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HOW TO HAVE HEALTHY SKIN FROM WITHIN

Our skin is the largest organ in our body and it’s intimately connected with so many underlying processes and systems that can affect the appearance and function of our skin.

From our gut health, our hormonal balance and liver detoxification right through to our thoughts and feelings …our youthful outer glow is really a reflection of our inner health and happiness.

If we’re eating sugar-laden processed foods, if our blood sugar levels or hormones are out of whack, or if we’re lacking in certain nutrients …it shows up in the form of skin issues and premature aging.

We get dark circles under our eyes, our skin can be dry and sometimes flaky, we might get acne breakouts, frequent rashes, rosacea and fine lines that seem to appear overnight.

So can we eat our way back to glowing skin?

Women’s health magazines often talk about anti-aging super foods containing antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and omega 3’s for healthy glowing skin.

Foods like green smoothies, Atlantic salmon and blueberries …and don’t get me wrong, these foods are all great for your skin.

But if a healthy, youthful glow depends on the health of the internal organs, hormones and internal processes that support healthy looking skin …then we need to go deeper than skin deep and look at the superfoods that support these internal factors.

There are 5 main internal factors in the body that can impact our skin

These internal factors include organs, systems or processes and they are:

  • Gut and Digestion
  • Liver Detoxification
  • Hormones (stress hormones, blod sugar hormones and sex hormones)
  • Heart & Mind
  • Blood Sugar Balance

#1. Gut & Digestion

“A healthy glow begins in the gut”

Having healthy, glowing skin is intimately connected to our gut health and good digestion. The food we eat, our personal gut microbiome, our hormonal responses and liver function are all important factors.

Our gut absorbs food and nutrients. If it’s damaged we don’t absorb nutrients well and we become deficient in the nutrients that are critical for healthy hair, skin and nails.

Like the skin, a damaged or “leaky” gut is one of the major ways that inflammatory substances can enter the body. With 60-80% of the immune system located in the gut, inflammatory foods, chemicals or undigested food particles that leak through can stimulate an immune response and inflammation in the gut. This can activate immune cells in the skin, leading to inflamed skin and premature aging.

Supporting good gut health and digestion will help to calm inflammation in the body and the skin.

The gut is also a route of elimination from the body, flushing out toxins, hormones and chemicals that have been detoxified by the liver. If we’re constipated, these hormones and chemicals can be reabsorbed into our bodies and create havoc.

What you can do:

  • Choose to eat whole foods that are anti-inflammatory and gut friendly
  • Go for loads of colourful veggies, leafy greens, starchy roots and tubers and veggies high in sulphur
  • Go for high quality proteins (grass-fed meat, wild caught fish and free range chicken and eggs) and natural fats like grass fed ghee, tallow, avocado, and coconut
  • Steer away from highly processed foods that contain wheat and sugar
  • Consider fermented foods and beverages, like sauerkraut and kombucha
  • Keep your bowels regular, see Lynda Griparic’s fantastic posts for more info on constipation
  • Manage stress by taking time out for yourself, see our self care video series

 

#2. LIVER DETOXIFICATION


The liver is our primary organ of detoxification.

It has the job of filtering, processing and breaking down toxins, food chemicals and hormones to prevent them from building up in the body.

The most common exits for chemicals and toxins are through your bladder, colon, lungs and your skin.

If the liver becomes overloaded or if we’re constipated, these chemicals can build up and be pushed through to the skin to be cleared out of the body. This can cause inflamed skin and breakouts.

What you can do:

 

#3. HORMONES


Stress hormones, adrenalin and cortisol, both have an impact on skin.

Excess adrenalin and cortisol over time encourage the breakdown of collagen leading to premature aging and wrinkles.

The blood sugar regulating hormone insulin is produced in situations of stress and excess blood sugar to help control fluctuating blood sugar levels. Fluctuating blood sugar levels can create sugar cravings and deplete the body of nutrients needed for healthy hair skin and nails. Excess blood sugar damages collagen and leads to premature aging.

The sex hormones, testosterone, estrogen and progesterone can all have an impact on skin. Excess testosterone and cortisol can drive oil production leading to oily skin and acne breakouts.

