Today I wanted to talk about skin health – how you can glow from the inside out. The foundation of great skin starts from within – when you nourish yourself and have a healthy gut, it is reflected on the outside! Buildup of toxins, stress, and poor diet/lifestyle choices manifest in the forms of poor skin health such as acne, wrinkling, and dull skin.
What causes poor skin health?
Acne is caused when excess toxins are expelled by the body through our skin. These may be caused by Candida overgrowth, poor diet, chemicals, allergies, stress. Hormones affect how much oil our skin produces – so it can be a problem during adolescence, premenstrual week, and when we ingest it through contraceptive pills or via hormones from animal produce.
Acne happens when hair follicles (or pores) become blocked with natural oils. When the pore is open to air, the clog appears as a blackhead. If oil is trapped below the surface of the skin, it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria – leading to pimples (skin eruptions that look red and inflamed).
Skin damage occurs as a result of oxidation, a chemical process in which unstable molecules called free radicals use electrons from healthy cells. This appears as wrinkling, discoloration or decreased elasticity. Oxidation occurs via…
Smoking : Cigarette smoke fills your body with free radicals. Every lungful sends free radicals into your blood stream, where they can cause damage in the body. Smoking impairs blood flow to skin, starving the cells of nutrition and oxygen. It also damages the underlying collagen and elastin – keeping skin from renewing.
Sunlight : Sunlight is a form of radiation. UV radiation not only causes free radical damage but also causes cells to mutate. Thus, it’s important to be sun smart and not only stay hydrated but be protected as well.
Eating for Beautiful Skin
Antioxidants are the best defense against free radical damage of oxidation is a diet rich in antioxidants. Certain antioxidants – vitamin C, E, selenium, and vitamin A/beta carotene – have been shown to nourish our skin.
- Vitamin C– Involved in collagen production and protects cells from free radical damage. Vitamin C is destroyed by exposure to sunlight, so it’s important to replenish our stores by eating lots of vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables.Foods high in Vitamin C:Guava, bell peppers, brussel sprouts, strawberries, oranges, lemons, broccoli, kale, kiwi, cantaloupe, cauliflower, cabbage, mangos, grapefruits, tomatoes, raspberries, watermelon, okra, lychees, persimmons
- Vitamin E– Protects cell membranes and guard against UV radiation damage.Foods high in Vitamin E: Sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, avocado, pine nuts, flaxseeds, collard greens, swiss chard, spinach, broccoli
- Selenium– An antioxidant mineral that helps safeguard skin from sun damage and delays aging by protecting skin quality and elasticity. Research has shown that it reduces sun damage as well.Foods high in Selenium: brazil nuts, brown rice
- Beta carotene– Converted to vitamin A in the body. Used in the growth and repair of body tissues.Foods high in Beta carotene: Sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, butternut squash, pumpkin, mustard greens, bell peppers, cabbage, spinach, lettuce, collard greens, swiss chard, watermelon, cherries, tomatoes
Zinc is necessary for protecting cell membranes and helping to maintain the collagen that keeps skin firm. It also helps to heal our intestinal wall lining, which allows for efficient digestion and absorption of nutrients.
Foods high in Zinc: Pumpkin seeds, chickpeas, pine nuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, lentils, almonds, walnuts, black eyed peas, green peas
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Maintain cell membranes and keeps toxins out. Include walnuts, flaxseeds, and if you consume meat – wild salmon or sardines.
Flushes away toxins, keep cells well-hydrated and thus plump and full. Eat foods that are are hydrating, including : watermelons, cucumbers, and coconuts.
10 Simple Practices for Beautiful Skin
- If you smoke, stop.
- Keep your cells hydrated by drinking at least 2L of fresh water daily.
- Drink a green drink (juice or smoothie) daily.
- Exercise regularly. Move yo’ ass and get your lymph movin’!
- Eat foods that are high in antioxidants (mentioned above).
- Avoid processed and refined foods including white sugar, white rice, white bread, bagels, white flour, cookies, sodas, soft drinks and other junky food.
- Experiment with an elimination diet by avoiding common allergens for 4-6 weeks and notice any improvements. The two most common allergens are gluten and dairy.
- Nourish your gut with healthy bacteria. Take a good probiotic supplement, and add lots of fermented food such as raw sauerkraut and kimchi into your daily meals. Healthy digestive system = healthy skin!
- Add good fats into your diet (and on that note: stay away from trans fats a.k.a margarine, shortening, cooking sprays, corn, canola and peanut oil). Good fats include: coconuts, avocadoes, sesame, grapeseed, and olive oils.
- If you suspect you may have a yeast issue, go on a low-sugar alkaline diet to re-establish balance in your intestinal biota.
How do you keep your skin healthy? Let me know down below! :)
Muchos love to you,
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