Jul 24 / Star Khechara

What is a 'beauty food'

Beauty foods contain the nutrients and phytochemicals associated with healthier skin. There's not an exact global agreement on which foods are 'beauty foods' and which foods are not.

Many beauty foods are called that simply because they're a fruit or vegetables (all fruits and vegetables are anti-inflammatory and contain anti-oxidants)

But here at Skin Nutrition Institute we have a clear understanding of beauty foods and have our own categorisation system 

SNI Beauty Food Blueprint

There are 5 main categories that a food must fit into before we label it as a functional beauty food.

1. It must be water-rich

A water rich food is 70% and above water. Foods like:
  • Oranges
  • Melon
  • Cucumber
  • Lettuce
  • Cold-pressed fruit juices, coconut water and herbal infusions also count as water-rich 'ingestibles.'

There are also foods and dietary patterns that contribute to dehydration:
  • Dried / dehydrated foods: flour products, grains, nuts, seeds.
  • Adding salt to food or eating high salt foods (cheese, meat, potato chips etc)

2. It must be anti-inflammatory

Inflammation is deeply linked to skin-ageing to the point that it's been coined 'Inflammaging' or as we call it at SNI "skinflammaging". Fruits and vegetables are rich in powerful anti-inflammatory compounds such as Anthocyanins from blue and purple foods.

The foods and dietary patterns that are known to be anti-inflammatory are:
  • Colourful fruits and vegetables
  • Citrus fruit
  • Low fat diet
  • Avoiding heating oils
  • Omega 3
And there are the opposite of the beauty foods and they lead to inflammaging
  • Meat, dairy and eggs (TMAO).
  • High fat diet Saturated fats
  • Gluten
  • Refined sugar
  • High Omega 6 ratio (compared to Omega 3)

3. It must be rich in antioxidants

Oxidative stress is a major pathway of cellular dysfunction, rapid skin-ageing and ill-health. Antioxidants and the superheroes in charge of buffering the effects of oxidation at the cellular level.
  • Antioxidants are almost entirely in plant foods
  • Colourful raw fruits and vegetables
  • Botanicals and ‘superfoods’ with a high ORAC score
And there are foods that increase oxidative damage:
  • ALEs (Advanced Lipid Oxidation End products) from using oils and other fats.

4. It must be low in dietary AGEs 

Exogenous Advanced Glycation End-Products (or dAGEs) are formed in high heat + high fat environments.
  • Foods low in dAGEs are:
  • Fruits and juices
  • Vegetables
  • Nuts / seeds (in modest amounts)
  • Raw plant foods
And the opposite of a beauty food would be foods high in dAGEs
  • Meat
  • Butter
  • Cream cheese
  • High-fat foods
  • Oils

5. It must be rich in fibre and MACs

The Gut-Skin axis is an important relationship that relies on the health of the git microbiome. Gut dysbiosis is common in modern humans and many skin disorders such as psoriasis and eczema are linked to poor gut health and low microbiome diversity.

Prebiotics are the food of the gut microbiome and what does it feed on?

Carbohydrate-rich plants.

Most people know that fibre is important to gut-health but it's often missed that the microbes feed on MACs: Microbiota Accessible Carbohydrates. 

Which foods are rich in fibre and carbohydrates? Plant foods especially fruit and vegetables

Can you see a pattern emerging?

Colourful fruits and vegetables are the most important beauty foods. They hit every single requirement for preventing skin disorders and helping boost skin-health. This is why we are dedicated to infusing our skin nutrition courses with evidence-based plant medicine.

There is a more advanced version of the Beauty Food Blueprint™ that you'll learn on theDiploma in Integrative Nutridermatology®

Star Khechara

Professional agehacker, author, speaker, founder of skin nutrition institute
About me
Skincare formulator and beauty author turned skin-nutrition educator: Star distilled her 20+ years of skin-health knowledge into the world’s first international accredited skin-nutrition school to teach skin therapists, facialists, face yoga practitioners and estheticians how to help their clients feed the skin from within for cellular-level rejuvenation and vibrant beauty. 
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