Skin Health Superfoods: Guest Post Ellie Shortt Nutritional Therapist & Chef

April 13, 2018


 

Skin Health Superfoods

by Ellie Short - Nutritional Therpist and Chef (Whole Happy)

Foods rich in EFA's (essential fatty acids), vitamin C, zinc, selenium & magnesium are excellent for the skin. When eating for your skin's health it is not only important to eat a nutrient dense whole food diet but also to be sure your body is assimilating those nutrients. 

The digestive system functions when your body is in rest and digest mode, foods are chewed properly, there is healthy HCL production and enzyme secretion, and health gut flora. 

Reducing inflammation in the body, plus gentle support to the detox pathways, and managing cortisol levels can have a profound effect on ones health over time. 

 

Here is a list of 27 foods to try enjoying more often

Note: If you have a known or suspected food allergy to some of the below foods we do not suggest you eat it. 

 

Almonds

Containing antioxidants, vitamin E, and manganese, almonds are great for tissue repair, skin health, and immunity. The magnesium hit also helps with stress management and blood sugar balance.


Asparagus

The high levels of antioxidants in asparagus make it a power food to fight inflammation and free radical damage. Asparagus is also a pretty solid source of vitamins E and C, both of which have be shown to help with skin repair and regeneration. High in fibre, asparagus are great for digestive function. They are also a “prebiotic” food, which is necessary for the proper function of probiotics and the subsequent balance of our micro biome.


Avocado

Loaded with healthy fats that provide long-burning energy, avocados are also packed with calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, copper, manganese, phosphorus and zinc, vitamin C, B6, B-12, A, D, K, E, thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin, and are a great source of dietary fibre  Because of all this, avocados aid in digestion, liver function, blood sugar balance, anti-aging and tissue repair.


Beets

Beets contain a number of important substances including betaine, fibre  betacyanin, betanin, and pectin, all of which aid in detoxification and digestion. Beets are also very high in vitamin C and therefore great for immune and liver function.


Berries

Many berries are rich sources of antioxidants, vitamin C, and manganese. Research has found that dark hued berries contain anthocyanins and another phytochemical called quercetin that have been shown to help control blood sugar and prevent liver damage.


Chia seeds

Boasting a rather ideal balance of essential fatty acids omega 3, 6, and 9’s, chia seeds aid in inflammation regulation. They also contain all eight essential amino acids needed for proper tissue growth and maintenance.


Cilantro

Cilantro has been shown to bind toxic heavy metals together, loosening them from tissue, and facilitating their elimination from the body. Cilantro’s strong antioxidant properties, in part due to the flavonoid quercetin, helps to protect against the damage caused by free radicals in the body. 

* Miiko Skin Co tip: choose organic to avoid pesticide consumption


Cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and ground ginger

Whether you’re enjoying the blood sugar lowering effects of the cinnamon, the immune boosting benefits of the clove and ginger, or the anti-inflammatory nature of the nutmeg, this classic spice team is a winning combination for skin health!


Coconut

Coconut-based products (oil, cream/milk, flour, chips etc.) in their whole natural form are one of the best immune boosters thanks to their antiviral, anti-fungal  antibacterial, and anti-parasitic properties. Coconut is also high in antioxidants, can improve skin softness and hair growth, and are super-packed with healthy fats that diminish blood sugar imbalances while keeping you satiated and energized for longer.


Cocoa powder

The antioxidant power of the flavonoids as well as the essential minerals and vitamins found in cacao (or raw cocoa powder) improves circulation and diminishes the effects of oxidative damage (cancer, aging, degenerate diseases). Raw cocoa also contains fibre and stimulates the body’s production of important digestive enzymes.


Collagen powder

 Amongst the many amazing benefits of consuming high quality collagen, the shining glory of this nutrient is its unrivalled ability to repair tissue. Whether reducing symptoms of leaky gut, healing injured or overworked muscles and tendons, or just giving you skin that incredible youthfully glow, collagen is a serious winner in the nutrition world!

* Miiko Skin Co tip: Goodlife Juice in Nanaimo carries and supplies an affordable and excellent collagen supplement

Cucumber

Not only does cucumber help maintain hydration in the body, but it also contains antioxidants that battle free radicals known to accumulate as a result of a buildup of toxins in the body, and seriously bad news for skin health.

