12 Favourite Foods for Beautiful Skin by Dr. Nastasia Irons
This past week at Province Apothecary our in-house naturopath Dr. Nastasia Irons lead an informative talk about what foods you should eat to get beautiful skin from the inside out!
The skin is an organ just like our heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys. It needs proper nutrition, protection, detoxification, and recovery time just like the rest of our body. Her talk focussed on what foods are helpful for acne, rosacea, and aging by improving hormone balancing, lymphatic flow and detox of the skin, and speeding up scar healing.
Here is Dr. Irons' Top 12 Foods for Summer/ Autumn!
Apple Cider Vinegar
Helps to boost stomach acid by stimulating your stomach to produce more digestive juices. We need this for protein digestion (protein has to be broken down in the stomach). We can also only get B12 from the foods we eat if we have enough stomach acid. Also helps to relieve constipation and reducing bacteria formation because foods will get into the intestines having been digested properly. After 20 days, your body will start to make more stomach acid on its own!
Not wheat! This delicious grain has a natural "nutty" taste and can be used instead of regular flour when baking. I like to add it to pancakes for higher protein and fiber. This grain is also high in Rutin - a phytochemical that reduces aging in the body.
Did you know this little seed is a delicious plant source of protein? Also high in omega 3 – which lowers inflammation, strengthens your skin cells and protects the skin from sun damage. Chia seed pudding is a delicious way to eat them. These seeds are high in zinc – therefore help to reduce blemishes and can strengthen hair, skin and nails. Packed with soluble fiber which improves digestion and relieves constipation. YUM!
Remember to grind them fresh before eating them to get all the good stuff! Contain lignans – a phytochemical that mimics estrogen – helps to reduce risk of breast cancer and other estrogen dominant cancers and help to balance hormones – which will reduce hormonal acne, fibroids, and other menstrual irregularities. The way this works is that it looks very similar to estrogen, but it is called a phytoestrogen - which will helpe the body actually lower your estrogen levels, or boost them - depending on need. Also high in Omega 3 – when ground, it can be a source of EPA – which will help reduce clogged pores, and breakouts. High in fiber.
This medium chain, saturated fatty acid does wonders for the skin and digestive system. Can be used with high heat cooking without changing into a dangerous oil. Contains Lauric acid – which is antimicrobial – eliminating bacteria, viruses, and yeast. Helps to keep skin membranes healthy because it lowers inflammation in the body.
Great way to get omega 3 for vegans and vegetarians – 1 nori sheet has more than avocado and olive oil combined. Also contains a large amount of protein. Sea veggies include: wakame, kelp, spirulina, dulse. Also contain Iodine which is essential for Thyroid health.
Garlic is one of the most potent anti aging foods we can eat! Contains Allicin – a powerful anti-inflammatory – fights signs of aging by stopping the enzymes that reduce our collagen levels. Will also boost circulation to the outer layers of the skin, and replenishes glutathione in the body. Glutathione is used to help keep our antioxidant levels high and active, and is an important step in liver detoxification.
A cooling food – great for hot summer days. Strong booster of circulation - think of it like the natural viagra! 1-2 sticks of celery can help boost libido and reduce erectile dysfunction because of the circulatory effects. Celery is also a diuretic, which helps the kidneys eliminate toxins and waste through increasing urination. Contains a lot of natural silicon – to support skin elasticity and hydration, and increases hair growth. Also reduces inflammation, improves circulation, lowers blood pressure, and prevents wrinkles. Another vegetable that works similarly is cucumber.
Think of watermelon as pure skin hydration. Also high in lycopene for strong UV protection. Will also reduce water retention because of its diuretic action – therefore reducing puffiness under eyes and bloating. High in Iron – for healthy nails and skin. High in arginine – for increasing circulation, and anti-aging hormones.
Known as a cruciferous vegetable – helpful in lowering hormones that cause acne and cysts (like cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts). Repairs DNA damage, and contains the anti-aging phytochemical sulforaphane which reduces free-radical damage. Can also reduce redness caused by sun exposure, lower inflammation, and increase glutathione. As with other cruciferous veggies - if you have a thyroid condition, you will want to steam it lightly to stop the "goitrogens" - thyroid blocking plant chemicals.
Hello higher sex drive! Like celery, figs will boost circulation to all parts of the body and skin! Also high in natural digestive enzymes to help digests foods more easily – eat them 10-15 minutes before meals to help reduce gas and bloating. High in manganese and fiber which help reduce hormonal re-absorption.
One of the highest plant sources of zinc – which helps to reduce acne. Many people who have acne have low zinc levels in the body. Important for immune health, wound healing, and anti-inflammatory support. Also help to reduce the bacteria that causes acne and contain a high amount of tryptophan – which helps to calm the body and aid in sleep falling asleep.
Check out a recipe featuring some of Dr. Irons top foods, by Province Apothecary Team member and trained Chef, Jiva MacKay.
If you'd like to learn more, we suggest reading 'Eat Pretty: Nutrition for Beauty, Inside and Out' by Jolene Hart
Dr. Nastasia Irons started her journey into Naturopathic Medicine in 2010. After completing an undergraduate degree in premedical health sciences, she continued her education at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine where she completed four years of medical training followed by a 2 year residency program. After struggling with her own health problems and then seeing how diet changes, herbal medicine and acupuncture helped her, she became passionate about providing an alternative way of healing to others. Nastasia has been practicing as a Naturopathic Doctor since 2014, and has a special interest in skincare and digestive health. She has received extra training in facial rejuvenation acupuncture and loves to help clients who suffer from eczema, acne, rosacea and scarring.
Dr. Irons offers Naturopathic consultations and Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture at our Skincare Clinic.
Book a naturopathic appointment with Dr. Irons HERE
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