We Are What We Eat

You are what you eat. How many times have you heard that? I know I’ve heard it hundreds of times in my life. YET we sometimes slip up on our diet and then wonder why our skin isn’t looking its best. We women have a bit of a tough time thanks to menstruation, pregnancy, menopause – you get the idea. I know myself and many of my friends go crazy for sugar (interestingly, most dudes I know don’t have a hard time turning down sugar. Their Achilles heel lies in savory stuff like chips and cheap pizza. SeaLuxe has an interesting post coming up that explores cravings. Stay tuned!).

Nutrients from the food we eat provide the foundation of function, structure, and integrity of every single cell in our body, from our skin and hair to our muscles, bones, as well as our digestive and immune systems. Let’s look at those hard-working cells for a second here.

Every cell in our body has an expiry date. Our skin cells last about a month, a red blood cell lasts about four months while a stomach cell lasts a maximum of 48 hours. Our bodies work hard at replacing those cells ALL THE TIME which is why we should be providing it with the best building materials as possible. If we eat chocolate bars for every single meal, we’re basically giving our bodies the equivalent of wet newspaper to build a house.

Not only are our bodies busy making new cells, it also must repair existing cells. This includes the wear and tear of exercise as well as keeping us in fighting form to deal with such things as fall, pollution, and every day life. This is exactly why – I’m looking at you, exerciseholics – rest days are vital.

Here are some cell-feeding tips:

  • Try to implement a plant-based diet as much as you can. Vitamin A and C-rich fruits and veggies are wonderful sources of nutrients and contain anti-inflammatory properties. These promote cell reproduction and combat cell damage. Vitamin C, as we know when we apply it to skin, is vital for collagen production. Raw red bell peppers, for instance, are skin saviors!

  • Omega-3. These fats have anti-inflammatory effects that help reduce inflammation and irritation. Foods high in omega-3 fats include wild salmon, trout, arctic char, mackerel, hemp, chia seeds, and walnuts.

  • Avoid deep-fried foods. Once in a while is okay as a treat but regularly eating foods that have been scorched in the deep fryer contain oxidized fat which can damage the structure of cells and promote inflammation.

  • Cut down on sugar. Sigh. This is a tough one for many of us. Again, moderation is key. Eating too much refined sugar attacks our collagen and elastin and can result in wrinkles and loss of elasticity. Not to mention our bodies convert the excess to fat.

  • Drink water. Proper hydration is so important. It helps maintain body temperature, digestion, absorption and transportation of nutrients. It also flushes toxins from the body. Think of how good a glass of water feels after drinking. So good! Doctors recommend 12 cups for men and nine for women. Of course, more if you’re active.

  • Protein. High-quality proteins help produce collagen and muscle rebuilding.

Follow these guidelines along with a regular skin care regime that includes exfoliation, toning, and moisturizing, and your skin will thank you.