa, stinging nettle, parsley, chamomile, hops, chickweed and Echinacea.

Essential fatty acids are important to support healthy skin and form a barrier. These can be found in many vegetable oils such as olive oil, sunflower oil, rice bran oil, soy oil and grapeseed oil.

Water is necessary for hydration and moisturizing from the inside is important. Drink more water.

Keeping skin healthy is important for the skin to act as a barrier between the outside of the body and the inside of the body. This barrier function prevents the body from loosing to much water and prevents bacteria and other substances from entering the body. If this barrier is weakened by lack of nutrients, dry skin or from wounds, the body becomes more susceptible to infection. So although we love to apply cosmetics to the surface of our skin to keep it healthy and moisturized, lets not forget about how important diet is for healthy skin.