I’ve been getting some questions about what beauty products I use, brands I love and tips for having healthy skin, hair and nails. I thought it would be best to write about this topic in two separate blog posts. One focusing on beauty foods and the other focusing on general beauty tips. When I think about skin health one of the first things that comes to mind is nutrition. Beauty begins on the inside. When you nourish your body with foods that are loaded with nutrients, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants you also are nourishing your skin (which is the largest organ in the body). Eating enough of these nutrient rich foods is key to having healthy glowing skin, radiant hair and strong nails! Lifestyle also plays a key factor. That means making sleep a priority on average getting approximately 8 hours (I need more like 9-10), getting in daily movement, drinking plenty of water throughout the day, limiting stress by utilizing stress management practices and establishing healthy habits. The foods you eat have an impact on your skins health. Foods that are highly processed containing added sugars, fillers and additives can hinder the bodies natural detoxification process which is vital to our health. If you’re looking to restore healthy looking skin the first step is to start noticing what foods you are putting into your body. Skin cells just like all of our other cells need nourishment to thrive, grow and stay healthy.
Beauty begins on the inside
Our skin health is an outward reflection of our internal health. Its also the human body’s largest organ. I know isn’t that crazy! I thought so too. Our skin acts as a shield guarding the body from the outside world. It’s also the largest detoxification organ. When we encounter inflammation from stress, lack of sleep, dehydration, imbalances in the gut microbiome, food allergies, sensitives, intolerances and hormonal imbalances its likely to manifest appearing on the skin. Physically this could look like breakouts, acne, dull complexion, dry flakey skin or other conditions such as rosacea or eczema. Our skin requires water and nourishing foods to keep it glowing, firm, clear and healthy. It thrives from foods that are rich in vitamins A, C, antioxidants, healthy fats, B vitamins and protein. When you start nourishing your skin from the inside you will see a difference on the outside.
A healthy liver keeps the body clear of toxins that stem from our diet or the environment. These toxins can result in breakouts. Making sure you consume antioxidant rich foods is a must for clear, bright glowing skin. Consuming highly inflammatory foods has a negative impact on the skin. The “standard American diet” one that is typically lacking from essential vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients creates an unideal environment for these healthy skin cells to flourish. The excessive amounts of refined sugars, highly processed oils and fried foods lead to chronic inflammation in the body which creates an abundance of free radicals. These free radicals cause oxidative stress in the body which turns on the inflammatory response. When the inflammatory response is triggered it results in impaired detoxification and gut dysbiosis. Hormones have such a large impact on the skin. One of the first tell tale signs that your hormones may be out of balance is through observing changes on the skin.
The definition of eating “healthy” has different meaning to everyone. There is no one particular way to eat “healthy” we all have our own preferences, likes, dislikes, allergies and sensitives. But we do know there are certain foods that are considered to be beauty foods due to their vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and omega 3s. We also know that eating a variety of healthy fats, proteins and veggies has a direct correlation on our skins complexion. Minimizing processed carbohydrates and sugars also helps to reduce inflammation and improve our skins complexion. These foods spike our blood sugar and insulin. What we eat manifests in our outward appearance. When we choose foods that are inflammatory in nature, processed filled with additives, fillers and refined sugars our bodies have a harder time recognizing them. Which leaves us feeling bloated, not satisfied, tired, gassy, constipated… you get the idea! These foods negatively impact our gut microbiome and can lead to leaky gut, SIBO also known as small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, an accumulation of candida or just overall body inflammation. There are many sustainable strategies that start from within that can positivity impact skin, hair and nail health. If you are looking for ways to nourish your skin from the inside keep reading to learn about the top beauty foods to add into your diet! Incorporating more of these foods is a great first step towards clear bright and glowing skin complexion. These are my top 10 beauty foods for glowing, clear radiant skin:
1. Probiotic + Prebiotic Foods
Probiotic and prebiotic foods are extremely beneficial for most. (There are some cases where they should be introduced into the diet at a later time. For example if you are trying to clear up SIBO you want to heal that first so you don’t feed the bad bacteria that you are trying to clear up.) Up until about a year ago I didn’t really understand the true benefits of probiotics. I’ve been eating a lot of prebiotic rich foods for quite some time now but I didn’t supplement with a probiotic. To me, it just seemed like another supplement. I believe less is more when it comes to supplements. They should be used in conjunction to a healthy well rounded nutrient rich diet as a way to fill in the gaps. I learned how specific high quality probiotics work in the body specifically the gut microbiome and now I take a supplement daily. It’s part of my morning routine and a must! Yes, there is a difference between probiotics and prebiotics. The foods you eat determine the type of bacterial environment in your gut. I read a saying that is so true it was
“An inflamed gut means inflamed skin. If you heal your gut that’s the first step to healing your skin”.
This applies not only for skin but for other chronic body ailments as well. You can get probiotics via by taking a supplement or incorporating fermented foods such as kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, miso and probiotic yogurt. One thing to be mindful of is some commerical brands of these products contain high amounts of added sugars which can increase inflammation which is counterproductive. Another thing to keep in mind is even though kombucha and fermented foods are highly nutritious something to take into consideration is its bioavailability ensuring that the live active cultures are actually able to survive the acidic conditions of the digestive system. With that being said, fermented foods are very benefical to add into a well balanced diet! Look for high quality probiotics from reputable brands that have researched their products effectiveness. Higher CFU (colony forming units) doesn’t always mean they’re better! Not all probiotics are created equal. Probiotics travel through your colon. Along the way they interact with your immune cells, gut cells and preexisting bacteria to provide extra benefits. They contain specific strands of bacteria which help balance out the “not so good” bacteria keeping the gut microbiome balanced. While prebiotics feed the gut microbiota. This can be helpful for those who are managing irritable bowl syndrome also known as IBS, constipation, Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), allergies and those who suffer from chronic gut related inflammation.
