When we think of nutrition, we tend to default to a body-centric notion. We think of being slim, burning fat, which foods are best for proper digestion, etc. And that’s great—there is nothing wrong with wanting to stay in shape, and excellent digestion is the baseline for health. But intentional eating can also be targeted.
Most nutritionally dense foods will not be good for only one thing. Superfoods are powerful allies for many of our body’s functions, but when we consider them for specific needs, we build an intentional awareness around what we eat and when, so that we can serve our body as it fluctuates, adapts, detoxes, and protects us.
We spoke with Shauna Faulisi, holistic nutritionist and wellness chef as well as founder of wellness community Soul Wellness Method, about her favorite foods for skin health, namely fighting wrinkles. Because aging is often so tied to our environment and input, it’s vital that we think of much of our input, aka the things we eat and drink, as having a direct effect on the way we look and feel.
Shauna pointed out that certain foods can be hydrating, which is also great for plumping the skin. Even better, specific foods and nutrients are geared directly toward preventative skincare, so that we don’t age prematurely and we can stave off the depth of our wrinkles. Here are some of her favorites:
While we automatically think of blueberries for antioxidant power, that can be a blanket term. Which antioxidants exactly?
“These low-glycemic berries have a high concentration of anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants that protect the skin by scavenging for free radicals from day-to-day environmental factors that destroy skin’s connective tissue,” Shauna explains.
“Eat these to support your skin’s elasticity while simultaneously keeping your cognitive function up (they’re a brain food too!).”
“Not only are they an aphrodisiac, but these little creatures are rich in zinc, a mineral that protects the skin’s fibroblast tissue that’s responsible for the secretion of collagen proteins. You can make the night spicy while repairing your skin and creating collagen!”
We love a fresh dozen on a nice date or night out, but when in a pinch or wanting to consume them more often and for less of a bill at the end of the night, smoked oysters from a tin are a fantastic option. Just make sure they are packed in water or quality oil and not made with faux smoke flavoring.
“This is your invitation to eat chocolate! Real-deal dark chocolate contains magnesium, a mineral that plays a key role in the production of the enzymes that manage DNA repair. So if we’re deficient in magnesium, DNA repair slows down,” Shauna tells us. As if we needed another excuse to eat chocolate.
“Avocados and leafy greens like kale, spinach, and collard greens, plus nuts and seeds like almonds, cashews, and sunflower seeds, are all rich in the mineral, as well.”
“Omega-3 fatty acids are a major player for your skin. Foods rich in fatty acids like hemp seeds, flax seeds, sardines, and salmon attract water to skin cells to plump up the skin and, you guessed it, reduce wrinkles! Plus, omega-3s help ease irritation and inflammation in the body, which shows on your skin.”
“Eating tomatoes is one of my favorite ways to care for my skin. Lycopene, a plant nutrient responsible for giving the red and pink pigment to foods such as tomatoes and watermelon, has been shown to suppress oxidative stress.
Not only that, but it helps to prevent UVA and UVB damage caused from sun exposure. There’s a reason why these foods are plentiful in the sunny summer months! Nature is always supporting us.”
“Focusing on a diet rich in protein will not only retain the integrity of your skin, but it will keep you feeling empowered and strong in your body. The amino acids found inside help with the regeneration of skin cells and collagen, which is responsible for maintaining the skin’s structural support. Simply put, if maintaining firm skin as you age is a priority, focus on protein.
Bone broth is exceptional because it contains not only protein but also many of the minerals and vitamins we mentioned here. It’s an ancient food that lives up to its hype.”
Nothing beats sipping on a savory cup or bowl of collagen-rich bone broth, maybe with some miso or lemon and some grated garlic or scallions. But we also like to sip on some sweet collagen too, and Beauty Chef makes that easy any time of day or night.
While all these foods Shauna shared are great for skin health, they also maintain hormone health, healthy weight, digestion, and good rest, which are all imperative for glowing skin. We like to think that eating intentionally for our bodies and thinking of specific nutrients for specific needs while we eat creates a beautiful and effective mind-body symbiosis so that we can reap all the benefits in a connected way.
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