In my experience, skin problems can be the most complicated and frustrating issues. Especially when the issues are written all over your face … hello acne! I’ve been through it myself and have had to hone in on making sure my diet is improving and not hurting my complexion. Our skin is our largest organ and it’s usually the first to signal that something may be off in our bodies. Think acne, blemishes, eczema, bumpy rashes, and more. I always encourage my clients to take their skin message seriously.
There are so many factors that play into skin issues. Think stress for instance. If you’re overly stressed and your body is releasing too much cortisol, you could be battling your own adrenal system, throwing off your hormones and creating an imbalance that can lead to acne. There are environmental chemicals that can affect your skin as well. Hormones, ahh—clear skin’s worst enemy. Allergies to food, household cleaners, and more can also be the root of skin blemishes. No matter which root problem you’re facing, these foods can help get your skin going in the right direction.
Here are the top five foods and one drink I recommend to help improve your complexion.
I know this isn’t most people’s favorite food. I’ve been working in nutrition way too long to believe most people will eat fish three times a week. The key here is omega 3 fatty acids. If you can’t eat fish three times a week, then supplementing with omega 3 may be a good idea. This can improve hydration and even regulate oil production. In fact, when I’m ovulating or expecting my period, I add a dose of omega 3 myself.
The darker the better. Berries are loaded with skin-loving antioxidants. They’re also jam-packed with fiber, which helps to regulate blood sugar levels. Managing healthy blood sugar levels is vital for skin health, especially if those issues are related to hormones.
They’re high in minerals like zinc and selenium, which are your skin’s best friends! After nursing four babies, I found my levels of zinc and selenium very low, and nuts helped to bring them back up. Selenium helps to increase the number of infection-fighting white blood cells. Zinc has long been linked to improving your immune system and protecting against free radicals and pathogens
Yogurt and kefir
Healthy gut, healthy skin. Remember that. These foods contain probiotics, which are the good bacteria our gut needs to keep a healthy balance. These foods can improve digestion and lower inflammation.
Does anything smell better than olive oil and garlic cooking on a low temperature? Your skin loves this combo too! Each clove of garlic contains a chemical called allicin. This chemical reacts with our own blood to be able to kill off harmful bacteria and viruses. Oftentimes, acne is the result of a bacteria that is living in our bodies.
Have you ever noticed your tea-drinking friends have the best complexions? Maybe it’s because they’re reaping the benefits of green tea. Green tea contains powerful antioxidants that can combat the free radicals that are bothering your skin and your immune system. The healthier your immune system, the better your skin.
If you love the idea of adding these foods, but it seems overwhelming, try my 10-day plan and see how much your skin loves these foods.
Cara Clark is the owner and primary Certified Nutritionist of Cara Clark Nutrition. Cara works with individuals and groups to promote overall health and to manage a wide range of nutrition-related issues. With a ‘non-dieting’ approach, she has helped clients manage weight, energy, performance, diabetes, thyroid related disease, allergies, eating disorders, and more.
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