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Natural Beauty From the Inside Out: Nutrients for Glowing Skin, Hair & Nails

We believe natural beauty is an inside job. And the foods you eat are more important to achieving natural beauty than any lotion, shampoo, or those skin cream best sellers (yes– even if they’re made from natural ingredients, like shea butter and coconut oil). Since natural skin care and healthy hair and nails all begin at the cellular level, outer radiance is simply the result of putting the right nutrients into your body.

One day however a small line of blind text by the name of Lorem Ipsum decided to leave for the far World of Grammar. The Big Oxmox advised her not to do so.

Your Skin is a Reflection of Your Digestion

Only a few short years ago, many health professionals believed there was no link between the skin and your diet. While the whole chocolate and acne thing may be a myth, there is solid evidence that the health and appearance of your skin is a direct reflection of how well your gut is functioning. This connection is called the gut-skin axis.

In short, the gut-skin axis is the link between imbalances in the gut microbiome (including a lack of healthy gut bacteria, systemic inflammation, an overburdened liver, and intestinal permeability, which is also known as leaky gut) and skin problems, such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, hives, rashes, rosacea, and even premature aging and oily, dull, or dry skin.

Studies have also looked to the role of healthy gut bacteria in skin health.

In an Italian study, one group of patients undergoing acne and rosacea treatment were given a probiotic supplement, while the other half of the patients were not. By the end of the study, the group given probiotics had clearer skin and a greater improvement in their symptoms. The same was also true for a group of 56 patients in a Korean study who were given a daily probiotic drink over the course of 12 weeks (3).

Now, the gut-skin axis is a big (and fascinating) enough topic to become an entire article on its own. But by simply understanding that your gut and skin are interconnected, you now hold the “key” to enhancing your natural beauty from within.

So, when you have a stubborn breakout, or notice your hair getting dry and brittle, save the trip to the beauty counter and head to your local grocery store instead. Here are the top nutrients to stock up on for glowing skin, shiny hair, and strong, healthy nails.

1. Collagen

Collagen is a beauty buzzword, best known as the ultimate “anti-aging” nutrient, which is why it’s commonly added to expensive skin care products. But a lesser known fact is that when applied topically, most collagen molecules are actually too large to penetrate the skin, which means these products do very little to improve your skin’s texture and appearance. (Read: your hard earned dollars = wasted).

2. Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids

The health of your hormones play a significant role in healthy skin. For example, elevated levels of insulin (which is the hormone that regulates your blood sugar) have been linked to excess sebum oil production, which causes acne when overproduced. This is one of the reasons why refined carbohydrates and sugar — the foods that cause the most rapid spikes in blood sugar levels — are known as the top acne-promoting foods (9).

3. Fiber

If we had to pick only one beauty nutrient, it would have to be fiber. There are two reasons for this.

It’s said that the average American adult gets 15 grams or less of fiber per day. No wonder so many of us are experiencing gut, skin, and chronic digestive problems. It’s recommended to get at least 25-30 grams of fiber per day from your diet.

4. Probiotics

Throughout this article, we’ve drilled it home that probiotics, the beneficial bacteria in your GI tract, are essential for a healthy digestive system. Studies have even shown how probiotics can clear up skin when you get more in your diet.

Aside from keeping your GI tract healthy, probiotics are a beauty nutrient because they help synthesize certain B vitamins, which promote healthy skin, hair and nail growth.

5. B Vitaminc

B vitamin deficiencies are linked to skin rashes, sores or cracks in the corner of your lips, as well as hair thinning and skin depigmentation. B7 (Biotin) and B12 deficiencies are also linked to pale, dull skin and thin nails. Who knew that one group of vitamins could have such a powerful impact on your natural radiance?

6. Watter

This list wouldn’t be complete without water — the ultimate natural beauty elixir. Not only does water help flush toxins from your system (which contribute to premature aging and poor digestive health), but it also hydrates your skin from the inside out. The more hydrated you are, the more smooth, supple, and youthful your skin looks.

PS: As you add nutrients to your diet to enhance your natural beauty, you may also want to try improving the outer appearance of your skin with 100% natural DIY facial masks, that include ingredients like turmeric, Manuka honey and aloe vera.

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