Your skin, the largest organ in your body, is both a barrier to the outside world, but also map displaying the health that lies underneath. Everyone wants healthy, vibrant skin free of blemishes, wrinkles, and dull patches… and while perfect skin may be unattainable, there is actually a lot you can do to improve the current state of your skin. There are three main nutrients to capitalize on if healthy, glowing skin is the goal. It’s as simple as hydration, antioxidants, and the ultimate healthy skin building block, collagen!
Firstly, hydration is key!
Many models, celebrities, and fitness personalities swear by staying hydrated. While most celebrity advice is unfounded and can be based on fads, this advice is actually spot on! To avoid dull, dry, lifeless skin, try increasing your water! Adequate hydration helps plump your skin cells to look their best (think of a raisin vs a juicy grape). Getting enough water also helps flush unwanted chemicals and byproducts out of your system, like an all-natural “detox”. How much water is enough? Well this actually is completely variable depending on your body size, how much you exercise, and what climate you live in! The best way to monitor your fluid input is to monitor your output! That’s right, the color of your urine is the best guide to your hydration level. Aim for a very pale yellow, like very-watered down lemonade.
Next up, antioxidants!
Because your skin is a barrier to the outside world, our bodies actually store many antioxidants right under the outermost layer of our skin! These antioxidants exist to fight off free radicals that are naturally created from ageing (sorry, can’t avoid them!) and also those that are brought on by exposure to the sun’s harmful rays. Free radicals can break down the structure of your skin resulting in sagging and wrinkles. If youthful and tight skin is the goal, pack antioxidant-rich foods into all snacks and meals! Include colorful berries, greens, root vegetables like beets and sweet potatoes, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and Brussels’s sprouts and herbs and spices with powerful antioxidant properties to give your skin a free-radical fighting boost!
Last but not least, eat plenty of collagen and vitamin C which work together to form the matrix of healthy skin. Collagen is a protein found in all of the body’s tissues that provides that firm, tight appearance of skin while enabling elasticity. Collagen is constantly being torn down and rebuilt by the body. A healthy diet can help your body form new, strong collagen with great structural integrity, especially when you capitalize on vitamin C. You can get collagen in a powdered supplemental form or simply eat collagen-rich foods such as bone broth, eggs, fish, and meat. Vitamin C is found in many fresh fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, greens, citrus fruits, strawberries and more!
What to avoid
Along with this list of healthful nutrients to include, is a list of things you should avoid for proper skin health. High sugar diets can increase the rate at which your skin integrity degrades as well as smoking, sunlight exposure, and certain environmental toxins and pollutants. While avoiding pollutants and sunlight might be hard, controlling what you’re putting in your body is easy! When you make sure your diet is clean, full of healthy fruits and vegetables, collagen and water, your skin will be glowing in no time!
Here are some homemade remedies and healthy recipes to assist you in achieving and maintaining glowing skin:
Ultimate Skin Smoothie
This recipe combines all of the tactics for great skin; hydration, vitamin C, collagen, and plenty of powerful antioxidants!
Total Prep Time: 10 minutes
- 1 cup frozen mixed berries
- ½ really ripe banana
- 1 scoop collagen protein powder
- 1-2 cups water, depending on desired thickness
1. Simply place all ingredients in a high powered blender, blend on high for 1 minute.
2. Enjoy immediately for top-notch skin!
Sesame Noodle Bowl
This recipe is great for your skin because it uses raw vegetables so the vitamin C content is still really high! It’s also rich in protein and antioxidants found in the colorful vegetables and fresh ginger!
Total Prep Time: 15 minutes
- 2 bricks of dried brown rice ramen noodles
- 4 oz raw chicken, chopped into bite sized peices
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
- 2 tsp rice vinegar
- ½ cup bell pepper, sliced thin
- ½ cup cucumber, sliced thin
- ½ ripe avocado, sliced
- 2 tsp black sesame seeds
1. Cook the rice noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
2. Meanwhile heat a medium pan over high heat and add the chicken and garlic. Saute for 1-2 minutes.
3. Next add the soy sauce, maple syrup, ginger, vinegar and let the chicken cook in it for 5-6 minutes.
4. Once the sauce has reduced to nearly half the volume and the chicken has cooked through, add to the noodles.
5. Top with raw vegetables and sesame seeds. Enjoy warm!