Search Results for: vitamin a

Benefits of Vitamin A

Benefits of Vitamin A

Vitamin A has a host of benefits that everyone should seek to take advantage of, but particularly those in search of healthier skin. Topical vitamin A has received mixed reviews and the jury is out as to whether it helps improve scar appearance. However, oral vitamin A provides several benefits in terms of general health and skin health. Oral vitamin A appears to protect the cardiovascular system, boost the immune system, and can also promote wound healing. Vitamin A can also protect your skin against harmful UV radiation.

These are just some of the benefits that vitamin A has to offer, so it’s easy to see why you should be taking steps to increase vitamin A consumption as part of a healthy diet.

Squash
Fall is the perfect time to step up your vitamin A intake, because pumpkin is a terrific source of this powerhouse vitamin. Canned or cooked pumpkin provides whopping per-serving doses of vitamin A, so you have an excuse now to indulge in the pumpkin pies and other delicious holiday recipes. Or, eat it plain for very few calories and great flavor. Don’t stop with pumpkin, though – other winter squashes also contain lots of vitamin A, so try a variety.

Carrots
Carrots also contain a lot of vitamin A. The vitamin A in carrots is in the form of beta carotene, which has extremely healthy antioxidant properties. Eat carrots raw or cooked, or drink their juice; just remember that organic carrots are your best bet, because conventionally-grown carrots have been shown to have high levels of pesticide residue – something you should steer clear of when possible. However, keep in mind that if you can’t buy organic for any reason, conventional produce is better than none.

Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are something else you should be striving to eat a lot of. Baked whole or in strips (a la “sweet potato fries”), cut into cubes and sautéed, or mashed and incorporated into other recipes, sweet potatoes are delicious and great for your health and scar healing.

Leafy Greens
While you’re sautéing those sweet potatoes, add some spinach to the pan. Or add it to your salads, sandwiches, or juicing recipes. Spinach contains large amounts of vitamin A, as do other leafy greens like collards, kale, and turnip greens.

Beef
Beef and liver are great ways to get your needed vitamin A. Look for local grass-fed beef to limit the environmental impact of raising livestock while getting the health benefits you need. Liver and other organ meats are great sources of vitamin A, too. Try steaming or frying just about any liver with onions and herbs for a flavorful, healthy meal. If liver isn’t your thing, try taking Cod liver oil for some of the same benefits.

Fruits
Finally, if you want a sweeter treat, try dried apricots. Portable, sweet, and unique, dried apricots provide large amounts of vitamin A. Fresh apricots are good sources, too, as are cantaloupe and other orange or yellow melons.

 Do you include these delicious vitamin A foods into your diet?

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photo credit: Sister72 via photopin cc

Choosing Fruits with the Most Vitamin C

Choosing Fruits with the Most Vitamin C

The healing process is complicated. The use of Vitamin C, however, may simplify it for those wishing to restore skin’s appearance. Adding this nutrient to a daily diet can diminish the look of scars and rejuvenate tissue.

What is Vitamin C?

Vitamin C (known also as ascorbic acid) is an oxidized vitamer. It’s found naturally in many fruits and vegetables and can easily be consumed. This is due to its solubility, which allows it to quickly digest within the body.

Read More: Vitamin C

What is Vitamin C’s Effect on Scars?

Vitamin C proves crucial to scar healing. It promotes collagen production, which allows damaged tissue to be reshaped. It also delivers powerful immune support, increasing the body’s natural enzyme responses and battling inflammation. This reduces overall irritation, allowing pigmentation to improve and skin texture to soften.

Which Fruits Contain the Most Vitamin C?

Vitamin C dissolves in water. Therefore, it does not linger in the bloodstream for extended periods. Daily supplementation is needed to ensure proper absorption and healing. Because of this, individuals are encouraged to consume fruits rich in Vitamin C. These can include:

Cantaloupe

The cantaloupe melon is a polyphenolic fruit that is low in calories with high bursts of Vitamin C. The average melon contains approximately 200 mg. Since this exceeds the recommended daily dose of 90 mg. Only eat small pieces throughout the week to avoid consuming too much.