Estrogen can help stimulate normal oil and melanin production as well as collagen formation. When estrogen levels drop around menopause women often notice dry, itchy skin and the appearance of pigmentation or age spots. Alternatively, some women can notice oilier skin and adult acne because menopause changes the ratio of testosterone and estrogen in the body.

What you can do:

  • Steer away from highly processed foods that contain wheat and sugar
  • Increase your intake of natural fats like grass fed ghee, tallow, avocado, and coconut
  • Manage stress by taking time out for yourself, see our self care video series
  • See a trusted health practitioner to help you navigate your way through any hormonal imbalances 

 

#4. HEART & MIND


Our thoughts and feelings can be a massive source of stress for us.

We spend a lot of our day winding ourselves up in our heads, judging ourselves and other people, telling ourselves stories, dwelling on the past or worrying about the future … all of which all adds to how “stressed” we might feel about certain situations, or just in general.

Stress stimulates production of stress hormones, adrenalin and cortisol production, which encourages the breakdown of collagen, leading to fine lines and wrinkles.

These stress hormones can also disrupt blood sugar balance and deplete vitamin C levels – increasing our skin’s susceptibility to oxidative damage and premature aging.

Stress can affect our digestion by suppressing stomach acid, weakening the gut lining, causing gut damage and increased inflammation. This leads to inflammation in the whole body and inflamed skin.

What you can do:

  • Steer away from highly processed foods that contain wheat and sugar
  • Increase your intake of natural fats like grass fed ghee, tallow, avocado, and coconut
  • Mineral Bath soaks can be helpful for relaxing the mind and body, see our Replenishing Mineral Bath Salts 
  • Aim for 7-9 hours good quality sleep in a pitch black room
  • Take up some mindfulness practices that resonate with you. Go for a mindful walk, take a mindful pause, spend time in nature, play, make time to do the things you love doing, spend time with family and friends 
  • Make time for some form of movement, exercise or physical activity. Try yoga, dance, walking, or team sports
  • Manage stress by taking time out for yourself, see our self care video series 

 

#5. BLOOD SUGAR BALANCE


Eating lots of processed foods forces your body to use it’s own stores of B vitamins, zinc, magnesium and chromium to process these foods for energy. This then depletes the body of vital nutrients needed for healthy hair, skin and nails.

Sugar-laden processed foods also put you on the blood sugar roller coaster. Fluctuating blood sugar levels and depleted nutrient stores creates a stress response which can drive inflammation in the body.

Excess sugar in the blood stream promotes dry skin and can bind to collagen proteins in skin, damaging them and causing the formation of fine lines and wrinkles. It can also drive inflammation in the body, leading to inflamed skin and skin issues.

What you can do:

  • Steer away from highly processed foods that contain wheat and sugar
  • Choose to eat whole foods that are lower carb and anti-inflammatory
  • Increase your intake of natural fats like grass fed ghee, tallow, avocado, and coconut
  • Aim for 7-9 hours good quality sleep in a pitch black room

 

 

Take Home Message

There are 5 internal factors that can affect healthy skin:
Gut health and good digestion
Liver detoxification
Hormonal balance
a Happy heart and mind &
Blood sugar balance

So if we’re talking about anti-ageing super foods, we should include foods that help support one or more of these 5 internal factors

…as well as those that are anti-inflammatory or rich in anti-oxidants 

NEXT STEP:

We’ve compiled a list of our top 10 anti-ageing super foods for a healthy glow and put them in a free eBook along with selected recipes from Pete Evans.

Download:
“10 Surprising Super Foods for Healthy Skin – with Recipes by Pete Evans”

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE eBOOK

10 Surprising Super Foods for Healthy Skin
with recipes by Pete Evans

Includes a run down on the 2 Processes that speed up visible signs of aging, the 5 internal processes that can impact skin health, the beauty benefits of my top 10 super foods, their key nutrients and suggestions for preparing them …as well as a specially selected recipe by Pete Evans for each of the 10 Super Foods

Wishing you silky smooth skin,

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