I’m always on the quest for healthier looking skin. And while I know I can achieve it with products I pick up at the cosmetics counter, I’d rather create a glow on my skin’s surface naturally, rather than one I can just apply. After some research and experimentation, I’m actually surprised by the level of skin health I’ve achieved just by taking the right supplements and eating healthy food. In all honesty, I’d rather have glowing skin 24/7 rather than just when I have to leave the house!
When I first started researching ways to naturally achieve dewy skin, one of the first things I learned was how important the connection is between eating the right foods and the skin results I wanted. It’s true that you are what you eat, so if you’re already basing your meals on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish and lots of water, you’re part of the way there.
Cut the sugar
Eating a diet that’s made up of highly processed, pre-packaged foods gives you a pasty complexion, guaranteed. So when it comes to your skin, sticking to a low sugar, low carbohydrate diet is key to releasing that inner glow. Overindulging in desserts and foods like bread and pasta causes inflammation when blood sugar spikes and affects all your organs, even the skin, making it swell, turn red and show signs of stress. Chronic inflammation caused by the immune system’s rush to heal, can wreak havoc on your skin’s texture and tone. It also launches a process called glycation, which happens when sugar is digested and releases glucose into your system and attaches itself to type three collagen, the strongest and most durable of the three types, resulting in a dry, dull complexion.
Pass on the Prepackaged and Processed Foods
Living enzymes are broken down and lost when foods are processed, leaving those convenient ready-made meals low in nutritional value and your skin being short changed of the vitamins and nutrients it needs to look healthy. Boxed foods are also low in water content compared to fresh fruits and vegetables. Not only do you need water for hydration, it also works as a detoxifier and helps regulate oil production.
Hormones in Meat and Dairy
If you eat organic, you can skip this section, but if you don’t, read on. We all know that animals raised for human consumption are fed a variety of growth hormones, steroids and antibiotics which we inevitably ingest. Eating those chemicals by way of our steak dinner and glass of milk can disrupt our hormones and lead to inflammation and acne. Protein sources should include more than just organic meat and dairy. Eggs, beans, lentils and some whole grains and vegetables contain adequate levels of protein you need to maintain clear, healthy skin.
Is it Hard to Change?
I have a friend who has the most beautiful, glowing skin you’ve ever seen. While I knew she was a raw food enthusiast, I didn’t make the connection between what she ate and how great her skin looked until I started adopting some of her food rules. I’m by no means a raw foodie, but I did start incorporating more raw fruits and vegetables into my meals and replacing meat and dairy with more fish and nuts. Change doesn’t happen overnight, but when people start complimenting you on your skin, you know you’re doing something right. Here are some of the rules:
Make the Cut
Cut out sugar, white flour, non-organic meats and dairy and processed foods from your diet. I know it’s easier said than done, but making small changes every day adds up to a new perspective on what you’re actually putting into your body in the long run.
Increase Your EFAs
Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) like Omega-3 and Omega-6 come from the food we eat and need to be replaced daily. Omega-3 is the EFA particularly responsible for the shape of your hair and skin, keeping it from becoming dry, flaky and dull.
You can get Omega-3s directly from eating oily fish like sardines, tuna and salmon or nuts and seeds like flax, chia and walnuts. If you want to make extra sure you’re getting your daily dose of EFAs, try Omega-3 Fish Oil Softgels.
Try to ease up on your saturated and processed fats intake, as these can cancel out the good EFAs do.
Protect Yourself With Antioxidants
Antioxidants are free radical annihilators, slaying the electrochemically unbalanced molecules that especially destroy the skin’s collagen (what keeps it plump and supple) through exposure to chemicals, stress and sun. Brightly-coloured raw fruits and vegetables high in vitamins A and C are the best antioxidant food sources, like berries, black grapes, cherries, apricots, broccoli, carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes and tomatoes. Other Vitamin A rich foods include organic beef, chicken, liver, eggs, milk and yogurt.
Not only is Vitamin E also right up there in antioxidant protection, it has the added benefit of helping the skin to retain moisture. Load up on Vitamin E by incorporating more nuts and seeds, whole grains and avocados into your diet.
And while we’re on the topic of antioxidants, we can’t talk about how great they are at protecting our skin from dryness and wrinkles without mentioning green tea. When it comes to glowing skin there are actually two ways green tea can help. First, the antioxidants in green tea (called polyphenols) are some of the most potent around. Drinking a cup or two a day will give you added protection from the sun’s ultraviolet rays and reducing cell damage, thereby protecting against wrinkles. Green tea is also effective topically when used as a toner. Simply apply cooled tea with a cotton ball to shrink pores, draw out impurities and bring out a healthy glow!
Keep Orange Naturals Adult Multi on hand should your diet fall short in antioxidant protection.
Change Takes Time
When you’re making changes to your diet by eating foods with the right vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, you will see results but they may take time. Your skin cells regenerate about every 27 days so patience is key. By eating right and taking a quality, Orange Naturals supplement to fill in the gaps, you can achieve the healthy glow you’ve been desiring, naturally.