Papaya

Papayas are single-stem plants that offer bold flavors and exceptional Vitamin C. A small fruit, which averages 150 grams, can contain up to 95 mg. This makes the fruit ideal for daily consumption.

Mango

The mango is a Drupe fruit, noted for its pulpy textures and sweet flavor. It’s also infused with Vitamin C, averaging over 120 mg per 336 gram mango. Multiple servings throughout the week prove highly beneficial.

Kiwifruit

The kiwifruit is deceptive, with its dull color hiding both a rich flavor and a strong Vitamin C concentration. A typical kiwi can yield over 60 mg. This makes it an ideal supplement for every day.

Read More: Vitamin Rich Recipes

What About Oranges?

The orange ranks among the most popular fruit: both for its tangy taste and its, supposedly, high amount of Vitamin C. It’s often cited as the best option for those seeking to improve scar texture.

The truth, however, is that this fruit does not offer the best concentration of Vitamin C. The average orange contains only 50 mg of nutrients. While this can certainly enhance the healing process, it shouldn’t serve as the only source of support. There are better options available.

Want to know more about Vitamin C and its effect on healing? Send us a comment! We’d love to hear from you.

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3 Vitamin-Rich Recipe Ideas

3 Vitamin-Rich Recipe Ideas

Most experts in nutrition today agree that vitamins and minerals are best used and absorbed by the body when consumed in the diet. Many simple and surprisingly savory dishes that are rich in vitamins can be easily made and are sure to become family favorites. The best part? While delighting your tastebuds, you are also providing your body with scar healing nutrients.

Pumpkin Spice Cake (Rich in Vitamin A)

1 1/2 c. flour

1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/8 tsp. ground cloves

2 tsp. baking powder

2 c. sugar

1-15 oz. can pumpkin

1/3 c. shortening

4 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom of a 13×9 inch pan. Sift the dry ingredients together except for the sugar. Mix in the remaining ingredients and mix on low speed for two minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape the bowl. Empty mixture into prepared pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until done.

Sauteed Chicken and Vegetables (Rich in Vitamins A and C)

2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Canola oil

1 medium onion, sliced

1 green bell pepper, sliced

1 red bell pepper, sliced

1 lb. broccoli florets

1 clove garlic, minced

Coat the bottom of a skillet or wok with canola oil and heat the pan on the stove at medium. Cook the cubed chicken until done in the center and brown. Set the chicken aside, and add the remaining ingredients cooking until desired tenderness. Add the chicken back into the mixture and serve over brown rice. Serves 4.

Sweet and Savory Mashed Potatoes (Rich in Vitamins A and C)

1 1/2 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes

1 1/2 lbs. sweet potatoes

1/2 c. lowfat milk

Butter to taste

Peel and dice the potatoes and boil in a Dutch Oven half-filled with water until tender. Whip the potatoes with milk and butter, adding more milk to desired consistency. Serves 4.

Cooking with vitamin-rich foods is simple and satisfying. Savvy cooks can serve meals that are both healthy and delectable and can rest assured that they and their families are enjoying satisfying and nourishing fare.

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How Does Vitamin C Improve Scars?

How Does Vitamin C Improve Scars?

Vitamin C is one of the most important vitamins that you can get for a strong and healthy body. You probably already know about the many nutritional benefits that Vitamin C can provide you with, including a boosted immune system and a lowered risk of cardiovascular disease. However, what many people don’t know is just how crucial Vitamin C can be to one’s ability to heal from injuries, which include scars.

Vitamin C can have numerous benefits on scars when properly formulated for use on the skin. First of all, it can have a huge effect on scar pigmentation, and can be one of your best tools in helping to fade scars, regardless of the type of scars that you have. Not only does Vitamin C in general help to promote healing, but it also has a strong antioxidant effect on the body.

