Thursday, February 1, 2018

5 Foods For Glowing Skin...And Good Health

People often comment on my healthy and youthful complexion. Some even ask what's my secret. I reply it's no secret - just healthy eating and good quality water.

I've also been accused of having good genes, but we now know that our genes may play some part in our overall health, but really, it's our environment - internal and external - that affects our health, and the skin reflects our health.

We have skin inside our body as well as outside the body. Everything we do to improve the outside skin is helping the inside skin and vice versa.

I'm going to share with you my 5 top foods that I use on a regular basis, and tell you why they will make YOUR skin glow, too, because you really are what you eat!

1.  Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a must-have. I use it in most of my cooking (low heat cooking) as well as topically, and why not it's rich in antioxidants, essential amino acids, squalene, flavonoids, phenols, and polyphenols. This beautiful oil contains Omega 9, Vitamin A, and Vitamin K, which are known to promote luminous skin. Easy to consume especially when used in salad dressing. If you don't mind the aroma, why not use a small amount as your evening to hear your results after a couple of weeks.

2.  Stinging Nettle is an amazing food. Don't let the name scare you. Folks might think of this prickly plant as just a weed, but to me, it's a versatile health food. When fresh, it can be used like spinach and when dried, it can be made into an infusion, and other preparations like herbal sprinkles and vinegar. I have yet to see fresh nettle sold in any stores, but dried nettle can be found in the herbal section of many health food stores in teabag form, in some bulk sections and online (I buy it by the pound). Stinging Nettle grows along rivers, streams, lakes and even ditches and for some lucky people - even in the backyard. It's rich in minerals, and vitamins like Vitamin A and C, calcium, chlorophyll and magnesium. I make a quart of infusion at a time and drink a cup a day. In the summer, I add a cup to my smoothie instead of water or nut milk, and during cooler weather, I warm up a cup on the stove. I love this quote by Susun Weed from her book Wise Woman Herbal - Healing Wise, "Glossy, thick, vibrant hair, healthy, hard nails and clear, lustrous, smooth skin are yours when sister spinster stinging nettle becomes your ally." (drink up to 1 cup infusion 3-4 times weekly). If you want to learn more about the amazing Stinging Nettle click here Nettle - More Than a Cup of Tea.

3.  Cucumber can be enjoyed in so many ways. Here in the south during the summer, storekeepers offer cucumber infused water to refresh over-heated customers. I enjoy them in my salads, smoothies, and as a snack with hummus. Cucumbers are a staple in my house and we eat them almost every day in one way or another. Cucumbers are another amazing food. They contain antioxidants like Vitamin C and beta-carotene; flavonoids like quercetin, and many of the B vitamins. Cucumbers are also high in silica. Cucumbers hydrate the body which helps the skin maintain plumpness. With its high nutrient content, one can see why this is a good choice for glowing skin.

4.  Beets, to me, are a superfood. When I first began eating beets, I roasted them in the oven. I ate them because they were tasty, but then I learned how fantastic they are for the liver, the major cleansing organ. I started choosing juices that contained beets at the juice bar; adding them to different dishes and using them raw as the primary ingredient in salads. They are high in anthocyanins - a constituent that improves complexion and helps to reduce age spots. Beets are an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and an awesome detoxifier. Eat beets as much as you can to get that glow! (You can eat the beet greens, too!)

5.  Avocados are another versatile and very nutritious food. This is a staple in my kitchen. I use them in salads, smoothies, chopped up on toast, and I've even made chocolate pudding! They're high in carotenoids (fat-soluble nutrients), flavonoids, Vitamin K, copper, folate, Vitamin B6, and potassium. It's also a great source of Vitamin E, which is an antioxidant that helps in preventing free radical damage which can lead to aging; and Vitamin C, which helps to create collagen, and the collagen helps to keep our skin firm. Did I mention it's a super source of essential fatty acids? The fatty acids help in moisturizing and softening the skin. All of these nutrients protect the skin from premature aging and discoloration.

As for water, I don't count the number of glasses I drink daily. I just keep a glass on the counter with the water filter pitcher nearby and drink often always replenishing the glass.

Bonus:  I use mainly natural ingredients on my skin. For my face and body, I use olive oil, avocado oil, rosehip oil sometimes mixing the oils with essential oils. I make face masks using clay, garbanzo bean flour, honey, rose water and various ground herbs. The skin is a sponge and will absorb whatever you put on it good or bad. Why not use substances containing vitamins and minerals; it will only enhance your natural glow.

There you have it! So you really are what you eat...and what you put on your skin!

Carotenoids, i.e., carrots, cantaloupe, blueberries, red grapes
Antioxidants, i.e., spinach, beets, red grapes, plums, oranges, pineapple
Lycopene, i.e., tomatoes
Flavonoids, i.e., apples, onions, tea, coffee, chocolate

Back up resources:  Worlds Healthiest Foods / Dr. Mercola / Susun Weed / Dr. Axe/ Personal

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Copyright 2018, Mariluz Kersey Wellness, / ideas on healthier living