The effect of nutrition on skin health has always been an interesting topic for scientist and physicians throughout the centuries worldwide. Changes in our skin health, such as ageing, is an inevitable part of the natural human process, however, there are ways we can do it gracefully by taking care of our health and incorporating healthy practices into our lives— like eating nutritious foods that help support our skin!
The largest detoxification organ in our body is the skin, and in one way or another things like intolerance’s, stress, inflammation, digestive upsets, dehydration, hormonal imbalances, lack of sleep, and malnutrition show up through our skin. Some forms it can show up in might look like eczema, acne, rosacea, dryness, broken capillaries, and hyper-pigmentation. Nutrition and lifestyle both play major roles when it comes to healthy looking skin. Nourishing yourself with key nutrients plays one part in radiant, glowing, clear skin, while lifestyle habits, like getting enough sleep, managing stress, exercising, and staying hydrated plays another part.
Some key nutrients that support healthy skin include omega 3’s, protein, minerals like zinc and selenium, antioxidants like vitamin A, C, E and astaxanthin, and probiotics to name a few. Like every other organ in our body, our skin requires healthy nutrition, calories, and energy to feel radiant. When you eat well, you look and feel so much better then when you don’t. One of the most important things you can do for your skin health, and overall health, is to start by getting the inside right.
We all know by now that the way we treat the inside of our bodies on a cellular level is what matters most when it comes to feeling optimal and looking vibrant. Aside from lifestyle and genetics, the food you consume affects the health of your skin. A lot of people turn to different treatments at their favourite skin clinic, which also is important for promoting healthy skin, however, if you don’t address what is going on inside your body on a cellular level you may be wasting your money on treatments. You can look at it this way— if you’re incorporating anti-inflammatory foods into your diet for one meal, then eating processed foods at another meal that cause inflammation, you are not actually fighting inflammation because your body is not able to keep up with that inconsistency. It’s similar with skin, if you are treating the outside with care by using amazing products and getting treatments done, but you’re not eating well enough and drinking adequate amounts of water to support your skin health, your skin will become compromised and not look as great as it could.
The more you treat your body with care and proper nutrition, the more optimal your body will feel, and in turn, the more your body has the ability to utilize the nutrients food provides that makes you feel and look great. Eating a well rounded diet full of nutritious whole foods that contain key nutrients is very important, however, sometimes you might need a little boost from time to time with supplements when you aren’t regularly eating a variety of whole foods that offer nutrients that support our skin. Some key supplements for skin health include vitamins A, C, and E, astaxanthin, magnesium, zinc, selenium, omega-3’s, protein, probiotics, and collagen. That said, there are many whole foods out there containing key nutrients that support skin health, and today I am sharing with you 5 foods that are easy to add into your diet to help promote healthy, youthful, glowing skin!
I talk about blueberries a lot as they are one of my favourite berries rich in antioixdants and packed with fiber. Blueberries are the ultimate beauty berry in my opinion! Eating them on the regular can help support healthy and glowing looking skin in the long run. One cup of blueberries provides approximately 24% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C, and they also contain a source of vitamin A and E— which fall under the category of key nutrients for healthy skin. In addition, blueberries are effective at reducing cognitive decline, supporting cardiovascular health, protecting the liver, and reducing liver fat buildup due to their antioxidant and anthocyanin content. I like adding blueberries into my smoothies or eating a handful of them as they are when fresh and in season.
This spice contains very powerful medicinal properties that help fight inflammation in the body. Inflammation affects our skin health negatively and is a major contributor to various chronic diseases. Reducing inflammation in the body by incorporating more anti-inflammatory foods into your diet will only benefit your skin, and overall health. In fact, most of the benefits of turmeric point to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. According to a 2016 study, turmeric (Curcuma longa) has been shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-neoplastic properties. In addition, growing evidence shows that the active component of turmeric, curcumin, may be used to treat a variety of skin diseases. I like to enjoy turmeric as a tea or I’ll blend it into smoothies or a dairy free turmeric golden mylk— it’s so nourishing! Make sure to add a pinch of black pepper when consuming turmeric so your body can absorb its main component, Curcumin.
Spirulina is a blue-green algae plant that contains a rich source of nutrients that support radiant, glowing skin! According to an article from NCBI, spirulina has a long history of use as food and has been reported that it has been used during the Aztec civilization. Furthermore, spirulina has been used as a source of protein and vitamin supplement in humans without any significant side-effects. Apart from the high (up to 70%) content of protein, spirulina contains vitamins (especially B12), provitamin A and minerals (especially iron). The rich source of nutrients found in spirulina are ones that support a healthy glow! I always add spirulina into smoothies as it tends to have a potent smell and strong flavour. Blending it into a smoothie with ingredients like frozen berries, nut mylk, and vanilla protein powder helps hide its unique smell and flavour.
4. CHAGA MUSHROOM
Chaga mushroom has been studied for its antioxidant and immune-boosting properties. This disease-fighting mushroom has a history of health benefits— such as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-bacterial, and even anti-allergic activities. The antioxidant properties found in Chaga protect against free radicals that can contribute to skin ageing and skin damage. Antioxidants improve health and slow ageing, as the National Cancer Institute explains, “Antioxidants protect cells from damage caused by unstable molecules known as free radicals.” I like to add high-quality chaga mushroom powder to my smoothies, and sometimes I’ll even enjoy it blended with coffee or sip it as tea. Four Sigmatic makes some pretty AMAZING medicinal mushroom elixirs that are totally worth trying if you’re interested or already incorporating medicinal mushrooms into your diet. I’m an affiliate with Four Sigmatic and offer a discount code on their products, just use code thenourishedvibe at checkout for 10% off your entire order. I genuinely love this company, what they stand for, and the variety of medicinal mushroom products they create! I want my readers and followers to know I will only ever affiliate myself with brands I truly believe in, trust, and personally use myself.
5. WILD CAUGHT SALMON
Wild caught salmon contains Astaxanthin, which is such a powerhouse nutrient that supports skin health. Astaxanthin is a major carotenoid found in salmon that contains potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity, which benefits skin health (source). A 2017 study demonstrated that long-term supplementation with astaxanthin may inhibit age-related skin deterioration and maintain skin conditions associated with environmentally induced damage through it’s anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, the effects of astaxanthin on hyper-pigmentation suppression, melanin synthesis and photoaging inhibition, and wrinkle formation reduction have been reported in several clinical studies. I personally like to take Sealicious Complete Astaxanthin Antioxidant supplement for an extra boost as I don’t consume enough salmon to reap all of its benefits daily. This supplement is carefully sourced from algae! In addition, salmon also provides a good source of zinc which helps fight off inflammation in the body and is an important nutrient for new cell production and proper function of cell membranes. Aim for wild caught, quality sourced salmon so you can be sure to reap its beneficial nutrients. Quality fish should not smell, and it should glisten. Wild Alaskan salmon is said to be the most eco-friendly source and is best purchased when in season.
What are some of your favourite skin nourishing foods? Comment below to share! Thank you for reading today’s post, I hope you have an amazing day!