Kimberly Snyder C.N. is a holistic nutritionist who focuses on healing from the inside out. This week, we’re sharing Kimberly’s expertise in a new series on gut-healing remedies for candida. To learn more, check out her mindbodygreen class How to Treat Candida: The Complete Guide From a Holistic Nutritionist.
5 Foods To Avoid If You Want Glowing Skin + What To Eat Instead
Sure, we all want beautiful, radiant skin. And maybe you invest in really good night creams, drink lots of water, wear sunscreen and a hat…all the things you’ve probably read that benefit your skin. But even with all these great efforts, did you know that there may be some foods in your diet that can keep your skin from looking its best (or even worse, causing it to look dull!). We have all fallen victim at one time or another to eating routines or foods that may not be serving us, so I want to shed light on some of these sneaky food “frenemies.”
1. Swap coffee for hot water with lemon.
Before you reach for that coffee first thing in the morning when your eyes are still only half-open, consider this: Having hot water with lemon will give you the same hot mugful of comfort, but with loads of beauty benefits. Lemon provides vitamin C, a great radiant-skin enhancer, as well as enzymes shown to help regenerate liver tissue. Your liver is your main detoxifying organ, and the more detoxified your body is, the more beautiful your skin will become. Coffee, on the other hand, is dehydrating and overloads your liver with caffeine, which it has to process.
Plus, the water will help you rehydrate after the dehydration most of us experience at night. And let's not forget that hot water helps to promote cleansing by stimulating a more complete release (or in plain terms, have a bigger BM!). You’ll soon get addicted to the cleansing effects of this beauty ritual.
2. If you must drink coffee, switch from dairy to coconut creamer.
We just talked about swapping out that immediate first coffee of the morning. But maybe, just maybe, you still want to keep a cup of java for later in the morning. And that is certainly okay as long as you control what is going into your coffee. While you might be unwilling to give up a creamy, frothy element of your beloved coffee, you can (and should) switch from dairy-based creamers to almond milk or coconut milk. Even mainstream retailers, like Starbucks, now carry coconut milk. Dairy is difficult for many to digest, it's acid-forming in your body, and is generally congestive (it is after all made for baby cows to digest, not adult humans!). These are qualities that do not create beautiful skin. On the other hand, alternatives like almond or coconut milk can provide nourishing beauty fats and minerals.
3. Try a glowing green smoothie instead of an egg white omelet.
An egg white omelet isn’t even a whole food anymore—the whites of several eggs are concentrated into one serving. The water-soluble protein, known as albumin, gets hardened with heat (not unlike glue) and becomes an energy-intensive item for your body to break down and utilize.
Author Dr. John McDougall writes on his site that, “Eggs are too much of a good thing” and that, “A whole egg is 32% protein and the white of an egg is essentially 100% protein. Infants, growing children, and adults need, at most, 5% of their calories from protein.” There really is such a thing as too much protein, and an excess can acidify your body and put extra pressure on your kidneys and liver, which, again, is not helping our cause for glowing skin.
On the other hand, switching over to a Glowing Green Smoothie will actually give you energy in the morning. It is a whole food (it’s not a juice!), meaning that it contains all of the juice and the fiber of whole fruits and green veggies, which helps to keep you full and give you sustained energy.
The high amount of greens in the GGS provides amino acids to build protein in your body as well as loads of beauty nutrients including minerals, enzymes, vitamins, anti-aging antioxidants, and more. Drink this beautifying elixir every morning and watch your skin truly glow (hence, why I named it as such!).
4. Cook with coconut oil and not vegetable oils.
The generic term “vegetable oil” includes everything from oils made from safflower, sunflower, grapeseed, canola, soy, and so forth. While some of these oils have higher smoke points than others (i.e., grapeseed oil), vegetable oils are largely composed of polyunsaturated fats, which get denatured not only by heat but also by light, exposure to air, and simply time. The breakdown of these oils can create free radicals and break down the beautiful skin you are working so hard to cultivate.
Coconut oil is an awesome beauty fat option to promote glowing skin. It’s high in lauric acid, which enhances immunity. It digests well, provides energy, and even has antibacterial properties that may be beneficial for acne.
5. Swap out processed protein bars for almonds or easy homemade alternatives.
It always astounds me when my clients or readers tell me they are more comfortable eating a processed, packaged protein bar for which they can read the nutritional content on a printed label, yet are scared of eating a banana because they aren’t “sure of the calorie content.” Ever look at the ingredient list for some of those bars? Fractionated sugars, soy or whey protein isolates, oils, fillers…such things are not fuel for beautiful skin! Whole foods grown in nature win out every time. They digest cleanly and come in complete nutritional packages.
Instead, simply choose a handful of almonds or an easy-to-make energy bar. My newest iteration is my Poppy Seed & Date Energy Squares, which you can just nosh on after a yoga or Spin class or midafternoon at work. No more crap. Just pure beauty foods from nature!
Photos courtesy of the author