Your skin reflects what’s happening inside your body.
Diet and nutrition do show on the outside. So one of the pleasing side effects of a clean, nourishing diet is a glowing complexion.
If you were a habitual ‘bad eater’ and are changing your habits, you will be amazed at not only how much better you feel, but also how much better you look. Spending at the makeup counter is, in my opinion, about covering up. Why cover up your skin when it’s gorgeous, and the solution is as close as your kitchen.
Here’s a low down on how food directly affects your skin.
One. Embrace essential fatty acids – not all fats are created equal.
Good fats, that is, essential fatty acids, are a building block to naturally healthy skin. But our bodies, clever as they are don’t make them on its own, so you need to get them from the foods you eat. A telltale sign that you aren’t getting enough essential fatty acids is skin that is dry, inflamed, irritated, prone to breakouts, acne….the list goes on. Essential fatty acids like omega-3s and omega-6s are essential for glowing skin. Including them in your diet keeps your skin hydrated, plump and thereby less prone to wrinkles and sagging. Reach for seeds and nuts (especially walnuts) as they are packed with omega-3s and other anti-inflammatories. Tasty main meal additions include salmon, flax, eggs and sardines – yes sardines. All skin saviours.
A short-cut that delivers is chia seeds. There are no end of new, inventive recipes and easy tricks like adding chia seeds to your smoothie for an extra boost, or putting a sprinkle into your favourite and cooking or baking. The same can be said with the now famous superfood, coconut oil which adds a delicious dose of omega-3s to your diet. Much as we’re chatting about omega-3, omega-6 is supposed to be eaten in equal quantities. Here’s how. One of the best dietary source of omega-6 is hemp seed as the seeds contain gamma-linolenic acid, the active omega-6 form. Omega-6 is also found in sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and raw nuts, but in the inactive, linoleic acid form.
To optimize your fatty acid balance, here are some simple tips:
- Substitute hemp seeds for chia seeds in your salad.
- Opt for hemp-seed oil instead of flax oil in your smoothie .
- Choose to make a tahini salad dressing, as sesame seeds are rich in omega-6’s.
- If you eat three tablespoons chia seed or a 6 ounce piece of wild salmon per day as your diet is sufficient in omega-3’s – so skip the omega-3 supplement.
- Choose to snack on pumpkin seeds, raw or dehydrated, as they are rich in omega-6 and zinc, which helps with the conversion of inactive linoleic acid form to active gamma-linolenic acid.
- Kale salad with a handful of sunflower seeds adds crunch plus a rich source of omega-6 and zinc.
- Look for crackers made with flax seeds and sunflower seeds for a better omega 6:3 ratio
Two. Think, could your skin be affected by dairy, gluten or sugar?
You may love cheese, ice cream, lattes, but if you are getting skin flare-ups, it may be worth cutting dairy out of your diet – completely for a two week trial period. This is often the beginning, and the end, of the elimination exercise as by cutting out dairy, skin issues often ccclear up immediately. There isn’t much scientific evidence to prove this, so it’s not well known. But there is often a direct connection between dairy and skin health.
But if that doesn’t do the trick, don’t despair. You still have an elimination trial to do with gluten and sugar. Not at the same time, one by one so that cause and effect is more obvious. What happens when your body is gluten-intolerant, it works to fight off gluten – which it sees as an invader – by releasing histamine, which leads to inflammation. Since acne is an inflammation of the skin, the connection is easy to spot. Ditto foor sugar.
Three. For good skin health (and pretty much everything else) proper digestion is key.
Do you realise how closely skin health and digestion are related? You would be unusually well-informed. Most people don’t. Most people think that great skin is about expensive moisturisers, clever makeup, but don’t see how important digestion is.
Simple example, if you’re breaking out on your chin, it’s almost always because of a problem with digestion. Take charge by keeping hydrated throughout the day. Carrying a water ‘camel’ around with you is a constant reminder to sip continually. We know now that if you drink when you are actually thirsty, it’s not a good sign. Better to avoid thirst. Indulge in probiotic-rich foods to keep your gut (and skin!) happy and healthy. You deserve it. And remember if you are having problems with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or constipation, there is a range of effective Aloe Ferox natural constipation remedies from Natural Beauty Care.
Be well. Stay well.