You might have noticed that people following vegan and plant-based meal plans have amazing skin. Following plant-based and vegan meal plans can offer so much goodness to our skin. Some nutrients are especially good for the health of our skin and these nutrients work in three ways. One, these nutrients help build essential components like collagen and elastin. This will let us have plump skin that is not prone to sagging. Two, they have antioxidant properties that can offer protection to our skin from free radical damage. Three, they are good moisturizers that can make our skin soft and supple. The skincare nutrients that are required to have glowing skin are:
Protein: Human skin is made of this macronutrient. Its RDA is 0.8 grams for every kilogram of a person’s body weight. However, as per some of the latest studies, that is the minimum quantity required and you can eat more than that for ensuring nourishment.
Omega 3 ALA: Omega 3 alpha-linolenic acid is a plant-based fat that is good for skin health. These fats can reinforce the cell membrane of the skin making it a real strong barrier against the damaging elements. Besides, it can help the skin hold moisture in a better way. Females can have about 1.1 grams of ALA per day and males can have 1.6 grams per day.
Vitamin A: Vitamin A is a very good antioxidant, and also stimulates cell production. 700 and 900 micrograms are the RDA of this vitamin for women and men respectively. Nonetheless, you can always have more than that. This is because vitamin A obtained from plants has only half the potency of that obtained from animals. However, do not go beyond 3,000 micrograms per day as it might lead to undesirable side effects.
Vitamin E: This vitamin is also a multitasker like vitamin A. Vitamin E is a collagen stimulator and an antioxidant. The RDA is 15 mg for adults.
Vitamin C: Just like vitamin A, vitamin C is also a stimulator of cell production and an antioxidant. You can have a minimum of 90 milligrams of vitamin C per day. Make sure not to take more than 2,000 mg of the vitamin as it can lead to adverse reactions.
These are some of the important nutrients that are essential in skincare and can be easily found in many vegan recipes. Now that we know the nutrients that are essential to ensure healthy skin, let us see some vegan items that we need to add to our meal plan to ensure proper intake of these nutrients.
A vegan diet for skin requires leafy green vegetables and spinach is unavoidable in such a diet. These are rich sources of vitamin A and a single cup of spinach can give you the daily RDA of vitamin A. Therefore, make sure to add spinach to your vegan meal plan.
Sprouted broccoli can help you have healthy and glowing skin. Including sprouted broccoli in your diet can help you have vitamin C, A, and protein essential for ensuring skin health. However, it is the presence of sulforaphane that makes sprouted broccoli much famous among plant-based eaters. Sulforaphane is an antioxidant and a sunscreen that can protect your skin from damages.
Sweet potatoes are much tastier than white potatoes and in terms of skincare benefits, sweet potatoes are a good source of all the vitamins with antioxidant properties. In addition to having these vitamins, sweet potatoes are very good sources of proteins that can also be beneficial for your skin.
Most of the legumes and nuts are considered to be healthy vegetarian foods. However, walnut is considered an essential nut to ensure skin health. This nut has an omega-3 content that is outstanding. Walnuts have 2.5 gms of ALAs per ounce and are also packed with protein.
Avocados are delicious, creamy, and rich in many nutrients. Avocados have almost all the skincare nutrients that are discussed in the first part of this post. If you are worried that avocados are fattening, worry not, the fats present in these are mono and polyunsaturated, which are not harmful to your body. Moreover, many dieticians say that avocados can help in weight loss as they can make us feel full quickly and this can help us avoid overeating.
Alongside proteins, these seeds are packed with omega 3 fatty acids. Even though chia seeds and sunflower seeds are good choices, flax seeds rank better in terms of protein and ALA content. However, you can alternate between these seeds add variety to your vegan recipes.
Blueberries are great sources of antioxidants. The antioxidant traits of these berries and their beautiful color are provided by anthocyanins. A single cup of wild blueberries has 13,427 antioxidants, which is about ten times the amount recommended by USDA.
Now that you know what your skin likes to snack on, get going!