By Dr. Nadia Noori
It was estimated that in 2016, 1.35 million Americans had spent more than $500 in a span of 3 months on skin care products. Whoa! A lot of money, sure, but we all strive for radiant and flawless skin, right? Be it acne, enlarged pores or wrinkles, most of us have at some point stared in the mirror thinking, why!? To go a step further, we are seeing a rise in the cases of eczema and psoriasis and unfortunately the younger generations are not being spared.
Aside from serving as our outward appearance, our skin’s primary goal is to protect. Weighing approximately 8 pounds, our skin serves as a barrier from the outside world and is also involved in our ability to sense and regulate temperature. In a nutshell, its job is a lot more complex than appearing radiant and flawless! The skin is considered an organ of elimination, just like our lymphatic system, digestive system, liver and kidneys. Our skin in many ways is a direct reflection of our internal health and potentially our toxic load. It wouldn’t be surprising that a person struggling with unhealthy skin may also be experiencing other symptoms such as gastrointestinal complaints, PMS symptoms and even mood fluctuations. A lot of times the two, three, four or more different symptoms are not addressed together, when in reality they have every reason to be. The root cause of unhealthy skin may vary from person to person but one thing is for sure, our organs and tissues are all connected and therefore influenced by one another
Despite the variety of topicals available and marketed to aid in skin appearance, we’re beginning to understand that a band-aid may not be the solution. There are a variety of possibilities and combinations that result in skin conditions, including hormonal imbalances, oxidative stress creating a system packed with free radicals, nutrient deficiencies, exposures to toxins and more. If the skin condition has been longstanding it is important to consult with a health provider and address any underlying food allergies that may be fueling the fire.
Nature provides us with abundance and plays an important role in being able to clean our system inside out. Fresh fruits and vegetables packed with anti-oxidants, necessary vitamins and minerals are a great start. They say, “You are what you eat” and it’s true. Incorporating healthy fats high in Omega-3 is essential to skin health being that it makes up the cell wall of every cell in our body, including our skin cells. Eliminating processed food results in a significant change in ones skin health simply by relieving our organs of the burden of having to breakdown what it was never designed to break down.
Powerful Skin Foods
Fruits and Vegetables: Rich in anti-oxidants. Aim to eat a variety of colored fruits and vegetables as they provide us with different nutrients. The richer the pigment, the higher the anti-oxidant content!
- Leafy greens
Healthy Fats: Specifically Omega-3 fatty acids. Aids in locking in moisture and ensures healthy cell membranes!
- Chia seeds
- Hemp seeds
- Flax seeds
Water: This is no surprise! Water is essential for your body to function properly. When we aren’t hydrated water is taken from the skin in order to preserve other more important functions in the body.
So, The next time you find yourself in front of the mirror, think about what your skin is telling you. Pay attention to the foods you consume and how your skin responds- who knows, you may find yourself to be quite the skin detective!