Updated: Sep 9, 2018
Before we look at the foods that help maintain radiant, healthy skin, it is important to understand the causes for your skin to become damaged and irritated. It also really important to know, given that your skin is the largest organ in your body, almost everything you do and consume can affect your skin positively or negatively! We all desire glowing, radiant and healthy skin,
but not everyone knows that your skin can say a lot of your over all health! Often you will hear about free radicals and how it causes damaged skin and aged skin cells. free radicals are oxygen molecules that become weak and break causing it to have an uneven number of electrons and therefore become unstable and super reactive. They will start to scavenge for electrons from nearby molecules, creating a chain reaction of unstable, electron-mugging atoms! (kinda like zombie atoms!) This reaction causes the oxidization of molecules, the same way bananas and apples become oxidized and turn brown and wrinkled! So what are some things that encourage free radicals?
1: Sun damage
Ultra violet rays (sunlight) is not entirely bad. It helps promote the production of Vitamin D in the body, which is a vitamin that is not found in many foods, and usually should be taken as a supplement if you are not getting enough. But too much sun exposure can damage your skin especially after being sun burned. Over time, extreme sun exposure reduces collagen in the skin and therefore lose it starts to lose its elasticity. When your skin loses elasticity, it becomes more susceptible to wrinkles. This is one of the biggest inhibitors of free radical production. Always be sure to keep your skin protected even if your skin doesn’t burn as often as others, you may not see the damage being done to your skin, but it definitely is there!
Cigarette smoke is another huge inhibitor for free radicals as it contains its own free radical chemicals that causes reactive oxygen species in the body (oxidation) that causes your skin to deteriorate at a faster than normal rate. Smoke also contains tar that can block your blood vessels that transport nutrients through your body and out to your skin!
Being exposed by chemical-based products, like laundry detergents, cleaning detergents that have extremely harmful chemicals can react on your skin.
We can’t avoid it if its just sitting in the air we breathe everyday! One of the main causes of free radical damage and just overall dysfunction in our bodies is toxication and our bodies and skin reacting to the toxins that get absorbed into our bodies everyday when we least expect it!
Are there foods that combat these free radicals? Foods that are high in antioxidant vitamins like Vitamin C and E will help with the reduction of free radicals, by offering their electrons to the unstable atoms.
1:Seeds and nuts
Seeds and Nuts have some of the highest sources of Vitamin E, which is an antioxidant that stops the oxidization of cells by helping to stabilize “zombie" atoms by donating an electron of its own! Vitamin E doesn’t become reactive because its always stable! Things like Pumpkin Seeds, sunflower seeds, Almonds, Pistachios and hazelnut are super rich in Vitamin E! Also, vitamin E is a fat soluble antioxidant, so it needs fats in order to be fully utilized in the body, and nuts and seeds are packed with healthy fats!
2: Lemon and Water
Lemons are super rich in Vitamin C, which is another type of antioxidant that help reduce free radicals. Lemons also aids in production of collagen in the skin so that your skin can keep its elasticity and fullness! Vitamin C is a water soluble Antioxidant vitamin, so it is fully absorbed and utilized through the body’s liquids and hydrogen, so having vitamin C foods with plenty of water helps the vitamins and antioxidants to work better in your body Other benefits to lemon water and skincare:
Promotes proper digestion. another reason our skin can become damage is nutrients are not properly being absorbed into our bodies during digestion. There are a lot of factors to poor digestion, most of them dietary related! Eating too much processed foods, too much dairy, alcohol, stress and inactivity. Lemon juice is atomically similar to digestive fluids in stomach so makes body produce more bile liquid that help break down food and move smoothly through your intestines and help skin aiding nutrients to be absorbed into your body!
Minerals in Lemon help to alkalize the body and balance its PH. due to a lot of things we consume everyday, our bodies tend to be a little too acidic, and when our body’s ph balance is thrown off, our skin can start to become really irritated and
*Note* It is very important to drink water when you wake up since digestion is slowed down when you’re asleep, so water can help move things along in the morning. Squeeze juice of half a lemon into your water to get all that skin revitalizing vitamin C! Lemon is also a natural antiseptic so it can be applied directly to cuts and infected skin (although it may burn) to help clean the wound and heal it faster! Lemon is also used in a lot of body care products such as deodorants as it is also antibacterial!
Turmeric is arguably one of the most powerful spice in the world due to all the health and healing benefits it contains! More and more people have been setting aside their fear of temporary yellow-dyed skin in exchange for the skin revitalizing effects! Turmeric is an antiseptic and antibacterial so can be applied directly to the skin in a paste form to help fight cuts, abrasions acne and blemishes Other Skin Benefits to Turmeric:
turmeric is also an anti-inflammatory, which is one of the leading cause for most skin conditions and disease such as eczema, itch skin rash, psoriasis, redness, swollen painful skin bumps amongst many many more. Although a lot of beauty tips suggest applying turmeric topically, it is also beneficial to skin care to consume it as all the skin benefiting nutrients and anti-inflammatory agents can be absorbed through the body. Remember that healthy skin starts with internal wellness!
Turmeric can be used in smoothies, juices and teas, and added into your favourite dishes for flavour. 4: Berries! Wild Blueberries, Cranberries are known to have the highest Antioxidants! In addition to its antioxidant properties, it also contains something called ellagic acid that help attack and reduce reactive cancer cells. Ellagic acid is naturally produced in these berries in order to protect themselves from infections and micro species that do harm, which has the same affects when we consume them
5: Omega Fatty Acid rich foods
Another reason we can get dry itchy skin is when we are deficient in Essential fatty acids and Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids, which help keep the skin moisturized as well as it affects the body’s inflammation system in which inflammation is one of the causes to skin abnormality. Oily fish like Salmon are a great source of these fatty acids, but make sure that you are eating wild salmon as opposed to farmed and commercial salmon as the nutrients will be better quality more rich and it is more environmentally safe. However, wild salmon can be hard to find in this day in age, and because of this it is not recommended to get all your fatty acids from fish if you are then sacrificing the quality of the fish. You can get Omega 3, 6 and essential fatty acids easily from plant based foods such as hemp seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, dark leafy greens, almonds or walnuts!
When thinking about maintaining beautiful, healthy skin, it is important to know that the secrets to radiant skin all lie on what you feed your body with. It is true what they say, beauty is what is on the inside!