Ever get a random breakout in between your eyebrows or forehead? What about the cheeks? THE WORST. You may start to notice that you get those after traveling or after a weekend where you ate out more-- both situations where you may have had more “rich” foods. Same applies to when you feel like your skin is more dull, the bags under your eyes are showing a bit more, maybe you have some dark circles or discoloration. What have you been eating and drinking? Have you had enough water, leafy greens, healthy fats, bright fruits and veggies?
Think about when your skin feels amazing, bright, and clear. What has your diet been like? Or think about a person or celebrity who seems like they don’t age. They’re typically people who care about wellness, nutrition, fitness, or all of the above.
FEED YOUR SKIN FLAWLESS
If you’re following along with the SKINNY ON SKIN blog series, part 1 was all about the why behind breakouts and aging. Welcome to part 2, which is all about FEEDING YOUR SKIN! Although there are some great skincare products that can help supplement your diet, this post focuses on the crucial: what to feed your body in order to feed your skin and achieve the smooth, bright glow we all want (we promise skincare routine and products will be next!).
WHY THE FOOD YOU EAT MATTERS
Your skin is an organ; The largest organ in the body. What you put into your body affects your skin just like any other organ. One of the functions of this organ we call “skin,” is to eliminate toxins. When our bodies are filled with toxins or congesting foods, our skin works to eliminate those toxins via our pores, often in the form of a pimple. When our bodies are lacking proper nutrition, there’s not enough nourishment to go to the skin, and we suffer in the form of lifeless, maybe even ragged, looking skin.
We think about eating right for heart health, illnesses like diabetes, digestive issues, etc., but we don’t always think of food when it comes to taking care of our skin. Let’s shift from trying to improve our skin by putting things on it, and instead, focus on what we are feeding our bodies from the inside out. There are foods we want to make sure to incorporate and foods we may want to avoid in order to treat and prevent conditions or “imperfections” and to slow aging.
We’ll get into more specifics below, but the bottom line is that there are certain foods that cause inflammation, that allow bacteria to thrive, that disrupt our endocrine system (hormone regulation), and that cause toxic build up, all contributing to chronic skin conditions like acne, eczema, rosacea, and more.
On the contrary there are foods that are high in antioxidants, enzymes, and minerals that nourish our skin, hydrate our skin, and help fight free radicals and inflammation. These are foods that can also help fight some of the skin conditions mentioned as well as slow aging and improve the overall appearance of your skin.
WHAT TO EAT AND WHAT TO AVOID
MINIMIZE PROCESSED/PACKAGED FOODS. They often contain chemical preservatives and additives that are endocrine disruptors. Endocrine disruptors throw off our bodies’ ability to properly signal hormones.
Some endocrine disruptors that are in almost all processed foods:
-phytoestrogens: soy ingredients like soy lethicin and soy protein isolate
-dioxins: processed/packaged meats
-perfluorinated chemicals, BPA, and phthalates: plastics and food packaging
MINIMIZE DAIRY & RED MEAT:
Dairy and red meat tend to be difficult to digest for just about anyone, and many people are highly sensitive or intolerant. The reason for this is because they both are congestive to the body, requiring a lot of enzymes and digestive energy to break down. This in turn causes inflammation for many people, and this inflammation is not just in the gut, but it’s widespread, often causing redness, puffiness, breakouts, or bumps on the skin.
Instead try dairy alternatives and cleaner protein sources like:
-almond milk or coconut milk and yogurt
-fish such as salmon, trout, halibut, sardines
-plant protein such as hemp seeds, chickpeas, lentils, chia seeds, spirulina, quinoa etc.
AVOID EXCESS OR ADDED SUGARS:
Excess sugar, processed sugar, foods high in sugar can do a few things. First, they cause a big insulin spike, which causes inflammation throughout the body, including your skin. This inflammation produces enzymes that break down the sugar and also your collagen, contributing to accelerated aging. This process, glycation, not only can cause wrinkles but can worsen rosacea, exczema, and other skin conditions. Excess sugar can also cause candida, a yeast overgrowth typically on the skin or mucous membranes that wreaks havoc on your skin and digestive tract.
Avoid foods high in sugar (ideally anything with more than 5-8g) or with these in the ingredients:
High fructose corn syrup, cane sugar, agave nectar, dextrose, maltodextrose, sucrose, maltose, malted barley, molasses, sorghum syrup, rice syrup, glucose solids, etc.
EAT LOTS OF FRUITS & VEGGIES:
The best fruits for your skin are vibrant, fleshy fruits and citrus fruits, and the best veggies for your skin are dark leafy greens and root vegetables. These provide high levels of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes, which we need a surplus of in order to reap beauty benefits.
Your body will first give nutrients to vital organs and critical bodily functions. Survival and proper body function and immunity come as first priority, and beauty comes last. Incorporate the following regularly and give this Beautifying Smoothie or Clean and Green Smoothie a try!
Fruits (not limited to but including):
-apples and pears
Vegetables (not limited to but including):
INCORPORATE HEATHY FATS:
Foods high in healthy fats help boost and balance protective sebum. Our sebum is a complex mixture comprised partially by fatty acids that help protect the skin. It is the balance of sebum (not the absence of it, and not too much of it) that creates glowing, blemish-free skin.
Healthy fats (not limited to but including):
-walnuts and almonds
-fatty fish (salmon, anchovies, mackerel)
A LITTLE SUPPLEMENTATION:
Some additional things can help supplement a clean, nutrient-rich diet. Collagen, a structural protein, can help maintain the look of smooth, tight, elastic skin, as well as strengthen nails and hair and restore your gut. Apple cider vinegar helps detoxify and balance bacteria (try our Glowing Skin and Gut Shot!). Probiotics also help provide our guts with a balance of bacteria, restore gut flora, and help us assimilate nutrients better, which all help contribute to more balanced, nourished skin.
-collagen (Add to smoothies, blend with your Bare Bulletproof coffee, or simply drink with water. One we like is Vital Proteins)
-apple cider vinegar (We highly recommend taking this shot for skin and many other benefits)
SEE PART 3, OUR FAVORITE PRODUCTS AND SKINCARE ROUTINE!
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