The fastest and most permanent way to get good skin is to clean up and improve your diet.
But to achieve seriously gorgeous glowing skin – you need to superfood your skin from the inside and out.
Why inside and out? Because our skin is our largest organ – and everything we apply to the surface of our skin enters our blood stream and lymphatics.
So, when you apply chemicals to your skin – you are not only poisoning your skin – but also your whole body – scary stuff!
They used to believe that nothing could penetrate the surface of the skin – but now we know better. Think nicotine patches, hormonal patches – these are placed on the skin and enter the bloodstream.
Why should you add superfoods to your life?
Superfoods are both food and medicine.
They are the most powerful, concentrated, nutrient dense foods on earth, giving us the biggest nutritional boost gram for gram.
By adding superfoods to your diet daily, I believe that you can maintain radiant health, and youthful glowing skin with strong thick hair and nails.
By adding superfoods to your diet such as cacao, coconut, goji berries and spirulina – you are supporting your body’s ability to repair cells, eliminate free radicals, balance hormones and sleep better therefore achieving glowing health – but also a beautiful skin, hair and nails.
Today we live in a radiation filled, mineral depleted, chemical laden world. So, plant consumption needs to go beyond just eating our regular organic vegetables in order to keep us detoxified and fuelled properly.
If you eat non-organic foods, you definitely need to add superfoods to your diet because vegetables, unless grown organically or home grown in nutrient dense soil are so depleted in nutrients as well as heavily sprayed with chemicals – our bodies cannot process these chemicals, so they leave a toxic layer behind.
The top thirteen superfoods for glowing skin.
- Acai berries
- Aloe vera
- Coconut oil
- Goji berries
- Hemp seeds
- Raw Honey
- Olive oil
- Pumpkin Seeds
Acai berries are in actual fact a date that grows on a tropical palm tree.
It was introduced to the west in the early 1990s, although tribes in the Amazon jungle had been consuming them for thousands of years.
Traditionally in western society it was recommended for its ability to boost the immune system, increase energy, fight infections, support a healthy heart and improve sex drive, although Amazon shamans also used it as an antibiotic and as a treatment for parasitic conditions, ulcers, diarrhea, and bleeding disorders.
But it is more than a medicine – it enhances energy and skin.
Acai can be consumed as a powder, juice or frozen.
It can be blended into smoothies, made into a tea, or applied directly to the skin (ideally only as a lip stain because turns everything dark red!)
It is low in sugar and high in all of the good stuff.
Acai berries are loaded with fibre, protein, iron, vitamin A, vitamin E and calcium. They have over the top levels of anthocyanins (estimated to be ten to thirty times higher than those of red wine) and are also extremely high in plant sterols.
Loaded with an antioxidants that support healthy cholesterol levels and robust blood composition and circulation.
Acai has mega amounts of essential fatty acids as well (omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9), which are essential for keeping your cells saturated with enough nutrients and hydration to support super healthy skin and hair. Acai helps revive tired, damaged skin cells, restore moisture, relieve the inflammatory effects of acne, and protect your skin from the harmful and premature aging effects of environmental toxins and air pollution. Acai berries help to smooth fine lines and hyperpigmentation.
Aloe is one of nature’s best emollients.
Aloe vera is high in methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) found naturally in humans as well as many plants.
It heals sunburn and other burns quickly. It is loaded with enzymes, particularly bradykinase which fights inflammation and soothes skin.
It is amazing for acne, and soothing for psoriasis, rosacea, and dermatitis.
Aloe vera enhances skin’s elasticity and smoothness as well as maintaining the skin’s microbiome. It enhances collagen and elastin renewal, soothes, hydrates, and nourishes skin – which makes it the one of the best topical superfoods for skin regeneration, and repair.
It is antibacterial and antifungal, so a wonderful wound healer, and acne treatment.
Raw aloe gel is made up of mostly water and long chain sugars (polysaccharides) and it contain numerous nutrients including anthraquinones (laxatives), gibberellins (plant hormones that speed healing), salicylic acid (aspirin compound, plus beta hydroxy acid – BHA – exfoliating), anti-inflammatory sterols and choline (protects the liver and brain).
Aloe is loaded with minerals such as calcium and magnesium as well as trace minerals, such as manganese, chromium, copper, and zinc).
