Did you know that your skin is the largest organ in your body? It’s true: your skin is much more than an outer surface for the world to see.
It protects you from bacteria, dirt, and the UV rays of the sun. It also contains nerve endings that let you know if something is hot or cold, soft or hard, sharp or dull. Your skin also plays an important role in regulating your body’s fluids and temperatures.
Healthy skin mirrors a healthy body. Most of us will spend an exorbitant amount of money on creams, lotions, and potions formulated to give us smoother, younger-looking skin. But if your body is ill or malnourished, lacking in antioxidants, suffering from an imbalance in the gastrointestinal tract, or insufficiently supplied with healthy fats from food intake, there isn’t a product out there that will help give your skin the look and feel you desire. Eating a nutritious diet rich in plants, high-quality proteins, healthy fats and, of course, drinking lots of water (with a squeeze of lemon) is so important.
Omega-3s for Glowing Skin and Hair
The omega-3 fats found in cold-water fatty fish such as sardines, anchovies, mackerel, tuna, and salmon, as well as nuts and seeds like walnuts, almonds, hemp, chia, flaxseed, olives, and coconut oil, are especially helpful for moisturizing skin, preventing aging, decreasing wrinkles, treating acne, and protecting the skin from sunburn. These delicious fats help strengthen the skin and keep it looking plump and healthy. Omega-3s also keep the skin well hydrated, because they strengthen the cell membranes that wall off water loss through the skin. The result? Softer, wrinkle-free skin! Added to a diet rich in antioxidants, omega-3s act as a natural moisturizer from the inside out. Omega-3 fatty acids also build healthier skin by reducing the body’s production of inflammatory compounds – the natural chemicals involved in the aging process. Keeping these chemicals at bay is what’s required to limit the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, uneven skin tone, and sun damage.
Your hair benefits from omega-3s, too! They help nourish the hair follicles for healthier, stronger, and shinier tresses while also diminishing dry, flaky scalp.
Given all their benefits, there’s absolutely no reason not to make omega-3s your go-to beauty nutrient!
Astaxanthin: The Best Antioxidant You’ve Never Heard Of?
If astaxanthin is a new micronutrient to you, it’s high time you got to know it! It’s a naturally occurring carotenoid found in microalgae, and it’s one of the most studied and powerful antioxidants available today. It’s 65 times more powerful than vitamin C!
One way to remember it: it’s the antioxidant you can SEE with its beautiful bright red colour, which is proof positive of its ability to protect cells from oxidation and inflammation. When salmon and shell fish such as crab, lobster, shrimp, and krill eat an algae-rich diet, it turns their bodies bright red with astaxanthin content.
Astaxanthin is a protective nutrient. It helps repair damage to joints, muscles, heart, inflammation, cells, and… skin! Product research aimed at finding new anti-aging formulations, UVA protection, and sunscreen development, all point promisingly to astaxanthin-rich ingredients.
The best way to get more astaxanthin in your diet – along with eating more salmon and shellfish – is to supplement with 4 mg per day.
As the saying goes, you are what you eat. To achieve optimal health, beautiful glowing skin, high energy levels, and the best quality of life, your diet needs to include the key nutrients that we know lead to the best results.
In addition to the healthy fats mentioned above, try to include these “skin superfoods” in your meals each day.
• Sweet potatoes
• Green tea
• Dark cacao
• Lemon juice
Foods to avoid:
• White flour
• Excess caffeine
• Anything refined
Karlene’s “Good Morning Gorgeous” Smoothie
Karlene Karst, is a Vancouver- based registered dietitian, healthy living advocate, author, mother of three, and founder of Sea-licious® Omega-3 oils. She starts each day with a green smoothie to help her outer glow.
Blend these ingredients with several ice cubes:
1 frozen banana
2 cups of spinach
Juice of ½ lemon
1 date pitted
1 cup of filtered water
1 tsp of fresh grated ginger
For thicker texture, add more ice!
Karlene Karst holds a BSc in Nutrition and is an expert in natural health and wellness. Karlene is the author of several books, and is an upbeat, knowledgeable TV personality and spokesperson appearing on the cover of magazines and TV shows including The Marilyn Denis Show, CTV Morning Live, Global Morning News, and Breakfast TV. You can follow Karlene and her healthy living nutrition tips on social media @karlenekarst