Mining the minerals, determining our beauty
One half of the micronutrients required by our body is made up of minerals. Minerals are needed for the stability and functioning of various vitamins like B complex and E. Some minerals are also good antioxidants and help maintain healthy skin by scavenging free radicals. Let’s take a quick look at some of the important minerals and how they affect our skin.
Copper is required for healing wounds. Since aging of the skin is a process in which damaged collagen is repeatedly repaired and therefore in some ways like a series of tiny wounds, copper is an important part of any anti-aging arsenal. It is abundantly found in various foods and deficiency is quite rare.
Dietary sources: nuts, cocoa, pulses, food cooked in copper vessels.
Calcium is best known for its role in maintaining the strength of our teeth and bones. It along with Biotin, is important for the health of hair and nails.
Dietary sources: all dairy products like yoghurt, cheese, milk, etc.
Magnesium and calcium go hand in hand in their functions. It has a role to play in almost every system in the body. In the nervous system, it prevents degeneration and promotes strong brain functioning. Magnesium also helps maintain the skin’s defences by bolstering the action of B complex vitamins.
Dietary sources: green vegetables, cereals, especially whole grains, milk and other dairy products, nuts and pulses
Selenium is a powerful antioxidant, especially when combined with Vitamin E. It is protective and preventive in a number of skin functions and disorders. We also know now that most people do not include enough of it in their diet.
Dietary sources: seafood, chicken, some nuts, brown rice, radishes and whole grains and wheat bread
Manganese is important for the functioning of a very important antioxidant called Superoxide Dismutase which prevents internal and external aging of the skin.
Dietary sources: spinach, beans, spices like cardamom and turmeric and green tea
This is by no means an exhaustive list of all the vitamins and minerals required for optimal body functioning. It is, however, indicative of the essential micronutrients required for excellent health and functioning of the skin which will serve as a stepping stone to achieving that elusive glow on the skin.
Excerpted with permission from
Skin Deep: An Inside Out Approach to Looking Good, Naturally!;
Published by: Harpercollins India