By: Lynn Jaffe and Shelley Conn
Diet and digestion are one of the most important, and most frequently overlooked components of skin care. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, what you eat nourishes the face, and without adequate nutrients and good digestion, your skin can’t look its best.
The Chinese view digestion like a pot of soup constantly simmering on the stove at low heat. When we eat, we are adding ingredients to that pot of soup, and the quality of those ingredients greatly affects our health, and ultimately, how we look. For example, if we add very cold things like iced drinks or ice cream to that pot, it takes a lot of energy to bring it back to a temperature where it is simmering again. The same is true of a lot of raw fruits and vegetables. It uses up energy to digest those foods. However, it they are cooked lightly, those same foods are much easier to digest. That’s why the Chinese rarely eat or drink cold or raw foods.
The link between digestion and our appearance is almost direct. Energy and blood, which is brought up to the face during cosmetic acupuncture, is produced by the food we eat. If our diet or digestion is poor, then there is not as much energy and blood to work with.
Some guidelines for good diet and digestion:
-Avoid iced drinks, ice cream, and too many raw fruits and vegetables.
-If you need to improve your digestion, turn to soups and stews, as they are the most easily digested way to get the nutrients you need.
-Avoid drinking too much alcohol, as it is dehydrating.
-Very spicy foods are difficult to digest, and eating them too frequently can damage your digestion.
-Vitamin supplementation for your skin should include a good multivitamin daily and supplementation with antioxidants, including Vitamins A, C, E, CoQ10, and B complex.
-Eat foods that are rich in antioxidants, especially the colorful vegetables, and leafy greens.
-Talk to your practitioner for specific recommendations based on the principles of Chinese Medicine and your individual needs.