Aloe is also nourishing for your hair and scalp. It moisturises dry hair and scalp and eliminates dandruff.
When purchasing Aloe – read the label – many versions sold in chemists and supermarkets are loaded with toxic chemicals.
Internally aloe vera gel heals the intestinal lining, boosts the immune system, enhances gut flora and improves the body’s ability to absorb nutrients and deliver them to the skin.
Aloe vera is a demulcent – this means it relives irritation and inflammation. A broken digestive system wreaks havoc on our health – plus – the gel can also help eliminate puffy eyes, bloating and constipation.
Aloe vera is also contains nineteen of the twenty amino acids needed for optimal body function.
Avocado is one of the most well-known superfoods.
Did you know that it is actually used as a prescription drug in France for treatment for osteoarthritis because of its anti-inflammatory effect and stimulatory effect on connective tissue?
Avocados contain super high levels of phytosterols, carotenoids, flavonoids and polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols, and phytonutrients that fight free radicals.
They are also an excellent source of pantothenic acid, vitamins B6, C, E and K, potassium, copper, folate, and dietary fibre.
Avocados are one of the few fruits that provide an excellent source of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats too, the good kind, especially oleic acid.
They are also nutrient boosters, which means that they help the body absorb more fat-soluble nutrients such as lutein and alpha and beta carotene from other foods when they are eaten with them.
Polyunsaturated fats are good for the brain, muscles, and nerves – plus they protect the skin from sun-damage.
Monounsaturated fats, along with avocado oil’s impressively high levels of vitamin C and E, lubricate the joins and facilitate tissue hydration throughout the intestines, keeping the entire body supple – skin included. It is also linked to weight loss around the belly area.
Avocado oil contains lutein and zeaxanthin needed to protect eyes and keep them bright.
It also contains beta-carotene and lycopene, both of which support cell membranes – and therefore improve skin health and protect it from premature aging and wrinkles.
Avocado oil is the go-to for eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, dry skin, dandruff, and dry hair.
Chocolate is everyone’s favourite superfood. But we are talking cacao, not cocoa – the latter is the processed version of cacao.
Raw cacao – can be found as nibs or powder, it isn’t as sweet as the processed version, but still tastes divine!
Raw cacao can be used instead of cocoa for baking, hot chocolate, or making delicious dark chocolate bars.
Raw cacao is one of nature’s outstanding superfoods due to its abundant mineral and trace mineral content.
Just like avocado and aloe vera, cacao can be eaten or applied topically (as cacao butter), and you will receive the benefits from it either way.
Cacao contains protein, vitamins A and C, riboflavin, thiamine, calcium, potassium, magnesium, bioavailable iron, chromium, manganese, zinc, copper, omega-6 fatty acids, sulphur, and phosphorus.
It is loaded with antioxidants that protect and repair your skin from premature aging. The oil in the cacao seed helps to improve and rejuvenate your skin’s health and appearance because it is a potent anti-inflammatory.
Cacao’s polyphenols help create healthy gut bacteria which aid digestion. This assists blood flow throughout the body promoting cellular healing and increased hydration to the skin.
If you are someone who reaches for chocolate when you are feeling stressed, out of sorts or exhausted – or that 4 pm afternoon slump – there is actually a scientific reason why your body craves chocolate.
Cacao contains anandamide, sometimes referred to as the ‘bliss molecule’, which hits your cannabinoid receptors like a warm hug, making you feel happier while also increasing neurogenesis, the formation nerve cells in the brain.
For many years there was a campaign against saturated fat, it was said to clog up arteries. But the truth is – it was the industrial seed oils such as corn oil, safflower oil, and cotton seed oil along with canola oil which were, and still are the main issue.
Raw saturated fat is an important building block of each cell in the human body. The skin and the subcutaneous levels under the skin, as well as the membranes surrounding each cell, contain saturated fat.
When you consume a healthy saturated fat such as coconut oil – you nourish your cells. This allows them to function at their best which boosts your thyroid, immune system, your digestion, and your ability to absorb fat soluble vitamins such as A and D, minerals such as magnesium and calcium, phospholipids such as choline and lecithin, and your moisturising fatty acids like omega 3.
All of these factors are important in achieving glowing skin, hair and healthy weight.
