Food is of course our fuel for life energy and good health, and eating a correct balance of foods will also feed our skin all the vital nutrients through internal digestion to keep it looking young, healthy and glowing. There are specific types of foods that help us achieve naturally beautiful skin and are crucial in keeping the signs of aging at bay, but in equal measure there are unhealthy behavioural habits that will be detrimental to healthy skin. Sleep for example, is vital. Seven hours of ‘beauty sleep’ is the least we need to prevent looking tired which automatically ages us. Alcohol, drugs, smoking and excessive sunbathing are all really harmful for the skin. However, the crux of the matter as it relates to consistently beautiful skin is how well you are looking after your endocrine system.
Balanced hormones and beautiful glowing skin belong in the same sentence. Hormones control our mood, our energy levels, our digestive system and in turn how our skin looks. If we don’t include the correct nutrients in our diet our body cannot produce the hormones correctly, and moreover, maintain hormone balance. To put it succinctly whatever we eat determines hormone balance – or not, causing unpredictable imbalances. We need a balance of all three macronutrients, carbs, protein and fat. Sadly, not everyone likes the sound of that because fat (the most crucial element for hormone balance) has for the past two decades been the enemy and the messages were to eat fat-free food! But in reality, healthy fats are the basis for correct hormone function.
For a fast fix of great hormonal balance, we need to make sure we are eating healthy fats, antioxidant-rich vegetables, and healing herbs.
- Dark green vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, collard greens, kale, greens, red cabbage, brussels sprouts which all contain the natural compound sulforaphane and indole-3 carbinol, which enables the liver to metabolise oestrogen which increases collagen needed for firm and taut skin.
- Brightly coloured vegetables such as yellow and red peppers, tomatoes, carrots, onions.
- Starch vegetables such as sweet potatoes, beetroots, and butternut squash.
- Plant based protein, like beans, seeds, quinoa, lentils,
- Animal protein such as organic free-range chicken, turkey and organic free-range eggs.
- Wild caught fish. This is where the omega-3 fatty acids are a core building block.
- Sardines and mackerel (essential fatty acids)
Healthy Fats: (essential fatty acids).
- Coconut oil because it contains lauric acid, which is excellent for the skin and plays a big part in hormonal production. Plus, it kills off bad bacteria in the body.
- Avocados are rich in healthy fats helping the body absorb the right nutrients. Full of fibre, potassium, magnesium, vitamin E, the B vitamins, and folic acid which are all responsible for hormonal balance.
- Butter (yes, butter!), provides a rich source of fat-soluble vitamins, A, D, E and K2. The building blocks for hormonal production. Again, these nutrients fight against bad bacteria in the body.
- Nuts and seeds, olive oil, flax seed oil, linseed, are all necessary foods for hormonal balance and preventing dry skin.
- Egg Yolks – rich in various vitamins such as, A, D, E, B2, B6, B9, Iron, calcium, phosphorus, potassium and choline which all contribute to healthy reproduction in a female body. Egg yolks contain choline and iodine which make for healthy thyroid hormones. One per day is a good number.
Healing herbs: antioxidants and anti-inflammatory.
- Garlic, Ginger, Turmeric, Cayenne pepper, Cumin, and Cinnamon are right up there as a necessity for healing the body of bad bacteria and reducing inflammation.
Finally, it goes without saying that drinking plenty of water is absolutely fundamental to rehydrate our skin. Teas, coffee and juices do not count in the recommended eight glasses a day. Going forward, try to make a swap of your regular diet to most of the above as this will not only give you hormone balance and glowing skin, but it will contribute to you having overall great health. Good Luck!
Yvonne R Wake