by: Dr. Craig A. Maxwell
Whether it’s crow’s feet, acne or fine lines, we all wish we could have better skin. No matter how many creams and lotions you use on your skin, they’ll cover up but won’t treat underlying problems. I tell my patients daily that nearly every minor to moderate health problem can be treated naturally with a combination of healthy diet, exercise, and supplements. Don’t know what to eat for skin health? Read on!
How Food Affects the Health of Your Skin
The Standard American Diet is the primary reason for the obesity epidemic. A diet high in processed foods is also responsible for the development of diabetes, thyroid disorder, autoimmune disease, and chronic skin conditions such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis. In order to be healthy, your skin needs good nutrition. Convenience foods such as French fries, burgers, donuts, and microwavable meals may fill your stomach, but they won’t give you the nutrition your body needs.
Processed foods are loaded with trans fats, food dyes, preservatives, and grease that slow your natural intestinal transit, causing chronic constipation and skin problems. After all, if your body isn’t eliminating toxins the usual way, your skin is your body’s only other option! Your skin is the biggest organ of your body, so if you’re not digesting and eliminating properly, it shows!
Foods for Face – What to Eat for Skin Health
For radiant, glowing skin, you need to eat a whole-food diet. This includes eating a wide variety of organic vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and low-fat dairy foods such as hard cheese and preservative-free yogurt. The more balanced nutrition your body receives, the healthier you’ll be overall.
Here are some foods to focus on when dealing with common skin problems:
1. Avocados – Avocados are loaded with healthy fats and B-complex vitamins that nourish your skin from the inside out. Avocados also contain niacin, a powerful anti-inflammatory to help heal the discomfort of eczema and psoriasis.
2. Mango – One of the best foods for face is a mango. These delicious, succulent fruits contain 80% of your daily value of vitamin A, which helps maintain and repair damaged skin cells.
3. Oranges – For acne sufferers, oranges are a must. They are loaded with vitamin C and natural anti-inflammatories that not only prevent acne but strengthen your cell walls to prevent acne scarring.
4. Bananas – Bananas provide nutrition for the skin because it’s rich in magnesium, which helps balance acne-inducing hormones.
5. Garlic – Garlic is a powerful immune booster and anti-viral that prevents acne breakouts from the inside out. You can also use garlic oil directly on acne breakouts to get rid of them and prevent new blemishes from forming.
6. Strawberries – For eczema and psoriasis sufferers, I recommend a daily dose of strawberries. Strawberries contain phytochemicals and antioxidants that act as natural anti-inflammatories to keep flare-ups at bay.
7. Flax Seed – Milled flax seed makes a great addition to salads and yogurt and provides a healthy burst of inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids!
8. Oysters – For extremely dry skin, oysters provide a high amount of zinc, which helps hydrate skin, repair cracks, and prevent future damage.
9. Turkey – Turkey is another zinc-rich food that helps maintain your natural collagen and elastin so skin stays smooth and supple.
10. Green Tea – Green tea provides a burst of antioxidants to fight free radicals and prevent premature aging. It also helps improve blood circulation, a must for healthy glowing skin!
The Importance of Good Hydration
You may drink plenty of liquid each day but how much of it is actually contributing to your skin’s poor health? If you’re a soda drinker, you’re not only causing more skin damage, you’re setting yourself up for obesity, diabetes, autoimmune problems, and chronic skin conditions. Soda contains high fructose corn syrup, which has been shown to wreck havoc on skin. Not only does it dry out and age your skin, it may also lead to cellulite and hyperpigmentation. High fructose corn syrup does not break down properly in the body. Unlike table sugar, this synthetic sweetener completely bypasses the digestive system and causes blood sugar levels to spike instantly and crash down just as fast. This creates problems with your metabolic system and puts some serious stress on your liver.
For optimum health, you need water. 6-8 glasses of pure drinking water each day is the amount recommended by most naturopathic doctors, including myself. If you’re not used to drinking plain water and find the taste boring, slice up a lemon or lime and squeeze it into the water. Avoid using those synthetic “water-enhancers” though, as they also contain unnecessary chemicals and sweeteners that may make your skin problems worse.
- Natural Skin Cream
You may be surprised to learn that not all skin creams are created equal. Many commercial moisturizers contain dangerous additives and preservatives that dry out skin and may put you at increased risk for cancer! For my patients with chronic dry skin, I recommend either our Enriched Moisture Cream or our Clarifying Moisturizer. Our Enriched Moisture Cream contains algae peptides and squalene to super-hydrate and heal your skin. Our Clarifying Moisturizer works best for combination skin that’s both dry and acne-prone.
Supplements for Better Skin
Just as important as the foods you eat are the supplements you take to better your skin and overall health. If you’re taking a dietary supplement now, check the ingredients. Does it contain additives or preservatives? What about the brand? Most commercial multivitamins are nothing more than a concoction of synthetic vitamins created in a lab. They don’t come from whole-food sources, so they’re not as potent and they cannot be easily absorbed and assimilated into body.
