Have you ever wondered if what you're eating is affecting your skin? As a teenager I was told to stop eating chocolate whenever I had a little pimple. As I got older and more health conscious I realized that good skin for me was a side effect of eating well. Breakouts, dullness, and dryness most of the time can be helped - if not cured - by what you are putting in your body rather than what you apply to it. I know for me, I've had the best skin when I eat less sugar and drink lots of water. Doing a 5-7 day cleanse every few months has also done wonders for my complexion. It may not be for everyone and I'm definitely not saying that altering your diet will cure all your skin woes, but if it can help then hey why not try?!? If nothing else you will feel healthier which in itself boosts confidence.
My daily food routine is pretty simple however it does take planning otherwise it's easy to fall into bad eating habits. My skin seems to do ok with dairy, but I know many who react. I'd suggest doing a cleanse to see what works best for your skin. Any naturopathic doctor can advise you on how to do this as well as do food allergy tests.
Every morning I wake up and have a mug of hot water with half a lemon squeezed into it. I also add a pinch of tumeric. Tumeric is incredibly healing when taken both internally or applied topically. Lemons help detoxify and are rich in vitamin C, which is so good for anti-aging. After that I crack open a fresh coconut, drink the water, and if I'm lucky the coconut has lots of white flesh which I dig into and devour as well. I currently live in Dubai where coconuts are readily available, but I know I've found them in the states at the asian grocers. I prefer the taste of fresh to the carton stuff, but that's always an option too. Coconut water keeps my skin hydrated from the inside out. For breakfast I alternate between oatmeal, toast, and green smoothies. Oatmeal I make with a little whole milk and then sprinkle with dried goji berries and crushed almonds. Nuts and berries are both rich in antioxidants which nourish and protect the skin. A sliced avocado on whole grain toast sprinkled with rock salt and a little black pepper also makes a nice breakfast. Avocados are so good for your skin, and you can smear a bit directly onto your face for a quick little hydrating mask while you eat! Green smoothies are also a nice on the go breakfast option. I soak chia seeds the night before if I'm going to make a smoothie.
My lunches are usually home made indian recipes that I've grown up with. Lentils with brown rice, quinoa "kichdi" (a spiced rice dish), or leftovers from dinner the night before. I always finish lunch with a bowl of yogurt. We mostly make yogurt into "raita" which is a mixture of either a fruit or veggie, and some herbs and spices. I find this really settles my gut and keeps everything moving along, which is excellent for glowing skin!
Dinner is a variety of Indian, Mexican, Italian, Asian, just about anything my husband and I want to try out. We always use fresh ingredients, everything from the tomatoes to the garlic is fresh. We cook in olive or grapeseed oil or grass fed ghee. We use real butter and read labels. No high fructose corn syrup at our place. I really do believe making the right food choices helps you to feel better on the inside and that's what shows on the outside. I love to snack so I keep our pantry stocked with skin friendly treats. A handful of almonds is a go to for me as well as sunflower seeds (rich in vitamin E), and fresh fruit. Homemade hummus is a perfect dip. Both garbanzo beans and olive oil are excellent for clear skin. For dessert we do indulge, but we found a great tofu chocolate mousse recipe that is delicious and skin friendly! Stay tuned for the next post where I'll share recipes of some of the foods mentioned in this post and some DIY face masks!
Article by Haseena Samtani.