Nutrition starts in the mouth. If you have poor oral health or have mouth sores, ingesting food may be difficult. And if you can’t eat properly, you won’t be able to sustain your body’s nutritional needs.
While following the popular ‘regular exercise and healthy diet’ advice always helps, there are specific foods that may help enhance our body’s natural defences against certain health issues.
Case in point: If you find yourself constantly dealing with skin and mouth issues, or you feel like you’re susceptible to such problems, try adding more of these food items to your weekly meal plans:
You’ve probably seen countless skincare supplements that contain fish oil. That’s because fish oil contains Omega-3, which is especially abundant in fatty fish. The Omega-3 fatty acid is a healthy fat that helps to boost skin health in many ways.
It helps keep cell membranes healthy so they can hold more water, which in turn, balances hydration. It also regulates the skin’s oil production, which is what maintains its natural moisture.
Omega-3 is also known to help soothe irritation and inflammation, which is particularly beneficial for skin and mouth issues like ulcerations, dermatitis, and acne.
Try: Salmon, tuna, sardines, and mackerel.
Nuts & Seeds
In general, nuts and seeds have almost the same macronutrient profile and only vary slightly in micronutrient content. The calcium and phosphorus you’ll find in most varieties of nuts are minerals that work together for bone, teeth, and gum health.
Both are also excellent sources of healthy fats, which, as you know by now, help keep skin’s natural moisture. They’re also rich in dietary fibre, which aids in flushing out harmful toxins that may also cause skin issues.
Nuts and seeds are also rich in zinc, which not only hastens the body’s healing process but also helps to protect the skin against UV damage from the sun. They’re also high in vitamin E, a popular antioxidant that you’ll often see in skincare products and supplements.
Try: Almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, chia seeds, and sunflower seeds.
Vitamin C is perhaps the most popular nutrient in citrus fruits, and one of the most commonly known skin vitamins. Aside from strengthening the immune system, so there’ll be no health issues in the first place, vitamin C is also the key to collagen absorption.
A study also shows that an increase in vitamin C intake may help stop gum bleeding, which is no surprise as it’s long been associated with good gum health.
However, because the acid in citrus fruits may also damage tooth enamel, it may be best to consume citrus fruits in fresh juice form, and with a straw to minimise the direct contact between the acid and the teeth.
Citrus fruits are also rich in some B vitamins, which assist in the production of new and healthy skin cells.
Both vitamins B and C, along with zinc, are beneficial in the treatment and management of mouth sores or ulcers, as shown in a medical publication in AFP Journal. You may visit Luminance Red to find more information about managing skin and mouth sores.
Try: Orange, lemon, kiwi, and grapefruit.
Vitamin K is the lesser-known vitamin that supports bone health and protects against risks of excessive bleeding. Among its best sources are leafy green vegetables, which are also rich in potassium and magnesium, two minerals that play a role in regulating nerve function, which is important in skin integrity.
Leafy greens also contain lots of dietary fibre, phosphorus, calcium, and a few B vitamins.
Try: Kale, spinach, collard, parsley, and broccoli.
Berries are known for their antioxidants, which protect cells against free radicals that speed up skin ageing and collagen breakdown.
They also have high levels of Vitamins C and K, manganese, and dietary fibre, which are all beneficial not just for skin and oral health, but also for overall health.
Try: Blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, and blackberries.
Orange And Yellow Fruits And Veggies
Vitamin A, which you’ll find aplenty in orange and yellow fruits and vegetables, is also used in skincare products. It comes in two forms: retinoids and carotenoids. Retinoids, also known as the pre-formed vitamin A, mostly come from animal sources like fish and dairy products. Carotenoids are from plants, which are the same plant chemicals that give them a bright yellow or orange colour.
Carotenoids come in several forms, but most of them can be converted into retinoids once they’re inside the body.
Although vitamin A is more popular in eye health, it’s also beneficial in wound healing and contributes to a healthier immune system. It particularly helps to maintain the normal cellular process and keeps mucous membrane linings healthy.
Try: Carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, papaya, and cantaloupe.
The Best Nutrients For Healthier Skin And Mouth
The mouth, or the oral mucosa, is made up of mucous membranes that transition to the outer skin through the lips. While there are few structural differences intrinsically, both the mouth and skin are nourished by mostly the same nutrients.
In summary, here are the best nutrients you should have more in your diet if you want better skin and good oral health:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B complex
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Dietary fibre
What you always put in your mouth will show on your skin eventually, in one way or another. So, if you want young- and fresh-looking skin for as long as possible, don’t just rely on skincare products.
Constantly nourishing your skin through a healthy diet is the best regimen you can invest in for skincare. Don’t forget to also take lots of water, which is the best, and fortunately, also the cheapest drink you can get for healthy skin.
Nutrients are best taken pre-formed from natural sources. However, if you prefer to take supplements, always check the upper limits to avoid potential toxicity. More importantly, make sure to consult with your doctor first especially if you have health issues or are taking medications.
Heather Robbins is a holistic health advocate. She has a background in nursing and worked in a community clinic for many years. Heather is happily married with four children. She loves music and literature. Also, she enjoys cooking and beach picnics with her family.