Beauty- and Brain-Boosting Vitamins By Aly Walansky

We already know we are what we eat, and try to take this into consideration when buying our groceries and creating our weekly menus.


But it goes beyond that. Just as the food we eat and the exercise we do can make us look and feel better, there’s lots of vitamins we should be ingesting to feel and look better.


Many vitamins that are good for improving skin, hair and nails are also great at boosting our brains. Vitamin A helps learning and memory while Vitamin C boosts mood, memory and intelligence, and getting enough vitamin D may keep your information processing up to speed.


Omega 3 fatty acids are incredible for great skin, nails, and hair. Among their anti-inflammatory benefits, omega 3 fatty acids can reduce acne and other skin problems. Unfortunately, the basic American diet tends to be high in pro-inflammatory omega 6 vegetable oils, makes skin conditions far worse, as well as creates brittle hair and nails.


To get Omega 3 fatty acid benefits, try to eat mainly low-mercury wild-caught fish like salmon. Even if you’re eating omega-3 rich foods like fish, walnuts, chia seeds, and freshly ground flax seed, you should consider supplementing with an essential fatty acids formula that contains the anti-inflammatory fatty acids EPA, DHA, and GLA.


Vitamin A, or retinol, is known to smooth rough, dry skin. If you suffer from conditions that cause extremely dry skin like acne, eczema and psoriasis are vitamin A to help restore moisture and regulate cells. Since it helps to rebuild skin tissue, vitamin A is essential when it comes to healing minor scrapes and wounds or for recovering from procedures.


Because it’s so restorative, vitamin A is also great for anti-aging. Taking vitamin A regularly may help keep fine lines and wrinkles at bay and help fade dark spots.


Vitamin E is also great for anti-aging. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps fight free radicals, which helps to cause premature aging. It also improves dryness by helping the skin restore its natural moisture. You can reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, age spots and even stretch marks by adding this vitamin to your diet.


Vitamin C is another great antioxidant known to stop free radicals in their tracks. Young skin is full of vitamin C, but as we age, we naturally and gradually lose it. Restoring our supply could be the key to reversing signs of aging.  Vitamin C also helps stimulate the production of collagen in your skin so that it remains supple and youthful. It’s especially great for repairing sun-damaged skin, as it’s known for its ability to fade brown spots and even out discoloration.


Many of us don’t get enough Vitamin D. We get Vitamin D from the sun, yet we tend to use sun protection products and avoid sunlight altogether to protect our skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. A vitamin D deficiency may cause dull, sallow skin. Add a vitamin D supplement to your regimen to boost elasticity, stimulate collagen and restore radiance—all without exposing your skin to direct sunlight and risking permanent damage.


Folate and folic acid are great ways to up your levels of Vitamin B. Getting enough folate can make you more alert, while also improving memory and focus. It also helps lower blood levels of the brain cell-damaging amino acid homocysteine. You can find folate in many foods, like beans, fruits, green leafy vegetables, lentils, and whole-wheat cereals.


Another great trick is to ingest Vitamin K and use Vitamin K creams for when you have dark circles under your eyes. Dark circles are not pretty, and it makes you look like you’re exhausted all the time. The reason for the dark circles is because fragile capillaries in under the eyes leak blood into skin, and vitamin K can control the clotting and stop this from happening.

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