Beautiful skin is something many people desire but few know how to obtain naturally.
Genes only play a small part in having great skin; the most influential factor on our skin is what we eat and how we live each day.
The Truth About Great Skin: It All Starts on the Inside
We are constantly exposed to a variety of toxic ingredients in our food supply, our beauty and hygiene products, and in our everyday work and home environments. While we can’t control all aspects of the toxins we encounter, we can control a large number of them.
And why is that important?
Because everything that comes in contact with our skin—whether through the air or through direct contact by us eating certain foods or applying certain products—all ends up inside our bodies.
In fact, did you know our skin is our largest organ?
Within 20-30 minutes, anything that touches our skin ends up inside our bloodstreams and eventually other organs. Imagine if we looked at this incredible fact more closely and took it more seriously. If we were to be more cautious of how we ate, took care of ourselves, and of the things we put on our skin, we would be more radiant from the inside out, literally.
According to multiple reports by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, there are metabolites from certain environmental toxins that appear to be present in the blood and urine of nearly every single person has been tested in the U.S. Our world is filled with toxins from every angle and instead of panicking, we simply need to take action.
If you want to get the glow and have beautiful skin naturally, you have to support your body’s natural, built-in detoxification process. The body knows how to heal itself but it needs the right tools in order to do so.
Taking Out the Garbage: Detox Your Life
Detox your life by removing the most harmful ingredients in your diet and lifestyle first. You’ll be avoiding the following that create the most damage in the shortest amount of time:
In Your Diet:
- Sugar – causes glycation of the skin and leads to breakouts since it disrupts good bacteria in the body
- Alcohol – toxic on every aspect, especially to the liver, your number one fat-burning and detoxification organ
- Excess caffeine (green tea and plain black coffee in moderation should be it)
- All refined grains– very inflammatory, bad for blood sugar control, contains little to no nutrition
- Gluten – highly allergenic protein in wheat, rye, and barley)
- Soy – can be allergenic in many forms, may pose a threat to the thyroid function
- All processed oils – highly toxic to the body, not a whole food
- All fast food, junk food, and packaged foods with ingredients you can’t pronounce – contains many of the ingredients above or worse, chemicals that your body doesn’t recognize
- Animal products – take the longest time to digest which can delay detoxification, inflammatory, pose a threat to disease development, filled with antibiotics and hormones, acidic to the body
What You’ll Be Feasting On – Foods That Heal
You can easily avoid the above ingredients in your food and lifestyle by focusing on filling up on the good stuff!
Here’s what you’ll be eating in abundance, as much as you need to get full and sated. Choose organic in these whenever you can to avoid toxic pesticides that have been linked to cancer and disease.
- Fruit (especially berries, apples, pineapple, tomatoes, cucumbers, fresh dates, figs, and pears) – high in enzymes and fiber plus minerals that aid in detox and improving skin health
- Vegetables (all)
- Leafy Greens (all) – especially important for great skin, a healthy weight, and detox
- Non-dairy fermented foods (raw kraut, raw kimchi, coconut water kefir, etc.) – provide probiotics that enhance the skin and inner gut bacteria which improve skin health and aid in detox
- Gluten-free, organic oats – a safe whole grain that can enhance the appearance of the skin and improve your health
- Wild rice – a healthy, grass-based plant that resembles whole grains and cooks similarly to brown rice, very high in antioxidants that boost the appearance of the skin
- Natural superfoods – cacao, maca, goji, spirulina, acai, and all others which are great for improving your intake of antioxidants and enhancing youthfulness and longevity
- Cold-pressed coconut oil (organic, virgin) or raw coconut butter – high in healthy fats and lauric acid that improves detoxification of the liver; use in moderation, about 1 -2 tablespoons per day, do not heat
- Raw nuts, seeds (especially flax, chia and hemp), and avocados – all packed with raw, living healthy fats that nourish the skin cell membranes and enhance detoxification naturally
- Root vegetables (beets, sweet potatoes, winter squash, turnips, etc.) – great source of plant-based carbohydrates and fiber plus antioxidants and natural detoxifying ingredients
- Red split lentils and gluten-free grains (such as quinoa or amaranth)– easy to digest if you enjoy heartier dinners, soak and rinse to enhance digestion
If you just changed your diet to reflect the above recommendations, you’d already see huge results in your skin within a matter of a week at the most; you may also see improvements in your sleep, mood, and your weight in that short of a timeframe too.
But let’s take it up a notch.
