The foods you eat not only affect the health of your inner organs, but your outer appearance as well. Your skin is your largest organ \ and requires a healthy diet to stay vibrant and healthy. Depriving your skin of the nutrients it needs will not only leave it dry and prematurely aged, but can play a role in other serious issues including acne, eczema and psoriasis.
The Paleo diet is extremely effective at improving skin quality because it directly addresses the most common causes for unhealthy skin: inflammation and nutrient deficiencies.
Eating a Paleo diet and eliminating many inflammatory foods including grains, legumes, sugars, vegetable oil and processed and refined foods, is one of the best things you can do to reduce inflammation, calm your skin and create an environment where your skin glows!
Your skin is very sensitive to nutrient deficiencies. Including Paleo foods such as well-sourced meats, naturally occurring fats and seasonal fruits, vegetables, is a sure-fire way to get these nutrients in your diet.
If you’re looking to find that healthy glow, try incorporating some of the following foods in your diet. Trust us, you won’t regret it.
Aside from vitamins and minerals, there’s an often-overlooked nutrient that can have a big impact on skin health: collagen.
Collagen is the primary protein found in connective tissue, and it provides the building blocks for increased skin elasticity and smoothness. Bone broth is rich in collagen, the proteins found in flesh and connective tissues. Collagen production decreases with aging
Bone broth also contains a variety of essential vitamins for skin renewal and provides your body with an incredible list of health benefits.
Read more on the health benefits of bone broth here
Skin becomes smoother and more elastic in the presence of an abundance of connective tissue. The abundance of collagen in bone broth can help to:
- Reduce undesirable fine lines
- Plump up sagging skin
- Restore your youthful glow
- Brighten and even out your skin tone
Collagen-rich bone broth can even support managing additional skin concerns, including:
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Some fish, such as salmon, herring, mackerel and sardines, are known for containing Omega 3 fats. Pastured ruminants, including beef, bison and lamb are also rich sources of Omega 3’s
These fats provide a great source of skin cell protection. Omega-3’s help target and relieve inflammation of the skin. They have been proven to help moisturize skin and keep it looking healthy and radiant. Omega-3 fats from whole food sources (especially fatty fish like salmon) nourish the skin by reducing the body’s production of inflammatory substances. Eating more of these foods can support clearing clogged pores and erasing fine lines and wrinkles, leaving your skin looking clear and refreshed.
Omega-3 fatty acids are necessary to help keep skin thick, supple, and moisturized. In fact, an omega-3 fatty acid deficiency can cause dry skin.
Eggs help your skin with tissue repair. The compounds found in eggs also help keep your skin clear of infections and acne. Eggs are high in selenium, vitamin A and copper. Selenium wards off skin infections, vitamin A prevents your skin from developing abnormally, which in turn can help prevent the formation of moles and skin tags and copper promotes skin elasticity.
Read on here for more on how to choose your eggs
The sulfur-containing cruciferous vegetables are especially beneficial in collagen production, as sulfur plays a key role in collagen synthesis. Try adding a few of these options:
- Brussels sprouts
- Bok choy
- Collard greens
- Spinach is perfect for protecting your skin from free radical damage.
- Kale is rich in calcium, potassium, iron as well as skin friendly vitamins including A, C, and B6.
- Arugula contains fiber, beta-carotene, calcium, and protein.
- Tomatoes and red peppers are packed withlycopene and work to increase your skin’s collagen levels
- Carrots contain beta-carotein and Vitamin A. This is among the most effective substances to slow the aging process and improve skin health. Carrots are also packed with Vitamin C, which supports the formation of skin collagen, keeping skin looking youthful and plump.
- Bell Peppers, like carrots, an excellent source of beta carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A. They’re also one of the best sources of vitamin C which is necessary for creating the protein collagen, which keeps skin firm and strong.
Avocados are a great source of vitamins and minerals that help keep skin youthful. In addition to being an excellent source of vitamins C and E, which combined with selenium-rich foods help to speed up the skin’s healing process, avocados are packed full of healthy omega-3 fatty acids that prevent skin from drying out. Studies show that avocado extracts are effective in reducing UV-induced cellular damage after sun exposure.
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Lemons support liver health and removing impurities out of your system. Lemons are also rich in Vitamin C. Your body can’t create it, so you have to get it from food. Vitamin C supports collagen production, which keeps your skin springy and full.
The vitamin C in lemons can also improve your circulation and reduce oxidative stress, both of which can only positively impact the look and feel of your skin.
All berries (particularly blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries) are great in achieving a healthy glow. Like lemons, these fruits are high in vitamin C – a strong antioxidant which keeps the collagen in your skin healthy. Berries also high in anthocyanins and quercetin, which will help reduce inflammation and keep your skin looking evenly toned and radiant.
Go ahead, indulge in a few pieces of dark chocolate occasionally. It may come as a surprise but dark chocolate, specifically chocolate that has high flavanol content and is at least 70 percent cocoa, helps skin stay hydrated, less sensitive to sunburn, and encourages better blood flow, bringing more nutrients to your skin.
The powerful compounds found in green tea are called catechins and may help protect your skin from damage and aging. Like several other antioxidant-containing foods, green tea can also help protect your skin against sun damage. Green tea also improves the moisture, roughness, thickness, and elasticity of your skin.
These skin-protecting powerhouses are an excellent source of vitamin E, a fat-soluble compound necessary for healthy skin and eyes. Brazil nuts are sometimes called the “beauty nut” as they are not only beneficial to maintaining healthy skin, but can also help improve the appearance of hair.
They provide a rich natural source of selenium, which may protect against UV damage, free radicals, minimizes skin damage and inflammation
A Paleo diet has more benefits than your health – it can improve your physical appearance, because what you eat (and don’t eat) can significantly impact on your skin. Foods that are nourishing for the skin all contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Adding these foods to your Paleo diet will certainly go far in reducing inflammation within your body, helping to restore natural vibrancy to your skin and the rest of your organs.
Michal Ofer is a wellness and digestion expert and nutrition coach. She is focused on assisting clients to take control of their health and happiness through the sustainable food and lifestyle choices that best support them. Through strengthening the body from the inside out, her clients are able to reach new heights of health, happiness and wellness. Michal obtained her Professional Training and Certificate from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York. She has a further studied through the University of Colorado (Boulder) and Stanford University and is a Certified 21 Day Sugar Detox Coach. Michal has also received a Bachelor’s Degree in Life Sciences and a Master Life Coach Certification. For further information and to connect with Michal visit her website at www.michalofer.com