Glow from Within!
We all know that eating a fresh balanced diet is good for us and essential for our health and our skin. However, there are some foods that you can add to your diet to give your skin an extra boost. More and more research makes the connection between a happy gut and good health, which shows in your skin.
Anti inflammatory foods are great for skin and gut health, especially if you have trouble with frequent breakouts or mild acne. Contrary to popular belief eating fat does not cause spots or acne however eating diary, sugar, processed foods and trans fats can contribute or exacerbate it. If you’re really determined, try and stay away from all nightshades for at least two months. These include tomatoes, white potatoes, peppers, chilies, eggplant, cayenne, paprika.
Bottom line: healthy diet = great gut flora & fauna = healthy body and glowing skin!
Up your portions of these:
Foods high in carotenoids:
These are found in yellow and orange foods such as carrots, apricots, squash, mango, kale, Brussels sprouts, sweet potato and pumpkin. They are also found in yellow and orange peppers but, these are nightshades which, I tend to stay away from as they can increase inflammation. My Supernatural Oil contains carotenoids from organic goji berries. Carotenoids are said to help with premature ageing of the skin.
Foods high in monounsaturated fat:
This is what we know as ‘good fats’ such as avocado, olive oil, nuts such as almonds, cashews and sesame. Try and add extra virgin olive oil to your dishes but don’t cook or bake with it as the smoking point is too low. Meaning, it burns at a lower temperature leading to potential carcinogenic properties.
What about diary?
I am not against dairy but if you have issues with inflammation you’re better off switching to goats milk, yogurt and butter. I think cow butter is fine but if you can, try and buy grass fed organic butter and lower your intake. Some people breakout as soon as they touch diary but if you’re ok with it, there are benefits of good grass fed butter. The same goes for yogurt – especially if it’s organic Greek which is high in protein and low in sugar and full of probiotics.
Foods high in Omega 3s:
Such as salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines and herring, walnuts, flax, chia and hemp seeds, watermelon and sunflower seeds are great too.
Are great for gut health. Kimchi and sauerkraut are excellent in small daily portions. Kombucha is also beneficial however it’s best to stick with a bottle every two weeks as it still contains some sugar. Kefir, fermented milk is another option. I like to go for coconut kefir or water kefir but these can be difficult to get hold of but you can always have a go at making your own.
Lower your processed carb intake:
Replace white bread for organic rye, pumpernickel or spelt bread to help with the body’s anti inflammatory response. Oats such as rolled or steel cut are great alternatives, as is quinoa. If you’re craving something carb heavy a good alternative is home popped popcorn (omit the butter flavoring).
What about meat?
If you can, opt for grass fed organic meats or game. Yes, it’s expensive but you are doing your body a favor by not ingesting steroids, synthetic hormones, pesticides and other chemicals that are transferred into the bloodstream of an animal that has been industrially farmed. You’re also helping local farmers and contributing to local economies too!
Is the enemy to the majority of things! White, refined processed sugar is bad for skin and body. If you have a sweet tooth have a piece of fruit or very dark chocolate with a handful of nuts. Adding some protein and fat will help satiate you for longer.
Are smoothies ok?
I’m personally not a fan of smoothies that are only fruits. Yes, fresh fruit is great for your skin but drinking a glass of fruit smoothie is like eating a whole load of sugar. The best smoothies are mostly veg with some low GI fruit, seeds and nuts i.e: protein, fat, veg and some fruit, with various beneficial supplements.
Collagen is essential to good skin as well as good bone / joint health. I like to take it in the form of a powder that I can either mix into water or smoothies. Good quality bone broth will contain collagen too. If you're an adventurous eater things like chicken feet and pig trotters contain a lot of collagen, but if you're not that way inclined you can use those odds and ends in a broth. Good quality authentic tonkotsu ramen broth will be made from these parts of the animal.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that is essential to the formation of collagen. I take daily supplements but you can also apply Vitamin C serum on your skin.
Easy recipes to try:
Mix rolled oats, almond milk, cinnamon powder and one mashed banana together. If it’s a bit runny you can add coconut yogurt (or any nut based yogurt). Once you’re happy with the consistency add in one tablespoon of almond or sunflower seed butter. Stir well. Mix in various berries, one tablespoon chia seeds, one of hemp and one of flax. Top with cocao nibs. Leave overnight in fridge.
Tuna and butterbean salad
Drain a tin of tuna (in water or sunflower oil), arrange over salad leaves, cucumber , radishes and a drained can of butter beans. The dressing is made by lemons, EVO oil, salt, pepper, dried thyme and oregano. Drizzle over and mix.
Try this balance smoothie that won’t give you a sugar rush.
1 scoop vegan protein powder ( I like Vega, fermented greens), 1 teaspoon of green powder (I like Vega green powder that contains chlorella and spirulina), 1 banana, half avocado, bunch of spinach, bunch of kale. Yes frozen veg and fruit is an excellent replacement for fresh.