Feed Your Face and Get Glowing Skin!
If you were to ask people about their skin care routine, most would start talking about the beauty products they use. However, skin care goes way deeper than that.
Our skin is the largest and one of our most important body organs and is the first line of defence against the environment around us. It battles the many toxins we meet on a daily basis such as pollution, second hand smoke, sun damage and chemicals from cosmetics etc, all of which can contribute to poor skin health and a deterioration in its quality (such as getting wrinkles). So you can see why healthy and strong skin is necessary.
The health of our skin can be a real reflection of what’s happening inside us. Often the symptoms of poor skin health can indicate a lack of nutrients or a struggling digestive system. Maybe we aren’t absorbing nutrients, maybe our diet is too high in inflammatory foods or maybe our gut bacteria is out of whack. Intolerances and allergies to certain foods can lead to dark circles under our eyes, spots and pimples, rashes and a puffiness and there have been studies that have found that more than half of all acne sufferers have an altered gut bacteria.
So apart from our genes and lifestyle factors, what we eat plays a big role in our skin health. When you think about it, it totally makes sense that what we put in our body has a direct impact on what shows up on our skin. And while we can’t control a lot of the environmental factors around us, we definitely have more control over what we feed our bodies.
If you want to minimize wrinkles, acne, inflammation and other skin-related conditions and get a glow that you just can’t fake with a cream, the trick is to start with food.
EAT MORE OF THESE
Foods rich in Vitamin A
Vitamin A helps form new skin cells and is critical for skin repair and maintenance. Beta-carotene, the precursor to vitamin A, is an antioxidant found in brightly coloured foods which helps reduce free radical damage that is caused by sun overexposure.
Foods sources high in vitamin A and beta-carotene include: dark green, yellow and orange fruits and vegetables such as dark leafy greens (collard greens, kale, spinach etc), butternut squash, carrots and sweet potatoes as well as liver, egg yolks and fish oils.
Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup Photo: Instagram @ahealthyhappyglow
Foods rich in Vitamin C
Vitamin C is important for the production of collagen, which is a protein for making your skin supple and prevents sagging.
Citrus fruits like oranges and lemons, greens like broccoli, brussel sprouts, kale and parsley along with bell peppers, tomatoes, all provide healthy doses of Vitamin C.
Citrus infused water Photo: Instagram @ahealthyhappyglow
Foods rich in Zinc
This mineral helps to regulate sebum production and assist in the structure of skin cell membranes. It’s vital for the immune system and the healing of scars and wounds and a deficiency can cause a dull complexion and lumps under skin.
Get your Zinc from pumpkin and sunflower seeds, cashews, raw cacao, seafood and eggs.
Foods rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
High-quality omega-3s help create a glowing complexion by managing cortisol levels (the stress hormone), reducing inflammation, promoting cell growth and controlling the oils and fats in our body. This all helps keep our skin supple and guards against wrinkle formation.
Healthy foods naturally rich in omega-3 fatty acids include wild salmon, mackerel, sardines, free-range eggs along with nuts and seeds (especially walnuts and chia seeds).
Pan fried wild salmon Photo: Instagram @ahealthyhappyglow
These guys mop up free radicals and fight aging on the skin. Blueberries, raspberries, acai berries, goji berries, green tea and raw cacao are all loaded with antioxidants.
Acai berry smoothie Photo: Instagram @ahealthyhappyglow
EAT LESS OF THESE
Sugar is Public Enemy #1 nowadays and it’s not surprising. Sugar can contribute to yeast overgrowths and an imbalance in gut bacteria. Sugars can also raise blood sugar levels and promote overproduction of insulin which can lead to inflammation throughout the body including the GI tract and the skin.
A lot of processed packaged foods have added salt (not to mention all the crappy additives, artificial sweetners and chemicals) which food manufacturers add in order to preserve their shelf life. All this salt can cause water retention and can make your face bloated and puffy. There’s also no knowing how people react to additives, emulsifiers and other chemicals added to packaged foods.
Foods you are intolerant to
Eating foods you are intolerant to, contributes to inflammation in the gut and in the body. Gluten and dairy are the two most frequent culprits of skin disorders. A simple way to figure out if you have an intolerance to these foods is to do an elimination diet, removing the foods containing gluten (wheat, rye, barley, oats) and dairy from your diet for at least 30 days before reintroducing one at a time to see if there is any noticeable reaction. Other foods that people can often be intolerant to include corn, eggs, seafood, soy, tree nuts, peanuts and citrus fruit.
AND DON’T FORGET…..
Not drinking enough water can leave the skin very thirsty and dry. Drinking water is the best way to hydrate your cells and give you that refreshed plump look (bye bye wrinkles!). Hydration is also essential in getting rid of toxins by helping flush the products of digestion through the colon as backup can lead to toxins leaching into your blood supply which can result in unpleasant skin symptoms.
So there you have it! Eat more veggies and real whole foods and less of the inflammatory processed stuff and drink plenty of water!!! You’ll be glowing in no time.