Nutrition plays a pivotal role in supporting skin health from the inside out. Inflammation, a driving factor behind many chronic diseases, can be especially damaging to the skin. To combat this, consume the following Beauty Foods, foods rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants, which can dramatically alter the biochemistry of our cells to help reduce inflammation in the body. Start with these helpful tips:
Listen to Your Gut.
Your gut houses a vast community of both good and bad bacteria and is key in protecting against inflammation. Research shows that a healthy gut not only regulates digestion, but also helps to fine tune the immune system and regulate stress-related imbalances such as anxiety and depression. Adding more probiotic foods and drinks to your diet such as fermented pickles, kimchi, sauerkraut, tofu, kefir and kombucha, as well as prebiotic herbs such as teas and tinctures, helps support a healthy gut flora and promote radiant skin.
Add Alkaline Foods.
Eating too many acid-forming foods like meat, cheese, processed foods, alcohol and coffee promotes inflammation in the body. Signs of inflammation include chronic fatigue, muscle and joint stiffness, allergies and sensitized skin. Fill your diet with alkaline-based plant foods like garlic, kale and spinach. For a quick fix, drink a glass of lemon water each morning to alkalize and stimulate the body to release toxins.
Enjoy Good Fats.
The skin cells that make up the epidermis are surrounded by lipids made of fatty acids. Without these lipids, the skin becomes dry and cracked, allowing bacteria to enter and cause inflammation.Essential Fatty Acids got their name because your body needs them but cannot make them, meaning we have to get them in other ways. Add Essential Fatty Acids into your diet with foods rich in Omega-3s—salmon, grass-fed beef, organic milk, avocado or free-range eggs—and Omega-6s, found in nuts, seeds and soy.
Eat Your Veggies.
Plants are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and help to clean up cellular damage. Enjoying 2-3 cups of vegetables daily will provide an abundance of these natural, inflammation-reducing chemicals. While this may feel daunting, it’s not as difficult as it seems. Drinking a green juice daily will meet roughly a third of your requirements. Opt for a salad at lunchtime, include two vegetable side dishes with dinner and you are done. While fruit is rich in antioxidants, it is also rich in sugar so enjoy sparingly.
Go easy on processed foods and refined carbohydrates, which cause blood sugar to spike. Sugar fuels inflammation, so enjoy your bagels, cakes, chips, white rice and potatoes in moderation. See if you can migrate to the good carbs like whole grains, nuts and legumes (think lentils and peas), which the body digests more slowly.