Coconut oil is cholesterol free – and it supports healthy cholesterol levels by increasing the good cholesterol HDL (high density lipoprotein) important for essential healthy hormone production – which in turn is important for healthy skin.
It converts HDL into pregnenolone, which is the precursor to many hormones, including progesterone which known as the beauty hormone.
Progesterone improves circulation to the skin giving us a natural face lift by tightening up our saggy places, Progesterone also counteracts fatigue and protects the nervous system from stress.
When our progesterone levels decrease it speeds up our ageing process and causes us to look haggard and run down.
Coconut oil contains numerous medium-chain triglycerides (MCT’s), and is antifungal, and antimicrobial.
I highly recommend using coconut oil as your cooking oil of choice – if you are not a fan of everything tasting like coconut oil, you can use MCT oil which has a soft flavour and is liquid like olive oil.
Coconut oil, unlike other oils such as canola oil, corn oil, margarine, safflower oil, soy oil and vegetable oil –doesn’t become a toxic trans-fatty acid when heated. Trans fats go to work in your system like a slow drip of poison causing liver spots, wrinkles and as the build-up continues, causing damage to your major organs such as the liver and the heart.
Topically, coconut oil is amazing for everything from smoothing scars, to treating inflamed skin such as eczema, psoriasis, acne, and it even offers a sunscreen factor of 7.119.
This is why the Everything Skin Cream contains coconut oil!
Goji berries are the most nutritionally rich berries on earth.
Goji berries are high in antioxidants – they contain 2- 4 times more antioxidants than blueberries!
Antioxidants pull the damaging effects of free radicals out of your system and keep your liver clean and functioning.
Goji berries are a complete protein source, containing 20 amino acids and all nine essential amino acids. It contains twenty-one trace minerals including zinc, iron and copper, and high levels of hydrogen.
Plus, they contain sesquiterpenoids, beta-sitosterol, linoleic acid, betaine, and polysaccharides, all of which feed our cells the exact nutrients they need to stay plump and healthy.
One other amazing factor of the goji berry is its ability to stimulate production of human growth hormone (HGH).
As our bodies age, we produce less and less HGH. Lowered HGH causes us to feel less energetic, experience muscle loss and we start storing more body fat.
Hemp Seeds and Hemp Seed Oil
Hemp seeds are one of the best sources of complete bioavailable plant protein available to us.
Hemp protein contains 66 percent edestin and 33 percent albumin. Edestin is used by the body to produce almost all types of enzymes, hormones, and blood molecules whilst also contributing to stress reduction. Albumin maintains the strength of tissues which contributes to taut smooth skin.
Oil from hemp seeds boasts one of the highest percentages of essential fatty acids of any seed on earth. It is an almost perfect ratio to meet the body’s nutritional needs.
EFA’s are antioxidants that protect the skin from sun-damage and support the health of the brain, eyes, and cardiovascular system. They also help the body burn excess fat, and remove toxins from the skin, intestinal tract, kidneys and lungs.
Hemp oil is an outstanding source of omega-3 (alpha -linolenic acid or AHA), omega-6 (linoleic acid and gamma -linoleic acid – or GLA an anti- inflammatory powerhouse that helps hormone balance), and omega-9 (oleic acid).
Hemp is loaded with high levels of sulphur containing amino acids, methionine, and cysteine. These aid the liver in filtering out toxins, improve the immune system, physical strength, enhance complexion, and the health of hair.
Hemp helps treat eczema, dryness, scaling, cracking and some forms of acne.
Hemp seed oil contains three times more vitamin E than flaxseed oil (my favourite skin enhancing oil), and is a good source of brain-sustaining, liver-supporting, cell membrane-building lecithin.
Hemp is an amazing source of vitamins A, B and D, and is one of the few seeds that contains chlorophyll in the amazing tiny green leaves that live inside each seed pod. It has an abundant supply of major minerals and more than twenty trace minerals, such as silicon, sulphur, zinc and iron.
Topically it is a wonderful moisturiser, and firming oil. It hydrates without clogging the pores and can be tolerated by all skin types.
Honey has been a go to for centuries by medicine women, shamans, and healers.
Honey nourishes the cells and clinical studies show that honey has wound healing, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory actions as well as being a anti-viral agent.
Internally honey supports the production of melatonin, which is essential for a good night’s sleep, and sleep affects telomeres, a critical component of healthy ageing.