This is crucial when it comes to scar healing and scar depigmentation, because the free radicals that Vitamin C helps to combat are the same ones that can cause severe and permanent cellular damage to your skin. It has been shown to be incredibly effective in helping to fade acne scars in particular, but can be useful for all scars on all parts of the body as well. The ability of Vitamin C to protect the body and boost the immune system is also important in helping to avoid additional irritation, inflammation, and potential infection of a healing wound, which can make a developing scar drastically worse.

Vitamin C doesn’t just have an effect on the pigmentation of scars, though. One of the biggest problems that many individuals face when it comes to the treatment of their scars, whether old or new, is the fact that though they are able to help fade their color, they are unable to reduce their size. Healthy collagen production is necessary to reduce the size and appearance of scarring overall, and that is something that Vitamin C can play a big role in, as this vitamin is essential in the collagen production that is required to formulate healthy connective tissue in a wound.

Read: What is a stable form of Vitamin C?

But overall, one of the most important things to know is that Vitamin C plays an important role in wound healing, a medical fact that has been known since the early part of the twentieth century. In addition to ensuring that you are getting enough Vitamin C in your diet on a regular basis, it may also be important to begin using a topical Vitamin C scar treatment on your scars as quickly as possible after an injury or the development of a scar in order to see the best possible results.

It’s easy to see just how important Vitamin C is to the healing, fading, and even prevention of scars. Its effect is unparalleled when it comes to treating scars, as it can meet many of the most basic needs of those individuals who are looking to reduce their appearance. Just remember – your body naturally loses Vitamin C over time, so be sure you are getting enough Vitamin C in your diet and that you are using a topical scar treatment that contains Vitamin C in order to properly heal any scarring.

Do you have a question about your scars? Leave a comment and we’ll be happy to answer.

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Does Vitamin E Get Rid of Scars?

Does Vitamin E Get Rid of Scars?

Since it is known as a powerful antioxidant, vitamin E has gained tremendous popularity as an ingredient in many skin care products, and is often touted as being effective at fading scars.

However, the truth is that in the vast majority of cases, up to 90%, vitamin E either has no discernible effect on scars, or it can even worsen their appearance.

When people notice improvement in their scars after using vitamin E, more often than not, it is simply hydration of the skin. While skin hydration is important to scar healing, it only plays one part in the proper healing of scars. However, vitamin E can also have some undesirable side effects, such as contact dermatitis, with itching, redness, and swelling. Contact dermatitis is seen in up to a third of people who use vitamin E on their skin. This makes many dermatologists, pediatricians, and other skin care professionals recommend avoiding using vitamin E on scars.

Vitamin E is often found in products that also contain other questionable ingredients, such as hydroquinone, kojic acid, preservatives, and fragrances. These ingredients have all been shown to be potentially harmful and are best avoided in scar treatment.

Vitamin E has been used in attempts to treat almost every imaginable skin condition. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence, of course, that vitamin E speeds healing and fading of scars. As a result, many people use topical vitamin E to help improve their scars after surgery or other skin injuries.

A recent study examined whether vitamin E actually had any effect on scar healing or the cosmetic appearance of scars. In this study, fifteen patients used vitamin E on new scars regularly for 12 weeks. Vitamin E was used on one side of the scar, while a common emollient was used on the other side of the scar. Neither the participants, nor the physicians who evaluated the appearances of the scars, knew which was which. The scars were checked at 1, 4, and 12 weeks and the opinions of both the participants and the physicians were taken into account. The conclusion of the study was that vitamin E clearly does not improve the appearance of scars, and in some cases, actually makes them worse.

For these reasons, vitamin E should not be used as a treatment for scars. Instead, people looking to reduce the appearance of a scar should look for a product that contains ingredients proven to help scars fade, such as dimethicone silicone in conjunction with aloe vera and licorice extract.

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