I used to think you were either born with beautiful, youthful, glowing skin... or you weren't.
I used to think we didn't have that much control over our skin and that only the celebrities with their personal makeup artists and unlimited spa time were able to walk around with such radiance.
Then I switched to a whole foods lifestyle and started using the right products for my skin and I realized that I had it all wrong!
People told ME my skin was glowing!
When we nourish ourselves from the inside, it truly shines through the outside. And I've been blessed to have a job that helps me unveil that for others. It's amazing what beautiful skin can do for one's confidence and self-esteem... I've experienced & witnessed it!
In this post, I'm going to share 5 foods that you can include on your daily plates to boost your skin's radiance... plus two bonus tips!
1. H2O & Hydration
Do you ever feel like every health post out there tells you to drink more water? So cliché, but it matters... and it's free!! But golly, why does it seem so hard?
Find a method or process that works for you... buy a beautiful water bottle that you love and carry it with you, have a water glass ready in every room, wake up and drink a cup because then at least you will have gotten in some liquid before the crazy day gets started, set the glass in front of you and take a sip every time you look at it... convenience is key!
Goal: Aim for half your body weight in ounces a day.. and if you are a coffee/caffeine drinker (shyly raises hand), add on 12 ounces for every 8 oz cup of that yummy goodness... because it's not JUST about water, it's about staying truly hydrated. Those caffeinated beverages come at a cost!
2. Healthy Fats & Omega-3s
When you think of your skin, fat may NOT be the first thing that comes to mind... but rest assured, they are critical!
Healthy fats help create supple, hydrated skin cells by protecting the integrity of our cell's membrane, especially foods rich in omega-3s. They are also natural anti-inflammatories.
Goal: Include healthy fats in some form on every plate. Enjoy foods such as avocados, wild salmon, sardines, eggs, walnuts, olive oil, flax and chia seeds.
3. Antioxidant-Rich Foods
Antioxidant is a word that is thrown around often, but not everyone understands what an antioxidant does in the body.
Let's break down the actual word. "Anti" = against, opposed to || "oxidant" = an oxidizing agent.
Ooook, what the heck does "oxidizing" mean?
To oxidize is to combine or become combined chemically with oxygen.
Essentially, antioxidant = "against oxidation".
Let's talk about oxidation...
In the body, oxidation causes free radicals, aka molecules produced when your body breaks down food or is exposed to tobacco smoke and radiation.
Free radicals are harmful. They play a role in heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's, autoimmune diseases, diabetes and other diseases, as well as "minor" concerns such as signs of aging (wrinkles).
Therefore, we ALL need antioxidants to combat or neutralize the oxidation in our bodies, thus reducing free radicals.
What are common antioxidants? Vitamins A, C, E, and selenium are amazing antioxidants. Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of antioxidants.
Goal: I always encourage clients to include a large amount of vegetables and fruits in every meal.. the more colorful, the better! Think berries, pomegranates, dark leafy greens, carrots, and sweet potatoes.
4. Collagen-Rich Foods
Collagen is a protein that is present in every tissue and organ in the body. Collagen's main function is to nourish and sustain skin, tendons, and cartilage by providing integrity, firmness and elasticity to their structures.
As we age, the collagen production in our skin decreases which causes fine lines, wrinkles, dryness, etc. and it's something we want to try to keep replenished, and one of the best ways is to keep collagen high in the diet.
There are several types of collagen that have been identified that you may see marketed through supplements, but I still promote eating collagen-rich foods first and foremost. Some of my favorites:
dark, leafy greens
Goal: Include a wide variety of collagen-rich foods throughout the week. Aim for 1-2 meals a day, if not every meal!
5. Fermented Foods
Gut health is directly correlated to skin health, and including fermented food is the key to a healthy digestive tract!
We can trace acne, eczema, dry skin, psoriasis, rashes, etc back to the the same root cause: the gut.
Keeping our gut healthy is a key component to glowing skin. Of course, the 5 tips above contribute, but we also have to populate our gut with healthy bacteria, which is where fermented foods come in to play!
Goal: Eating fermented foods vs supplementing is truly the goal. Include a healthy dose of fermented foods every day like sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, etc. If you do want to supplement, make sure you look for a pure collagen that is sourced sustainably and responsibly.
Bonus: Avoid dairy & sugar.
Because gut and skin health are linked together, many people find that specific foods will cause breakouts (or other skin concerns: red bumps, rashes, eczema, etc). High offenders are dairy and sugar. Remove these two for 2-4 weeks and see if you notice a difference in your skin!
Bonus x2: Use products that nourish your skin.
Everyone's skin is unique! Just because your best friend's skin is gorgeous and she uses the oil-cleansing method does not mean you'll be a dewy goddess if you try it. And in fact, you may find that products may not even work for you when the seasons change (this is true for me! I have much dryer skin in the winter!)
It can take some time to find products that are the best choice for you and your skin, but it is well worth it.
I encourage you to check your products on ewg.org/skindeep to make sure they are void of toxic and harmful ingredients, which can do much more damage internally than just dull, unhappy skin externally.
Shine bright, friend!
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