The skin is the largest organ in the body. It functions as a protective barrier, our primary organ of sense, and a very important organ of elimination and detoxification.
Through perspiration, the skin can clear all kinds of toxins from our bodies to help keep us healthy and clean on the inside. However, this essential task of exiting toxins means that impurities from inside our body often show up on the outside as imperfections in the skin.
This is why the secrets to beautiful skin involve ridding our insides of impurities through ample water intake, eating detoxifying foods and and nourishing the skin from the inside out.
Nourishing the skin means nourishing the dermal cells and connective tissue that make up skin layers.
Collagen makes up a large proportion of the skin's interior matrix and is literally behind the structure and shape of our face, our hands, our legs and everything else!
To maintain a youthful appearance, its important to protect the skin from premature aging and help it build and repair its collagen matrix. Collagen needs antioxidant vitamin C, estradiol hormone, and the amino acid L-lysine to stay firm and strong. These nutrients may sound like a tall order but luckily, many of the foods that are rich in antioxidants, plant estrogens, and amino acids also contain water and detoxifying elements.
Hooray!! Here are the foods you can eat to hydrate, detoxify and nourish your skin:
Watermelon. Summer is the season to show off our skin so isn't it fitting that the quintessential fruit of summer helps us get beautiful skin? Watermelon obviously provides water to hydrate our skin, but it also contains antioxidants vitamin C and lycopene. These two nutrients will help build collagen and undo the damage done by harmful UV rays.
Soybeans. You've probably heard that soy contains phytoestrogens. These plant estrogens mimic the activity of estrogen made in our body by promoting synthesis of new collagen cells. Soybeans are also a great source of L-lysine, an essential amino acid that must be obtained from the diet to help collagen and cartilage grow. Go for organic, non-GMO soybeans whenever possible.
Flaxseed. Another source of phytoestrogens, flaxseed is a great detoxifying food because of its high fiber content. It also contains omega-3 ALA which is converted to anti-inflammatory compounds in the body. That translates into clear skin that's clean from the inside out! Remember to always grind flaxseeds before eating them. Keep whole flaxseeds in the freezer so they won't become rancid before grinding.
Cheers to your happy, healthy skin! References: Beautifying Skin by Shelly Lynn Nellis. Vista Magazine, Volume 66, page 44.