Photography by Tracey Creed
Assisted by Amandine Paniagua
Recipe by Amandine Paniagua and Tracey Creed
Words by Tracey Creed
Published April 11 2020
Updated April 13 2020
Add all ingredients to your blender and blend on high until smooth. For thicker consistency add more frozen bananas. Serve immediately.
Here Amandine and I prepared a vibrant avocado smoothie and I compiled the following grocery list for glowing skin. In more traditional healing circles, there is a deeper understanding of these symbiotic relationships between diet, inner wellness and skin health. Here we use this knowledge to bring clarity to our daily choices — and skin. Healthy, glowing skin has an irresistible vibrancy that transcends age. It is however achievable. From personal experience, it can take years of self-learning. I am still learning. I was eating 100% plant-based, restricting soy and had eliminated refined sugars and yet was still getting breakouts. Initially, I thought these were due to a hormonal imbalance. It was not until I learned how deeply the balance of bacteria we host plays a role in our skin that I focused on feeding my skin from the inside out.
And so I understand that it can be super frustrating when it seems like you have tried it all, yet are not seeing the results. Often I think we avoid incorporating self-care practices because we don’t know where to start. All I will say is begin with anything, whether that is incorporating more prebiotic fibre daily or embracing fermented foods. A consistent approach is the only thing that I have noticed make a big difference in my skin and wellbeing. The following lists of foods, supplements and nutrient considerations are from my research — this is the information I used to create daily transformational rituals. Cut and paste it to notes and take it grocery shopping.
Eating a plant-based diet loaded with detoxifying fibre, greens, sulfur, good fats, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory foods — these are the building blocks for vibrancy. And that means you need to be adding these nutrient-dense plant-based foods to every meal. Calorie for calorie plants come the closest of any food in meeting our ideal nutritional requirements. Eating well, I find is fundamentally supporting your skin.
– Zinc in beans, chickpeas, lentils, cashews, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, seaweed and spirulina. For additional support, this Cold Pressed Pumpkin Seed Oil is my next functional foods purchase.
– Vitamin A in carrots, kumara (sweet potato), squash, carrots, collards and spinach.
– Silica in green beans, romaine lettuce, cucumber, celery, asparagus, cabbage, leeks, alfalfa, dark leafy greens, rhubarb, burdock, oats, flaxseed, millet and mineral water. Alternatively, you could start taking a vegan supplement such as Solgar Oceanic Silica From Red Algae to up your intake.
– Fats in avocado, coconut, walnuts, chia seeds and hemp seeds. I’ll drizzle hemp seed oil over salads, my food in general. No heating here as this damages the Omegas.
– Probiotics in sauerkraut (also rich in Vitamins C and K), kimchi, kefir, tempeh and miso.
Sulfur is the beauty mineral that aids the detoxification process by helping the body produce glutathione— one of the most potent antioxidants. That and collagen production depends on getting enough sulfur in your diet. Sulfur-containing amino acids methionine and cysteine are the two major sources you’ll find sulfur. Ideally you’ll want to be eating at least 3 cups of sulfur-rich vegetables daily, which in addition to sulfur also contain an abundance of antioxidants.
– Methionine in black beans, Brazil nuts, kidney beans, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, sesame seeds, soybeans, teff, white beans and wild rice.
– Cysteine in chickpeas, couscous, lentils, oats, soybeans and walnuts.
— Other foods containing sulfur such as allium vegetables (garlic, leeks, chives, onions, et cetera) and cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, et cetera).
Several studies during the last decade have led dermatologists to reflect on the relationship between diet and acne — implicating supplementation of certain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in acne treatment. Even if you don't have the best track record when it comes to taking supplements, naturally, patience is key. Skin cell turnover takes about twenty-eight days, which means almost all forms of supplementation require at least four weeks before you'll see if they're addressing your skin concerns.
— Magnesium. Involved in hundreds of critical chemical reactions in your body, magnesium supports the adrenal system, emotional balance and brain function. Supplementing with magnesium is particularly useful for managing anxiety and acne. Just add water.
— Vitamin D. Supplementing with 1,000 IU per day of vitamin D for 2 months significantly improved acne lesions in those deficient. Recommendations from the US Institute of Medicine suggest an intake of 400 – 800 IU, or 10 – 20 micrograms Vitamin D. Vitamin D plays an important role in the immune system, and its deficiency has been implicated in various skin diseases, including atopic dermatitis and psoriasis. Try supplementing with vegan softgel capsules or liquid. And get some sun.
— Barberry. With anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties this botanical extract obtained from the bark of the barberry bush has been shown to significantly reduce acne lesions according to some studies. Create a new hydration ritual, by incorporating barberry 3 times daily. Going to really commit? Opt for this 120 ml (2 fl oz) organic barberry sourced from Hawaii.
— B Vitamins. This refers to 8 vitamins all with unique roles, all critical to nourishing the skin. Look for a B-complex with high B6 which supports hormonal balance and the nervous system. And Vitamin B12 is important for anyone eating 100% plant-based long term. You’ll also find Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 and B12 in nutritional yeast — it’s prevalent in the vegan community as a plant-based replacement for cheese because of its flavour profile. Sprinkle it on everything.
— Plant-based collagen helps to retain the water barrier for the dewiest skin. I love The Beauty Chef Collagen Inner Beauty Boost and this marine collagen with skin-plumping hyaluronic acid. Just add water.
– Vitamin K2 (menaquinone) in natto, sauerkraut and tempeh, though potency depends on the fermentation process. Vitamin K2 supports skin barrier function while working to reduce inflammation and is implicated in helping with skin conditions such as eczema and acne. Much like Vitamin B12, Vitamin K2 supplementation is important for those eating either 100% plant-based or who lean heavily towards a vegan diet.
You can get glowing skin naturally. It will just require patience and lots of self-discovery. Try incorporating some stress-reducing activities into your daily life and where you need additional support, seek out supplements that help keep skin clear. And you’re on the right track with foods to avoid such as dairy, refined sugars and hyper-processed foods. Any dietary adjustments will work from the inside out to deliver vibrancy and help bring your body back into balance.
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