Skin Health Series 1.2 // Taking Skin Health Beyond Rituals & Products

// Part Two //

Taking Skin Care Beyond Rituals and Products - Improving Your Skin Health Through Food

 

Continuing our skin health journey in this part two of the Skin Health Series.  If you've missed part one, where I've discussed in length the "what" and the "why" behind a multi-steps skin care ritual, I'd recommend reading that first (check it out here).  It'll help you connect to today's story much better!

 

Skin Health Eating Habits: A change in mindset about your skin from just skin care to skin health will make a huge difference.

I also used to focus only on the skin care and the associated products.  Nothing wrong with that at all as they are integral parts of our overall skin health.  At the same time, I've learned that what we eat and how we live also play a key role.

Skin Health Eating Habits: "Healthy eating" doesn't have to mean going on a diet. 

Oh gosh, I love to eat and my favorite foods may not be considered super "healthy".  But similar to skin care, we don't have to follow the trend because the key is to create balance - Eating my beloved Asian desserts every night wouldn't be the best choice for me, so I balance it with fruits on most nights.  Remember, key word here is "balance"!

Skin Health Eating Habits: Become friends with your fruits and veggies and know how they are helping you maintain skin health.

A friend recently asked me if she should do a detox.  My own experience didn't turn out that great...I almost fainted at work!  I've since opted for adding more fruits and veggies to my eating habits as not to shock my body like that again.  The key here is the same as in skin care - Listen to your body!  For me, my body didn't like detox, so I look for a different way to cleanse my body.  I'll share some my of favorite foods along with their skin health benefits and super easy recipes that you can make! 

Skin Health Eating Habits: I want to be completely transparent about one thing...

I'm sharing my personal skin health journey with you and, same with skin care products, foods or habits that my body takes in well may or may not work for you.  Always listen to your body and cater to your own needs.  Also, always consult with your family doctor or nutritionist on any dietary needs or if you have any pre-existing health conditions. 

Skin Health Eating Habits: I hope you'll walk away with 3 key points from reading Part 2 of the Skin Health Series.

1. You start to think of your skin in terms of overall skin health that incorporates rituals, products and eating habits.

2. Always listen to your skin and your body. 

3. Skin health is a journey and there's no shortcut to it, but the rewards that you get along the way are simply priceless.

 

Ready to take your skin health one step further?

Let's go!!!

skin health super hero nutrients

As I was thinking about how I should write this post, I realize there are soooooo many nutrients and foods that have great skin health benefits and I can probably write a 100-pages blog post about them all!  But of course, who has the time to read that and I definitely want to give you something that you can easily absorb and, more importantly, take action on!  So I've narrowed down to these 3 "super hero" nutrients based on the foods I eat regularly and on the promise that the recipes are super easy to make.

~ 1. Antioxidant ~

Skin Health Super Hero Nutrient: Antioxidant Why Do We Need It? 1. I know we're all familiar with topical antioxidant from our favorite skin care products, and there's even greater benefits by absorbing it from its most active form, which is the kind you'd get from food. 2. Our cells are under constant threat from "free radicals", the unstable molecules that damage cells. Unfortunately, it's hard to escape from them because they are natural byproducts of our body turning food into energy or they are in some foods we eat or in our environment. 3. This is where A/O comes in to help us fight against these free radicals!
Skin Health Super Hero Nutrient: Antioxidant What Are Considered A/O? 1. There are 3 major A/O - Vitamin A, C and E.  2. Within each one, there are many different foods/veggies/fruits you can choose from.   3. What I'll show later on are some of my favorites along with super easy recipes you can use to get yourself some helpings to these free-radical-fighters.  4. For Vitamin E, it's known to be more difficult to get from foods, so you can consider taking a supplement instead. 

