Food for clear skin: the not-so-secret, secret
You have heard it before, and I am going to say it again: we are what we eat! That means we should think about food for clear skin, and not just creams you can buy on a shelf. When it comes to the health of our skin, there are foods we should consider eating that will contribute to healthy, beautiful, and glowing skin. Our skin is one of our largest organs, and keeping it well fed is essential in keeping it healthy.
So what types of food for clear skin should you include?
Building blocks: starting with the essentialsProtein is essential in our diet. It is important for building tissues and organs all around our body including our skin! Protein is made up of hundreds of smaller units called amino acids. When it comes to the proper building of our skin we need to obtain certain amino acids such as glycine, glutamine, tyrosine, and proline among others. We must obtain these amino acids from the diet because we are unable to make them ourselves. These amino acids work together to build up the collagen and elastin in our skin and tissues, giving us that firm, plump look. Sources of foods you can find these amino acids in are:
- Complete proteins such as eggs and fish
- Collagen powders
- Combining protein sources such as whole grain rice and beans may be a good option for vegetarians and vegans.
Vitamin CThis powerful vitamin has loads to do with skin health! Vitamin C is an important tool that your body uses to build collagen. Collagen production in your skin would just not happen without vitamin C; it really is that important! This vitamin is also a very powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants are great at preventing oxidative damage within our cells, which can lead to skin damage. Vitamin C is a MUST in your daily eating regimen/routine! Foods that contain high levels of vitamin C include:
- Kiwi fruit
- Red bell pepper
Removing toxinsWhen it comes to the health of your skin, the health of your internal organs can drastically impact what shows up on the surface. Many common skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, acne, and chronic dry skin, begin in the gut. When our body does not agree with certain foods we eat, or life stress we face, it can eventually show up on our skin. This has to do with how our body rids itself of toxins and other chemical burdens that can build up in times of stress and poor diet choices. Our intestinal track has an important job of absorbing vitamins, minerals and food as an energy source, as well as in eliminating waste. If the health of your gut is compromised, then it will not be able to perform these tasks efficiently. Eventually, this can appear in the health of your skin. Another major contributor to the detoxing process is through the actions of our liver. Think of the liver as a big filter! If that filter is not working properly, we will see issues in other body systems such as the skin. Our liver plays a major role in our skin health, as it is one of the ways our body gets rid of toxins. Gut and liver health play such a vital role when it comes to the look and health of our skin. There are many foods that can help support these two important systems, such as:
- Sprouts (alfalfa, radish, mung bean)
Hydrate!Our skin loves some good hydration. When your skin is properly hydrated it will appear more firm and plump, as well as show a nice little glow. Dehydrated skin can show more signs of aging and may produce more oils in defense of the dryness. Besides drinking lots of filtered, clean water, there are many foods that are packed full of vitamins and minerals, as well as water. These foods are a great way to hydrate during the upcoming warmer months. Some great hydrating foods are:
- Stress can wreak havoc on our skin. Finding a way to mindfully meditate can help to reduce consistent stress.
- Exercise is an amazing way to help promote healthy glowing skin. Increasing your heart rate and getting that circulation going will do wonders for your skin.
- Minimizing exposure to air pollutants. This includes smoking and harmful cleaning products and is important so that your skin and pores can breathe freely.
- Stay away from antibacterial products. Your skin has loads of friendly bacteria that not only keep you healthy internally but keep your skin healthy too. Antibacterial products are beginning to leave the shelf and more natural alternatives are becoming more readily available to the consumer. Check out your local health food store for more natural beauty cleansing products to promote the health of your skin.