Is a root that originates from Peru. It’s a powerful adaptogen and considered to be nutritional powerhouse. It’s been used for centuries for its excellent source of vitamins and minerals such as B6, calcium, iron, vitamin C and its full of amino acids. Maca helps the body adapt to external and internal stressors, is often used to naturally balance hormones and increase energy without the jittery effect. This is one adaptogen that I consume quite frequently. It’s significantly helped me restore and balance my hormones.
Are my absolute favorite! I think they might be my favorite fruit. I have mixed berries every morning for breakfast. Blueberries, blackberries and goji berries are high in antioxidants and packed with nutrients. They are also considered to be low glycemic so they won’t spike your blood sugar. I like to combine my food groups so I usually pair berries with nut butter in the morning. This alongside my nutrient dense smoothie is my ideal breakfast! Antioxidant rich foods are used as anti-inflammatory agents in the body which help the body to heal itself by fighting free radicals.
4. Leafy Greens
I am obsessed with veggies especially dark leafy greens. I always get excited to try new veggies and love shopping for local produce at the farmers market. Two of my main go to’s are kale and spinach. These are great basic leafy greens that I consider two of my main staples. I love to use spinach and kale in my morning smoothies for extra phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals. These leafy greens are full of vitamins A, C, E & K which does wonders for skin health. By helping produce healthy skin cells. Folate also helps with DNA repair. Leafy greens contain iron which is important for circulation and oxygenation in the body.
I am actually obsessed with turmeric! It’s a warming spice with powerful anti-inflammatory medicinal properties. I am all about loading up on anti inflammatory foods to help combat daily inflammation. Even though the whole root form of turmeric has a low percentage of curcumin (the active anti-inflammatory compound) it’s still a great beauty food! I love to make turmeric tea by simply mixing hot water, turmeric and I add in some black pepper for bio availability. Sometimes I get fancy and add some fresh squeezed lemon or mint (preferably from the local farmers market). It’s simple, warming and delicious! It’s probably my favorite drink to sip on in the evening. I love to get cozy on the couch with my turmeric tea in one hand and a book in the other.
6. Citrus Fruits
Oranges, grapefruits and lemons contain high levels of vitamin C and bioflavonoids. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant which neutralizes free radicals, helping the body repair damaged skin cells.
One of my favorite sources of healthy fats! I love to add avocado on my salad and in my smoothie for extra creaminess. Avocados are rich in fiber, minerals, vitamin E, folate, their full of B vitamins and a great source of healthy fat which nourishes hair, encourages growth and keeps your skin glowing. Avocados also contain biotin and are loaded with antioxidants such as glutathione which the liver uses to filter out toxins from the body.
Walnuts and pumpkin seeds contain omega 3 fatty acids that strengthen the membranes of our skin cells locking in nutrients retaining its moisture protecting it from toxins that can cause damage to skin cells. They are also high in vitamin E, zinc and ALA which helps with skin repair. Walnuts contain nourishing healthy fats that reduce inflammation and may play a role in protecting the skin from harmful UV rays. The polyphenols that are found in walnuts help to combat oxidative stress in the body. I love to add raw unsalted walnuts onto my salad they are so delicious!
9. Olives and Olive Oil
Rich in vitamins, minerals and fatty acids. High in vitamin E which protects against oxidative damage. Olive oil promotes oxygen flow to the skin which boosts the production of collagen giving the skin a smooth, plump texture. It also protects the skins natural barrier. Drizzle some extra virgin cold pressed olive oil on top of your favorite salad or apply it directly onto the skin for its natural, effective healing benefits. Keep in mind not all oils are created equal so you will want to make sure you are using a high quality brand.
10. Reishi Mushrooms
Reishi Mushrooms might be my favorite medicinal mushroom. I am always on the fence between reishi and chaga, they are my top two. Adaptogenic mushrooms are my favorite superfood. I buy them in powder form and use a small daily dose in my morning smoothie. They are considered medicinal due to their polysaccharides, peptidoglycans, and triterpenes which are the three major physiologically active constituents that enhance immune function, combat inflammation and prevent against chronic disease. Some skin problems are a result of inflammation. Consuming anti inflammatory foods may help reduce the appearance of redness and acne. These potent mushroom contain skin boosting properties from their vitamin D and B3 promoting improved collagen production and anti aging benefits.
Healthy skin starts on your plate
We know that when we nourish our bodies with foods that enhance our health on a cellular level choosing foods that are rich in phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals it has a direct correlation on all areas of our wellbeing from digestion, immunity to skin health. Our bodies are able to absorb and digest all of the nutrients to make us feel our best while also keeping our hair, skin and nails healthy, strong and rejuvenated. A healthy outside starts on the inside. Investment in your skin. Healthy fats, zinc, iron, B vitamins, antioxidants, vitamins A, C, E, fiber, magnesium, selenium and protein are just some of the vital nutrients our bodies need daily to keep our hair, skin and nails looking 100. Eating Whole Foods (with the emphasis on plants) should be the foundation utilizing herbs, spices and supplements when needed. Supplements are a great addition to an already existing healthy well balanced diet that is rich in these beauty foods for an extra boost of vitamins, minerals or specific nutrients that may be lacking in your daily diet. I have my go to supplements that I take daily that are part of my wellness routine.
What are some of your favorite beauty foods? Share on todays Instagram post! If you’re interested in learning more about beauty foods, tips and hacks let me know! I would love to get your feedback. I hope this blog post added value to your daily beauty regime. As always if you have any questions, leave me a comment on todays post or send me a DM.