We’ve all heard the saying, “you are what you eat.” I always just thought it meant that the five-pound cheeseburger I ate (with the chili fries!) was going to go straight to my rear end. (Because, let’s face it: it always does). In an effort to expand my palate beyond just the local burger joint, though, I’ve begun to experiment with more (gasp!) healthy foods. And as I learn more about some of these super foods, I realize that “you are what you eat” holds true for more than just Friday’s fatty cheeseburgers appearing as cellulite in the derrière on Sunday.
Did you know?
Excessive dry and irritated skin can actually be a result of digestive problems and/or a lack of Omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. I know, I know. Some of us hear the word fatty and we automatically think, “Whatever! I know I’m getting enough of that!” But Omega-3’s are the good kind of fat. (What? There’s a good kind of fat? I know I was shocked, too!)
Benefits of Omega-3’s
Omega-3’s are considered an essential fatty acid which cannot be produced by the body and must come from our food. Studies have shown that people eating diets with a high amount of Omega-3’s have all sorts of benefits including better digestion, less dry skin, and reduced inflammation. Omega-3’s have even been shown to help with brittle hair and nails, and some experts say they can prevent hair loss and increase your hair’s shine. If you have dry or inflamed skin, brittle nails, or lackluster hair, add these super foods to your regular diet and watch your body heal itself from the inside out!
Fish and Fish Oils
You may have heard that fish and/or fish oil can give you the Omega-3’s you need. It’s true, many doctors and researchers recommend eating fish 2-3 times a week, but not all fish are created equal. You want to aim for fish like salmon and halibut which are richer in Omega-3’s than other kinds of fish. Just a warning, be careful with the fish oil supplements on the market. They may help, but sometimes they have side effects. In general, it’s recommended to try to get the fatty acid from the real food. So go ahead ladies, chow down on the fish, guilt free! You can say you’re doing it for your skin!
Vegetarians never fear! Don’t want to eat fish? No problem. Walnuts are also an excellent source of Omega-3’s and can be found just about anywhere. Best thing about them? No cooking! Just pop ’em in your mouth and go! Nuts can be high in calories so watch out for that. But they’ve still got to be better than those chili fries I keep eating.
If you’re not into walnuts or fish, try flaxseed! It’s one of the best foods for Omega-3’s. I can vouch for this one because I totally saw reduced skin inflammation when I was ingesting the stuff regularly. I used to just add a tablespoon of ground flaxseed to my morning smoothie and go. Yum! It was a little harder to find (had to go to a special health food store) but it was totally worth it.
So there you have it, ladies! Ingest more omega-3 fatty acids by eating fish, nuts, flaxseed, and some vegetables like cauliflower and kale, and hopefully your dry, itchy skin and brittle nails and hair will be part of the old, less healthy, you.