Before we can really change our ways, we have to open our minds to the idea of healing with food.
One dogma I want to break down here is the idea of hereditary destiny. What are typically considered “hereditary” skin disorders such as eczema, psoriasis and cellulite are also lifestyle-inflicted that can be stopped in the same way we can stop acne. The idea of “shutting off” genetic weakness is a study now referred to as Epigenetics — read “The Genie in Your Genes” if you’re interested in learning more! In short, through lifestyle changes involving thoughts, movement, sleep and diet, we can keep our genetic weaknesses dormant.
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Here are a few of the most powerful foods and lifestyle tips for deactivating our skin problems and invigorating our youth.
Foods For Perfect Skin
Though most of us have been convinced by the media to be consumers, rather than learn to grow, cook and eat nourishing real food, we can take our power back. One of the simplest ways to do so is choosing what we put in our mouths and take charge of our health.
In order to do so, we have to get over our own laziness and stop living for comfort – comfortable houses, comfortable jobs and comfort foods. All these provide us only with a false sense of security. Our society has become based on instant gratification at the cost of our health, inner fulfillment and freedom.
If we want to live to be beautiful for a lifetime, we have to relearn the basics: eating real food. However, most of us want our food prepackaged and ready to eat in an instant. It’s surprising how many people are unhealthy and suffer from poor skin because they simply don’t know how to cook! We don’t even know how to use nature’s food – fruits, vegetables, animal products and so on – nature’s beauty food.
Hopefully with the help of this article, your days of consumerism dependency can come to an end. Though this article is specific to foods for skin, you’ll see that your whole life will begin to change. Each one of the foods listed below could have a book written about them (and some do). For the sake of brevity I will share just a few of the most powerful beauty foods and their purposes.
1. Bitter Greens
Foods such as arugula, dandelion, and nettle are common liver cleansers. The “bitter” taste is a very special taste, as it stimulates the vagus nerve, which tells the liver to produce new fresh bile. This is a great help for the liver to cleanse out toxic bile and harmful bacteria. When the liver is clean, the skin glows. These foods also stimulate digestion, which is useful as preventative measures. When we do not digest food well it leads to bacterial imbalances, yeast infections, constipation and toxicity, which eventually shows on the skin. Stinging nettle is a common weed you can find for free. It’s one of the highest sources of silicon, which is greatly needed for collagen production. Without enough silica, skin sags and wrinkles. Silica needs strong stomach acid to break down. Luckily this common weed packs enough bitterness to stimulate the secretion of HCL (stomach acid) to help break down the silica. Nature has everything figured out!
2. Young Grasses
Alfalfa are grasses that happen to be some of the greatest sources of chlorophyll. Referred to as liquid sunshine, chlorophyll cleanses the blood and detoxifies the liver too. These young grasses are incredible detoxifiers and also contain tons of amino acids – building blocks for skin tissues. You can get these grasses fresh and they are best juiced as all the nutrients are locked away in the cellulose, which humans cannot digest. You can also find them in raw, powdered form. My favorite is Vitality SuperGreens by Body Ecology. This greens powder is fermented, which unlocks the nutrients and makes them easier to digest. It also has added nutrients, probiotics and glutamine, all which are fantastic for regenerating the skin.
Schisandra, ginger, turmeric, and burdock are all very potent herbs that have endless skin-supporting properties. One of the main functions of these medicinal plants is that they cleanse the liver. The skin is the “outer liver.” If you want great skin, keep your liver clean and these herbs do just that. Turmeric, for example, is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory close to that of cortisone. That’s right, toss your acne medications and start juicing this yellow herb instead! It rejuvenates skin tissues, fights acne and boils, and adds color and lusciousness to the skin. Not to mention,turmeric is a great ingredient for savory soups and sweet drinks. Ginger has many of the same properties. Burdock is especially great for cleaning the blood, which is very important for clear skin and preventing more serious skin ailments.
If you want more insight on the power of herbs, check out this post we did on 8 herbs that detox your body naturally. You’ll be surprised at how inexpensive and easy to find many of these natural cleansers are.
