The age-old adage “you are what you eat” must have been coined with the skin in mind, as our greasier, heavier meal choices have a vengeful way of reminding us that a healthy complexion starts from within. In the same way, when we feed our bodies with vitamin-packed whole foods and hydrate with plenty of water, our skin is the first to reap the rewards. The driving principle of naturopathic treatment — that conscious diet, exercise, massage and other lifestyle decisions can be the most powerful form of medicine — supports this same philosophy.
Because the skin is the body’s largest organ, when things aren’t quite right inside, breakouts are often the first visible cry for help. Even for more stubborn genetic and hormonal acne, a healthy lifestyle can go a long way to combat flare-ups. For those suffering from acne of all types, your first defense is what’s on your plate. This week, try challenging yourself by resisting the urge to stop by the drive-thru window on your way home from work, and instead plan ahead for a healthy dinner that will contribute to your natural glow rather than unravel it. Here is some inspiration to get you started.
Oily fish such as salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids (the good kind of fat), which is believed to have skin-boosting potential such as protection against sun damage. Wild-caught salmon is recommended over its farm-raised counterpart. Bake it with herbs in a 450-degree oven for 15 minutes, or swap out the brats at your next barbecue and throw some fillets on the grill instead.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts have an undeserved bad rap, perhaps because they tend to leave behind an odor that rivals that of broccoli after cooking. Not only can they be a tasty treat with a touch of seasoning, but they are also an excellent source of antioxidants such as vitamin C (even more than oranges!) that can help maintain collagen strength and benefit overall skin health. Roasting with olive oil lends additional flavor plus restorative vitamin E. Not a fan of sprouts? Cruciferous cousin cauliflower also boasts vitamin C power and happens to be similarly delicious when roasted.
Bell peppers, and red bell peppers in particular, are another superfood packed with antioxidant rockstar vitamin C. High traces of beta carotene offer the added benefit of anti-inflammatory properties. Stuff with a healthy grain such as quinoa and roast for a hearty vegetarian meal.