Food and nutrients can either have a wonderful effect on your skin, on your hair, your eyes and your nails, or they can take away from these features. So, it’s extremely important that you understand that what you eat becomes part of you.
For example, the protein foods you eat create the cells of your immune system, which is what helps defend you from infection and helps prevent cancer; they create the neurotransmitters in your brain which influence your mood and they help grow the muscles that allow us to carry our luggage or our groceries. As you can see, what you eat actually becomes part of you.
Your liver, your sex hormone balance and your thyroid function also have a huge impact on your skin, your hair, your eyes and your nails. For example, someone who’s skin is congested along their jawline, or that’s the problem area where they notice breakouts sometimes, their sex hormone balance and their liver function is the area to look into to help sort out the breakouts.
To give you another example, if someone’s skin is prematurely ageing and it tends to be very dry no matter what they do, it’s important to look at the essential fats in the person’s diet as well as their thyroid function. I explore all of these concepts in detail in my book, Rushing Women’s Syndrome, if you‘d like to read more about it.
The first step you should take, however, is to eat real food. You want to massively increase the nutrient density of your diet and omit foods that can have a negative impact on skin. You also need to enhance those detox processes naturally by making sure the liver is able to excrete substances effectively, rather than recycling them.
When it comes to the old adage, you are what you eat, no statement is truer when it comes to our skin, hair and nails. And when it comes to real food, they are all super foods. Each food has its own unique combination of nutritional benefits to offer and help you get your glow on. Here is a list to highlight some of the beauty superstars.
Contain vitamin E, copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium, and calcium, all of which are essential to skin oxygenation and function.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Helps stimulate digestion, critical to all beauty processes. It may also be a helpful natural remedy for dandruff, because the acids in the vinegar can help stop the fungus-causing chemical imbalances in the skin of the scalp.
A good source of biotin and monounsaturated fats, avocados help to prevent dry skin and brittle hair and nails; when applied topically, they help to hydrate dry skin. For me, they are a super special beauty food.
Beetroot contains nitrates, which produce a gas called nitric oxide in the blood, which widens blood vessels and lowers blood pressure; it is also important for blood flow to skin.
One of the richest sources of antioxidants, these beautiful and delicious berries can help counteract premature aging.
These are a good source of the antioxidant selenium, which helps increase the number of infection-fighting white blood cells in the body, as well as protect against cellular damage. For skin care, selenium’s antioxidant properties regenerate vitamins E and C, thereby decreasing the aging of skin. A truly amazing nut!
Broccoli and Cauliflower
Vegetables worthy of their superstar accolades, they are potent sources of antioxidants, as well as many vitamins and minerals, which help aid cellular repair. Vegetables in the Brassica family contain indoles, substances that help the liver detoxify hormones, which can help with sex hormone balance, which is critical for clear skin.
Coconuts are great for your skin and body, inside and out. Containing vitamins A and C, and natural proteins, coconuts also contain medium-chain triglycerides, which are a wonderful fuel for the body, and also possess antibacterial properties. Lauric acid, for example, has been scientifically shown to have a stronger action against the bacteria often involved with acne than benzoyl peroxide, an ingredient in many medicated skin washes and some prescription acne medications. Topically, coconut oil is a great way to moisturize your skin naturally.
Eggs are a complete source of protein. They contain biotin, an essential vitamin that protects against dry skin, and is also helpful for nail and hair health. Eggs also contain iron, which is vital for oxygenation of the entire body, including the skin.
Fresh Oily Fish
This is a wonderful source of omega-3 fats, which dampen down inflammation in the body and also help keep skin moisturised. Fresh salmon also contains astaxanthin, a carotenoid that improves skin elasticity.
This wonderful skin-friendly beverage is packed full of antioxidants that are protective against cellular damage throughout the body, including the aging process of the skin.
Kale contains the beauty vitamins A, C, and E, which have potent anti-aging properties and help promote healthy new cell growth. It is also loaded with minerals, such as magnesium and calcium, which healthy skin needs; these minerals are also critical to our ability to relax and are highly alkaline.
Kiwifruit is a rich source of vitamin C and antioxidants, which help keep skin firm and slow down the formation of wrinkles, and are also great for healthy teeth and bones. The antioxidants in kiwifruit have also been shown to help protect against cancer and heart disease.
Rich in vitamin C, lemons are great for the skin and also stimulate digestion — starting your day with lemon in warm water is a wonderful way to kick-start your digestion. The goodies in lemons are crucial for all aspects of beauty, obtaining the maximum nutrition from your diet and helping to supply your skin, hair and nails with nutrients.
High-quality olive oil is a good source of monounsaturated fats, which offer protective benefits for heart health. It contains fatty acids that help keep skin soft and supple, and used in hair treatments, skin care, and lip balms, it helps restore shine and vitality.
Its flavonoids, especially luteolin, have been shown to function as antioxidants that combine with highly reactive oxygen-containing molecules and help prevent oxygen-based damage to cells. Parsley has anti-inflammatory properties, is highly alkaline, and contains vitamin C and iron, important for the oxygenation of every tissue in your body. One of my absolute favourite foods.
This leafy green vegetable is rich in a wide range of nutrients and antioxidants. It is loaded with lutein, which keeps your vision and your eyes healthy and sparkling.
Sunflower seeds are a good source of vitamin E, a protective antioxidant that helps skin glow. They also contain zinc, which keeps your skin, hair, and eyes healthy, and is critical for wound healing and scar prevention.
Walnuts are a rich source of omega-3 fats, which help put shine in your hair and aid in making skin smooth and soft.
|If you observe that your skin, hair and nails are not in the shape you would like them to be, rather than (or perhaps as well as!) applying creams, pills and potions, consider that your body may simply be trying to draw your attention to an area of your health, that, if you altered, may make an enormous difference to your wellbeing.
Dr Libby’s book Beauty From The Inside Out, expertly explains exactly what your body needs to create lovely nails, lustrous hair, sparkling eyes, and clear, luminous skin. She also shares what is necessary to eliminate beauty bumps in the road such as dark circles under the eyes, flakey nails, eczema, pimples and hair that’s falling out, to name a few. Dr Libby deciphers how the food you eat, the nutrients you ingest, hydration, posture, movement, skin care, and your beliefs and emotions all contribute to your own personal sparkle.
This article was supplied by Dr Libby Weaver.
Dr Libby and her team offer consultations.
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