Your skin is a direct reflection of what is happening on the inside of your body. It is the largest organ of elimination and detoxification, making it also a major sign of the toxic load your body could be experiencing. Healthy and radiant skin is not only a result of an excellent skin care regime (ah-hem, that is natural and organic of course), but the foods you are choosing to fuel your body with. Thankfully, we can consciously choose that foods that we will ensure our skin to be in its most supple, youthful, and beaming state – and eliminate the foods that don’t!
So how about feeding your face? Here are 10 foods that will naturally make your skin GLOW:
- Dark Leafy Greens (i.e. kale, spinach, arugula, collard greens, swiss chard, beet greens, parsley) – excellent sources of vitamins B, C, and E, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids along with a variety of phytonutrients including beta-carotene and lutein. Look for fresh, crispy leaves when buying and always look for local and organic options!
- Pumpkin Seeds – packed with vitamin A, E, selenium, zinc, potassium, and omega 3,6,9 fatty acids, they work to reduce inflammation in the body/skin, speed healing, and increase collagen production. They also have powerful anti-aging antioxidants! When in season, make use of the entire pumpkin – the flesh and the seeds. This mega boost of vitamin A will help to stimulate new cell growth and repair any existing skin damage.
- Hemp Seeds – ultra high in protein and the amino acids methionine, cysteine, and cystine, which are paramount in maintaining healthy skin as well as hair and nails. Hailed for containing high concentration of the “superfat” GLA (gamma-linolenic acid), it’s extremely nourishing and anti-inflammatory to aid in soothing and increasing suppleness of the skin.
- Avocados – a major source of BIOTIN (2-6mcg/avocado)–which has been the beauty buzzword for healthy skin, hair and nails, rightfully so since it plays a vital role in cell growth, generation of fatty acids, and metabolism of amino acids and fats. It’s also high in antioxidants lutein and beta-carotene, which will aid in increasing skin suppleness and smoothing fine lines.
- Radishes – packed with a nutritious punch of sulfur, silica, and one of the best vegetable sources of Vitamin C, these work synergistically to promote collagen production and healthy connective tissue formation, to strengthen and tighten the skin, while promoting optimal circulation.
- Wheat Germ Oil – the richest source of vitamin E offered in ANY oil! It’s very important to take vitamin E in its natural form as opposed to a synthetic supplement form. Be sure to take it as an unrefined, cold-pressed oil. Vitamin E also acts as a potent sun-blocker, blocking UV rays and combating against free radical damage.
- Flax Seeds/Oil – the RICHEST source of vegetable omega-3 fatty acids, especially alpha linoleic acid. It helps to heal wounds fast, benefits blood circulation, reduces inflammation (that redness from pesky breakouts!), and helps to soften the skin. The oil can also be applied topically to improve skin moisture and suppleness.
- Tomatoes – the highest in the “anti-aging antioxidant” known as lycopene, eat more tomatoes and your skin’s lycopene content will naturally increase. This is powerful since it provides a strong barrier against harmful UV rays, making your skin unaffected by sunlight (no wonder all those Italians have a beautiful golden glow!). Even more, tomatoes actually enable your skin to take in more oxygen which delays aging and wrinkling. Well, be sure to start making your favourite tomato sauce, as your body absorbs it best when cooked!
- Carrots – an extremely effective way to help clear breakouts, carrots are very high in Vitamin A, which works to prevent the overproduction of cells in the skin’s outer layer. This is paramount since breakouts are often caused by the combination of dead skin cells and sebum production clogging pores. Juice them or dice them into your salad – add these to your beauty regime daily!
- Kiwi – LOADED with vitamin C (one of the highest sources next to bell peppers, guavas, and leafy greens), dietary fibre, natural AHAs (alpha hydroxyl acids) and antioxidants, it helps to keep skin firm, control excess sebum production, fight free radicals, reduce inflammation, combat acne, and support the regeneration of new cells. Aside from enjoying this nutritious food, slice them up and place over your eyes to reduce puffiness and darkening!
Now along with integrating these beautifying foods into your diet, it’s also important to know which ones to stay away from. Here are some of the most deleterious “foods” (because they shouldn’t be considered such) to both your skin and overall health:
- Refined sugar and carbohydrates
- Carbonated beverages
- Artificial dyes and colorings
- Foods stored in toxic containers (i.e. canned foods, aluminum cans)
- Chemically preserved items (i.e. MSG, nitrates, sulphites, aspartame, benzoic acid, hydrogenated oils, etc.)
And as always, remember to stay hydrated! Invest in a quality water filter or search for your nearest spring source, so that your body can shine one the inside out!