What to eat for healthy skin, hair & nails?
Yesterday afternoon and this afternoon I have been invited to BOBBI BROWN’s make up counter in Selfridges, London as their guest Nutritional Therapist. I got my makeup done by one of the A-Team Artists and consequently didn’t want to wash my face last night when I went to bed and undo all that gorgeous work!
So many women who had tons of such brilliant questions around healthy breakfasts, pre and post workout snacks, bloating, low energy and juicing but the predominant questions were beauty-related. Not surprisingly! If all these ladies are asking me these questions, you’re likely thinking them so I thought I’d share with you some of my responses.
To all the men that follow JESSIPES, and to all the ladies that have men in their lives, these recommendations also apply to you as well. You all have skin, hair and nails so perk those ears up if you want my take on how to keep your outer body looking vibrant.
My approach to beauty and lifelong healthy skin and vibrancy is always from the inside out rather than from the outside in. If your skin is not happy, i.e. it’s puffy, patchy or you have skin breakouts, there’s a reason why. Use it as feedback. As frustrating as it is at the time when you have sub-perfect skin, and believe me I know, I’ve been there, use it as feedback. Your body is trying to tell you something.
Start looking at what you’re fuelling your body and see if you can introduce some of the below ideas. My overarching approach to good health is, if you look after all of your cells in the inside of your body and give them the essential nutrition we know they need to perform and thrive, that’s going to directly look after the cells on the outside that we’re asking expensive lotions, potions and pills to take care of. It’s not a glamorous approach I know, and it’s not magical, but it’s a lot more conducive to genuinely health skin and this approach also has so many other perks which I will go onto explain.
So, use these signs that your body gives you, if there are changes in the teeth and fingernails, you want to see the bigger picture. Get to the heart of what your body is telling you. By all means get a manicure afterwards but don’t ‘mask’ the issue and forget about it!
The skin isn’t just a layer, it’s an organ. It’s made up of three layers and the cells that make up the outside of the body (the epidermis) are born at the bottom of the second layer of the skin and they migrate outwards. As soon as they hit the surface and are exposed to skin they die so it seems kind of crazy that we spend all of our efforts focusing on this outer layer!
Instead, if you look after the environment into which these skin cells are born, this is going to make the biggest difference and the most long term difference in terms of what our skin looks like on the oustide. The cells are born into the blood, and the blood needs key nutrients and love hormones to grow healthy cells.
- Eat real foods. They are full of vitamins, minerals, plant compounds that are unique to plants that are so beneficial to our skin.
- Eat more foods containing vitamin C. Vitamin C is needed to create collagen which is a protein structure in our skin which gives skin that firm but flexible, pillowy texture. We have a lot collagen when we are young but it reduces with age. You also need vitamin C to ensure collagen doesn’t break down.
An easy way to get more vitamin C into the body is using lemon juice. Add it to warm water in the morning and add it to your salad dressings. Just brush your teeth afterwards.
The whites of your eyes are meant to be nice and white. If your eyes have a yellow tinge to them, then it’s a sign that your liver and gall bladder could do with some TLC. The liver is our primary organ by which we detox, so yellow eyes mean amp up the green veggies in your diet (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower) and look at reducing the liver loaders in your diets; things like caffeine, refined sugar and alcohol.
Add greens to your smoothies, into soups and enjoy salads for lunch, especially as the weather is beginning to heat up.
Our skin is made up of proteins and essential fatty acids. We get essential fats from flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, pecans and oily fish. Increasing these in our diets, in smoothies, within our salads, sprinkled over your porridge in the morning can really help.
Vitamin C is also involved so if you notice that your hair breaks easily and you get split ends easily then up your vitamin C content. Great food sources include peppers, watercress, cucumber and strawberries.
So the quality of our teeth reflects the quality of inner bones. For healthy bones you need essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, boron, silicon and vitamin D. More and more people are getting too low in vitamin D so get yourself tested and supplement with Vitamin D accordingly (speak to a health professional for trusted brands and dosages). There’s not a great deal of vitamin D in our food chain other than in organic butter, cod liver oil and eggs so we make the predominant part of our vitamin D from the sunlight so if you’re not in a sunny country or you spend a lot of your time indoors then you must get your vitamin D levels checked out and supplement accordingly.
Your lips should nice and plump and soft. If they are cracked and dry then it can be a sign that your digestive system isn’t working effectively. Remove foods that don’t serve your health (processed foods) and eat whole foods. Another great practical suggestion, is to eat in a calm state. This ensures your blood supply can be directed towards your gut for digestion rather than your extremities (brain, legs and arms) to power your body to get out of potentially a dangerous situation which your body perceives it to be in when you eat in a stressful atmosphere or on the move. Lemon and water can also be great also.
So….by enhancing inner health it can make SUCH a difference of our outer beauty processes.
What is your favourite tip? Share your thoughts below.
All the healthy best,