Honey contains amino acids, and in its raw unprocessed form, honey is one of nature’s richest sources of live healing enzymes, containing about two hundred active substances on average.
Honey varies in nutrients depending on where the bees forage and how clean the environment. However, all raw honey is composed primarily of fructose and glucose, and contain fructooligosaccharides, lots of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, phenolics, peptides, flavonoids, phenolic acids, tocopherols, and superoxide dismutase which all work together to heal the body from inside and out.
All of these factors together, make honey an all-round medicinal wonder superfood.
Maca is from the cruciferous family whose members are broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, radishes, and turnips.
Maca is cultivated for its root, which comes in different colours – white, yellow, red, purple, or black. It is either dried and powdered and or cooked.
It tastes malty with butterscotch overtones – so is delicious as a hot drink with cacao, or in a plant-based milk shake.
Maca has the ability to balance your glandular-hormonal system, nervous system, cardiovascular system, and musculature. It is also an adaptogen – so helps your body deal with stressful situations. It works on your adrenals to provide you with energy whilst at the same time keeping you calm and level-headed,
It is marvellous for stress management, and studies show that it can reduce anxiety and even fight depression.
Maca is mainly known for its libido and fertility enhance properties and this is because of its action on the hypothalamus, the sex-hormone centre of the brain. The hypothalamus stimulates the pituitary gland to secrete luteinizing hormone, which in turn stimulates the adrenal glands and the gonads to secrete testosterone, progesterone and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA).
Why is this so important? As you become overburdened with toxins, demineralized, and suffer from poor nutrition, you produce less of these hormones. This decrease causes the physical signs of ageing.
Therefore, increasing hormone production naturally with maca can keep your body looking younger longer. Fortunately, since maca is an adaptogen, it will keep your hormones is check leveling them out only when needed.
Maca is around 76 percent carbohydrates, 8 percent fibre, 5 percent fat and slightly more than 10 percent protein.
Although it is not a complete protein, it contains twenty amino acids, including seven of the essential ones.
Maca also offers macro and micro-nutrients including thirty-one different minerals to optimise cellular function. Minerals such as iron and iodine which are important for the support of your thyroid. When your thyroid isn’t working properly it leads to hair thinning and sallow skin.
Olive oil is well known as a good fat because of its monounsaturated fat oleic acid content.
At a cellular level, oleic acid is used by the plasma membranes to reman fluid and soft. These cell membranes are made up of large amounts of fat and cholesterol, and when your diet contains high amounts of oleic acid, your cell membranes are more resistant to oxidation slowing down the ageing process.
Oleic acid is a superstar at reducing bad cholesterol too, and regular consumption of olive oil has been shown to protect against coronary heart disease by decreasing arterial clogging. When blood can flow freely it nourishes cells and the skin becomes clear and luminous.
Olives and their oil contain an abundance of vitamin E, which is known for its ability to repair connective tissue and repair fine lines and soften scaring.
Vitamin E also stimulates circulation and is soothing to the digestive tract. Squalene is one of the most common oils produced by human skin cells – and this is found in olive oil as well.
Not only does it smooth the appearance of your skin and improve the hydration, but it also boosts your immune system.
Olive oil should be consumed in the form of fresh olives (or those in the fridge section of the veggie shop or supermarket – do not consume those in jars not in the fridge area – they have been heated up and have lost their goodness). Or consumed as cold pressed extra virgin oil, it must be cold pressed and virgin or it will have minimal minerals.
The Everything Skin Oil contains a generous dose of this wonderful oil.
Pumpkin Seeds and Pumpkin Seed Oil
Pumpkin Seed oil is an anti-ageing superpower packed oil, loaded with nutrition.
It is a wonderful source of B and E vitamins, many minerals such as zinc and magnesium, contains loads or phytonutrients and essential fatty acids.
It contains hormone building elements that support healthy hormone levels as well as myosin, the chief protein constituent of nearly all the muscles in the body.
The seeds also have vitamin B 17 otherwise known as laetrile or amygdalin which is reputed to have anti-cancer effects.
Raw pumpkin seeds are one of the best sources of the amino acid tryptophan as well. This amino acid is often lacking in people’s diets because it is intolerant to high heat and is destroyed by cooking.
