There are a number of products on store shelves that would lead you to believe that blemishes and blackheads just happen and that our best defense is spot treating with lotions, gels and other goos. As someone who struggled with acne for a number of years I wish I would have known then what I know now.
From a holistic perspective, most skin conditions— acne, eczema or early aging— are a sign of a deeper imbalance occurring from inside the body. While I've spoken a lot about the gut-brain connection, there is also a lot of research to consider regarding the gut-skin connection.
The Gut-Skin Connection
Our microbiome is a powerful indicator of our health. Acne and other skin Issues that occur are thought to be the first indicators of gut issues including SIBO, leaky gut, candida and more.
You, and your skin, are only as healthy as the nutrients you absorb. So when your gut is in a weakened state, you may not be supplying your body or your skin with the healthy fats and antioxidant vitamins required for collagen production and healthy skin cells. So along with premature again, you might also be setting yourself up for nutritional deficiencies.
A Second Line of Defense
Weighing in at approximately, your skin is your largest organ and serves as a second line of defense in your body's detoxification process. While your liver does most of the work to eliminate toxins, when it's overburdened, your skin also helps to eliminate the toxins. Alas, when our skin begins to do the work of eliminating toxins, it shows up in the form of various skin issues (acne, eczema, etc.).
But before you start "spot-treating" these issues, consider feeding your body foods that will support your body's natural ability to detox. Some of my favorite fiber-rich foods are leafy greens like spinach, broccoli, coconut oil and cacao powder!
I get particularly psyched about cacao because that gives me an excuse to eat cacao (chocolate) daily! Just check out my favorite brownies -
Chocolate Coffee Brownies
- 2/3 cup + 2 Tablespoons sifted cacao powder
- 1 ripe plantain
- 1/3 cup applesauce
- 1/4 cup strong brewed coffee
- 3 Tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 Tablespoons sunflower seed butter (almond, cashew and coconut work, too; PB adds a stronger flavor)
- 2 Tablespoons xylitol or maple syrup
- 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- pinch of pink himalayan salt
Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease a brownie (or mini muffin) pan. [For an 8×8 pan preheat your oven to 330°F; low and slow].
Using a high powered blender, puree all of you ingredients! (I told you it was simple, right?). [Alternatively, You can blend the plantain and liquid ingredients. Then, using a separate bowl, sift together your dry ingredients. Finally, stir in the contents of the blender.]
Pour the batter into your lightly greased mini muffin pan and bake 10-14 minutes. A little undercooked is okay, it just adds to the fudge factor.
For an 8×8 pan, I would recommend baking for around 20 minutes, but be sure to check on them!
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