The key to glowing skin is to understand the important role of our diet, including healthy fats. We cannot expect to magically have plump, happy skin without addressing what we eat. Fat is essential for producing hormones, absorbing fat-soluble vitamins, hydrating skin from the inside out, and effectively balancing blood sugar. When our blood sugar is under control, by adding healthy fats, we can help prevent hormonal breakouts caused by increased androgen levels and provide our body with the cholesterol and fatty acid precursors to balance hormones naturally.
Eat your way to healthy glowing skin.
Avocados contain monounsaturated fat that helps hydrate and shield the skin. Besides acting as a natural moisturizer, avocados are associated with anti-aging due to xanthophyll, an antioxidant and carotenoid with DNA damage protection. Avocados are also a primary source of vitamin E, which stimulates collagen production and benefits skin elasticity. When consumed, the healthy fat helps stabilize blood sugar—allowing your body to release fat, protect lean muscle, and increase energy. One of my favorites, avocado is a great add to any meal and even the perfect blood sugar stabilizing snack as a dip with vegetables. Topically, avocado oil can be used as a natural treatment for a multiplicity of skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. This oil absorbs easily and can replace coconut oil as a lotion.
2. Egg yolk
One egg yolk contains 13 essential nutrients, which makes it a superfood for your skin—on the inside and out! The yolk is rich in B vitamins, vitamins A and E, and selenium—all of which are important for vital cell function. Not only are egg yolks a fabulous source of protein, they are also a natural source of biotin. Also known as the beauty vitamin, biotin promotes healthier skin, hair, and nails. Looking for a quick face mask? Simply fork-whisk an egg white until foamy, apply it to your freshly cleansed skin, and leave it to work for 15 minutes. When you feel your skin tightening up, gently remove the egg white with a cloth soaked in warm water to reveal bright skin.
Turmeric is an excellent antiseptic and skin-lightening agent that helps minimize scars and other marks. Plus, turmeric can alleviate allergic, inflammatory, and infectious skin disorders that make your skin look dull and lifeless. Add some turmeric to lemon water, add it to a protein rub, or blend it up in a smoothie.
4. Coconut oil
Slather it on the skin or suck down a spoonful and glow! It’s antibacterial and antifungal, which is beneficial for maintaining clear skin. I even make a sugar-free chocolate out of it! When ingested, it bypasses the liver and is used for energy instead of being converted into triglycerides. The lauric acid (potent antifungal) contained in coconut oil also helps to balance gut bacteria by killing off excess yeast and candida, which can contribute to breakouts. This luscious oil easily removes makeup, takes the place of body lotion, and can be mixed with equal parts cocoa butter for a quick DIY lip gloss.
5. Ghee or (unsalted) grass-fed butter
Full of omega-3 fatty acids and medium-chain triglycerides, ghee, or grass-fed butter, is processed by the liver and used for energy that can keep you satiated through the next meal. This healthy fat is also high in vitamin A, a natural skin clarifier, and D, a first line of defense against the sun’s harmful UV rays. Incorporate ghee or grass-fed butter into your daily routine by adding a tablespoon to your morning coffee (plus a tablespoon of MCT oil) to stabilize blood sugar and burn fat as energy through lunch. Not a Bulletproof coffee fan? Cook your eggs in this fat and serve with a side of avocado.
Recent studies suggest omega-3 deficiency contributes to chronic acne, and adequate levels of this anti-inflammatory fatty acid will not only keep your skin clear but also increase cell hydration from the inside out. Wild salmon is one of the best food sources for omega-3 fatty acids and protein. This fish is also known for its vitamin D and selenium, a mineral that protects the skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Sardines, oysters, and mackerel are also excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Not into fish? One 200-calorie serving of walnuts has 2,776 mg of omega-3 essential fatty acids and is a great source of protein and copper, a mineral that boosts collagen production.
Rich in vitamin C, this citrus fruit will help your body purge excess water weight and balance the sodium and potassium levels in your cells. Add a slice of lemon to a mug of warm water in the morning to encourage digestion or squeeze onto your salad when dining out. Rub a little fresh lemon juice on your face, leave on for 5 to 10 minutes, and rinse clean. This natural peel increases the cell-renewal process and has bleaching properties to lighten skin naturally.
Like the lemon, cucumbers contain hydrating, nourishing, and astringent properties that are very good for skin both from the inside and topically. The enzymes digest damaged skin cells, removing dead skin cells safely and adding a fresh glow. Blend up a cucumber in your green smoothie or blend it with a little water or aloe (it didn’t make the list but this is way up there!) and use the fresh cool mask as a pick-me-up.