Most of you know that the skin is the largest organ in our body, but may not consider this when creating a daily eating plan. The skin covers approximately 25 square feet and weighs six pounds. It is our protective outer boundary, which coats and defends us against infection and germs. It helps regulate our body temperature and plays a major role in transmitting messages of pain and pleasure.
The skin regenerates itself every 27 days but requires proper care to maintain its vitality. That’s where we come in. One of my teachers claimed to never use anything on her skin that she wouldn’t eat. She is a big fan of unrefined coconut oil for maximum hydration and wrinkle prevention. Here are some other foods that nourish our outer bodies, ourselves:
Mushrooms – in the diet mushrooms have anti-cancer and immune boosting properties; on the skin shiitake and matsutakes are considered to have natural hydrating components as well. Dr. Andrew Weil now has a line of skincare under the Origins label which includes mushrooms.
Green tea – soothes the skin after overexposure to the sun, and calms rosacea and other irritations.
Vitamin A foods – anti-viral, anti-inflammatory which aid in fewer breakouts. Found in carrots, peppers, papayas, and apples.
Zinc – for cell reproduction and repair. Found in oysters, raw nuts and seeds, wheat germ and organic poultry.
Ginseng – used to enhance memory, increase endurance, lower cholesterol and boost circulation. On skin, it helps with elasticity.
Healthy fats – like those found in raw nuts, avocados, cold-water fish all of which help you absorb fat-soluble vitamins D, E and K.
Soy (non-GMO) – valued for its protein and anti-oxidant rich content, soy has also been found to have anti-cancer properties for the skin. But some people have intolerances, so be sure to read labels first.
Vitamin C – helps keep the skin plump. Eat broccoli, grapefruit, oranges, tomatoes, kiwis and strawberries to your heart’s (or skin’s) content.
Lemongrass – soothes and calms the nervous system and is good for digestion, which keeps the body and skin well balanced.
Anti-oxidant rich fruits and vegetables (don’t we always include these:) – they protect the skin from dulling effects of free radicals, caused by environmental stressors, smoking and drinking. Load up on dark, leafy greens, blueberries, beets, grapes, yams and tomatoes.
It’s nice to know we can nourish ourselves from the inside out and have visible results!