Ever wonder why some people have gorgeous skin and others, well, struggle? Our bodies communicate with us in numerous ways and our skin is definitely one of them. No matter how great a skin care product or line is, it doesn’t address the root cause of acne and uneven skin tone. While I know many of us want a magic pill or cream, diet and proper nutrition are key to glowing skin. What foods we chose to put in our body, show on your skin. You can truly eat your way to beautiful skin. Know this we have to ask, what and how can we eat to have naturally beautiful skin?
1. Get adequate amounts of Vitamins A, E and the mineral Zinc– This study found a correlation between levels of vitamins A, E and the mineral zinc and the amount of acne a person suffered from. Those with adequate levels had less, those with deficiencies had more.
Zinc is a trace mineral that plays a fundamental role in cell growth and cell replication. It plays a key role in carrying vitamin A to our skin and regulating hormone balance.
Vitamin A is well-known in helping even skin tone and soothing acne. There are creams everywhere that contain it. The reason it helps our skin is that is involved in the growth and repair in body tissues, and boosts collagen production in our skin.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant, helps prevent damage to cell membranes and also helps regulate vitamin A levels.
You can see why all 3 are essential for healthy, glowing and clear skin.
Foods that are naturally rich in these essential nutrients are animal meats, especially organ meats, oysters, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, dark leafy greens, avocado, eggs (especially the yolks!), produce in a variety of colors and nuts (especially almonds).
2. Collagen– Collagen is not staple in our modern diets. Collagen is key to healing all kinds of skin problems including acne, wrinkles, dry patches, scars, redness and more. It also promotes the health of our connective tissue, regulates cell function and helps heal our gut. Unfortunately the molecule is too big to be absorbed through our skin and must be consumed internally. I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but those expensive collagen creams were a waste of money.
Two simple ways to get more collagen in your diet are to consume at least one cup of homemade bone broth daily and/or use a gelatin powder. (I have a great jello recipe here and I like to add to my green smoothies.)
3. Eat low glycemic/low sugar-Acne, along with a being a symptom of deficiencies, is also an indicator of chronic inflammation. Several small studies have indicated that a low glycemic diet alleviates acne. This makes sense has diets high in grains (refined and “whole”) and sugar are also linked to chronic inflammation in the body as a whole. Sugar is also well-known to promote wrinkles and loss of elasticity in the skin. Eating low to no added sugars plus low GI are not only great for our skin, it is great for our entire body!
Stick to foods as close to their natural form as possible and you’re guaranteed to stay on the low GI side of the spectrum.
4. Eat a lot of produce. Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and amino acids. They help detox the body, are low GI and anti-inflammatory. Eat a variety of colors and pair with healthy fats to absorb the fat soluble nutrients, A, D, E, and K.
5. Eat Healthy Fats. Personally, 45-55% of my daily calories come from healthy fats. A diet high in healthy fats stabilizes blood sugar levels, reduce inflammation, essential for the adsorption and use of vitamins A, D, E and K, keep our skin soft, hydrated, and healthy.
Healthy fats are fats from pastured animal including lard, tallow and bacon grease, egg yolks, avocados, nuts, virgin coconut oil, virgin red palm oil, grass-fed butter, raw milk (and its products), and extra virgin olive oil.
Nutrition is not the end all be all though. There are other lifestyle factors that can contribute to poor skin quality. These include the lack of sufficient and/or quality sleep, sluggish liver, hormones being out of balance, unaddressed (or ignored) food sensitivities and chronic inflammation in the body.
Image from: http://olwomen.com/best-summer-beauty-tips/