Glowing skin comes from within!
The skin is the bodies largest organ and part of the integumentary system (along with nails, hair, sweat & oil glands). The three main functions of the skin are protection, thermoregulation and sensation (Murray, 2012). The health of your skin is connected to the health of your gut (aka the gut-skin axis). Personally, I have struggled with eye rashes, dermatitis, acne and eczema off and on for years. I know first hand how frustrating different skin conditions can be - red, inflamed, itchy skin that does not seem to heal.
There are many ways to support radiant skin with food and lifestyle practices. Below find 7 beauty foods to incorporate into your diet to support healthy, glowing skin. Eating for beauty can be fun and delicious.
Avocado: The ultimate beauty food! A great source of monounsaturated fat (healthy fat) which will help nourish and hydrate the skin. High in vitamins C, K and E to protect skin from oxidative damage. Also rich in fiber to support healthy digestion. Researchers at the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition found that eating 1 avocado daily can increase skin firmness and elasticity (Champion, 2022).
Cucumber: An excellent way to hydrate (it is estimated cucumbers contain 96% water - the highest water content of any food)! Rich in folic acid and vitamin C to rejuvenate skin. Cucumbers contain silica, a trace mineral, which provides skin with an instant glow by stimulating collagen growth and synthesis. Collagen is a protein that is essential for building the structure of connective tissue, hair, skin and nail and helps keep skin firm and can reduce signs of aging.
Can also reduce puffy eyes and dark circles so slap them on your eyes as well
Chia Seeds: Chia seeds are an excellent plant source of omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3's are highly anti-inflammatory and are powerful building blocks for proper cell function. I love having chia seed pudding for breakfast - an excellent way to balance blood sugar and support radiant skin.
Bone Broth: Bone broth was KEY for healing my gut. It is easy to digest and incredibly nutrient dense containing collagen, glycine, proline and glutamine (all amino acids that support a healthy gut and building blocks for supple skin). There are many studies that show the positive effects of collagen on skin elasticity. As we age our natural collage production declines so adding in a cup of bone broth into your routine is an excellent suggestion. Also rich in vitamins & minerals (sulfur, calcium, magnesium, potassium) to keep skin vibrant.
Berries: Rich in antioxidants & highly anti-inflammatory, berries support glowing skin from within. They are a low glycemic fruit & will not spike blood sugar like other higher sugar fruit. Strawberries contain ellagic acid which has been shown to reduce appearance of aging.
Lemon: An excellent source of vitamin C, an antioxidant, that can facilitating new cell growth and is KEY in the production of collagen (aka deficient vitamin C levels = low collagen production). Vitamin C has also been shown to reduce hyperpigmentation and scarring.
I love to start my mornings with a glass of warm lemon water - an excellent morning ritual to ground yourself before the day starts and support healthy skin
Sweet Potato: Sweet potato get the beautiful orange color from beta carotene which has mega antioxidant properties and is converted into vitamin A (retinol) in the body. Research has shown that beta carotene has positive effects on the skin and can help prevent "density and depth of furrows and wrinkles" (Darvin et al, 2011). Sweet potato is also rich in potassium and pantothenic acid - two micronutrients that can keep skin moisturized and support skin integrity. Also an excellent source of vitamin C & E.
I recorded a podcast episode with Jessica Rose, a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, Licensed Cosmetologist, and Beauty Expert, educates us on ways to get glowing, vibrant skin from within by using food and lifestyle methods. She breaks down simple, tangible tips for us to understand that what we eat will not only make us look good but also feel good within. This is an empowering episode that encourages you to get back to the basics and take your health and skin into your own hands and out of the toxic products that are pushed on consumers today. Tune in here.
Champion, Chayil. (2022). Eating an Avocado Daily Increases Elasticity and Firmness of the Skin. Retrieved from https://connect.uclahealth.org/2022/01/26/eating-an-avocado-daily-increases-elasticity-and-firmness-in-skin-study-shows/
Darvin ME, Sterry W, Lademann J, Vergou T. The Role of Carotenoids in Human Skin. Molecules. 2011 Dec 16;16(12):10491–506. doi: 10.3390/molecules161210491. PMCID: PMC6264659.
Murray MT, Pizzorno JE, Pizzorno L (2006). The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. New York, NY: Atria Books.
Murray, M., Pizzorno, J. (2012). The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. New York, NY: Atria Books.
Proksch E, Segger D, Degwert J, Schunck M, Zague V, Oesser S. Oral supplementation of specific collagen peptides has beneficial effects on human skin physiology: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2014;27(1):47-55. doi: 10.1159/000351376. Epub 2013 Aug 14. PMID: 23949208.