- Dr. Brittany Long
Eat Your Way to Better Skin (and Health!)
We all want that dewy, glowing skin right? There are many ways to go about developing and setting up to have the most beautiful skin for you, but one thing you may not have considered yet is just what you are eating on a daily basis and how it can contribute to the health of your skin. Your skin is your largest organ by far and is responsible not only for keeping everything "in" but it is also your first barrier against disease and infection, it is embedded with nerves and so is our first touch with the outside world and even more importantly, it can be a signal for overall health. With that in mind, if you are noticing some skin changes such as quickened aging including wrinkles, age spots or lack of "bounce-back," acne, eczema, or just a lack of luster, changing your diet to include the following foods might be what your skin has been craving to be at it's healthiest!
Why include the following foods you ask? Mostly because these foods are high in flavonoids, "good fats," fiber, prebiotics, vitamins, minerals and are chalk-full of antioxidants. When you eat foods that are high in flavonoids, "good fats," fiber, prebiotics, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants you are giving your cells all the goods they need so as to do their most basic processes such as protect their DNA, hold onto water and replicate in a healthy manner. So if you're looking for a simple way to encourage better skin health, consider including the following (and be sure to pick organic and maybe even fair trade/wild caught if you can) in your diet on a regular basis:
Dark Chocolate - pick 70% or high in cacao and allergen free (talking no dairy here) and go based off of serving size on the bar of your choosing.
Fatty Fish - salmon is a great and easy-to-access choice for us Pacific Northwesters but other options, if you want to mix it up every now and then, could include sardines, anchovies and Atlantic mackerel.
Avocado - high in "good fats," avocado is mostly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat as well as vitamin C and E, two strong antioxidants.
Nuts and Seeds - walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts and pine nuts - the world is your oyster when it comes to nuts and seeds as they are very high in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats as well as minerals, vitamins and fiber!
Sweet Potatoes - not the orange potato you sometimes see called a sweet potato (that's actually a yam) but the more pale colored potato with that sweet taste is what we're aiming for. This tuber is full vitamins, minerals, fiber and prebiotics (to feed that microbiome of yours).
Legumes - peas, edamame, beans - again a lot of choices in this family of food and as long as you can tolerate them, they are full of fiber, prebiotics, vitamins and minerals so as to keep your microbiome happy and healthy!
One other consideration for the healthiest and "glowiest" skin is to consider going plant based - though most people will panic and think, "but where will I get my protein from??" you CAN get enough protein and the building blocks of protein (amino acids) from a plant based diet AND you will reduce potential inflammatory compounds that can come from/with animal based products. If you feel a panic just thinking about trying to go plant based, start slow and try one meal a day that is sans-animal products and see how you feel!
If you are struggling with skin health and/or find you need some support with how to incorporate these foods on a regular basis, I am always happy to help so please feel free to schedule a visit to see how we can work together to improve your skin health from the inside out!
*DISCLAIMER: This document is not intended to treat or diagnose disease. Before implementing any new treatment protocols be sure to consult with a licensed physician. The author has nothing to disclose in regards to supplements or products mentioned within this document and the author does not receive any monetary or other incentive to mention the recommended supplements or products.