4 min|Rhiannon Lockhart
Top 5 foods for Glowing SkinBeauty
What you put in your body, is just as important as what you put on your body.
I've known so many people - from friends to clients - that I have tried countless topical treatments for skin conditions, only to find success when they alter their diet. It is important to remember that each person is different, and what works for you may not work for your friend. However, there are a few golden rules that can be your baseline for glowing skin.
Here are 5 foods to consume for glowing skin:
Okay, well this first one isn’t really a food, but it’s the most important part of our diet that tends to be neglected: staying hydrated each day! Most clients I see are drinking about 1 litre of water per day, when we should really aim for 2-3 litres. This helps to flush out toxins and promote healthier bowel movements, which are key to a healthy glow!
If you’re not a fan of pure water, brew a large batch of your favourite herbal tea and let it cool, add cucumber slices to your water, squeeze a slice of lemon in, or focus on consuming a lot of hydrating vegetables like cucumbers and leafy greens.
2. Omega-3 rich foods
Omega-3s are an essential fatty acid (EFA) that is important to reduce inflammation in our body, however as a society, we tend to under consume this powerhouse nutrient. Healthy fats, like EFAs are also important to promote suppleness in our skin and may even support hair growth. As they work as an anti-inflammatory, they may also, indirectly, fight acne and redness in the skin. It’s important to remember that there are three types of omega-3s to keep in mind: EPA, DHA and ALA.
Both EPA and DHA are primarily found in animal sources, particularly in wild-caught, fatty fish like salmon, anchovies, sardines, herring and mackerel. DHA can also be found in algae sources. These are the most ideal forms to consume, as they are already well absorbed and utilized by the body.
ALA is found in more plant sources, such as flax. However, ALA must be converted to the usable forms: EPA and DHA.
3. Dark green, leafy vegetables
There are 3 big reasons why I tell clients to eat a lot of dark, leafy greens for skin health. First, they’re rich in antioxidants. We need antioxidants to help repair and fight free radical damage (think wrinkles, sun damage, skin elasticity). Second, they tend to be high in fibre. Kale, chard and Chinese greens are all thick and fibrous. Fibre can help promote better bowel movements, and as I mentioned before, better bowel movements mean better skin health! Third, deep green veggies are also highly beneficial for our liver! Better liver health means that we are able to get rid of those unwanted toxins and hormones that may cause acne, eczema, etc.
I think most of us know someone taking a collagen supplement, and there is a good reason for that! Approximately 75-80% of our skin is made up of collagen, and after the age of 25 our body’s ability to make its own collagen starts to decrease.
If you are not taking a collagen supplement you can also increase your collagen consumption by making your own bone broth or consuming the skin on the animal products you consume.
5. Bright coloured veggies
Basically, any vegetable gets a big thumbs up from your skin. Bright veggies have a variety of antioxidants, which all have their own specialty. Here are a few examples:
- Orange vegetables are high in Vitamin A, which may help with oil production and acne. Think carrots and sweet potatoes!
- Bell peppers are high in vitamin C. Vitamin C is having some major time in the spotlight as a topical treatment, but it’s just as important to consume it through food and supplementation to support your skin health!
As I mentioned before, every person is different. If you feel stuck on your skin journey, there may be underlying issues to be addressed, including gut health issues or hormone imbalances.
Rhiannon is the Registered Holistic Nutritionist at Integrative. She has a passion for making healthy eating easy, accessible and fun, loves getting outside, and enjoys spending time with her dog, Chloe!