Don’t worry, the following 10 tips aren’t hard or intimidating. They simply speed up your results and can help you get the glow a lot faster than just eating healthy foods.
Get ready, your best skin is 10 dietary changes away…
1. Eat More Raw Food
Raw food sounds so intimidating, doesn’t it? But the truth is, it’s actually a very easy way to eat. Raw food is nature’s fast food; there’s no cooking involved!
Instead of cooking, you merely uncook your food when you eat raw.
The benefits of eating raw foods is that it improves your intake of raw, living nutrients which are the best for your skin.
In fact, Vitamin C is one of the most vital nutrients we need for detoxification and great skin. But Vitamin C is also the most sensitive to heat meaning if you heat foods that are high in Vitamin C, you’re basically cooking the food to its death; there is no more Vitamin C left in the final product.
Vitamin C is found abundantly in vegetables, leafy greens, and especially fruit. Vitamin C improves the functioning of the liver, boosts collagen function, aids in detoxification of the digestive organs, reduces stress and high cortisol levels, and supports immune system health.
Eating more raw foods improves not just your intake of Vitamin C but also other antioxidants that you need for great skin, such as those found in berries, broccoli, kale, spinach, apples, raw nuts and seeds, and avocados.
Raw food is also extremely detoxifying all on its own because the body doesn’t have to work extra hard to produce enzymes in order to digest it. Heavy, cooked foods do the opposite; they make you sluggish and feel tired after eating.
The longer foods take to digest and go through the body, the more they may contribute to less-than-stellar health.
2. Eat a Huge, Raw Salad Every Single Day
There’s no need to panic about eating 100 percent raw, though. You can start eating more raw foods by eating a huge, raw salad every single day filled with all the fruits, veggies, and greens your heart desires.
Add a sprinkle or raw nuts or seeds (such as raw almonds or hemp seeds which offer the most amount of natural protein), and some of your favorite herbs and spices. Top with lemon juice and you’ve got a delicious meal in minutes that will help improve your intake of raw foods all at one meal.
Don’t be modest with your salad bowl either; grab the biggest bowl you can find and fill it up! When you eat more raw living food, you can eat more because it’s much easier on your body’s detox organs.
3. Have a Green Smoothie Every Single Day
Make your breakfast a super nutritious green smoothie by packing it with beautifying ingredients. It’s also a way to take in more living foods all before lunch!
If you don’t have time to make a smoothie for breakfast, (or don’t eat breakfast), then have this for lunch as a quick option on the go!
Here are some especially beautifying foods to put in your green smoothie:
- Spinach (don’t skip the greens!)
- Kale (if you don’t like spinach)
- Berries (frozen is fine)
- Dark cherries
- ¼ cup raw almonds or walnuts
- Cold, filtered water
- Juice of a lemon (adds extra Vitamin C, brings out the flavor of other ingredients)
- Raw cacao powder or nibs (a tablespoon)
- Any superfoods such as maca, goji berries, acai, maqui, hemp seeds, etc.
- 1 tsp. raw coconut butter
Experiment with your favorite combinations and make them extra thick by using only enough liquid to get the ingredients going. Make them extra frosty by adding 1 cup of ice cubes to the mix or by using frozen fruit instead of fresh.
4. Go for the Best, Most Nutrient-Dense Foods
All whole, plant-based foods contain more nutrients than non-plant-based foods, but there are some foods that give you more bang for your buck in terms of antioxidants, fiber, and other health benefits that can improve your skin.
Here are some of the best nutrient-dense foods for your skin:
- Dark lettuces
- Dark, sweet cherries
- Tart cherries
- Goji berries
- Acai purée
- Apples (especially green and red varieties)
- Sweet potatoes
- Purple potatoes
- Winter squash (acorn, kabocha, butternut, pumpkin, etc.)
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Chia seeds
- Flax seeds
- Hemp seeds
- Coconut (raw meat, shreds, butter, oil)
- Cabbage (especially purple cabbage)
- Shiitake mushrooms
- Ginger and turmeric root
- Mint, oregano, basil, cilantro (coriander), and parsley
- Gluten-free oats
- Red quinoa
- Wild rice
As you can see, there are a number of whole plant-based foods to choose from. Fill your diet up with some of the most nutrient-dense options and let your skin (and body) show the results for you!
5. Quit Dieting
That’s right, you heard me. Eating for great skin doesn’t mean counting calories or taking in zero calorie sweeteners and products labeled fat-free just in order to lose weight or get great skin. That means no more diet sodas, fat-free snacks, or limiting yourself to a number of certain calories each day.