 

~ 2. omega-3 fatty acids ~

Skin Health Super Hero Nutrient: Omega-3 Fatty Acids Why Do We Need It? 1. Omega-3 is more well known for promoting heart health, but the lesser known benefit has to do with skin health, too! 2. They help maintain the health of cell membrane, which is essentially the barrier to block harmful things from entering our cells.  3. They also impact the cells' abilities to hold water, which we all know is key to having soft, supple skin.  4. In other studies, Omega-3 is also known to reduce production of inflammatory compounds that affect how healthy our skin looks.
Skin Health Super Hero Nutrient: Omega-3 Fatty Acids What Are Considered O-3? 1. You can get healthy dose of O-3 from seafood such as tuna and salmon.  That is the most common way of getting O-3, but other foods such as walnuts, flex seeds, and canola oil are also good options. 2. There's also a super easy way to get it - Taking a Fish Oil supplement.  I pop one in everyday since I don't eat seafood that often. 

 

~ 3. vitamin b6 ~

Skin Health Super Hero Nutrient: Vitamin B6 Why Do We Need It? 1. Vitamin B6 has many health benefits that sometimes indirectly affect our skin health (such as hormones, metabolism). 2. For skin health, V-B6 helps us maintain good skin condition.  It's also known to help ease skin issues such as eczema, acne and dry skin.  3. A word of caution - My philosophy when it comes to vitamin intakes (from food or supplement) is that they are there to help boost our skin health, but not necessarily to treat any particular issues.  I'd reco taking similar approach on V-B6's benefits.
Skin Health Super Hero Nutrient: Vitamin B6 What Are Considered V-B6? 1. The list here is endless!  It covers whole grains, nuts, meat, seafood, veggies.  2. One I like the most is banana.  It's very universal as you can make a lot of different foods from bananas!  Smoothies, snacks, or just eat it as is. 

Now it's time to feed our skin some yummy goodness!

I'll be the first to admit that I'm a terrible cook!  Fortunately, my mom has some exceptional cooking skills and I occasionally figure out a way to copy some of her causally-whip-together recipes.  She's also probably the healthiest 60+ person I've known and it's because she understands how her food affects her body.  Despite our occasional disagreements, she remains my motivation in my quest to live a balanced life, inside and out.  Enough of my mushy stuff, let's move onto the fun part!

First, I want to share this chart with you - These are the foods I eat regularly and I dub them "Skin Health Super Foods" because they contain the skin health nutrients we've just talked about.

 
Skin Health Super Foods: Strawberries, Blueberries, Chia Seeds, Banana, Matcha, Carrots, Beets, Avocado, Fish Oil. They contain skin health nutrients Vitamin A, C, B6 or Omega-3 Fatty Acids.
 

Now that you have a good idea of what skin health goodness these foods provide, I'm going to share below how I incorporate them into my everyday eating habits! I promise you that these are very easy to make!

~ Chia seeds + blueberries ~

Perfect For // Breakfast, Snacks

Substitutions // Any toppings will work!  If you want protein, you can add protein powder or bananas.

 
Skin Health Recipe - Chia Seeds Pudding with Chia Seeds & Blueberries (Antioxidant). Ingredients: Honey 1 tspn, almond milk 1 cup, vanilla extract 1/2 tblspn, a dash of cinnamon, blueberries, quick oat 1/2 cup, chia seeds 1 tblspn. To Make This: 1.  Start in a sealable food container, mix all ingredients in except blueberries. 2. Gently stir and mix until it's evenly blended. 3. Put in refrigerator and let it soak overnight.  It'll turn into semi-solid form. 4. Serve with fresh blueberries. Bananas will work great, too...You can basically add any toppings to this!
 
 

 

~ matcha + bananas ~

Perfect For // Breakfast, Snacks, pre/post workout snack.

Substitutions // You can use any type of milk.  I use almond milk because it's dairy-free.

 
Skin Health Recipe: Matcha Banana Smoothie with Matcha Powder and Bananas (Antioxidant + Vitamin B6) Ingredients: Almond milk 1 cup, honey 1 tblspn, vanilla extract 1/2 tblspn, matcha powder 1 tblspn, Korean grain powder (optional), 2 bananas, a handful of ice cubes. // To Make This // 1.  Put everything except honey into the blender. 2. Use "mix" setting until smooth or blended. 3. While mixing, slowly add honey into the mixture.  I love it sweeter, so I add more, but it's really up to you! 4. This is enough for 2 servings & 1 is pretty filling as a breakfast food. You can save the 2nd one for afternoon snack. *This protein-rich drink is great for pre or post workout. 