4. Sea Vegetables
If you aren’t consuming sea veggies daily then you’re missing out on some major health and beauty resources! I’m working on a full article about them, so keep an out eye on PaleoHacks for more on these lovely foods. The reason sea vegetables (seaweed) are so nourishing for the skin is because of their mineral content. They are some of the most mineral-dense foods left on the planet. Because they come from the ocean, they have many more mineral deposits than most of our overly farmed soils. The mineral makeup in seaweed is identical to that of our own blood. They are higher in calcium than dairy – especially the seaweed Alaria. Arame is especially high in iodine, which is crucial for over a million different functions in the body. One benefit of iodine is the impact it has on our endocrine system. It nourishes the adrenals and thyroid; two very important glands that play a role in skin health. When these two glands are healthy they give us soft, wrinkle free skin that glows. Not to mention these foods are anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and anti-fungal, all which keep our skin safe from nasty bacterial, fungus and yeast infections.
5. Raw Fats
Egg yolks and avocado are two sources of raw fat that are especially great for skin. That’s because they are rich in sulfur, folate and B vitamins – basically all the most important stuff for good skin. Raw fat is very detoxifying. Unlike rancid, overly cooked fats, these absorb toxins in the body and, like lubricant, remove them from the digestive tract. They also help deliver the good stuff (vitamins, minerals and other nutrients) to the cells. Forget an apple a day – though green apples are great skin foods too – I say an avocado a day keeps the doctor away.
6. Probiotic Foods
If you want to learn all about probiotic foods, check out The Definite Guide to Fermented Foods. In short, probiotic foods are some of the most powerful foods for changing our health and body. They are especially great for skin health. Probiotics are the protectors of our immunity; they fight off bad bugs and keep our bodies clean. They are also little alchemists. They can take silica and turn it into other minerals we might be deficient in, which is fantastic, because it’s hard to get minerals these days and they are very necessary for beautiful skin. Electrolytes are especially important for pore-less skin. One of my favorite probiotic foods for glowing skin is coconut kefir. It’s loaded with electrolytes and reduces pores overnight. I advise probiotic foods verses store-bought pills or powders. Probiotics are living organisms and who knows what happens to them in those capsules all that time. Making your own ensures you have a thriving, living final product.
Grapefruit, oranges, limes and lemons are the skin’s best friends. These sweet and sour fruits are loaded with vitamin C (precursors to building collagen) and bioflavonoids. Citrus fruits contain 58 known anti-cancer compounds and prevail over any other food in that area. They contain necessary electrolytes, alkalize the body, dissolve uric acid and even have been shown to dissolve kidney stones. They are great diuretics, helping you eliminate toxic residue through the urine more efficiently. Anything that keeps the liver, kidneys, and digestive tract clean is going to result in great skin. Citrus fruits hit all of these major areas of the body. It is said that a cup of raw lemon juice a day for 3 months can completely regenerate a toxic liver. Though I am not suggesting this is fact, given the medicinal properties of lemon juice, I’d say it’s at least worth a shot. If anything, by consuming fresh citrus fruits daily, you will benefit with some pretty flawless skin. All citrus fruits are great for the liver.
8. Sulfur Foods
Common sulfuric foods are onions and garlic. In addition to these are pine needles, radishes, durian, pine nuts, and aloe vera. Along with some I already mentioned; eggs, arugula, and wild grasses. Sulfur foods are basically the smelly bitter foods no one likes. However, sulfur is in all living things and aids the proper formation of proteins (skin tissue, hormones and antibodies). It’s especially needed for the formation of collagen, which makes up over a quarter of the protein in our body. That means, if you want gorgeous, wrinkle-free, elastic skin for a lifetime, you would be wise to make these foods your friends.
9. Bone Broth
This food is so powerfully healing that I devoted an entire article to it, “The Original Superfoods. What makes bone broth great for the skin is that it contains everything the skin needs; amino acids, glutamine, sulfurs, collagen, hyaluronic acid, glucosamine, and over 70 trace minerals. Because it’s in liquid form, it’s incredibly easy to digest, making it more bioavailable than almost any beauty product you will find on a shelf. Check out the article I mentioned to get an overview of how truly holistic this food is for gorgeous skin.
There you have it, some of nature’s most powerful beauty products. Did you notice they were all foods? This might not have been the quick fix you were looking for; however, I can tell you it’s the most effective and empowering fix there is, and it truly works. Give some of these foods a shot. You don’t need a complete life overhaul, go easy on yourself and notice the difference. Once you do, you won’t turn back. There is nothing that feels quite as good as radiant health and true beauty.