Tryptophan works with tyrosine and zinc to elevate our moods and increase levels of serotonin in the brain alleviating depression and brain chemical imbalances.
Tryptophan helps relaxation and therefore alleviates stress and insomnia.
Pumpkin seed oil assists detoxification since raw seeds contain high concentrations of methionine, which is known for its ability to draw heavy metals out of the body.
And they also contain large amounts of sulphur which known as the beauty mineral.
Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of unsaturated fatty acids including oleic fatty acid, along with omega-6 and trace amounts of omega-3.
All of the cucumber family (yes – pumpkins are part of this family!) are loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits which help with dark circles under the eyes and support hydrated, clear glowing skin.
Pumpkin seed oil supports new hair growth and is especially helpful for male pattern baldness. A trial study found that men who took 400 mgs of pumpkin seed oil every day for twenty-four weeks – had more hair growth that men in the placebo group with no side effects.
Like all superfoods – this wonderful oil can be applied directly onto the skin or the scalp. It is a great oil for healing burns and wounds.
Spirulina and Chlorella
Since the dawn of time, these microscopic, single celled freshwater algae have helped sustain the earth’s food chain by providing fundamental nutrition for all sources of life.
For several thousand years, ancient civilizations depended on spirulina and chlorella as their primary source of protein.
There are at least thirty-five varieties of spirulina today. They are incredibly hardy; some can stay alive in a dormant state when they are exposed to high temperatures during travel and food processing. Even under such extreme circumstances they retain their nutrients.
Both are so high in nutrients that you could potentially live on either of them alone for quite a long time if need be.
Although tiny, spirulina and chlorella support a whopping 65 – 71 percent protein, the highest concentration by weight of any food available.They are a complete protein and contain all nine essential amino acids.
They are easier to assimilate than beef and contain at least twice the protein.
Because of this – they are a builder of lean muscle and the best source of nutrients to build collagen and elastin levels.
They are the only green food that contain gamma-linoleic acid, which reduces inflammation and supports healthy hormone production.
They are a fantastic source of carotenoids and phytonutrient antioxidants, and they are your best defence against the damaging effects of free radicals on your appearance. They can help prevent wrinkles, sagging, and discoloration that occurs when too many free radicals build up in your system from sun exposure, air pollution and or poor diet.
They also contain the antioxidant zeaxanthin, which is important for eye health. And superoxide dismutase one of the most important metabolic enzymes which help your cells function at their best.
They both contain the bluish green pigment phycocyanin which stimulates the production of stem cells. These cells replace ageing skin cells and maintaining these ageing cells is important for keeping the skin elastic, moisturised and wrinkle free for as long as possible.
When cells turn over faster, our skins look healthier, smoother and glow.
Chlorophyll is also extremely high in spirulina and chlorella – which makes it one of nature’s most cleansing foods.
Chlorophyll detoxes our cells of heavy metals, and other environmental toxins, help keep the skin clear, eyes bright and the body’s weight under control. It also is a blood builder, so the toxins are removed from our organs.
Spirulina and Chlorella are loaded with bioavailable multiple forms of sulphur. Therefore, it also improves the immune system, liver function, physical strength, tissue repair, and of course skin health and glow.
Sulphur also regulates the sodium potassium electrolyte balance in and out of the body’s cells, so all cells work together to the best of their ability.
If you are wondering which of these, you should choose – Chlorella is only better if you suffer from constipation as it also helps with peristalsis of the gut. The mineral and vitamin and omega differences are not huge enough to share – but if you want more copper in your diet choose spirulina, for more vitamins A and zinc – choose chlorella.
If you would love to know more how you can incorporate these wonderful superfoods into your diet – subscribe below and keep an eye out for my book – the Glowing Skin Diet available December or earlier (cross fingers) this year!
Or you would like one on one help, book a Glowing Skin Appointment with me.
Thank you for reading my blog!
I am Yvette van Schie, I am a holistic beauty therapist, skin nutritionist, skincare developer and makeup artist. I am passionate about sharing real beauty advice with a whack of reality.
For over 30 years I have worked with the best in the beauty and health industry as a trainer, educator and product formulator and I still do – so my knowledge is diverse – I am not blinkered when sharing my information with you because everyone I speak to shares what they know, and I turn it into easy to digest information because I want my readers to feel empowered to make their own decisions and to feel that they are fully in control of their beauty and well being.