Beauty foods to nourish you from the inside out
We tend to spend so much of our time and money researching and buying products to help us mend our insecurities and inch closer to what society and the media deems as ‘beautiful’. But in reality, you may only need to look a little closer to home…
The food we eat can have a significant impact on our physical appearance. The health of our hair, skin and even eyes can be a valuable indicator of whether our diets are nourishing our insides or diminishing our wellbeing.
We connected with Katrina Ellis, a naturopath, herbalist, iridologist, whole foods chef and wellness advocate with over 25 years of professional experience in the health industry. Her two best-selling books ‘Shattering the Cancer Myth’ and ‘Raw Addiction’ are soon to be accompanied by her upcoming book, ‘The Alchemy of Beauty’.
“My passion and love for natural medicine and nutrition began early on in life when I began working internationally at the prestigious health retreat, Chiva-Som in Thailand,” says Katrina. “At the prime of my life and career, I was exposed to a poisonous chemical toxin and found myself caught in a battle to beat a metastasized and aggressive ovarian cancer. With my knowledge in natural medicine and belief in the power of the mind, I defied the odds of beating this disease and from this knowledge continued to educate, inspire, write and practice ‘natural healing’ on a daily basis from my beautiful integrated wellness centre in Kirra, Queensland.”
In the article below, Katrina explains the role of food in your physical appearance and how your body may signal the state of your internal health, as well as some of the best foods for beauty (and the worst!).
How your appearance can indicate your internal health
Everyone has heard of the saying ‘you are what you eat’ and this is particularly true when it comes to the quality of your hair, skin, eyes and nails. If a person’s digestive system is abundant and balanced in ‘living flora’ the skin takes on a healthy, youthful glow. If your absorption of nutrients in the digestive system is good, the nails, hair and skin can receive lots of yummy minerals like silica, zinc and manganese to help make collagen and keratin to strengthen and support these structures.
The whites of your eyes are a reflection of your blood quality, so when your liver is pure and clean, the eyes take on a vibrant glow. Every metabolic system in the body, when functioning beautifully, displays on the outside of the body with vibrant skin, luscious hair and strong nails.
Tonic One is packed with probiotics and good bacteria to support optimum digestion. Find out more here.
The role of food in beauty
Healing foods are without question one of the biggest keys to disease prevention, radiant beauty and happiness. The modern Western diet is lacking in youth-promoting nutrients and is rich in toxic substances that advance ageing by encouraging a loss of skin tone and elasticity. This can lead to wrinkles, thin and brittle skin, age spots, cellulite and other signs of advanced ageing.
Toxic processed foods strain the body’s digestive system, use up valuable anti-ageing enzymes and put a strain on filtration organs. They also create free radical production. Foods that encourage this include an excess intake of animal products, too much caffeine and alcohol, preservatives, additives, table salt, GMO grains, saturated fats and sugars. Our beautiful collagen structures, which help to prevent wrinkles, require hydration and support from powerful antioxidants to protect against the damage of these ‘beauty thieves’. Foods rich in Vitamin A, C, E, D, K2, indoles and polyphenols like lycopene, catechins and resveratrol kindly offer the protection needed to withstand the ravaging effects of these beauty-robbing monsters.
5 best foods for beauty
Including blueberry, aronia, macqui, raspberry and others. Berries are power packed with flavonoids – these are powerful substances that give berries their vibrant colours and healing properties. Flavanoids protect against free radical damage that can cause advanced skin ageing. They also improve eyesight, protect against hair breakage and guard against capillary damage that can lead to varicose and spider veins.
Avocado is super rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and omega 3 oils. These yummy oils nourish dry skin and hair, helping with eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis and other skin problems. Omega 3 oils reduce inflammation, which can lead to collagen breakdown and cause wrinkles and advanced ageing.
Sweet potato is one of the most amazing beauty foods on planet earth. It is prime food to help produce hyaluronic acid, the substance that makes skin dewy and soft like when you were a baby. It is rich in antioxidants and fibre to improve the health of your digestive system and its rich beta carotene content makes it superb for improving the health of your peeps.
Seaweeds, sea vegetables and blue-green algae – these are some of the most nutritious foods found on the planet. They contain nearly every vitamin, omega 3 fatty acids, protein, most minerals but particularly iodine. Iodine is fantastic for metabolism, weight loss, energy and for beautifying the hair, skin and nails.
Green leafy vegetables
Green leafy vegetables like spinach, romaine lettuce, rocket, kale and others are power packed with chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is the substance that gives them their beautiful green colour. It is a natural blood builder that oxygenates the blood and clears many toxins. They also contain lots of alkaline minerals like magnesium, calcium and potassium to hydrate the blood and act as the spark plug for hundreds of beauty functions.
5 worst foods for beauty
Milk and dairy products
Homogenized milk contains saturated fats which drive inflammation, causing skin problems like acne. They also affect blood sugar, driving more insulin growth factor which yet again causes a greater sebum production.
Excess sugar in products such as soft drinks, cordials and energy drinks is toxic as it creates AGES: advanced glycation end products. These substances create lots of free radical attack, causing skin to wrinkle faster and in the process make cell walls become rigid.
Drinking too much caffeine or alcohol places stress on the body’s liver. When the liver is sluggish, it creates a higher amount of free radicals and throws toxic substances back into the blood. These free radicals attack skin structures, breaking down their collagen matrix and driving pigmentation, spots, blemishes and discolouration.
Packaged and processed foods
Any food which has been chemically altered or contains artificial colourings and preservatives becomes toxic to the body. The digestive system and liver need to work harder to try to remove these substances.
White bread, crackers, pasta and anything made from a processed flour can drive up the chance of acne by 30%. This is because these foods drive higher sugar release in the blood, resulting in a higher insulin release to counteract this. High insulin makes more androgens and increases insulin growth factor, boosting sebum production.
In my new book, the recipes Beauty in a bottle (page 140) and Hawaiian Ahi Poke Plate (page 211) are both packed with beauty enhancing ingredients to nourish you from the inside and have you glowing on the outside.