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Skin, the body’s largest organ, should be shiny, smooth, and beautiful- but not just for aesthetics. The state of our skin gives us a peek at what’s going on inside our bodies. Let’s look at some examples:
- Excessive paleness: might be a sign of anemia.
- Acne, eczema, psoriasis: may suggest a problem with the intestinal flora- inflamed cells stop producing collagen and hyaluronic acid. Stress could also be the cause.
- Cellulite: may be a sign that your diet is filled with too many processed and fried foods, sugars, and fats…
- Varicose veins: may be due to excess weight or poor blood circulation.
- Dark circles under the eyes: for many, this is just unsightly, but it’s much more than that: it can be a sign of thyroid issues or a sign that your diet consists of too much salt and processed foods and even dehydration, or kidney problems…
- Redness: high blood sugar levels or diabetes may be behind this color change.
- Itching: excessive itchiness may be due to a thyroid imbalance or liver or kidney malfunction.
The purpose of skin
- Protects the body from external agents, germs, toxic substances, etc…
- Maintains body temperature.
- External stimuli: we relate to each other by touch.
- Absorb toxins and eliminate toxins.
- Connects with our immune system.
- And our nervous system.
Healthy Diet For Healthy Skin
More and more studies are showing the relationship between what we eat and how our skin looks, and there is even talk of something called the skin-gut axis. One of them is this paper by Dr. Kaimal and his findings on diet-related skin diseases.
- Cacao: Historically, chocolate has been widely associated with acne and other skin problems, so let’s clarify: bad chocolate (meaning chocolate taken out of its natural state and filled with lots of sugar and sweeteners – and yes, this includes stevia-) can cause skin irritations, but not natural cacao. If you buy natural cacao, not only will you NOT get pimples, but you will actually notice an improvement in your skin!Did you know that eating natural cacao on a regular basis helps protect the skin from the harmful effects of UV rays? Rich in flavonoids, an antioxidant that helps reduce inflammation caused by UV exposure. Additionally, it helps improve blood circulation, thus keeping your body hydrated and wrinkle-free. Even more reason to enjoy a tasty treat.
- Water: Drink lots of it! Hydration is key to good skin.
- Probiotics: necessary to maintain healthy microbiota and prevent inflammation and diseases resulting from inflammation such as eczema, acne, or psoriasis. Yogurt, kéfir, and kombucha are great sources of probiotics.
- Proteins: vital for muscles, strengthening collagen and elasticity. While it’s great to have protein at every meal, I suggest adding an extra dose in the form of Protein Powder as it has a higher concentration of the essential nutrients we are looking for.
- Good Fats: found in foods like coconut oil or avocado. Not only are they great for staying hydrated but they also have an antibacterial effect that helps prevent acne.
- Nuts: a superfood for just about everything. They contain omega-3, vitamins A, B, and E, monounsaturated fats, and antioxidants! Thanks to all this fabulous nutrition- the skin can stay hydrated, elastic, regenerate cells, and protect itself against free radicals. My favorite way to get my fill every day is with spreads, like this Cashew one. Cashews are one of the few foods with a high concentration of copper (50 grams of cashews have 1000 micrograms- for adults, the recommended daily intake of copper is 900 micrograms).
Copper is an essential mineral for skin elasticity and collagen production.
- Fruits and Veggies: no diet is complete without these. Of course, they are an essential part of our diet for a plethora of reasons, when it comes to our skin, they help keep it firm and supple thanks to all the antioxidants they provide.
- Turmeric: the best spice for smooth, lustrous, and glowing skin. Include it in your diet through recipes like this Indian curry or the super drink Golden Milk.
Foods To Avoid
Salt and alcohol are the two main causes of swelling– puffy face, cankles, dark circles, or bags under the eyes…
However, as we’ve mentioned many times for other reasons, processed foods! There are so many reasons to avoid these, but in this case, it’s particularly because of the high content of glutamate, and nitrates that these foods hide.
Tips for glowing skin
- Exfoliate: I recommend brushing your skin before showering. You can’t imagine the benefits of this simple ritual: it helps improve circulation, eliminates toxins, and prevents swollen legs and cellulite.
- Body oil: After brushing, use a natural oil to rub all over your body to keep your skin healthy and beautiful. The best ones are sesame and coconut oil.
- Sauna: Combats stress and helps eliminate toxins, softens the skin, and stimulates circulation.
- Chemical-free shower: Choose natural, chemical-free body wash. Chemicals are absorbed through the skin and reach the bloodstream. They have been proven to be carcinogenic and endocrine disruptors meaning they can alter hormones, the nervous system, and so on.
“What we choose to apply to our skin is just as important as what we choose to ingest. – What are you nourishing yourself with?”
- Caution when using beauty products: According to the EWG (Environmental Working Group), American women use, on average, 12 cosmetic products a day! Resulting in about 2 kilos of chemicals a year.
- Clothes and fabrics: Especially if you have sensitive skin, I recommend avoiding synthetic fabrics. Wear clothes made from natural fibers, and try to pay attention to how it was made. Don’t forget to take care of your bed linen, and towels, to help them last longer.
- Sunbathing: In winter many opt for vitamin D supplements, but when you can, take advantage of natural sunlight. Go out at least 15 minutes a day and just sunbathe- the best way to get vitamin D is from the sun’s rays. Plus, it’s a great mood booster and gives you a moment of peace to soak in the moment and relax.