I’ve struggled with poor skin for most of my life. In fact, I can’t remember not dealing with acne and those awful little red bumps on the backs of my arms. Finally, though, after years of wanting to just curl up in bed and never leave the house, I have discovered how the right nutrients improve my skin’s look and feel.
Everything you eat affects your skin – when you nourish your body with whole foods, your internal organs can do their jobs and your skin glows; when you overtax your gut and liver with caffeine, alcohol, sugar and other chemicals, your skin looks dull and aged. A clean diet is one of the fastest ways to clear up your skin!
First and most importantly, drink a lot of water. We are told to drink 8-10 glasses of water per day, or roughly 2 liters. That is not going to be enough if you live in a dry climate, you exercise regularly and you eat anything that’s not 100% organic and natural. I drink between 3.5 and 4 liters of pure, filtered water each day and this is the #1 habit that has vastly improved my skin’s texture and appearance. Water flushes out toxins and keeps your cells hydrated.
Walnuts contain omega-3 healthy fats that your skin cells just love. Healthy fats keep cell membranes intact and make your skin look younger. Your skin loves the vitamin E in raw nuts and seeds. Try eating 1-2 tbsp of walnuts most days of the week.
Fresh, organic blueberries are an amazing superfood! Blueberries not only help improve insulin sensitivity but their rich antioxidant (vitamin C) content eliminates free radicals to help keep your skin looking radiant. I try to eat 1 cup of blueberries each day.
Sweet potato (or anything with high amounts of vitamin A) is one of my go-to foods when my skin starts to look dull and bumpy. Vitamin A is great for the skin – just make sure to pair your vitamin-A rich foods with healthy fat so that your body can absorb the nutrients. One of my favorite breakfasts is sweet potato with half of an avocado chopped up.
Coconut oil is great as both an internal hormonal balancing food and as a topical treatment. I find those arm bumps become less obvious when I use coconut oil in the shower as a ‘lotion’, and my skin always seems to look more youthful after I’ve consistently had 1-2 tbsp of coconut oil each day.
Beets are another one of my favorite skin-clearing foods. Beets promote liver-cleansing and are great when juiced with carrots, apple and ginger. If I ever go overboard on sweets or wine, I like to have a fresh beet juice the next morning to instantly achieve that healthy glow and ward off any new blemishes.
Healthy skin is reliant on your body’s ability to metabolize fat-soluble vitamins. If your liver or gallbladder are sluggish, or if you neglect to consume foods high in vitamin A, D, E or K with a healthy fat, your body won’t be able to utilize the nutrients as efficiently.