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5 Foods For Skin Health

Did you know that your skin is the largest organ in your body? On average, the skin weighs in at roughly eight pounds and covers over 22 square feet! Your skin has many jobs to do, including shielding you from the outside world, supporting vitamin-D production, and helping detoxify the body through sweat. Your skin also mirrors your overall health, making it a diagnostic tool that can provide insight about the quality of your diet and lifestyle. For example, have you ever noticed that eating certain foods negatively affects your skin? Here’s your guide for skin-loving foods that provide all the building blocks for a glowing complexion.

Medicinal Mushrooms for Glowing Skin: These tasty fungi are loaded with nutritional and medicinal value that will nourish your skin from the inside out. They are rich in polysaccharides, protein, minerals, vitamins, and prebiotics that help support the immune system and balance gut microbiota. Some skin-loving mushrooms include reishi (Ganoderma), chaga (Inonotus obliquus), turkey tail (Coriolus versicolor), and maitake (Grifola frondosa).

Burdock the Blood Purifier: Burdock root (Articum lappa) has been used for centuries in traditional medicine for common skin conditions like eczema, dryness, and acne and is a treasured medicinal food in China. In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), burdock is known to detoxify the blood and improve circulation in the skin. Juice it with some apples or pears, or add it to your soup.

Nourish Your Liver with Artichokes: A healthy liver has long been known to be associated with optimal skin health. Countless studies have shown artichokes (Cynara scolymus) to have properties that support liver function and potentially even liver regeneration. These health benefits are thought to stem from the constituents silymarin and caffeoylquinic acid found in artichokes. Luckily, this delicious plant can easily be added to many dishes, so try it in your favorite dip recipe and nourish your liver.

Focus on Nutrient-dense Nettles: A diet rich in nutrients provides the foundation for healthy skin. Nettles (Urtica dioica) are packed with nutrients, minerals, polyphenols, and antioxidants including calcium, iron, magnesium, beta-carotene, and vitamins A, C, K, and B complex. This delicious plant has also been shown to reduce inflammation and reduce histamine levels in the body. Add it to your soup or simply drink it as tea.

Enhance Nutrient Absorption with Dandelion Greens: Optimal absorption is critical for delivering all the building blocks for a glowing complexion. Have you ever tasted dandelion greens (Taraxacum officinale) before? If you have, then you will remember the bitterness. Eating bitter foods like dandelion greens, kale, and arugula stimulates enzyme production that helps you to digest your food and absorb all those wonderful nutrients. Dandelion greens not only improve absorption but also are also loaded with vitamins A, C, and B6, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, and flavonoids like zeaxanthin. Mix them into a salad or sprinkle some on your favorite dish.

 

Jayachandran, Muthukumaran, et al. “A Critical Review on Health Promoting Benefits of Edible Mushrooms through Gut Microbiota.” International Journal of Molecular Sciences, vol. 18, no. 9, 2017, p. 1934., doi:10.3390/ijms18091934.

Schagen, Silke K., et al. “Discovering the Link between Nutrition and Skin Aging.” Dermato-Endocrinology, vol. 4, no. 3, 2012, pp. 298–307., doi:10.4161/derm.22876.

Cho, Soyun. “The Role of Functional Foods in Cutaneous Anti-Aging.” Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, vol. 4, no. 1, 2014, pp. 8–16., doi:10.15280/jlm.2014.4.1.8

Reuter, Juliane, et al. “Botanicals in Dermatology.” American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2010, p. 1., doi:10.2165/11533220-000000000-00000.

Roschek, Bill, et al. “Nettle Extract (Urtica Dioica) Affects Key Receptors and Enzymes Associated with Allergic Rhinitis.” Phytotherapy Research, vol. 23, no. 7, 2009, pp. 920–926., doi:10.1002/ptr.2763.

Rangboo, Vajiheh, et al. “The Effect of Artichoke Leaf Extract on Alanine Aminotransferase and Aspartate Aminotransferase in the Patients with Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis.” International Journal of Hepatology, vol. 2016, 2016, pp. 1–6., doi:10.1155/2016/4030476.

Salem, Maryem Ben, et al. “Pharmacological Studies of Artichoke Leaf Extract and Their Health Benefits.” Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, vol. 70, no. 4, 2015, pp. 441–453., doi:10.1007/s11130-015-0503-8.

Chan, Yuk-Shing, et al. “A Review of the Pharmacological Effects of Arctium Lappa (Burdock).” Inflammopharmacology, vol. 19, no. 5, 2010, pp. 245–254., doi:10.1007/s10787-010-0062-4.

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