Colorful Plate = Healthy Skin

Colorful Plate = Healthy Skin

     Recently I had the pleasure of speaking with Erma Levy, MPH, RD, LD a Research Dietitian at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. My goal was to dive deep into the types of foods that promote and decline the health of our skin. It is no surprise that greasy foods such as fries, pizza, and hamburgers are not good for our overall health. On the other a hand, our schedules tend to tug us in multiple directions making it all too easy to skip meals and end the day in the drive-through lane. So, my first step was to contact Erma to shed a little light on the types of food to include and avoid in my diet and simple ways to achieve and maintain a healthier lifestyle.

Let’s Start with Foods to Avoid:

Visible Symptoms of a Poor Diet:

Inflamed/Irritated Skin

Blackheads and Whiteheads

Clogged Pores

Oily Skin

Salt: My personal weakness…salt (who doesn’t love a nice crispy fry 😊). Salt causes the skin tissue to swell. Sodium is a chemical element in salt, which has been linked to many health issues such as high blood pressure. In large amounts, sodium pulls fluids from the body’s tissue and into the blood, which raises the blood volume and compels the heart to pump more forcefully. The result is high blood pressure (Michael Moss, 2013, Salt Sugar Fat).

Foods High in Salt Content: Cold cuts and cured meat, canned soup, pizza, chicken, and sandwiches

Sugar: On average, we consume 71lbs of calorie sweeteners every year. That is 22tsp of sugar, per person, daily (Michael Moss, 2013, Salt Sugar Fat). Sugar induces the production of oil and provides food for bacteria to thrive on (increasing acne/blackheads/whiteheads). 

Foods High in Sugar Content: Soda, Processed Food (Example: If it comes in a box – typically in center aisles of the grocery store), and high fructose corn syrup.

Excessive Caffeine and Alcohol Intake: The effects of stress can throw the body into a state of imbalance. Stress can affect the skin by altering hormone levels and disrupting digestion and detoxification (James F. B, M.D 2004, Prescription for Natural Cures). Caffeine and alcohol dehydrate the skin- inducing inflammation and premature aging. Coffee also stimulates the nervous system which triggers anxiety and stress.

Caffeine Replacement: Another personal favorite Matcha Green Tea (5x the power of Green Tea) …what coffee and alcohol take away matcha and herbal teas bring back! Matcha tea is filled with antioxidants that work to reduce free radicals, inflammation, and reduce early signs of aging. Also, consuming foods that naturally contain B-12 such as seafood (contains Zinc an essential vitamin that promotes skin healing), eggs (farm/ethically raised), and poultry (ethically raised without hormones).

Types of Food that Promote Healthy Skin

So, let’s start fresh! Detoxification helps cleanse your body of acne-causing bacteria. A three-day vegetable juice fast will help detox your body of toxins and build up. You should drink a variety of juices during your fast, but those made from carrots, apples, and beets with their tops, as well as green drinks (spirulina, wheatgrass, barley grass, chlorella) are especially supportive of an acne cleanse (James F. B, M.D 2004, Prescription for Natural Cures). “Your plate should look like a rainbow” – Erma Levy. A great way to track what you eat, is to simply write it down (no matter how small). This will create a great starting point in analyzing the changes that need to be made in your diet. 

Healthy Fats:


Olive Oil

Nuts: Almonds, Walnuts, and Pecans

Macadamia Oil

Beta-Carotene (contains Vitamin A): Defined as an orange or red plant pigment found in carrots and plant structures. Beta-Carotene is essential to preserving the health of your skin as it works to actively repair skin tissue (heals acne and reduces the appearance of scaring).

Found in: Carrots, sweet potatoes, apricots, spinach and kale

Fiber: The indigestible portion of plant food. A huge component in the ability to eliminate waste from the body.

Found in: Raspberries (great antioxidant), apples, steel-cut oats, brown rice, lentils, artichokes, and broccoli

Fatty Acids (EFA):  Our body does not naturally produce essentials fatty acids, which means it must be consumed in foods high in omega-3 and omega-6. It is a key element in maintaining a healthy cell membrane (retaining water and vital nutrients).

Found in: Salmon, halibut, flaxseeds, chia seeds, kale, and walnuts

Water:  Last but not least HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE! Consuming eight 8oz glasses of water per day allows your body to retain moisture, decreases oil production (reducing acne/blackheads/whiteheads), reduces early signs of aging, and rids the body of toxic build-up and impurities. 

  Thank you, Erma, for your awesome tools in maintaining a healthier lifestyle!

 Want to join me on the 3-day vegetable cleanse or share your tips on how you maintain a healthy lifestyle? Simply comment below 😊

Until next time Green Beauty Babes!



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