From a young age we’re told “eat your fruits and vegetables to grow big and strong.” Now though, we have so many more reasons to do so. In today’s modern world, “natural beauty” is a hot topic, but did you know that you don’t have to spend a ton of money to have healthy skin? You can achieve most of your health and skin goals through what you eat! “Better skin starts not with expensive cleansers and other beauty products, but from within,” Dr. Mark Hyman (founder and medical director of the UltraWellness Center). When it comes to food, quality is everything and we as consumers have the power to choose what goes on our plates every single day (ever heard of that saying you are what you eat?). While it’s a good start to focus on eating enough fresh fruit and veggies on a daily basis to look after your health, it’s also important to acknowledge the toll our rapidly growing population has on our food systems and its subsequent environmental impacts. Just as “organic” food is a healthier choice for both you and the planet, it is also important to ensure that the animal proteins you consume, both from the land and the sea, are being sourced sustainably too.
Quality means you are getting food that has been mindfully and responsibly grown, caught or raised. Our ideal food system would be one that works in harmony with Mother Nature and her cycles or seasons. We want to purchase food that keeps the environment green and our bodies clean. When we protect and keep the natural world around us beautiful, then we too can reap the health and skin benefits from her beauty. We encourage you to opt for certified organic produce when possible and look for meats that have been raised on green pastures and fed grass (as you would expect, right?). How your seafood is sourced is equally as important. There is an incorrect assumption that eating only wild-caught fish and other varieties of sea life is the only way to eat healthy. However, it’s important to note that many species are running dangerously low from overfishing and simply cannot feed the world’s population in a sustainable way.
“Aquaculture (the cultivation of aquatic animals and plants, especially fish, shellfish, and seaweed, in natural or controlled marine or freshwater environments; underwater agriculture) is projected to be the prime source of seafood by 2030, as demand grows from the global middle class and wild capture fisheries approach their maximum take. When practiced responsibly, fish farming can help provide livelihoods and feed a global population that will reach nine billion by 2050.”
Alongside organic vegetables and fruits, which are loaded with skin-enhancing vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, sustainably sourced salmon from pristine waters - such as Verlasso salmon from Patagonia in Chile - boasts all three of the vital skin beautifying nutrients: high quality protein, beneficial fats and the powerful antioxidant Astaxanthin. Antioxidants help prevent free radical damage, acting as an anti-aging nutrient for your skin. Astaxanthin is derived from sea algae which gives salmon its bright pink color. It’s not only a powerful antioxidant, but is also said to be the most powerful anti-inflammatory we know of, helping a variety of skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, acne and even sunburn.
When building your plate, it’s important to look at everything you are consuming and ensuring it will provide benefit to your body. To round out your meal and ensure it’s bursting with antioxidant-rich foods, choose organic rainbow colored vegetables and fruits along with turmeric, green tea, bee pollen and matcha (which is green tea in powdered form). Using vegetables and fruits, combined with your choice of high quality protein like Verlasso salmon, along with a source of healthy fats like avocados, will provide you with a meal that’s nutritionally balanced to provide optimal beauty through food. Don’t forget about your portions! Eating the right amount of each food category will ensure you get the right amount of nutrients for your body. The infographic below by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health gives you the perfect visual to follow for your meals.