Our skin is the largest and fastest growing organ and has one of the highest demands for nutrients. Skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis or premature ageing are all dependent on the nutrients contained in the foods we eat.
Researchers have noted connections between the skin, digestive system, and the brain and have termed this connection as the 'gut-brain-skin axis' and more recent research has validated strong associations between skin and common digestive/gut conditions. Does the term 'leaky gut' ring a bell?
If you want to take steps to address a particular skin condition or just want better looking skin, the foods we eat are a great starting point to support the skin-gut-brain axis. In this article we'll examine the key skin-specific nutrients found in organ meats and outline how they can help us achieve healthy, glowing skin ...
1. Vitamin A
Beef liver contains high levels of pre-formed vitamin A (also know as retinol) and is one of the most well recognised and easily absorbed nutrients for healthy skin. Synthetic retinoids have been commonly prescribed for the treatment of several skin conditions, including acne, eczema, and psoriasis since the 1980s.
Foods like carrots, sweet potatoes and pumpkin contain a 'precursor' form of vitamin A (called beta-carotene) which must be converted in the body to vitamin A. Some studies estimate that beta-carotene from plants has a conversion rate of as little as 3% to usable vitamin A. The best food sources of retinol are:
- Beef Liver and kidney
- Egg yolks
- Cod liver oil
- Grass-fed dairy
Skin Benefits: Eating foods that provide vitamin A in the pre-formed version (retinol) contributes to healthy skin by promoting skin cell growth and turnover. It helps fight acne by inhibiting oil secretion in the skin and decreasing androgen production.
Zinc is one of the many essential nutrients that your body needs. This essential mineral supports healthy skin by promoting wound healing, fighting inflammation, and protecting our skin against UV radiation. Studies have found that zinc may be particularly beneficial for healing acne and other skin conditions like eczema.
Zinc can be found in a variety of animal and plant foods, but is best absorbed from animal products, including:
- Beef liver and kidney
- Red meat (beef & lamb)
- Oysters, scallops, shellfish
Plant-based sources of zinc like nuts, seeds, and beans are bound to phytates (the stored form of phosphorus found in seeds, nuts & legumes) which decrease their absorption in the body.
Skin Benefits: Due to its anti-inflammatory effects, zinc is especially beneficial for inflammatory acne and related scarring. Its anti-inflammatory properties may also help people with conditions such as rosacea and eczema.
Biotin (or vitamin B7) is another well know nutrient for healthy skin. This water-soluble B-vitamin helps regulate fatty acid metabolism, which is critical for healthy skin.
Biotin deficiency leads to impaired fat production which tends to manifest in the skin first. Some common signs of biotin deficiency include hair loss and scaly, red, and inflamed skin around the mouth and other areas of the face and scalp. Biotin deficiency can also be a cause of dandruff for some people.
The best food sources of biotin are:
- Egg yolks
- Beef liver
- Almonds & walnuts
Skin Benefits: Biotin helps improve skin's hydration, smoothness, and appearance. Biotin is a versatile addition to your skincare routine.
Beef liver and beef organs are one of the few foods that contain these key nutrients essential for skin health together with an an abundance of critical nutrients in bioavailable forms. The benefits don't stop there either as they play an important role for hair growth, pregnancy nutrition, teeth health and can be a worthy addition to children's nutrition as well.
What if You Don't Like Eating Beef Liver or Organs?
As you can see from the information above, adding beef liver and organ meats into your diet makes a lot of nutritional sense. If you’re still not comfortable with the idea of buying and preparing organ meats you're not alone. Fortunately there is an easy solution...
Our beef liver and beef organ supplements are contained in easy-to-take flavourless capsules. They are non-defatted to preserve the fat-soluble nutrient content (including vitamin A) and are freeze-dried, which also helps preserve the full range of nutrients. They are 100% hormone, antibiotic and GMO-free and are 100% grass-fed and organic from the pristine Tasmanian pastures.