Skin Food 101
I wanted to dedicate a post to "skin food" because the #1 question I get asked is what to eat for that glow we all covet. While there are tons of great supplements and tinctures out there, if you don't start with a healthy diet, those will just be a big waste of money. So here we go, your guide to looking radiant and youthful forever!
1. Hydrate. This one may seem like a let down if you were expecting some secret magic bullet. So I'm sorry to tell you, it all begins with hydration. That means at least 3 Liters of water a day, people. If you think you drink enough water, you most likely don't. Buy a 1 Liter reusable water bottle and consciously fill it up 3 times a day. Yes, you may be peeing a lot but you'll also notice that your skin looks brighter, you are more awake and alert and have less cravings. You will also notice that a lot of the times that you felt the urge to snack, you were most likely just thirsty (or bored, anxious, procrastinating, or a million other reasons!) If you get bored of water, try jazzing it up with a squeeze of lemon or throwing some cucumbers or fruit in there. Tea also counts and will provide an antioxidant boost.
Speaking of antioxidants, I am obsessed with Dr. Brandt's antioxidant water booster! It has a great sweet tea taste and 1 dropper full/day is all you need. That one dropper in you water will give you the antioxidant equivalent to 15 cups of green tea!! It's made out of goji and maqui berry extracts (super berries highest on the ORAC scale) along with green and white tea.
2. Now that I've sold you on the water booster supplement, lets talk about how antioxidants are your skin's best friend. To explain it simply, antioxidants act like the good guys in your body, quenching any toxic free radicals floating around. Free radicals are caused by environmental pollution, sun damage, poor diet, tobacco and alcohol. They cause damage to parts of our cells by stealing their electrons in a process called oxidation. Oxidation is what causes cell deterioration which in our skin translates to premature fine lines, sun spots, and wrinkles. Antioxidants quench the free radicals to halt and prevent that cellular damage and keep our skin looking youthful and strong. I love that the water booster provides that line of defense daily, but you can also get antioxidants naturally occurring in foods- especially in tea, herbs and spices, fruits and veggies. The 10 foods with the highest antioxidant content according to Dr. Axe:
- Goji berries: 4,310 ORAC score
- Wild blueberries: 9,621 ORAC score
- Dark chocolate: 20,816 ORAC score
- Pecans: 17,940 ORAC score
- Artichoke (boiled): 9,416 ORAC score
- Elderberries: 14,697 ORAC score
- Kidney beans: 8,606 ORAC score
- Cranberries: 9,090 ORAC score
- Blackberries: 5,905 ORAC score
- Cilantro: 5,141 ORAC score
3. Probiotic Rich Foods are my next skin weapon. In my opinion, the health of not only your skin but your entire body begins with the gut. Did you know that we have more bacterial cells in our bodies than human cells? So when our bacterial makeup is not balanced, the skin can be one of the first places we see that imbalance- The signs include redness, irritation, puffiness, and breakouts. No cream or makeup can cover poor gut health. Taking a daily probiotic is the first line of defense. I like the Life's Abundance brand if you are looking for a rec! Eating probiotic rich foods is also crucial- kimchee, kombucha, miso soup, plain yogurt, and any fermented veggies are all great for our guts. Eating a diet rich in plants is also important as veggies contain prebiotics- the food for the probiotics. As a proud member of the Dr. Brandt Skin Advisory Board, I must mention our Hydrobiotic night mask that contains both pre and probiotics to rebalance our skin's bacterial makeup from the outside in. While diet protects us from the inside out, it is exciting that we now have a defense line from the outside in!
Now that we know what to add in, its just as important to limit processed foods, refined sugar and flour, and dairy as these can feed the bad bacteria and cause inflammation in both our skin and digestive tract.
4. Fat is our friend. The right types of fats, of course. Healthy fats act as lubricants from the inside out, giving our skin that dewy, glowing look. Omega-3 fatty acids restore moisture in our skin and are anti-inflammatory. For our omega-3's, think fatty fish, walnuts, flax, hemp, and chia seeds. Almonds and avocado are high in vitamin E which also acts as an antioxidant to slow down aging. Coconut oil is a medium chain triglyceride, meaning that our bodies can absorb it quickly and use it for energy rather than storing it as fat. Coconut oil also has antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties helping our skin to heal from acne and skin irritation.
Now that we've covered the FAB 4 SKIN RULES, I'll leave you with a beauty boosting smoothie recipe.
SKIN FOOD SMOOTHIE
- 1 cup coconut water (for hydration + electrolytes)
- 2 handfuls dark leafy greens of choice, spinach is the most mild in flavor (for fiber, antioxidants, prebiotics, vitamin C, K, iron, and calcium)
- 1/2 small avocado (for healthy fats to moisturize and vitamin E for antioxidant power)
- 1/2 cup frozen berries (for fiber, vitamin C, hydration, antioxidants)
- 1 tbsp chia seeds (some more healthy fats + fiber)
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger (anti-inflammatory properties)
- 1 teaspoon spirulina (a total superfood- protein, vitamins A, B12, iron, manganese, phytonutrients)
- 1 dropper full of Dr. Brandt Antioxidant water booster (for your daily antioxidant defense)
Blend until smooth and do a dance because you are getting your GLOW on :)