Our skin is a powerful indicator of what is going on inside, particularly the liver, blood and colon. It is, in fact, our largest detoxifying organ. What we feed ourselves gets distributed through our bodies, affecting each and every cell, our organs and their functionality. If what we eat can make us go to the bathroom (or not), keep us trim (or not), boost our energy (or not), you can bet that it also affects every one of our other bodily processes, and skin repair is one of them!
Years of consuming artificial ingredients, preservatives, additives, hormones and toxins eventually take their toll, and often the first thing to “go” is our skin’s “glow” and our hair’s “shine” because frankly, the body has more important functions to focus on maintaining. However, by helping make the load the body has to bear easier, it has capacity to work on protecting us from the visible signs of ageing, unburdened.
Here are six foods your skin is craving.
High antioxidant levels, vibrant red capsicums help to keep your skin healthy and supple. They are a wonderful source of both vitamin C and the mineral silicon, assisting the strengthening and regeneration of collagen, the main structural protein in connective tissue. Healthy collagen production keeps the skin firm and reduces oxidative damage! Skin tip: munch on capsicum throughout your day as you would celery or carrot sticks, enjoy it with dip for extra satiety.
It’s high levels of beta-carotene convert to vitamin A in the body, meaning it provides us with both vitamins A and C, the antioxidants that fight free radicals from damaging our cell tissue, causing premature ageing. Skin tip: choose sweet potatoes that have the deepest orange colour, these contain the most carotene!
Containing the skin-loving combo of vitamins A, C and E, cabbage is highest in some of the most powerful antioxidants found in cruciferous vegetables. Interestingly, it actually contains more vitamin C than oranges! By now we know that vitamin C is critical when looking to minimise wrinkles, fight inflammation and heal damaged tissue. Its impressive nutrient content makes it a potent detoxifying food, slowing the ageing process.
Another good source of vitamin C, lemons also support the hard-working liver, our main detoxifying organ. They strengthen liver enzymes and promote the secretion of bile, which in turn aids digestion. A detoxification agent, blood purifier and digestive aid, they are in fact alkalising once within the body (despite their acidic taste).
Skin tip: Consume the juice of ½ lemon with a cup of warm water first thing daily to cleanse the body and prepare metabolism, and use lemon throughout your day in salad dressings, stir-fries and smoothies.
The monounsaturated fats in almonds help retain moisture within the skin, softening and protecting it. These beautifying nuts are rich in vitamin E, the primary antioxidant in human epidermal tissue. Vitamin E works to protect the skin from the damaging effects of ultraviolet rays, whilst also nourishing the skin from within to prevent dryness.
Loaded with probiotics and enzymes, fermented vegetables work on ensuring the gut is a friendly environment for good bacteria to thrive! This helps with digestion and the absorption of all these skin-loving nutrients. Probiotics also work to keep your system free from nasty pathogenic bacteria that cause digestive upset, poor immunity and inflammation, which may lead to skin irritation, acne or dull, unclear skin.
Skin tip: Don’t be afraid of it, just spoon a few tablespoons on top of a salad, crackers or alongside a meal!