Thank you to Biosil for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.
This summer, nourish your body and your mind to get that lit from within glow.
This Ultimate Glow Guide encompasses food, supplements, mindset switches, and habits that will help you achieve glowing skin from within.
Of course, we have to kick off this Ultimate Glow Guide with food.
Eat the Rainbow
For gorgeous skin and good health, vegetables and fruit in a rainbow of colors should make up the bulk of your plate at most meals.
Beyond providing many of the vitamins and minerals we need for clear skin, they also provide juicy water content that provides hydration.
Aim to get at least 5 servings of veggies and 2 servings of fruit daily in a variety of colors – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and black. You don’t need to eat every color every day, but the more variety you have throughout the week, the better!
Cruciferous vegetables in particular are especially beneficial for the skin (especially acne or rash-prone skin). They aid in detoxification and contain powerful antioxidants and phytonutrients which help repair and improve the skin.
Cruciferous veggies are the sulfur-containing veggies, which you may recognize by their smell: broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, and radish are just a few examples. Aim to have at least a serving or two of cruciferous veggies daily as part of your overall veggie intake.
Don’t Skimp on Healthy Fats
Healthy fats are critical for our health and glowing skin. A lack of fat can lead to parched, dehydrated skin (not to mention hormonal imbalances, compromised brain and eye health, and slow wound healing.)
Include a variety of foods that contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats into your diet, like avocado, olive oil, wild fatty fish, nuts, and seeds.
In particular, make sure you’re getting enough omega-3 fats from foods such as wild salmon or mackerel, anchovies, sardines, flaxseed, chia seed, walnuts, and grass-fed organic beef. Omega-3 fats provide powerful anti-inflammatory benefits and are crucial for a good mood and glowing skin. For vegans or vegetarians, I recommend supplementing with a concentrated source of algae-based omegas, as it can be hard to get enough from diet alone.
Consume High-Quality Protein
Protein is the building block of our cells and our skin, so it’s important that we’re consuming enough. If you consume animal proteins, you’re likely getting enough. That said, be sure to choose the highest quality proteins you can afford, such as grass-fed beef, pasture-raised poultry, and eggs, or wild seafood, in order to minimize exposure to antibiotics while maximizing intake of key nutrients, such as omega-3.
Consuming enough protein as a vegan or vegetarian is slightly more challenging, as you’ll have to be mindful about ensuring you get enough to complete protein each day. Protein-rich plant-based foods include beans, lentils, grains, tofu, tempeh, nuts, and seeds. (I teach you how to do this in my nutrition course)
Water is essential for glowing skin. It hydrates from within, helps remove toxins and wastes, and aids digestion and circulation.
When we don’t drink enough water, skin appears duller, and wrinkles and pores look more prominent. Adequate hydration boosts the radiance, elasticity, and plumpness of our skin.
Women should aim for about 2.2 liters of water a day, and men, 2.5 liters.
Drink Green or Matcha Tea Regularly
Green and matcha tea are rich in antioxidants that protect your skin and body from free radical damage and reverse the effects of inflammation (both are your skin’s enemies). What’s more, studies show drinking matcha tea assists in reducing the negative impacts of stress on the body.
Try this Iced Coconut Milk Matcha Latte or Matcha Smoothie Bowl.
Choose a Clinically Proven Collagen Supplement
Collagen supplements are popular at the moment, but the theory behind them is misguided. While we do need adequate collagen for plump, ageless skin, eating collagen won’t necessarily deliver collagen to your face. Collagen is a protein, and when you eat protein, your body breaks it down into its component amino acid parts. Then, your body decides if and when to reassemble those amino acids into collagen that goes to your skin (or something else entirely).
On the flip side, a more sound strategy is to help your body create more collagen naturally, by spurring your collagen-producing cells – fibroblasts – into action. I recommend my fave beauty collagen, Biosil, which is a clinically proven supplement that does just that, prompting your body to create its own collagen by increasing the number and productivity of fibroblasts.
