Ever worked a climb with very fresh holds (think fine to medium sandpaper – grit 120)? Or battled up an outdoor route on granite (think ultra coarse sandpaper – grit 10)? If so, chances are your hands came home a little worse for wear. While skin healing will take time you can ensure your body has all the nutrients it needs to get this process happening efficiently so you can get back to tearing up the wall.
There are five nutrients that play a key role in skin building and protection and they are relatively easy to get into your diet.
1. Omega-3 fatty acids – a Builder
Go for oily fish (e.g. salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines) twice a week – these are packed with long chain omega-3 fatty acids. If you don’t eat fish get these fatty acids from sea vegetables, omega-3 enriched eggs, foods fortified with omega-3’s and supplements made from fish oil or algae depending on your preferences. In addition, include foods that contain shorter chain plant-based omega-3 fatty acids everyday, like legumes, some nuts (walnuts in particular, pecans, hazelnuts, macadamias), seeds (flaxseed, chia and hemp).
2. Vitamin C – a Builder
Fruits (especially citrus, berries and kiwi fruit) and vegetables (especially broccoli and sprouts) are fantastic sources of vitamin C. So go for your 2 fruit and 5 veggies today.
3. Vitamin A – a Builder/Protector
Good sources of vitamin A include liver, seafood, eggs, dairy products, margarine and oils, orange vegetables and green leafy vegetables.
4. Zinc – a Protector
You’ll find zinc in meat, seafood, eggs, dairy products, wholegrains, nuts (especially Brazil nuts), seeds (especially pumpkin seeds) and zinc-fortified breakfast cereals. If you’re a vegetarian you will need extra zinc to meet your needs as plant sources of zinc also contain compounds that reduce the amount of zinc absorbed by the body.
5. Vitamin E – a Protector
Major sources of vitamin E are fats and oils (e.g. sunflower, soybean, corn, canola, olive), wheat germ, nuts and seeds.
By Kylie Markow