Inspired by Susie’s post, Ditch the Toxic Chemicals in Your Skincare Routine, about toxins found in products we put ON our skin, I thought I’d write about the other component: What we put IN our body.
Skin is the largest organ in our body. It’s the interface between us and the outside world and an outer reflection of what’s going on inside us. When skin conditions arise, it’s a sign that there’s a deeper imbalance in the body. Skin conditions are often a result of internal inflammation. While there are various causes of inflammation (stress, hormonal imbalance, toxin exposure, overuse of prescription drugs, etc), inflammatory skin issues are often linked to poor digestive health. For example, food sensitivities and poor diet can cause inflammation in the gut. This inflammation can then trigger an inflammatory response in the rest of the body, which sometimes appears on our skin in the form of acne or eczema. What goes IN the body is just as important as what goes on your body.
Here are some of the best and worst foods for the skin:
Fatty fish - such as wild salmon, mackerel, and herring. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, important for fighting inflammation and a good source of vitamin E, an antioxidant essential for protecting skin against damage from free radicals.
Avocado - high in healthy fats and source of vitamin E.
Walnuts - high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, as well as small amounts of antioxidants vitamin E, C, and selenium.
Sweet potatoes - high in beta-carotene and converted to vitamin A, which can protect skin cells from sun exposure.
Fermented vegetables - such as kimchi and sauerkraut. A natural form of probiotics to enhance digestion and gut microbiome.
Cruciferous vegetables - such as broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, radishes, cabbage, kale, and Brussels sprouts. Enhance antioxidant properties and liver detoxification.
Bone Broth - heals the gut and is high in collagen, crucial for healthy skin, joints, hair, and nails.
Sugar - increases blood sugar and insulin, which in turn my stimulate androgen and sebum production.
Diary - a common food allergen or intolerance. Also naturally contains hormones (such as growth hormone).
Barbecued or overcooked meat - contain AGEs (advanced glycation end products), associated with collagen breakdown and accelerated aging.
Non-organic meats - may contain hormones and antibiotics.
Processed foods - contain unhealthy oils that cause inflammation. Often times contain high fructose corn syrup, which has a high glycemic index.
Fried food - inflammatory and may lead to oxidative damage from free radicals, associated with collagen breakdown and accelerated aging.
Canned and packaged foods - may contain endocrine-disruptors such as BPA and phthalates, which can interfere with the production, transport, breakdown, binding and elimination of hormones.
AT DHH, we take a holistic approach to address the root cause and support your body’s innate ability to heal. We can help design a comprehensive treatment plan that takes into account the inside to the outside - For happy and healthy skin!