Eating For Beauty (part 2)
Whether you want it or not, your physical appearance reflects your overall health. If you are healthy, you’d naturally look younger and feel better. You’d also look prettier and people will naturally be more attracted to you (whether you’re a guy or a gal).
More than that, your face, your skin, hair, eyes and nails reflect your nutritional health or deficiencies. Despite the fact that traditional medicine, most of the time, still sadly deny the link between our physical beauty and what we eat, I strongly believe that the best anti-ageing solution comes from what we put into our system.
Tick and shiny hair, beautiful skin, sparkling eyes, strong nails are all possible as well as reducing the ageing process through smart and effective nutrition.
I know it because I’ve experienced it for myself. I am still currently discovering, every single day, how to tweak my lifestyle and nutrition in order to create exactly what I want for myself: a fit and healthy body, a beautiful golden skin, long, tick and shiny hair and sparkling eyes… as I am sure, we all want.
Eating for beauty IS possible.
Many health experts such as David Wolfe, have already expressed their opinions and wrote about it, listing many beneficial foods that would have beautifying properties.
The very inspiring Chris Kresser, M.S., author of “Your Personal Paleo Code” already wrote a series of 4 articles related to nutrition for healthy skin on his blog.
And the internationally well known Thierry Hertoghe, M.D. - for his researches about hormones and the ageing process – stresses the importance of our diet on the ageing-process and beauty.
So what should you eat – or pay attention to – if you want to support and reach your optimal beauty?
We all know that what’s interesting and impacting our bodies positively is not the food itself but the properties it contains (the micronutrients it contains). So let’s try to have a look at what specific micronutrients are interesting for their beautifying properties and then let’s see where – more generally – we can find them in the food we eat.
This way, you will be able to see what’s supporting you in your current diet but also what supplements you’d want to look for if you have a major deficiency or need extra support in certain areas.
First of all, everyone seems to agree on the fact that generally speaking, sugars and dairy have a negative impact on our skin. This seems to be due to the fact that on one side, dairy contains a lot of hormones and disturbs our own hormonal balance, which I personally believe (and researches have now proven) is the same with soy. Hormonal unbalances not only impact negatively our skin and hair but also our mood and general health.
On the other side, it’s been proven that fructose decreases 7 of our 12 most important hormones!
Dr Joseph Mercola as well as countless others have already confirmed this point (read more about it here).
On this point too, I can only confirm the benefits I experienced in my own life by the ‘simple’ facts of strongly decreasing dairy and sugars. I’ve written about how I quit my sugar addiction here.
Alcohol has also been proven to have a significant negative impact on your general beauty because it strongly decreases your naturally produced growth hormone, one of the most powerful anti-ageing hormones.
On top of that, here are a few important things you want to pay attention to to improve your overall beauty:
Because it increases your levels of progesterone, vitamin A plays an important role in your skin’s health. Acne, eczema, psoriasis, wounds, burns and other skin conditions can be improved with Vit A. It also improves strongly skin’s elasticity, as mentioned by Thierry Hertoghe, worldwide known Belgian doctor for his researches about ageing. He says that – through years of research and treating patients – he noticed great results in treating brown stains due to skin pigmentation issues when ageing by supplementing selenium, zinc and vitamins C, E and A altogether.
Where can you find it?
Avocados, carrots, liver, cod liver oil, egg yolks…
Vitamin C + Zinc
Both vitamin C and zinc are essential in maintaining good health and particularly skin health. Zinc and / or vitamin C deficiencies can lead to quite serious skin problems such as acne, hyperkeratosis pilaris, poor wound healing, hair loss, depression, and a compromised immune system.
Studies have shown that they work best when taken together, not only to improve skin and hair health but also to boost immune system and protect you from cold and flu. Don’t forget that vitamin C is also a strong antioxidant and thus, protects you from the ageing process (for example, you can easily spread some lemon juice – rich in vitamin C – on halves of avocado to help prevent the oxidation process).
Where can you find them?
Personally, I take some vitamin C + zinc (both in one) tablets during seasonal changes for an extra boost. If you suffer from skin issues, I would definitely recommend to supplement your diet with both for a few months and see the results. Not only it will help heal skin issues but it will also boost your immune system, giving you an extra dose of antioxidants.
Vitamin C is naturally found in raw fruits (lemons, oranges, kiwi, etc…)
Chris Kresser says that zinc is best absorbed from animal sources, when it’s not bound to phytates, as in plant sources. Zinc is mostly found in fish and shellfish. And if you like organs, you’ll find it in kidney and liver as well as in red meat.
