Skin Food: How To Eat Your Way To Healthy, Glowy Skin
Outer beauty really starts with inner beauty. Our skin truly is a powerful indicator of what is going on inside of us, particularly the liver, blood, and colon. Our skin is the largest organ of the body and also happens to be one of our best vehicles for detoxing. What we feed ourselves gets distributed through our bodies, affecting each and every cell, our organs and their various functions.
Just like your eyes are the window to your soul, your skin is a window into your digestive system. I always say, if you want to be sparkling on the outside you have to start sparkling on the inside.
Our digestive health shows up on our skin quite literally. If your digestive system is out you will not be absorbing nutrients your body needs to shine. With an impaired digestive system we become inflamed or sensitive to certain foods and our skin is often one of the first places that show. Another factor to consider is your stress levels. Stress causes hormonal shifts in our bodies which can make us break out. Stress increases cortisol and can contribute to a decrease in sleep and impaired digestion.
Back on topic now, let’s talk about what to avoid and beauty foods which can help get you healthy glowy skin.
What to avoid:
Dairy is the main culprit for a lot of people (including myself!)! More often than none when I take clients off dairy who are suffering from skin issues they notice a difference with their skin within the first few weeks. Dairy is highly acidic and inflammatory to the human body. Dairy is often pumped with hormones and antibiotics, which will not only promote acne but can lead to hormonal imbalances. There are some people however who can tolerate small amounts of full-fat dairy, and do partially well with including a little greek yoghurt, butter, full-fat milk/cream in a coffee and can snack on some cheese.
However, if you’ve been suffering from skin issues for a while and can’t pinpoint what might be causing it, I’d recommend giving dairy the flick for 4-8 weeks to see how your body responds. Instead, replace dairy with dairy-free alternatives such as nut milks, rice milk, coconut yoghurt, coconut ice creams, cashew cheese, and nutritional yeast. It’s all about finding an alternative that you enjoy, once you get the hang of it you will find there is something for everything and everyone!
Also avoid processed, packaged and refined foods, deep fried foods, refined sugar, excessive caffeine consumption, alcohol (especially), fizzy drinks, energy drinks and vegetable oils (except for olive oil).
What to include:
Water! Drink 2L of water daily – minimum, it’s important to keep the body hydrated and to flush out unwanted toxins and waste products. Ensure you’re getting 8 hours of beauty sleep each night. Keep your digestion in check, optimize digestive health by eating a clean whole-food diet with copious amounts of greens as well as eating a wide variety of plant-based foods to ensure you’re consuming enough fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants as well as healthy fats such as omega-3… including (but not limited too) many of those listed below on a regular basis:
- Lemon – good source of vitamin C, lemons also support the hard-working liver, our main detoxifying organ. They strengthen liver enzymes and promote the secretion of bile, which in turn aids digestion. A detoxification agent, blood purifier and digestive aid and are alkalising within the body (despite their acidic taste!).
- Blueberries – the richest source of antioxidants, they beautiful and delicious berries counteract premature aging. Berries are also rich in vitamin C, which help with skin collagen production, this helps to improve the firmness and elasticity of your skin.
- Avocado – a good source of biotin and monounsaturated fats, avocados help to prevent dry skin and brittle hair and nails; when applied topically they also help to hydrate the skin.
- Walnuts – a rich source of omega-3 fats, which helps lock-in moisture and nutrients in the skin, helping to put the shine in your hair and aid in making skin smooth and soft.
- Almonds – the monounsaturated fats within almonds help retain moisture within the skin, softening and protecting it. Almonds are a good source of vitamin E, copper, magnesium which are essential to skin oxygenation and function. Vitamin E works to protect the skin from the damaging effects of ultraviolet rays, whilst also nourishing the skin from within to prevent dryness.
- Pumpkin seeds – packed with zinc, which is an important beauty mineral. It helps protect skin from free-radical damage, sun exposure, and infection. Zinc assists in cell renewal, helping to heal and rejuvenate cuts and wounds, control acne flare-ups and gives your skin a glow!
- Red capsicum – high antioxidant levels, red capsicums help to keep your skin healthy and supple. They are a wonderful source of both vitamin C and the mineral silicon, assisting the strengthening and regeneration of collagen, the main structural protein in connective tissue. Healthy collagen production keeps the skin firm and reduces oxidative damage.
- Sweet potato – contain beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant that helps slow down the aging process.
- Fermented vegetables – loaded with probiotics and enzymes, fermented vegetables work on ensuring the gut is a friendly environment for good bacteria to thrive! This helps with digestion and the absorption of all these skin-loving nutrients.
- Salmon – a fantastic source of easily digested protein which is vital for skin, hair and nail health. It’s high in omega-3 which is important for calming inflammation in our body and providing moisture to our cells. Salmon also contains vitamins such as vitamin D, A and some members of the B-family.
- Other foods to include: all leafy green vegetables, carrots, beetroot, chia seeds, freshly ground flaxseeds, brazil nuts.
If you need further guidance or would like a personalized nutrition and wellness plan (including diet and lifestyle goals to focus on) please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me today. I love working with people 1-on-1 to help you reach your health goals and feel confident within yourself to lead a healthy and happy lifestyle for the long term.
Hi I’m Natalie, a Registered Clinical Nutritionist, health influencer, blog writer & recipe creator. My own health complications prompted me to make positive diet & lifestyle changes, revitalize my health leading to a career change from the corporate world to nutritional medicine. I believe in a wholefoods approach to good health, focusing on simple strategies for modern, busy people.