For my patients who want to improve the overall look and feel of their skin, I recommend Diamond Nutritional’s Foundation Vitamins, a whole-food supplement with all the vitamins and minerals you need in one dose!
Diamond Nutritional’s Foundation Vitamins provide complete, nutrition your body can easily absorb.
Foundation’s ingredients include:
- Vitamin A – 7,500 IU
- Vitamin C – 500 mg
- Vitamin D3 – 500 IU
- Vitamin E – 100 IU
- Vitamin K – 50 mcg
- Thiamine – 25 mg
- Riboflavin – 25 mg
- Niacin – 25 mg
- Vitamin B6 – 38 mg
- Folic Acid – 400 mcg
- Vitamin B12 – 500 mcg
- Biotin – 200 mcg
- Panthothenic Acid – 150 mg
- Calcium – 100 mg
- Iodine – 113 mcg
- Magnesium – 200 mg
- Zinc – 10 mg
- Selenium – 100 mcg
- Copper – 1 mg
- Manganese – 2.5 mg
- Chromium – 200 mcg
- Molybdenum – 25 mcg
- Potassium – 50 mg
- Choline Bitartrate USP – 50 mg
- Inositol – 50 mg
- Mixed Tocopherols – 50 mg
- Lipoic Acid – 25 mg
- N-Acetyl-Cysteine USP – 25 mg
- Rutin – 25 mg
- Lutein – 3 mg
- Boron – 1.5 mg
- Lycopene – 1 mg
- Vanadyl Sulfate Hydrate – 1 mg
For my patients with problem skin and hair, I recommend Diamond Nutritional’s Skin, Hair, and Nails Formula. This dietary supplement picks up where our Foundation multivitamin leaves off by providing your skin and hair with the strengthening ingredients you need to look and feel your best.
Our skin, hair, and nails formula contains a synergistic blend of ingredients designed to improve your skin’s elasticity while strengthening hair and nails.
These ingredients include:
- MSM – Removes toxins and excess fluids from the skin and hair.
- Horsetail Grass – For beautiful hair and nails, you need silica. Horsetail grass contains high amounts of this essential nutrient so nail and hair damage is reversed.
- Stinging Nettle Leaf – Chronic allergies and inflammation are a common cause of brittle nails and falling hair. Stinging nettle combats this inflammation and helps grow longer, strong nails and hair.
- Fo-Ti Root – Used commonly in Eastern anti-aging remedies, Fo-Ti root smoothes skin, erases wrinkles, and repairs broken or brittle nails.
- PABA – PABA is a B-complex vitamin that helps relieve chronic inflammation and soothes irritated skin.
- Biotin – Biotin-deficiency occurs if you avoid foods such as yeast, wheat bran, and eggs. Biotin naturally strengthens hair and nails.
- Selenium – This trace mineral helps improve overall strength and nail health. Since too much selenium can actually cause brittle hair and nails, my formula contains 25 mcg. This is just the right amount to treat your brittle nails and hair without worsening the problem.
- Betaine HCL – Slow digestion is a common consequence of poor diet. Betaine HCL is a natural digestive aid, which can speed up intestinal transit and prevent toxins from accumulating in your body and appearing on your skin.
Allergic skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis are often a result of poor nutrition and food allergies. Adding an omega-3 fatty acid supplement to your diet helps relieve chronic inflammation while smoothing skin and preventing acne blemishes.
You may already be taking an omega-3 fatty acid supplement but in order to combat common skin problems, you need a potent combination of EPA and DHA. Most conventional products will claim they contain 1,000 mg. or 1,200 mg. on the front label, but on the back, the amount only adds up to 300 mg. or so. The rest are nothing but fillers!
This is misleading to unsuspecting consumers looking for good nutrition. Since store-bought fish oil supplements are so diluted, you’ll end up needing to take double or triple the amount of pills to get the same effect. This isn’t very economical and these days, every dollar counts!
Fish oil is good for your skin but only if you’re using the right kind. Most commercial omega-3 fatty acid supplements are not molecularly distilled to remove impurities, which could mean excess mercury in your body. Balanced Omega Formula doesn’t mess around with your health. It’s molecularly distilled for complete nutrition without the risk of heavy metal toxicity.
When it comes to having beautifully clear skin that’s glowing with health, you have to start by improving your diet. Your key to better skin is a combination of a nutrient-dense diet, plenty of water, exercise, and the right supplements and skin creams. Also, don’t forget rest. If you’re not getting the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep each night, your skin will look dry and unhealthy no matter how well you care for it. So, stop slathering on gobs of chemical-filled make-up to cover up your problem skin. Eat your way to better skin health and show off your natural face to the world!