* Miiko Skin Co tip: choose organic to avoid pesticide consumption

 

Dark cherries

Cherries contain powerful antioxidants like anthocyanins and cyaniding, as well as a small amount of quercetin, which is among the most potent in terms of antioxidant activity and a wide range of other health-promoting properties. Cherries contain natural melatonin, aiding in more restful sleeps, as well as diminishment of inflammation and associated oxidative stress.


Dark leafy greens

Kale, chard, collards, etc. all contain phytonutrients including glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiin, and glucobrassicin, compounds that support liver function and aid detoxification directly. They are all also high in fibre, which ensures a healthy digestive system so that detoxification is more effective. Lightly cooking these vegetables can make them easier to absorb into the digestive system.

* Miiko Skin Co tip: choose organic to avoid pesticide consumption


Eggs (specifically the yolks)

Egg yolks contain almost all the vitamins and minerals in the egg. They aid in a number of important functions including inflammation management. They contain high levels of vitamin E and selenium, as well as carotenoids, all necessarily for healthy tissue repair and growth.


Flax seeds

With solid levels of omega-3’s (the anti-inflammatory essential fatty acid), B-group vitamins, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, and selenium, flax seeds are some pretty impressive little powerhouses and are fantastic for tissue growth and repair.


Ginger

Ginger has long been celebrated as a digestively beneficial ingredient, most commonly used to settle nausea. It’s also stimulating, creating heat to energize a sluggish digestive system, encouraging peristalsis, or the movement the food through the intestines. Ginger is also a well-known immune booster and great for systemic circulation!

Green tea

The detoxifying effects of EGCG and other polyphenols in green (and white) tea arise from their role in helping to rid your body of free radicals, which can damage cells, leading to signs of premature aging. Green tea has also been shown to be one of the most potent detoxification aids available, helping with liver function, blood sugar management, and immune function.


Kombucha

The shining glory of kombucha is the awesome content of probiotics necessary for proper digestive health, and overall wellness. The slight acidic flavour of kombucha is also great for stimulating HCL production and enzyme secretion.


Lemon

Lemon contains concentrated levels of antioxidants, which help flush out toxins and free radicals from the body. Lemons also increase bile production, which is necessary for digestion and liver health.


Mint

One of the most traditional and effective digestive healers, mint soothes the gut lining, diminishing intestinal inflammation, nausea, gas, and bloating. Even just the aroma of mint activates the salivary glands, which contain important digestive enzymes such as salivary amylase, which helps break down starches.  


Pineapple

The bromelain found in pineapple helps the body break down one of the hardest macro-nutrients to digest – protein! Bromelain also has anti-inflammatory, anti-clotting and natural detox properties – all great for creating that natural “inner glow.”


Pumpkin seeds

High levels of zinc helps with immune function, digestion, insulin regulation, and hormone health. Pumpkin seeds are packed with omega-3's (the anti-inflammatory essential fatty acid).

 

Raw Apple Cider Vinegar 

Apple cider vinegar is one of those traditional "cure-all's." It helps promote hydrochloric acid (HCL) production and digestive enzyme secretion, and promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut, specifically a strain that regulates candida issues (the overgrowth of yeast in the digestive tract). Outside of the digestive sphere, ACV is fantastic for maintaining systemic alkalinity and can even be used to regulate blood sugar levels. Note though, that these benefits are only achieved with raw (unpasteurized) apple cider vinegar.  

 


Wild Salmon

Long known for its great content of omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is a classic anti-inflammatory go-to. The incredibly satiating protein also helps with blood sugar management and tissue repair and maintenance.  


Turmeric 

Turmeric has been thoroughly studied as one of the most potent anti-inflammatory foods in the world. It is also antibacterial, anti-fungal  and blood sugar balancing.


Walnuts

Of all the nuts, walnuts are arguably one of the best sources of omega-3 (the anti-inflammatory essential fatty acid). They contain a number of rare and powerful antioxidants, including the quinone juglone, the tannin tellimagrandin, and the flavonol morin, all important for fighting free radical damage and maintain a youthful lustre to your skin.

 

 

For more information on Ellie Shortt and cooking for skin health - check out her website: www.wholehappy.com