Foods that Support Skin Health
What you eat (and don’t eat) can greatly affect your overall health, including the health of your skin. If you want glowing, radiant skin, consider avoiding processed foods that are stripped of their nutrition and get back to basics with whole foods that are nutrient dense. Make sure you are getting enough essential nutrients to protect your skin by keeping these foods on your grocery list and in your kitchen to keep your skin looking its best!
What are Doshas?
We offer suggestions around how foods impact your skin based on your dosha type. According to the Ayurvedic philosophy, doshas are biological energies found throughout our mind and body. They govern physical and mental processes and provide us with a blueprint for health. The three Ayurveda doshas are Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Vata is made up of air and space elements. Pitta is made up of fire and water. Kapha is made up of water and earth. With respect to your skin, a predominantly Vata dosha individual will experience dryness, premature aging and thinning of the skin. A predominantly Pitta dosha individual will experience sensitivity, rosacea, acne and will have combination skin. A predominantly Kapha dosha individual will experience oiliness, cysts, larger pores and/or blackheads. You can address these skin conditions with foods and products that bring balance to your dosha type.
Fish as a Main Dish
Omega 3s found in fish are essential fatty acids that help protect your skin cells, among other important jobs. They help make the fatty layer under your skin (collagen) more firm, which may help reduce lines and wrinkles. The best fatty fish include salmon, tuna (bluefin and albacore), trout, mackerel, sardines and anchovies.
Dosha tip: Salmon and trout can be overheating for the Pitta dosha individual but great for the Vata dosha individual.
Spinach on the Side
Like spinach, most leafy green vegetables contain omega-3. It’s an ideal base for salad and a nutritious addition to sandwiches, smoothies and sautéed dishes. Spinach contains antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene that have been shown to combat wrinkles. Add a little lemon juice to enhance the absorption of this leaf’s goodness.
Dosha tip: Spinach can be drying for the Vata dosha individual but great for Pitta and Kapha dosha individuals.
Nuts and Seeds as a Snack
Most plant-based foods won’t provide you with as much omega-3 as fish sources, however, they are still a good source that should not be ignored. Plus, plant based foods are rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients.
Keep super seeds on your grocery list! Consider “superfood” seeds such as hemp hearts, chia seeds and flaxseed. You can combine one tablespoon of each with half a cup of your favourite dairy-free milk for a vegan breakfast packed with nutritional punch. Hemp seed oil and flaxseed oil are particularly rich in essential fatty acids like omega 3. You can mix these oils into cereals, soups, smoothies, salads, sauces and dips.
Other plant-sourced omega-3 foods that can help nourish your skin include walnuts, walnut oil and almonds. Walnuts contain omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E that help your skin stay smooth. Enjoy them raw or add chopped walnuts to your salad or cereal.
Last but not least, avocado (technically a fruit) is an excellent food for skin health. It is rich in omega 3 and contains vitamins A, D and E, which are referred to as “building blocks” for your skin. These nutrients have even been shown to help even out skin tone and fight acne. Make a creamy guacamole and enjoy sliced avocado in your sandwich or salad.
Dosha tip: For the more fragile digestive system of a Vata dosha individual, soaking nuts before consuming them makes them much easier to digest. Heavy nuts are great for Vata dosha individuals, while seeds are best for Pitta and Kapha dosha individuals, however they should be consumed in moderation.
Garlic for Flavour
Raw garlic has been shown to contain antibiotic, antibacterial and antiviral properties which makes it a good remedy (and prevention) for blemishes. It helps to promote clear skin. To make the most of its naturally antibiotic compounds. Add garlic to all your favourite dishes for a dose of skin healing goodness!
Dosha tip: Raw garlic should be avoided for the more fragile digestive system of a Vata dosha individual, as well as for the easily over-heated system of the Pitta person.
Berries for the Best Dessert
Berries contain antioxidants and vitamins that may help protect your skin and minimize damage such as wrinkles that are caused by free radicals. Berries also contain vitamin C, which can help keep your skin firm. Vitamin C helps produce collagen, which helps your cells and blood vessels grow. Eat berries of all colours to benefit from the variety of nutrients they offer.
Dosha tip: Berries that are more on the sour side are great for Vata dosha individuals, but not for Pitta dosha individuals. Pitta dosha individuals should select sweeter berries. If you’re a Kapha dosha individual, consume small quantities of sweeter types of berries.
Last but not least, follow your intuition. As long as you are not in an extreme imbalanced state your intuition will guide you towards what your body truly needs!