Eating for optimal weight and beautiful skin means eating more nutrient-dense foods. When you starve your body of the calories it needs, your skin will likely look old, peckish, and even pale in color.
Eating more vibrant foods with an abundance of nutrients can help improve your skin and reduce hunger for toxic foods because your body is getting the nutrients it is hungry for the most.
Plus, when you eat the right foods, your body doesn’t need you to count calories in order to maintain its weight; fill up on the good stuff and the rest takes care of itself.
6. Load up on H20-Rich Beverages
Eating healthy foods is important for improving your skin, but what you drink is also equally important. Water-rich beverages flush out toxic ingredients from the body which is vital even if you’re eating a healthy diet.
Beverages that are high in water content include plain water, water with lemon or cucumber for extra flavor and nutrients, caffeine-herbal teas (such as peppermint or chamomile), and plain black coffee in moderation.
Avoid fruit-sweetened drinks at the store or pre-made coffee drinks which have added ingredients and less water in them than what you would make at home.
The cleaner your beverages, the better your skin!
7. Use Skin-Boosting Herbs and Teas
Aside from a healthy diet, there are also many natural skin-boosting herbs and teas you can consume to enhance the look of your skin. Rooibos tea, for example, is a natural red herb that comes from a plant and its high in natural antioxidants that are great for the skin.
It can help clear acne, improve blood sugar control, and is also an amazing weapon against wrinkles and fine lines. As a bonus, it’s also sweet in flavor and goes great with lemon and a little stevia to sweeten.
Other herbs and teas you can consume for great skin are Chaga tea made from medicinal mushrooms, peppermint tea, chamomile tea, lavender tea, and parsley which is high in Vitamin C.
8. Take Care of Your Gut
Avoid foods that upset your stomach no matter how healthy they are. Gut health is critical to great skin and some people may be sensitive to foods that are even healthy.
Stick with foods that digest easily for you and take a probiotic for great skin health. Just be sure to choose a probiotic that’s dairy-free and non-GMO for optimal quality if possible.
It’s also helpful for many people to eat fruit on an empty stomach since it digests more easily and won’t lead to gas and bloating which can happen when eaten with other foods.
Fruit can ferment in the gut if you have sluggish digestion; so can beans, legumes, and some grains.
Eating some of these foods in simple combinations or alone may help you if you suffer gas and bloating after eating them.
See this helpful guide to improving your gut health even further!
9. Be Sure to Eat Plenty of Vitamin E-Rich Foods
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant in the body. It helps improve skin health by combating free radicals, reducing the effects of aging and it also improves heart health as another bonus.
Vitamin E is found abundantly in the following foods: almonds, chia, avocados, walnuts, pecans, and sunflower seeds. Be sure to eat at least 1-2 servings of these foods daily, (preferably from different sources), so that you get a wider range of nutrients in your diet. And eat them raw; heat changes the fats in many of these foods to unhealthy, toxic fats that are not good for your body.
10. Skip the Natural Sweeteners
Natural sweeteners such as honey, maple syrup, agave, coconut nectar, and molasses may contain more nutrients than refined white sugar, but they are all bad news for your skin and weight.
All of these contain almost or just as much sugar as regular sugar and can lead to glycemic spikes that disrupt insulin levels and in return, leave you with breakouts.
Use fruit as your sweetener of choice since it has fiber to help slow down the release of natural sugars in your bloodstream.
Dates, for example, (or figs), are great replacements to use in recipes calling for added sweeteners. Just soak them in room temperature water for 30 minutes to soften, purée, and you’ve got a healthy sweetener in minutes! You can also use a date or two in a smoothie or bowl of oatmeal to sweeten it, or just use regular fruit.
Remember, stick with the whole stuff when it comes to natural sugars and your skin will thank you, not to mention your weight too.
The Bottom Line:
There are so many things you can control about your skin’s health, especially with what you eat and drink each day. Avoiding chemical-based beauty products can enhance your skin even further as well as getting more sleep, daily exercise, and always washing your face before bed.
For more tips on how to get the glow and achieve radiant, beautiful skin, check out these other helpful skin-boosting tips that may work for you too!
The post Get the Glow: 10 Dietary Changes That Can Help You Have Beautiful Skin appeared first on Nutrition Secrets.http://www.nutritionsecrets.com/get-the-glow-10-dietary-changes-that-can-help-you-have-beautiful-skin/