1506_LBW_TH_FB_MREC_EXPERTSCheree Sheldon, one of the Nutritionists for the 28 Day Challenge shares some info on how you can improve your skin and outer appearance by ensuring you look after your insides:
I admit it. When I look in the mirror, I want to see someone who is happy looking back at me. Someone with clear skin, lush hair, bright eyes, with a mouth curved upwards in readiness of a smile. When I feel my skin I want it to be smooth and soft. And I want to get compliments! I don’t need them to feel good about myself, but I want others to acknowledge my vitality and let me know how bright I’m shining!
Let me share the secret of younger, fresher skin. To keep it simple it is eating pure foods, clean foods, rainbow foods. Foods that cleanse our liver, keep our body in an alkaline state, that keep our skin nourished and feed it what it needs.
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What does your skin need then??

  • It needs Vitamins A , C, and E, zinc, amino acids, and essential fatty acids. We may also need iron, magnesium, chromium, Vitamin D and B12 and calcium. We get these from a balanced diet high in fruits, vegetables, fish and legumes. Think Mediterranean style foods: olives, figs, sardines, green leafy veggies.
  • Some things we eat may be harming our skin, e.g. allergens and food additives can cause problems. You may need to examine the way you eat and work out what is triggering you. Whereas, other things can heal: foods high in antioxidants and bio-flavonoids are amazing for our skin!!
  • Generally, if a fruit or vegetable is dark or brightly coloured it contains lots of nutrients that will help us sparkle from the inside out. Think blueberries, cherries, beetroot, oranges, capsicum and kale. Fruits and vegetables like this will provide us with nutrients that have an anti-inflammatory effect, have antioxidants in them and are rich in plant chemicals that our skin needs to thrive.
  • Aim to eat some of the nice good fats that will nourish our skin and feed the structure; like oily fish, nuts, seeds, avocado. Avoid trans fats in processed foods and deep fried foods as this has been linked to making the skin more inflammatory.
  • One of the rare times I would recommend drinking juices is when you want to help flush toxins out and clear the skin. Have a freshly squeezed juice of carrot, beetroot, ginger, cucumber, lemon and parsley to help achieve glowing skin. Green tea, dandelion tea and rose-hip and hibiscus tea are great additions as well.
  • Fermented foods are awesome for nourishing our skins from the inside as they feed our good gut bacteria and crowd out bad bacteria. If our gut is filled with baddies, we tend to have sluggish skin, more cravings for high fat, high sugar foods which the baddies love, but the rest of our body does not. Especially our skin. It will appear drab, lifeless, dry, blemished. So, drink some kombucha or water kefir, and add sauerkraut to your diet.
  • And that leaves us to one of the big ones: sugar.  There is a lot of contradictory advice about sugar and skin. BUT, here is some science: If you eat high amounts of sugar, this leads to higher amounts of insulin in your blood. If you have high amounts of insulin, then sebum (one of the protective mechanisms in the skin) production is lowered, and hormones that are linked with acne are raised. Excess sugar consumption also makes us appear older, as it stimulates glycation in the body, which changes our skin structure leaving it stiff and ultimately wrinkly.
  • Adding lots of herbs and spices to our foods can help slow the aging process down. But avoiding sugars is really what we need to do to have beautiful skin!
  • Lots and lots of medicinal herbs can help very specific skin conditions, calendula, chick weed, burdock, aloe vera, thuja, thyme, marshmallow and Gotu kola are but a few. If you have chronic skin issues, I urge you to see a naturopath to help.
  • Silica is great for the structure of our skin, hair and nails; you can get it as a supplement, but you can also get it into your diet through mussels, oats, brown rice, and by eating the stems of silverbeet!

I hope this helps you have beautiful, glowing skin! I can summarise this for you in one simple line: clean food = clean skin.
Cheree Sheldon, Nutritionist
Healthy Mummy Smoothies