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Foods for Healthy Skin

Food is the root to our glowing skin. The foods we eat nourish the cells in our body, which affect the quality of the blood that feeds our delicate skin cells. If we feed our body cells foods that are processed, fatty, or contain animal products, then that is what will create our skin’s surface. However, if our skin cells grow from vegetables and other energizing, purifying and reviving foods, than our skin will illuminate.

Our skin is the product of what is going on inside our bodies. When our organs function properly and efficiently, our skin will be as calm and relaxed as our insides.

Foods that Deprive Us of Our Glow

Red Meat & Poultry – These foods are high in saturated fats and cholesterol. Our bodies require a lot of energy to digest red meat, which takes away energy and resources from other bodily functions. Red meat contributes to dry skin and hair.

Poultry has a layer of fat under the skin, which gives its consumers a layer of fat under their skin. This contributes to dry skin and blemishes. “Chicken skin” is a common term for aging flesh on humans for a reason.

Dairy - We are the only species that consumes milk after infancy. The majority of humans naturally stop producing lactase, the enzyme needed to properly metabolize lactose (the sugar in milk), usually between the ages of two and five years old. Most mammals were not meant to consume milk after infancy. These foods also require a lot of energy to assimilate, which limits the amount of energy available for other body functions.

Eggs – Eggs are also difficult for our bodies to digest, which again depletes energy and resources from other body systems. They are high in cholesterol and fat and create stiff muscles and joints.

Sugar & Flour – These foods do not provide us with any nutrients. Refined sugar lacks vitamins, minerals and fiber, thus requiring extra effort to digest. Our body must deplete its own store of minerals and enzymes to absorb sucrose properly. Therefore, instead of providing our body with nutrition, it creates deficiency. Unlike natural sugar, refined sugar is absorbed quickly into our bloodstream causing excitability, nervous tension and hyperactivity. We quickly “crash” when our blood sugar plummets, causing fatigue, depression, weariness and exhaustion.

All of these fatty foods harden the body. They contribute to clogged pores and inhibit waste release. They decrease moisture in the skin, which contributes to wrinkles and makes skin hard and brittle.

Foods that Enhance Our Glow

Whole Grains - So what exactly is a whole-grain? These are grains that have been produced from unrefined grain, which is grain that still retains its outer bran layers and inner germ and endosperm. Basically, these grains still have all of their nutrients (dietary fiber, minerals and vitamins). These grains will be absorbed more slowly into your blood stream, keeping your blood sugar level stable, which will keep your energy and mood free from spikes and crashes.

Beans - They are high in iron, B vitamins, fiber, and are versatile enough that you may never tire of them.

Fish – When eaten in moderation, fish provides an excellent source of the essential fatty acids, protein, B vitamins and other essential nutrients.

Vegetables – Dark leafy greens like kale and collards are great for purifying the blood, improving liver, gallbladder and kidney function. Nightshade vegetables are better in smaller amounts due to their acidic content. These vegetables include tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and eggplant.

Soups – When served as the first course of a meal, or the entire meal, soup helps to relax the digestive tract, which enhances our digestion, making the nutrients more efficiently and easily absorbed.

Dessert – That’s right, dessert is an important component of a healthy diet. Depriving yourself of foods that you crave is not going to do anyone any good. This is why fad and crash dieting never works in the long run. The key is picking the right dessert to prevent overeating and binging and keeping you feeling satisfied. Fruit is a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth. Avoid desserts made with refined flour and sugar. Substitute your favorite dessert recipe with a whole-grain or nut-based flour and replace refined sugar with a natural sweetener like agave nectar. Check out some dessert recipes at peninabareket.com.

Also, sweet vegetables soothe the internal organs of the body and energize the mind. Because many of these vegetables are root vegetables, they are energetically grounding, which helps to balance out the spaciness people often feel after eating other kinds of sweet foods. Adding in sweet vegetables helps to crowd out less healthy foods in the diet.

These “glowing” foods are nutrient dense, so every calorie consumed is actually benefiting your body. By eating a plant-based diet that emphasizes vegetables, whole-grains and legumes, you give your body the fuel it needs to function without extra effort to remove all of the impurities you feed it.

When our insides are happy, it shows on our outsides.

1. Pirello, Christina. Glow. New York: The Berkley Publishing Group. 2001.
2. The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, New York, NY. 2009.

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