Eating well is always going to be my number one suggestion if you want to be healthy on the inside and out.
You’ve probably heard the saying: “You can’t out-exercise a bad diet”. The same thing goes for supplements.
You can’t take a bunch of pills and expect your body to react or absorb any of them. That’s exactly why they’re called supplements – they make your diet complete by filling all the gaps in your day-to-day food consumption. Ever since humans developed agriculture, we’ve been transforming the planet and throwing the soil’s nutrient cycle out of balance. Similar to climate change, this has happened over generations, in not-so-obvious ways. It’s clear that many people are interested in enhancing their bodies with the use of supplements.
Here are some supplements that we recommend to help emphasize your inner and outer beauty.
Although most people are not deficient in this B7 vitamin, it is common for people to not get enough of it in their diet alone. It can be found in many animal products as well as a few vegetables, like sweet potatoes, spinach, and broccoli. Not only does Biotin turn carbs, fats, and proteins into energy, but it also helps maintain the normal function of your nervous system. A healthy nervous system plays a huge role in healthy nails, skin, and hair. Aim for 30-100 mcg a day and ensure that you have that by using supplements if you need.
There are at least 16 types of collagen! When collagen is digested, it turns into amino acids that are good at treating inflammatory skin conditions. More importantly, Collagen is a protein that provides the infrastructure to much of your body, including your bones, skin, tendons, and ligaments. Not only does it have a positive effect on your outer appearance, but especially inside, in that it keeps you strong. Taking supplements is recommended, but if you are ok with animal products like bone broth, gelatin, chicken skin, and pork skin, those are great natural food sources to incorporate into your diet!
Turmeric has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for over 4,500 years. It’s popular in Eastern and Western societies for having anti-inflammatory properties that are said to rival those in ibuprofen. High in antioxidants, Curcumin protects healthy cells found in the colon from cancer-causing agents. This magical spice can also help delay the aging process and fight age-related chronic diseases. If you don’t like to ingest it orally, try a face mask! Although Turmeric tends to stain everything it comes in contact with, it works well to even out your skin’s natural tone. By inhibiting an enzyme in the skin that produces pigment, turmeric also lightens age spots, scars, and other discolorations.
This is an essential vitamin you’ll want to include in your beauty regime, as it has the ability to improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and photo-aging, which are all side effects of sun damage. For those who do not want to apply it topically, you can find Vitamin A in fatty fish, kale, sweet potatoes, carrots, collard greens, chicken liver, and more. For quicker results, topical is the way to go. Vitamin A also protects your skin against infection and encourages healthy skin cell production. Women can aim for 700 mcg daily, and men can aim for 900 mcg, but try not to over-consume, as this is toxic for our bodies.
Vitamin C and E
Both vitamins are strong antioxidants and aid in collagen production. Both vitamins E and C also work well hand in hand and it’s often recommended that you take them together. These vitamins can help protect you from environmental damage, which has been shown to cause acne and premature aging. Individually, these vitamins are both powerhouses! Vitamin C and E are great to have on hand to boost your immune system response, to treat macular dysfunction, and to help prevent sunburn and UV damage. The daily requirement is 2000 mg of Vitamin C and 15mg of Vitamin E.
Vitamin D is important for preventing signs of aging and supporting your immune system and mental health. However, to receive the necessary quantity you need from sun exposure, you would likely become sunburnt. If you get your Vitamin D from natural sunshine, make sure to wear some protection like sunscreen, sunglasses, or a hat. If you choose to supplement, look for one that includes a good source of Vitamin K. This makes Vitamin D much more absorbable. Depending on the source, your body, and the season, you can take between 1,000 IU and 4,000 IU to hit your daily D requirements.
Probiotics & Prebiotics
Pre- and probiotics are important for maintaining gut health and boosting your immune system, which helps you have healthier skin, nails, and hair overall. Prebiotics feed probiotics, so it’s important to take both or to find foods that contain either. Popular prebiotics include: garlic, onions, asparagus, bananas, root vegetables, and seaweed. Most fermented foods are considered probiotic. Depending on your gut, you may need a variety of different strains, or just one, so get tested by a Naturopath or other health professional so you can save money and take only what is necessary for your body.
Omega-3 Fish Oil
Omega-3 supports your skin’s natural barrier, leading to higher retention of moisture. Properly moisturized skin is less prone to acne, inflammation, and aging, and is healthier altogether. Omega-3 can provide that moisture/lubrication, but not topically. It also improves eye health, sleep quality, and bone and joint health. Whether it comes from fatty fish or a supplement, aim for up to 3,000 mg daily, especially if you are suffering from heart disease or depression and anxiety, keeping in mind that that would be the highest range you should hit.
Melatonin doesn’t have a direct effect on looking youthful, but when your body is lacking restful sleep, your outward appearance may show it. This could lead to dull skin and hair, under-eye bags, and premature wrinkles. To make sure you get enough sleep or can fall asleep on time, taking 0.3 mg – 5 mg of melatonin can help, making sure that you slowly build up your dose rather than starting at the highest range. Get enough zzz’s and you’ll naturally look and feel more awake!
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider vinegar has plenty of beauty and health benefits, whether applied topically or through ingestion. Acetic acid and antioxidants in ACV help to restore the natural pH balance of the skin and protect it from wrinkles and acne. It also has antibacterial properties, which can help prevent cavities, reduce bacteria-causing plaque, and fight bad breath when used in a homemade mouthwash. Use it on your hair for extra shine or on your scalp to prevent dandruff. If taking ACV orally, aim for 2-4 tablespoons a day for beauty benefits!
Just like we’ve slowly, but quite powerfully, made our impact on the Earth, do not expect to see instant results. When it comes to herbal supplements, slow and steady wins the race! A healthy supplement routine needs time to adapt and work with your body, so try it out for a few weeks to a month to see results. What is important is to focus on what you’re putting into your body so that it can radiate outwards.
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