The body’s largest external organ is the skin, and it sure says a lot about what’s going on with our health. Unlike our internal organs, our skin physically shows us signs, such as “acne, contact dermatitis, benign tumours, cancers, atopic dermatitis (also called eczema), and psoriasis”(source). Skin signals and ailments can tell us if our hormones are imbalanced, if we are intolerant of certain foods/substances, if our blood sugar is out of balance, if we are fighting infection, if we are stressed, and if our gut health is suffering to name a few. It’s a window to our underlying health. It’s important to pay attention to your body’s signs and signals. If something feels off or looks different, research deeper into it and seek professional guidance.
While a proper skincare regime suited to your unique skin type is also an important key for overall skin health, nourishing your skin from within to radiate healthfully outward is just as important. “In fact, more recent research has provided strong support for diet as a potential cause of acne. Research has substantiated the role of specific foods, such as dairy products, as well as dietary patterns, including the high glycemic load diet typical of the Western diet” (source). Furthermore, “glycemic load takes into account the quantity of carbohydrates consumed as well as the rate of carbohydrate absorption. Foods with a high glycemic index, such as sugar, white bread, and white rice, are rapidly absorbed, leading to higher serum glucose levels and corresponding elevated levels of insulin. Insulin and IGF-1 have been shown to augment sebum production, stimulate adrenal androgen synthesis, and increase androgen bioavailability, all of which play a role in the pathogenesis of acne” (source).
Dark leafy greens:
- Bok choy
- Collard greens
- Goji berries
- Acai berries
- Brazil nuts
Fermented (probiotic-rich) foods:
- Coconut kefir
- Coconut yogurt
- Almond milk
- Cashew milk
- Coconut milk
- Hemp milk
- Oat milk
- Brussel sprouts
- Sweet potato
- Chia seeds
- Hemp hearts
- Pumpkin seeds
- MCT oil
- Omega-3 oil
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Avocado oil
- Black beans
- Nutritional yeast
- Plant based protein powder (vanilla is my fav!)
- Collagen powder (quality- marine or grass fed sourced)
- Bone broth (quality, sustainably sourced)
- Whole eggs (quality, sustainably sourced)
- Salmon (quality, sustainably sourced)
- Fruit juices
- Canned fruit
- Boxed cookies, cakes, pies
- Dairy desserts (flavoured ice creams + yogurt)
Highly processed foods:
- Fast food
- Boxed breakfast cereals
- Canned vegetables
- Convenience foods (microwave meals)
- Refined sweeteners
- Refined grains
- Refined oils
- Factory farmed meat & seafood
Foods with added hormones/antibiotics:
- Or at least opt for quality sustainable sources
Let’s get to my top 5 skin nourishing foods!
Who doesn’t love noshing on berries? You can’t go wrong with eating them! Whether you like blending them frozen into a nutrient rich smoothie, or eating them fresh, they’re yummy and easy to incorporate into your diet. Berries are rich in antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, disease-fighting compounds, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They also contain ellagic acid which helps prevent the natural breakdown of collagen as we age. Collagen contributes to the suppleness of our skin so keeping it built up as we age is super important. Incorporate more vibrant berries in your diet to help you work towards your best skin!
A few of my favs: raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, acai berries, and goji berries.
2. CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES
Cruciferous vegetables (aka the cabbage family) are the ultimate beauty food. They help balance the gut, fight inflammation, and are hormone-balancing, which are all the things we want to keep in check for a healthy and glowing complexion! Cruciferous vegetables are rich in nutrients and contain sulphur compounds which help the process of detoxification in the liver. If you’re prone to breaking out around your period, incorporate more cruciferous vegetables into your diet. For the smoothie lovers- steam then freeze cauliflower to add into your smoothies, this is an easy way to incorporate more cruciferous vegetables into your day.
A few of my favs: cauliflower, broccoli, kale, brussel sprouts, collard greens, and bok choy.
3. FERMENTED FOODS
Take your health to the next level and get your glow on with fermented foods! Tempeh, kimchi, kombucha, and sauerkraut, are a few fermented foods that contribute to a healthy gut environment. Why do we want a healthy gut environment? Probiotic bacteria is important and necessary for vital health. It’s easily killed off with things like antibiotics, stress, and highly processed foods. Incorporating fermented foods into your diet helps keep your good bacteria in check which contributes to glowing skin, better digestion, and boosted immunity. Less good bacteria means higher risk of illness and skin ailments. Supplementing with probiotics can be beneficial if you are lacking, or don’t get enough in your diet. Incorporating more probiotic rich foods (fermented foods) into your diet is always a great step to increasing your good bacteria. If you’re looking into supplementing, be sure to consult with your healthcare practitioner to find out what the best probiotic supplement is for you as what works for one person won’t always work for the next. Probiotics are unique, there are many different strains!
A few of my favs: kombucha, coconut kefir, sauerkraut, and Genestra HMF Forte probiotic supplement.
Adaptogens are amazing for feeling and looking your best! Ashwagandha, maca, schizandra, and rhodiola are a few superstar adaptogens that contribute to healthy skin. We often turn to nature for beauty, and rightly so! Healing spices like turmeric and ginger help keep the inflammation away, green tea which is rich in antioxidants helps get rid of impurities, and adaptogens help with balancing the body’s stress response, while also contributing to blood sugar regulation, boosted immunity, and nourishment for the adrenal glands. Adaptogens essentially help the body adapt to stressful environments, such as emotional stress, work stress, or a new season. Stress can cause our skin to do the all kinds of strange things. Keeping stress minimal is crucial for a healthier complexion. Incorporating adaptogens into your diet can help keep those stress levels minimal.
A few of my favs: Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, and Schizandra. I like to buy them in powder form as it’s easier to add them into delicious warming blends and smoothies. Check out the Elevated Spiced Hot Chocolate recipe to see how I incorporate Rhodiola powder into a warming blend.
5. COLLAGEN RICH FOODS
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, and as we age it naturally decreases (noooooooo!). A decrease in collagen can contribute to wrinkles, loss of elasticity in the skin, cellulite, bone loss, and joint pain. Adding collagen rich foods into your diet while also investing in a good collagen powder helps prevent further breakdown of collagen in the body. Increasing collagen will result in better skin, better gut health, added protein, weight-loss, and healthy bones + joints. Foods rich in collagen include dark leafy greens, red vegetables, orange vegetables, berries, citrus fruits, fish, egg yolk (runny), and bone broth. You can also purchase a quality collagen powder, which I offer a discount code for at www.furtherfood.com because I’m such a firm believer in collagen for the maintenance of good health! Use my code THENOURISHEDVIBE10 at the checkout to get some money off. Since incorporating collagen powder and more collagen rich foods into my diet, my gut health has improved immensely, my scars from hormonal acne have faded quite drastically, and my skin has become more supple.
What are some of your top foods for nourishing your skin’s best health? Are any of yours the same as mine, or different? Comment below and let me know. Thank you for popping by and taking time to read today’s post, I hope you have an amazing day!