Quite often, you beautiful people are asking me about food for skin and what to eat for a generally healthy complexion. While this is a huge topic, a grand place to start is with my top five suggestions below!
Before I begin, I must say:
EVERYBODY IS DIFFERENT.
Yes, you probably hear that quite a bit. It is because it is so true. The first step in holistic healing modalities is to know your constitution which makes you unique. There are many ways to learn about your special body and needs. I suggest studying Ayurveda or Traditional Chinese Medicine or consulting with a holistic practitioner.
Many people tout this or that particular food (for example, aloe juice or garlic or lemon) without realizing the underlying energetics at play. Those foods / medicines might be great for some people or for short periods but aloe is cool, garlic is hot and lemon is astringent.
Soooo, a person struggling with a cold or deficient condition should not be taking aloe everyday because they’ll make it worse. And a person with lots of inflammation might find garlic irritates. Lemon will dry out and so a person with dry skin will find it worsens that.
The guidelines that I will give are based on my education and experience with Ayurveda, TCM, the Weston A. Price Foundation and intuition. I don’t prescribe to popular dieting advice. This is what works for me and I have found works for others as well.
Intuitive eating can be learned…as first the unhelpful habitual eating patterns need to be unraveled before the intuition is very clear (ie, a craving can sure feel like intuition in the beginning!!).
Food for Skin
Foods High in Antioxidants
Skin cells are always dying off and being born. They interact with the environment and our skin products. Antioxidants are critical to offsetting damage from free radicals in the environment. Free radicals are molecules with an unpaired electron, which connect with oxygen and can create a domino effect of destruction. Antioxidants basically prevent the oxygen from connecting with the free radicals, eliminating damage to the skin.
Antioxidants are high in many fresh fruits and vegetables. Some of my favorites are:
- Green tea (Camellia sinensis) – has so many wonderful health benefits but be aware that it is astringent and too much can be drying. Two to three cups a day would be the max.
- Dark berries – including blueberries, raspberries, and mulberries. Berries are best and most potent in season. Eating lots of berries in the cold weather can create cold imbalances.
- Red cabbage – a great vegetable source of antioxidants! This is a great source of antioxidants through the fall and winter.
Cod Liver Oil
Cod liver oil is a great food for skin (well, really a supplement) as it is high in Omega 3 fatty acids which are an integral component of building cell walls. It is also really high in Vitamins A and D, both critical vitamins for skin health.
Make sure to purchase a brand that has been tested to be free of heavy metals and other pollutants.
Probiotic-Rich Foods for Skin
These are foods that are full of beneficial bacteria. Did you know there are much more bacteria in our bodies than cells?? Yes, bacteria help in a synergistic way with all sorts of bodily functions, including being very important in the digestion process.
As food for skin, they help by regulating digestion and improving the skin microbiota and barrier function. Healthy digestion creates vibrant skin as unhealthy digestion often is reflected in the skin.
Good sources of probiotics:
- Beet kvass
- Homemade sauerkraut or other lacto-fermented vegetables
- Kefir and yogurt
Finally, eliminating sugar from the diet can be of great benefit to skin health.
The process of glycation is when sugar contacts collagen and basically destroys it. The loss of collagen is one of the main causes for skin aging, so something to keep in mind.
These are some foods for skin that you can start incorporating right away to improve or maintain skin health.