Using good quality non-toxic skincare products is important for healthy skin, but as a nutritionist – I also look to treat the skin from the inside out.
Our skin can be a reflection of the overall health of our internal systems. Studies indicate that certain dietary factors may trigger acne and other skin problems. A study conducted by Glamour magazine found that pimples could be reduced by as much as 62% just by changing what you eat. In addition to choosing the right topical products, looking deeper at what is causing the imbalance is a smart approach to healing the skin.
5 Tips to improve our skin from the inside out:
1. Optimize Digestion
Our overall health is connected to how well we are digesting our foods. If we have digestive issues, we might not be properly absorbing our nutrients, which could possibly lead to mineral and vitamin deficiencies, and interfere with the removal of toxins; all of which can add up to breakouts and other skin issues. To improve our digestion we need to do 4 things:
2. Balance our pH.
An acidic pH in the body has been linked to many different conditions including fatigue, poor digestion, osteoporosis, and inflammatory conditions like arthritis. Some research has also revealed that one of acne’s main triggers could be a pH imbalance. Eating more alkaline foods such as leafy greens, lemons, cucumbers, parsley, and celery can help to balance out our pH to be less acidic. It is also important to eat less acid-forming foods such as dairy, sweets, alcohol, coffee/caffeine, and too much protein. Improving our bodies pH will not only improve the skin, but also our overall health.
3. Eat the right kinds of fats.
Not all fats are created equal when it comes to our skin and our health. Redness and swelling in the skin can be an indication that the body is inflamed – so either we are eating something that we are sensitive to, or we are getting too many pro-inflammatory fats. Trans fats and oils (such as those found in fried and packaged foods) promote inflammation in the body. Although certain fats can cause inflammation and other skin issues, a low fat diet is not necessarily the right answer either. In addition to minimizing the trans fats and vegetable oils, getting plenty of the right kinds of healthy fats can help to prevent acne and inflammatory skin issues like rosacea. Healthy fats include olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, nuts, and omega 3 rich seeds such as hemp, flax, and chia seeds. Also fatty fish like salmon and fish oil are high in omega 3 rich fats and will help to reduce inflammation.
As our body’s largest organ, our skin is an important part of our overall detoxifying system – which also includes the liver, kidneys and lungs. The body need to process and remove toxins, and if we are bringing in more toxins than our body can remove – then we could be creating a toxic load on our organs. Increase the intake of sticky fiber like chia seeds to help usher out the toxins from the body, and reduce the intake of the following foods – can all help to reduce the toxic load:
5. Boost key vitamins & minerals:
Eating a diet of processed foods will be lacking in vitamins and minerals. But even diets that contain fruits and vegetables and whole grains can also be lacking in key vitamins and minerals – because our soil is becoming minerally-deficient. Choosing organic produce is a smart way to increase our vitamins and minerals, and also taking high quality supplements can help. Some key vitamins and minerals that are known to help skin:
The good thing about taking a foods-based approach to skin care is that it also offers a wide range of other health benefits – from disease prevention to improved digestion and more. The above list is just a general guide/starting point for a healthy skin diet, there are a number of other foods and supplements that can benefit the skin. Check with your practitioner for advice regarding your specific situation.
The content of this article is not to be construed as providing medical advice. All information provided is general and not specific to individuals. Persons experiencing problems or with questions about their health or medications, should consult their medical professional. Persons already taking prescription medications or herbs should consult a doctor before taking the above foods, herbs, vitamins or supplements to be sure there are no interactions.
Article written by Nutritionist Sara Vance, author of the book The Perfect Metabolism Plan A regular guest on Fox 5 San Diego, you can see many of Sara’s segments on her media page. She also offers corporate nutrition, school programs, consultations, and affordable online eCourses. Download her free 40+ page Metabolism Jumpstart eBook here.
©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.
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I couldn’t agree with you more! Since cutting out gluten and dairy my skin has dramatically changed. Shortly after that I really started to enjoy raw food and now whenever my body doesn’t seem right I always make sure I’m eating more raw. It is the easiest way to “recharge” and I love how I feel after.
© copyright 2017 Sara Vance