When building a natural skincare routine most of us tend to focus on moisturizers, creams, and serums but healthy hair, skin, and nails first come from WITHIN. What you EAT and how you are processing nutrients (gut health) is literally building your hair, skin, and nails. On the other hand lack of nutrients and poor diet can significantly decrease the quality and health of your hair, skin, and nails.
So without further ado lets dive into what foods you should AVOID that damage and destroy hair/skin/nails…..
- GLUTEN– Eating gluten and excessive processed carbohydrates can lead to leaky gut, which is the root of autoimmune issues (including acne)
- SOY– The phytoestrogens in soy can disrupt hormone balance leading to estrogen dominance and cystic acne
- SUGAR– This is a big one! High blood sugar and insulin overload leads to premature aging of the skin. Once consumed sugar revs the biological process known as “cell division” and puts aging into overdrive. The more sugar you eat the faster you age. Sugar molecules bind to collagen and can cause acne. Excess sugar causes the protein structures within follicles to disintegrate and can cause hair thinning and loss.
- VEGETABLE OIL – These oils are highly processed and loaded with high omega 6 leading to inflammation, premature aging and acne.
- ALCOHOL – Alcohol dehydrates your body and can dry out your skin,hair, and nails.
- CORN SYRUP (hfcs) – everytime you consume corn syrup you are allowing your skin to become a wrinkle magnet. Corn syrup/ high fructose corn syrup/ sugars bind to collagen causing it to get twisted and tangled. This shows up as age spots and wrinkles.
Now here are the foods you NEED to be eating more of!!! Combine this with a REAL food primal diet and you will start to see the changes right away in your hair, skin, and nails.
- BONE BROTH
- OILY FISH
- BEEF LIVER
- MEAT ON THE BONE
- EGG YOLKS
- COLLAGEN POWDER
THE KEY NUTRIENTS TO LOOK FOR IN YOUR DAILY DIET ARE
- Collagen–Collagen is one of the best supplements for skin anti-aging, helping keep skin supple and smooth. Hair is made almost entirely of protein. Consuming enough protein is important for hair growth.
- Vitamin A-taking a low dose of vitamin A tablets was effective in reducing moderate acne over a period of three months. Other studies have shown that retinol, a derivative of vitamin A, can be effective at fighting signs of aging when applied directly to the skin.
- Vitamin D – may provide benefits in the treatment of certain skin conditions, such as psoriasis, thanks to its involvement in the growth and maturation of skin cells.
- Vitamin K2 – aids in your skin’s healing process by reducing inflammation, redness and swelling and can even benefit skin conditions such as eczema.
- Biotin-a deficiency can be detrimental to your skin. Biotin may strengthen brittle nails and prevent them from breaking,
- Omega 3 EPA (healthy fat)-can help soothe inflammation and protect the skin against damage.
- Curcumin-has healing effects on the skin and can help speed up wound healing, reduce psoriasis symptoms, and even treat other skin conditions.
- Vitamin E- an important vitamin for skin and can help hair grow.
- Zinc- zinc plays an important role in hair tissue growth and repair. It also helps keep the oil glands around the follicles working properly.
First and foremost ALWAYS choose REAL whole foods as your primary source for vitamins and minerals then if needed supplements can help.
Another up and coming anti-aging technique is called intermittent fasting…
There are many ANTI-AGING BENEFITS OF CALORIE RESTRICTION.
As we age, a number of metabolites decline. These metabolites include leucine, isoleucine, and ophthalmic acid. These are very important metabolites for maintenance of muscle and antioxidant activity…Fasting boosted these three metabolites..This result suggests the possibility of a rejuvenating effect by fasting, which was not known until now.
-Dr. Takayuki Teruya
Essentially this concept is timing your meals to allow for regular periods of fasting. This is NOT about starvation or severe calorie restriction. It is a strategic way of arranging your eating times each week to allow for these fasting periods.
Once you begin to fast it takes about six to eight hours for your body to metabolize your glycogen stores.
So how exactly does this work?
Here is what daily intermittent fasting looks like in action
- The length of your fast must be at least 16 hours.
- This means eating only between the hours of 11am until 7pm or however you want to arrange your hours.
- Essentially, this way you skip breakfast and make lunch your first meal of the day instead. This will help shift you form carb burning to fat burning mode.
Make sure when you do eat you are choosing nutrient dense foods such as healthy fats, complex carbs, and clean protein choices such as the foods mentioned above.
Another popular intermittent fasting approach is slashing calories for two days a week. You can eat one, two, or three meals on those days as long as you keep the total calories at around 500 for women or 600 for men . To minimize any muscle loss shoot for 50 grams of protein. The rest of the week days you eat as you normally would.
A 600 calorie fasting day would look like this
Breakfast: Oatmeal with berries and a little milk = 250 calories
Dinner: Baked salmon with asparagus and tomatoes = 350 calories
It takes a few weeks, and you have to do it gradually, but you will see good things start to emerge!
- cravings for sugar diminish
- boosted levels of human growth hormone (aka the “fitness hormone”)
- vibrant skin
- improved brain function
- reduced cancer risk
- and may even lengthen your life
NOTE: Intermittent fasting is NOT intended for
-Pregnant or nursing women
-Weak,frail,or underweight individuals
Lastly don’t forget that daily workouts and sweating can help the body overall detox and remove toxins from pores. Sweating from your scalp helps unclog your hair follicles, allowing room for new hair growth!!! So go and sweat it out! Another one of the many benefits of daily exercise!
Bottom Line: When it comes to what vitamins we should be taking to keep our hair/skin/nails healthy remember beauty starts from within (literally!). These tips mentioned above will keep you in tip top condition and swimming in the fountain of youth for years to come!