Eating your way to better skin — foods to incorporate to brighten your skin

Is your skin feeling a little dull after the holiday season? January is the perfect time to focus on foods that promote a youthful glow!
(Credit: iStock/Getty Images)

Is your skin feeling a little dull after the holiday season? January is the perfect time to focus on foods that promote a youthful glow! As a Naturopathic Doctor, I like to get to the root of things and this includes supporting our organs with the foods we eat. 

"You know you got it"- The Master Antioxidant: Glutathione

Dandelion greens (Credit: iStock/Getty Images)

Touted as the "Master Antioxidant", glutathione is vital not only to our health but it contributes to dewy, bright skin. We produce this master detoxifier naturally in our bodies and our liver has the ability to regenerate and reuse it. In Asian countries, glutathione is popular for its claims to brighten and clear the skin by decreasing hyperpigmentation's and the appearance of red spots. While many people increase glutathione levels via supplementation, you can focus on foods that contribute to your livers ability to recycle it like sulfur rich onions and garlic, avocados and cruciferous greens such as kale and broccoli. A good quality whey protein powder such as Age Quencher Rejuvenate promotes glutathione production to give you a bright glow for 2017.

"Its what's inside that counts"- Love your Liver

Fresh turmeric roots (Credit: iStock/Getty Images)

Healthy skin relies on a healthy liver. Your liver works hard for you as it detoxifies and removes toxins from your body, stores vitamins and minerals and breaks down fats. Diets high in sugars, alcohol and unhealthy fats can strain your liver resulting in strained skin with impurities such as acne, rosacea or eczema. Many foods can support your liver; try chopping 1 tablespoon of beet and dandelion greens into your salads. Tomatoes are high in glutathione which helps the liver detoxify. Everyone has heard of adding lemon or lime to your water but did you know this can help stimulate the liver in breaking down toxic materials? Try adding turmeric to your diet daily as it has been shown to help the liver break down and excrete carcinogens found in the foods we eat. An important tip is to combine turmeric with healthy fats, such as avocado or almonds and a pinch of black pepper for better absorption. 

"Eat your way to beauty"- Super Snack Secret

Gogi berries (Credit: iStock/Getty Images)

Who doesn't like to snack? Especially when it's loaded with foods that promise to brighten and smooth your skin. One of my favourite mixes combines superfoods with nuts and seeds:

1 tablespoon organic goji berries: high in antioxidants to combat free radical damage (but not to be taken with diabetes medications or if you are on blood thinner).

4 tablespoons sesame seeds: high in zinc which is needed to produce collagen for smooth, plump skin. 

1 tablespoon cacao nibs: tastes like chocolate but with more antioxidants and is loaded with magnesium to nourish your skin.

2 sheets organic dried nori: crumble in this super food for a salty taste that is high in antioxidants like Vitamin C.

4 tablespoons almonds: high in Vitamin E and fats for smooth and silky skin. 

Dr.Holly Fennell, ND is a practicing Naturopathic Doctor in downtown Toronto with over a decade of experience working with patients to achieve optimum health.