It’s completely vegan and made from choline-stabilized orthosilicic acid (ch-OSA). I’ve been taking this product for years after one of my friends said it was her secret to glowing skin, long shiny hair, and strong nails, and it did not disappoint.
In rigorous double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials, BioSil, has been proven to increase skin elasticity by 89% and reduce fine lines and wrinkles by 30%.
Use the promo code MARIA20 on biosilusa.com for 20% off your first bottle!
Get Your Omega-3 from Algae
Because omega-3 fats are found primarily in a few types of food – namely fatty fish, seeds, and grass-fed meat – many people are deficient in this critical nutrient. If you don’t consume wild salmon or fatty fish, or grass-fed meats regularly, you are at a higher risk of being deficient.
Plant-based eaters may have an especially hard time getting enough omega-3s from the diet, as the type of omega-3 found primarily in plant-based sources, ALA, is not efficiently converted into the two other types of omega-3 (EPA and DHA) that are most needed by the body.
Supplementing with a high-quality algae-based Omega can help. Choose one that ideally contains both EPA and DHA. I like this one.
The Ultimate Glow Guide would not be complete without mentioning mindset. That’s because your thoughts do reflect on your face!
Don’t let anything dull your sparkle
We all face challenges and adversity in life. Yes, some are worse than others. These challenges are not what dictates our future. Our ability to tackle them head-on and move forward, our capacity to look for solutions instead of dwell on problems, our resiliency, and resourcefulness – these traits are what ultimately predict our future, not our circumstances.
Building resiliency is a skill that takes practice. Here’s a book to help you start and some of my podcast episodes:
How to Maintain Positivity When Everything is Falling Apart
Holistic Strategies to Beat Stress & Anxiety with Dr. Ellen Vora
How to Stress Less & Be Happy More
For a glow that can’t be extinguished, incorporate a few of these glow habits:
Make time to move your body every day- even if it’s just some simple stretching or a brisk walk. Even better work up a sweat with more vigorous exercise 3-4 times a week.
Movement improves our circulation, moves our lymph, and removes wastes. Better circulation and healthy lymph flow improve our complexion.
Even if you don’t like intense, sweat-inducing exercise, you can still work up a sweat at an infrared sauna. It is incredibly important to sweat regularly, as it helps us to release toxins and heavy metals and improves skin’s radiance.
Take Cold Showers
If you really want an instant glow, then turn the water to ice cold for the last 15-30 seconds of your shower. Coldwater invigorates your mind and causes blood to rush to the skin’s surface, giving your skin an instant glow. It’s an energizing start to the day. If you’re not up for a cold shower just yet, simply splash your face with cold water in the sink in the morning.
A calm mind equals calm skin. Establishing a regular meditation practice (even if not daily, but most days) is a transformative practice that will impart you with that certain je ne sais quoi. Anxiety and negative emotions do indeed take a toll on our skin, breaking down collagen. This in turn prematurely ages us, causing breakouts, and dulling our inner glow.
Meditation helps calm the mind and brings a sense of inner peace. I was resistant to meditation for years and thought I didn’t know how or couldn’t properly meditate. But I was just psyching myself out (and didn’t have a good guide!)
My three top recommendations for getting into meditation are these guided meditations, the Ziva Method (her book is what ultimately allowed me to meditate without being guided, which is how I now prefer to meditate), and Wim Hof, which includes breathwork followed by meditation.
Breathwork is something you’ll be hearing more and more about in the coming years, and with good reason. It is a simple yet powerful technique that immediately calms the nervous system and profoundly impacts our health.
There are various forms of breathwork – some that release stored pain and trauma which I talk about in this Self-Healing through Breathwork podcast episode or this podcast on shamanic breathwork.
Others that help heal the body and impart a focused mind – like The Wim Hof Method.
As a starting point, in addition to listening to the above podcast episodes, I recommend this fascinating, best-selling book: Breath.
Notice something missing from The Ultimate Glow Guide?
Surprised that there is no skincare listed in this Ultimate Glow Guide?! That’s because a true inner glow comes from within.