In our monthly series called, “Ask a Nutritionist,” we ask McKel Hill of Nutrition Stripped, an internationally-known registered dietitian and nutritionist, to answer our health-related queries. Up this week, we asked: What should we be eating to get that pre-summer glow in place?
No. 1: Avocados
Our digestive health shows up on our skin quite literally. If we’re not absorbing nutrients, our digestive systems go haywire, become inflamed or sensitive to certain foods and our skin is one of the first places that shows.
Avocados are great for easing digestive woes because of the high fiber content and healthy fats that nourish our skin. Healthful fats (like monosaturated ones) reflect healthy hormones, cell eslaticity and nutrient absorption. Those healthy hormones are directly correlated to how your skin looks. Avocados also maintain vitamins C, E, and three antioxidants called beta-carotene, zeaxanthin and lutein that keep free radicals (unstable molecules that cause stress and cell membrane damage) in check.
No. 2: Brazil Nuts
Brazil nuts are high in selenium, which is great for the immune system. It calms inflammation, fights free radical damage (linked to heart disease and cancer) and helps to regulate our thyroids and therefore metabolism. Eating just 1 brazil nut a day (yes, a day!) has you covered.
No. 3: Salmon
Salmon is a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for calming inflammation in our body and providing moisture to our cells. Don’t underestimate the importance of protein with your skin, hair or nails. Consuming enough protein daily is crucial for maintaining lean muscle mass and the integrity of our skin. If you don’t eat salmon, supplement with a high quality omega-3 fatty acid (contains both DHA/EPA), or enjoy plant sources of omega-3’s like walnuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds or flaxseed oil.
No. 4: Raspberries
Raspberries are one of the lowest-in-sugar fruits and they’re loaded with antioxidants that help fight free radical damage. Just like avocados, raspberries are packed with fiber. 1 cup of fresh raspberries has 8g of fiber — that’s about 23% of your daily fiber need.
No. 5: Pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc — a mineral that protects our skin against UV damage and aids collagen production and hair growth. Pumpkin seeds also contain minerals and B vitamins (including biotin), which help promote healthy and strong hair. Pumpkin seeds are a great source of iron, protein, calcium and magnesium, all of which play a role in healthy blood flow to our body and hair follicles. Try sprinkling them on salads, blending them into smoothies, or adding them to granola.
An added bonus that has nothing to do with food but everything to do with your skin: stress management and the chill pill. Stress makes us breakout because of the hormonal shifts in our body, increases cortisol and can contribute to a decrease in sleep and impaired digestion. If you need a 411 on stress management or burnout, check out this guide to self care and why you should do it.
Finally, find a skincare line you love.
Have anything to add? Weird skin tricks that you consume orally? Tell us! We want to try it!
Created by dietitian nutritionist McKel, the Nutrition Stripped Society is the best healthy meal planning and wellness membership site with exclusive seasonal meal plans, cooking videos, Q&A videos, fitness videos, seasonal detox guides and support with other members across the globe. Join the Society here. You can also follow McKel Hill on Instagram and Twitter.