5 Super foods for Super Skin
What are super foods? Simply put, they are foods that are much richer in vitamins, minerals, nutrients, electrolytes and phytonutrients than “normal’ foods – yet with fewer calories. They nourish your cells on a very deep level.
Super foods don’t have to be exotic - like chia seeds, acai powder and spirulina. Basically, all nutrient-dense foods are superfoods, even the day to day ones you probably already have in your kitchen. These are the foods you want to eat frequently to keep your skin looking its very best.
Green leafy vegetables, whether it’s spinach, collard greens, kale or broccoli greens are always available and eating a variety of them every day provides almost every micronutrient your body needs. Aside from protecting us against cancer, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer's and heart disease, leafy greens are important for our skin as they are full of antioxidants that combat the damage caused by free radicals - vitamin A, folate, beta-carotene, B vitamins, vitamin E, iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium – all essential beauty vitamins and minerals. Greens are also high in anti-inflammatory flavonoids, which help quench inflammatory issues such as acne and eczema. One of the best ways to incorporate green leafy vegetables into your diet in to start the day with by including them in your morning smoothie.
Fruit is second only to greens as the most nutrient-packed beauty superfood, yet some people avoid it because they think it’s fattening. While it’s true that some fruits like bananas, grapes, dates and mango are high in sugar (as fructose), the key difference between the sugar in fruit and the sugar you stir into your coffee is fibre. Not only does fibre help your body process the food you eat and eliminate waste through the digestive system, it lessens the negative impact of sugar on your body. The high fibre content in fruit also helps fill you up, keeps your energy levels stable and aids digestion.
Fruit also contains a large amount of water, so it has a very hydrating effect on the skin. A nice fruit snack can be a very effective way to deal with sugar cravings. It might be challenging at first - especially if you’re used to sugary sweets - but keep reaching for the fruit instead of the processed granola bars and you’ll soon appreciate the benefits!
Eating fat is essential to maintaining good health and vital for healthy skin. Our body produces some of the fats we need to survive, but others we can only get from food – and we need to eat these daily. These are the essential fatty acids (EFAs), also known as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids - critical to helping your body produce healthy cells, including skin cells. The only way to get EFAs is through your diet or by taking a supplement. EFAs must also be consumed in the right ratio for your body to get what it needs. Processed and refined foods are full of omega-6s, and too many omega-6s and not enough omega-3s, causes inflammation throughout the body and is the underlying condition for acne, psoriasis, rosacea, and many others.
Essential fatty acids also aid in the production of sebum, the oily substance which keeps your skin hydrated and youthful-looking. If you're not getting enough fat, your skin will tend to be dry and inflamed. You will also be more sensitive to sunlight, more prone to breakouts, and more likely to develop psoriasis.
Before the food industry started pasteurizing foods like yogurt and cheese, many such foods were rampant with bacteria - and they were better for us. Healthy, thriving colonies of bacteria on our skin and in our intestines play a major role in keeping us healthy. People with imbalances in gut bacteria are prone to digestive problems and allergies. Your gut flora support the healthy functioning of everything from your digestive tract to your immune system and from your brain to your skin. Healthy bacteria on the surface of the skin help keep our skin clear and acne free. You can nourish your gut bacteria by adding probiotics (friendly microorganisms) and fermented foods like kombucha, sauerkraut, natural yogurt and kimchi to your diet.
Spices like cinnamon, turmeric and cayenne pepper have a beneficial effect on the skin. They increase blood flow and circulation; are packed with vitamins and minerals, fight inflammation and improve your body's ability to fight free radicals. They also promote the production of collagen – which provides our skin structure and elasticity. Just as they excite your taste buds, they stimulate your cells to perform better.
Remember – healthy, beautiful skin reflects healthy eating habits. Get on the path to super skin now with the Foodwise Skin Plan: https://www.foodwise.life/program/skin-health