People of all ages struggle with skin conditions like acne, rosacea, dry skin, sun damage, and wrinkles. There is strong evidence behind the connection between our gut and our skin, which means that our food choices can improve the vibrancy of our skin. Healthy skin can be achieved from within.
The appearance of your skin is a reflection of what’s going on inside you. Our skin is one of the largest organs in the body and can be one of the first places to show signs of problems within the body, particularly nutrient deficiencies and imbalances.
When trying to achieve healthy skin, it is important to focus on how to build it from the inside of the body just as much as the outside. You can do this by focusing on a nutrient-dense, whole foods diet while paying attention to specific vitamins, minerals, and the health of your gut.
Here are some tips to have naturally healthier, younger looking skin starting from the inside.
Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acid like sardines, salmon, mackerel, tuna, and anchovies, can lead to smoother, younger looking skin and reduce inflammation. Short-chain fatty acids such as ghee and grass-fed butter are great for your gut and skin as well. Medium chain fatty acids, like coconut oil and palm oil (also rich in vitamin E) are also good healthy fat staples.
This includes conventional dairy and industrial seeds oils. Dairy can cause hormonal imbalances that produce acne, aggravate your immune system every time you eat it, and cause inflammation, which can lead to irritated-looking skin, dark circles under the eyes, and signs of aging.
Highly refined and processed oils include corn, soybean, canola, safflower, and sunflower oils. They are high omega-6, causing inflammation and damage to the cells and gut lining, which can show up as acne, wrinkles, and redness.
Fermented foods should be part of any nutrient-dense, whole food diet to populate the good gut bacteria and help with nutrient absorption. If you have any digestive symptoms such as gas, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea, that can be a sign that you’re not digesting your food and absorbing nutrients from them. You can be supplementing with all the vitamin A, D, and C, but if you’re not able to assimilate these properly you won’t get the full benefits.
Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in the body and makes up a large part of our skin, hair, and nails. It is composed of the individual amino acids glycine, proline, hydroxyproline, and arginine, which are only found in animal tissue, especially bones and connective tissue. This is why bone broth is great for improving the health of your hair, skin, nails, and joints.
This stimulates the lymphatic system, which helps the body to detoxify while also exfoliating, cleans pores, and even reducing cellulite. (See more on dry brushing here.)
Fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K2, zinc, vitamin C, b vitamins (biotic, niacin), selenium, and silica are all essential for good skin health. Some of the best foods you can eat with these vitamins (in addition to the healthy fats mentioned above) include liver, eggs, oysters, beef and poultry, sunflower seeds, brazil nuts, and leafy greens.
Click here to download a free one-day Healthy Skin Menu that puts together the whole foods with specific nutrients mentioned in this article and get this recipe for a Healthy Skin Smoothie, packed with all the vitamins and nutrients also mentioned.
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