How to get your glow back

Spring is approaching fast – thankfully! Time to get out, breathe in that refreshingly sweet air and get your skin ready to glow again. In addition to exfoliating and putting on hydrating masks to rejuvenate your tired, dull skin from the winter season, there are other more delicious ways to get your skin spring ready.
I came up with a list of nutrient packed foods that will help you get your glow back and support your digestive system at the same time. Don’t worry, my list doesn’t contain any trendy, exotic “superfoods” from the other side of the planet. Instead it is a combination of local, nutritious foods, that don’t explode your monthly grocery budget.

1. Flaxseeds and Flaxseed Oil
Known to contain twice as much omega-3 as fish oil, these tiny seeds are nutrition powerhouses. Besides their high essential fatty acid content, they are a great source of fiber, magnesium and manganese. Due to their high level of omega-3 fatty acids, flax seeds have an anti-inflammatory, healing effect on the digestive system and ultimately the skin, making it a must for anybody who has rosacea, acne, dermatitis and psoriasis. This superfood truly hydrates and moisturizes the skin from within.
Tip: Make sure to ingest only ground flaxseeds or flaxseed oil as whole flaxseeds can’t be broken down and properly digested by our bodies.

2. Sauerkraut
Probiotic-rich foods such as sauerkraut are gut and skin healing foods. Probiotics help us restore a healthy digestive system by replenishing beneficial bacteria in our gut. These "good" bacteria have a long list of benefits including, but not limited to, fighting off bad bacteria, boosting our immune system, and preventing inflammation. Sauerkraut is also a great source of Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that protects the skin from environmental damage.
Tip: Buy sauerkraut only out of a fridge. If it is not cooled, it has most likely been pasteurized, and therefore lost its beneficial live organisms.

3. Broccoli
I still don’t know why kale and cauliflower are more “popular superfoods” as good old broccoli comes out on top in almost every nutritional category (and taste in my opinion). Its high antioxidant content, especially Vitamin C, keeps the skin healthy and supple, while Vitamin E protects the skin cell membranes. Furthermore, this green vegetable is rich in a certain phytonutrient, which has been connected with reversing the negative effects of sun exposure. Last but not least, its high fiber and low calorie content is just another added bonus on its long list of benefits.

4. Sweet potatoes
Unlike potatoes, sweet potatoes are actually an anti-diabetic food, as they are known to stabilize blood sugar. They also contain a unique protein,  with significant anti-oxidant effects that prevent oxidative damage to our skin cells. One sweet potato alone provides you with more than 100% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin A and E, which are both essential vitamins for your skin’s health. This root vegetable is also a great source of Vitamin C and its skin is a good source of iron (if you eat the skin, make sure you buy organic) 

Tip: Steaming and boiling sweet potatoes, rather than roasting or even frying them, preserve their low glycemic index and most of their nutritional value.

5. Pumpkin seeds and Pumpkinseed oil
A handful of these super seeds make a supplement almost look inadequate. First and foremost, they are an excellent source of skin friendly vitamins such as Vitamin A, E, as well as important minerals such as zinc, which maintains healthy skin cells and supports collagen formation.Pumpkin seeds are also a good source of essential fatty acids and plant protein.
Tip: If you are like me and tend to “over eat” nuts and seeds, then maybe it’s best to measure your daily serving. I usually recommend not to take more than 3 Tablespoons of nuts & seeds (this serving includes nut butters and oils). This amount will give you a great nutritional value and added flavor to any meal without over burdening your digestive system.