Radiating From The Inside Out: Part II

Heather Pierce is a speaker, blogger, and holistic health coach who motivates and teaches driven entrepreneurs and professionals to eat for maximum energy and mental focus without deprivation.  She also teaches seasonal cooking classes and will be hosting food and yoga retreats later this year.  Learn more at www.heatherpierceinc.com.

Natural Beauty:  Two Steps to Radiating from the Inside-Out, Part II

Step Two:  Put the Good Stuff In

In Part I we talked about cleaning out your inner body of water so that you’re free of harmful toxins and stress.  Now it’s time to add in the nourishing, beauty-promoting foods that give you naturally clear, vibrant, and supple skin.

Basically, you want to eat plenty of alkalizing, antioxidant-rich, mineral-rich, fiber-rich, and anti-inflammatory whole foods.  Mkay?

Alkaline-forming foods to keep your body pH in it’s ideal state:  slightly alkaline.  Crappy, processed foods and stress cause your blood pH to shift to an acidic state.  Acidity leads to mineral deficiencies and inflammation.  Your body can’t properly detoxify in an acidic environment.

For vibrant health and beauty we want more alkaline-forming foods like leafy greens, vegetables, sour fruits like lemons and limes, beans like lentils and pinto beans, some gluten-free grains like quinoa, and most nuts and seeds.

Antioxidant-rich foods prevent free-radical damage which leads to the formation of wrinkles, causes scars to linger and heal improperly, and makes your skin stiff and inflexible.  High sources of antioxidants include all berries, beans, walnuts, pecans, kale and other dark, leafy greens, and basically any fruits and vegetables that have deep, rich colors.

Anti-inflammatory foods like essential fatty acids help reduce or prevent puffiness in the skin.
They are abundant in wild-caught fish, olive oil, flax seeds and oil, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, and sunflower seeds.

The beauty of your skin, hair, and nails also depends on how mineralized you are.  Beauty “superfoods” have a high concentration of minerals, especially:

  • Sulfur to cleanse tissues, give a radiant complexion, and help rebuild collagen and keratin to make skin supple and hair and nails strong and shiny.
  • Silicon to help improve the condition and thickness of hair and nails.
  • Zinc for proper function of enzymes, especially those that help the body maintain it’s collagen supply.  Zinc also helps prevent wrinkles and stretch marks.
  • Iron to support and oxygenate the blood.  According to David Wolfe in “Eating for Beauty”, “iron-rich blood produces a soft glowing tint of beauty visible just underneath the skin”.  Nice.

The best strategy for consuming these beautifying foods is to eat more whole, local, and organic foods — especially produce — and avoid foods that come in packages.  Luckily, it’s summer time so you can avoid packages altogether by doing the majority of your shopping at the farmer’s market.

Here are some top natural beauty “superfoods”, most of which you should see available at the farmer’s markets this summer:

  • Arugula and Watercress: highly alkaline, high in sulfur which makes them excellent internal skin cleansers and liver purifiers, increases circulation which helps bring color and luster to skin, lips, and eyes.
  • Cucumbers: highly alkaline, a mild diuretic that helps prevent bloating and puffiness.  The skin of cucumbers is high in silicon.
  • Flax Seeds and Chia Seeds: high in anti-inflammatory essential fatty acids and fiber.
  • Olives and Olive Oil:  alkaline fats, super high in vitamin E which has been known to reduce fine lines on the face and repair connective tissue.  Also loaded with omega 3 fatty acids and a substance called squalene which helps keep the skin smooth.  When purchasing oils, make sure you get cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil.
  • Onions: rich source of sulfuric oils that have antiseptic qualities.
  • Pumpkin Seeds: great source of essential fatty acids, antioxidants, iron, and zinc.
  • Sea vegetables: one of the most abundant sources of minerals, which are essential for hair and nail growth and healthy skin.  Try snacking on veggies wrapped in nori or a seaweed salad made of arame, hijiki, or wakame.
  • Strawberries and Blueberries:  super high in antioxidants and fiber.

Remember to be patient:  cleansing your body and adding in more minerals takes time.  By consistently adding in more organic whole foods and reducing processed junk, you body will be able to assimilate more and more of these minerals.  You will begin to notice that your skin and eyes appear brighter, your hair becomes thicker and shinier (your hairdresser will even comment), and your nails will be stronger.  Totally worth the wait.

To your health and inner radiance!