My primary reason for following a Paleo protocol is for health and well-being – specifically my skin. Can what we consume on the inside really be reflected in what we see on the outside? Absolutely!
I say this not solely from a point of scientific research – I’ve suffered from acne, psoriasis, and eczema for over twenty years. When it comes to food I am my own guinea pig and speaking from personal experience I know that what I put in to my body makes a huge difference to the appearance of my skin. My skin has been clear for over eighteen months through following a plant powered Paleo diet. Not only does it look different, it feels different. This is clearance like nothing else and something I was never able to achieve through medicine. Yes, medication offered periods of temporary remission but they were usually followed by huge flares as my skin reacted angrily to steroid suppressants.
The simple Brazil nut contains 95mcg of selenium. The recommended daily guidelines suggest we need just 55mcg of selenium – so one nut a day will have you covered!
Medication, topical or oral, will typically treat symptoms and are designed to reduce the redness and dryness we see on the surface of the skin. As more studies into the correlation between diet and skin health are conducted we’re learning that the foods we eat can affect hormone balance, cause acne, and create or lessen inflammation. What lies beneath (and our internal health) has the very real potential to reflect positively or negatively on the outside.
My Favourite Paleo Superfoods
Avocado is a true Paleo superfood. Proven to assist with a wide range of ailments – from lowering cholesterol to reducing blood pressure. My favourite healing properties of the humble avocado is its ability to keep my skin beautifully soft and hydrated.
Whilst using avocado as a face mask can do wonders for the complexion I actually find that eating it offers just as many benefits.
Avocados are full of healthy fatty acids. Their high oleic acid content maintains moisture in the epidermal layer of the skin, helping to keep it soft and hydrated. They also contain lots of skin friendly vitamins and antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, which assist in keeping skin toned and firm, preventing premature ageing.
If you’re not a huge fan of adding avocado to your morning green juice or blending it into fresh guacamole, it can always be applied topically. Mashed into a moisturising mask and used a couple of times a week avocado can hydrate and even prevent dry skin. For additional hydration, try adding a teaspoon of raw honey to your homemade mask as it works brilliantly to trap moisture in your skin.
Selenium is a powerful antioxidant that works to combat the damage free radicals can do in the body. Patients with acne have been shown to have low levels of blood selenium. Research has shown that selenium supplementation can reduce and improve the appearance of acne and other skin problems. Whilst taking selenium supplements is the simplest way to ensure you get your recommended daily amount it’s not entirely necessary to add another pill to your vitamin regime.
The simple Brazil nut contains 95mcg of selenium. The recommended daily guidelines suggest we need just 55mcg of selenium – so one nut a day will have you covered! When my psoriasis was at its worst I ate 6 brazil nuts each morning. Although my skin is fully clear I still eat a few brazils each week. They’re simple to snack on and delicious.
Whilst selenium is vital for healthy skin there is such a thing as selenium toxicity. Add them to your diet but don’t overdo it.
Coconut oil is one of my absolute favourite ingredients. I love using it in raw Paleo recipes and I slather it on my skin. It’s my go-to cooking oil, my cleanser, my moisturiser, and my natural SPF.
Just like the flesh of the coconut, coconut oil is rich in proteins. These proteins work both internally and externally to keep skin healthy and rejuvenated. Proteins are also known to contribute to cellular health and skin cell repair. In the case of skin problems such as psoriasis cells rejuvenate erratically. For any damaged cells on, or near the skin, a healthy of flow of proteins guarantees their replacement at a much more normal rate. Coconut oil works in two ways – not only does it treat infection by battling the microbial bodies it can also help to heal the damage and visible marks or scarring caused by skin disorders.
Try adding coconut oil to your breakfast smoothie, use it in place of olive oil in cooking, or apply it topically to your skin. Coconut oil is also good for hardened and cracked skin on the feet, massage it in and sleep in socks overnight to wake with perfectly soft tootsies. I also love to use it as a lip balm, moisture replenishing hair mask, and natural make up remover.