Plant foods such as pumpkin seeds and other nuts do contain zinc but they need to be soaked in order for the zinc to be absorbable by our body.
L-Glutamine is an amino acid that helps repair damaged tissues. It seems to work wonders to repair leaky gut for example.
I’ve personally had great results using L-Glutamine along with zinc supplements to repair my gut and improve my hair thickness and growth. From personal experience, I know for sure that gut’s health is the number one thing to address when you want to heal any other health issues. By repairing my gut from long term inflammation due to food sensitivities and allergies (I wrote about it here), I managed not only to improve my mood, energy and general health but also to rebalance my hormones naturally, get my periods back naturally after more than 16 years on one of the strongest contraceptive pills and stop losing my hair excessively.
It also seems that Glutamine has positive effects on our immune-system as well as on our pH balance and much more. It’s best to take it with zinc and a vitamin B complex, especially vitamin B12, as it helps regulate glutamine in the body.
Where can you find it?
Bone broth, grass-fed meat, spirulina, Chinese cabbage, cottage cheese, asparagus, broccoli, wild fish, turkey…
Many other amino acids are also important for beautiful hair, skin and nails as well as for slowing the ageing process. You can read more about them here.
Omega-3 and 6 essential fatty acids
Even if most of us are getting too much Omega-6 fatty acids and not enough Omega-3, which causes major health issues, you should absolutely get both, in good balance, if you want a healthy skin.
Not having a good balance of essential fatty acids may cause dry, pale skin, eczema, inflammation, chronic diseases and much more.
While it’s good to increase significantly your Omega-3 intake if you suffer from chronic diseases or inflammation (too much Omega-6 blocks the absorption of Omega-3), be aware that eating for beauty means you should try to get as close as possible of the optimal ratio, if you don’t have any existing issues.
Optimal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 is estimated to be between 1:1 and 2.3:1. Chris Kresser has published a very detailed and complete article series about that on his blog that I recommend to read here and here for more details.
Where can you find essential Omega-3 fatty acids?
Oily fish and fish oil, spirulina, hemp (seeds, oil and powder), flax, walnut, pumpkin seeds and more.
Silica plays an essential role in the formation of collagen, which is key to maintain a healthy beautiful skin and slow the ageing process. In fact, collagen makes up about 75% of our skin; thus, the smooth, plump appearance of young, healthy skin is due in large part to the presence of healthy collagen levels. This is why it’s important to support the good formation of collagen by your body.
Where can you find silica?
The majority of our silica intake comes from the water we drink. This is why you want to make sure you’re drinking quality water and vary the sources. A great way to make sure you get what you need is to use cell-food drops or mineral drops. You just have to add a few drops daily to your drinking water to make sure you’ve got all the minerals you need.
Other sources of silica include leeks, beans, cucumber, mango, celery, asparagus and rhubarb.
Vitamin B (complex)
Vitamin B’s are also something I’ve experienced first hand on my own issues as well as on my patients. Vitamin B’s are actually not only enhancing your natural beauty but are also elevating your mood and energy.
Vitamin B – complex (a complete supplement with all B-vitamins) has many beautifying properties: hair growth and thickness as well as skin pigmentation and nails strength + growth can be highly improved with vitamin B’s.
Take a look at all “hair and nails” vitamin potions / mixes. They all contain vitamin B’s. As B vitamins get depleted by stress, chemicals, toxins and – of course – poor nutrition, deficiencies are quite common nowadays. Make sure you get yours. B-complex supplements are definitely part of my own pantry
Where can you find them?
Good quality, clean animal products such as meat, poultry, eggs and fish as well as dark leafy greens are rich in B vitamins and should be sufficient. However if you’re vegetarian or vegan, you might want to look at your current intake and eventually supplement your diet in B vitamins. You’ll b able to observe benefits quite quickly if you have some deficiencies.
Probiotics for good absorption
Probiotics are essential to maintain a good gut flora and general gut health. As I mentioned above, gut health is extremely important for our general health and beauty because it impacts the absorption of nutrients. You can take all the vitamins and supplements in the world, if your gut doesn’t absorb them properly, this won’t change anything.
Sadly our modern diet has a negative impact on our gut. Gluten, sugars, dairy, alcohol, caffein, etc… all destroy our gut lining and thus decrease optimal absorption. To make sure you maintain proper digestion and absorption, eat fermented foods daily. If you don’t have any gut issue, this should does the trick.
Where can you find probiotics?
Any fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, natural organic yogurts (coyo is great), etc…
Check out how to make our own coconut yogurt here.
If you’ve missed part one of this article series, check it out here and discover 5 foods that will help you enhance your natural beauty: Eating For Beauty, part 1