 

~ carrots ~

Perfect For // Lunch, Dinner (with entrees or side dishes).

Substitutions // I would stick with carrots as the base and sub green carrots/radishes (if you don't like them) with tomatoes or melons.  You basically want at least two kinds of veggies to get a good flavor.  Note: Tomatoes are not suitable for people with GERD or suffer from heartburn.

 
Skin Health Recipe: Chinese-Style Veggie + Pork Soup With Carrots as Base Ingredient. Ingredients: Chinese herbs (optional), dried orange skin (optional), 2 dried dates, 6 dried scallops, 1 green carrots/radish, 2 carrots. // To Make This // 1.  Prepare ingredients as shown. 2. In an 8-qt pot, boil water (about 3/4 of pot).  When ready, put everything in the boiling water. 3. Boil at high heat for 15 minutes. 4. Reduce heat to medium/medium high & simmer for 3 hours. 5. Add salt to taste. *This carrot-based soup can have different variations. For example, radish can be replaced by tomatoes & potatoes. 
 
 

 

~ carrots + beets ~

Perfect For // Lunch, Dinner (with entrees or side dishes).

Substitutions // I would stick with carrots as the base and sub beets (if you don't like them) with tomatoes or melons.  Note: Tomatoes are not suitable for people with GERD or suffer from heartburn.

 
Skin Health Recipe: All Veggie Soup with Carrots and Beets as Base Ingredients. Ingredients: Barley 1/4 cup, 4 carrots, 2 dried dates, 4 beets, 1.5 potatoes, 1/4 cabbage, 6 dried scallops. To Make This: 1.  Prepare ingredients as shown. 2. In an 8-qt pot, boil water (about 3/4 of pot).  When ready, put in ONLY carrots, beets, potatoes, dates. 3. Boil at high heat for 15 minutes. 4. Reduce heat to medium/medium high, simmer for 3 hours.  At 2.5-hr mark, put in cabbage & beets leaves. 5. Add salt to taste.

 

~ avocado ~

Perfect For // Breakfast, lunch, pre/post workout snack.

Substitutions // You can use any kind of bread.  Also, you can switch out the toppings, but definitely stick with at least the boiled eggs.

 
 
 

 

~ strawberries ~

Perfect For // Dessert, snack.

Share The Love // This is a recipe by the fab Mary-June who runs Southern Meets Urban blog.  Mary-June is a nutritionist by training and a mom of twin girls.  She is always cooking up something in her kitchen and whipping up what I call magic with her Vitamix.  For more of her recipes, go check out her blog here.

 
Skin Health Recipe: Ruby Red Strawberry Sorbet with Strawberries and Bananas (Antioxidant and Vitamin B6) Ingredients: 2 Bananas (frozen), raw honey 1 tblspn, strawberries 1.5 cups (frozen), 2 pitted dates. // To Make This // 1.   Prepare ingredients as shown. 2.  Place everything into your Vitamix and select Variable 1. 3.  Turn machine on and slowly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High.  Use the tamper to press ingredients into the blades. 4.  In about 30-60 seconds, the sound of the motor will change and four mounds should form. .  Stop machine.  Do not over mix or melting will occur. Serve immediately.

Many thanks

I had so much fun writing this particular post because I get to talk about foods I love!  I hope you've enjoyed it as well!! 

In full disclosure, the list of recipes here is a combination of my trial and error, my mom's homecooking and word-of-mouth from friends.

I've narrowed down the content for ease of reading, but if you have questions about anything in particular, comment below or email me...I'd be happy to help dive in further!

I also want to say thank you to all of you who have been super supportive of this blog and just want to send you lots of hugs and kisses!!! 


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