If the eyes are the window to the soul, is the skin the window to the . . . kidney? Yes, according to health expert Wendy Kurtz, who says our skin can tell us a lot about our internal health.
“The skin gives you a good sense of what’s going on in the body,” she explains. “In fact, if your organs of elimination——like your colon, kidney, or liver—are too overwhelmed, the body tries to get rid of these toxins through the skin. That can mean bacteria and toxins come out on the surface of the skin and can clog the pores, as well as create areas of inflammation and redness.”
It was Kurtz’s own lifelong struggle with Type I diabetes that led her on a quest for good nutrition and overall wellness.
“I was on a search to be as healthy as I could despite my issue,” she says. “I had to learn through trial and error.”
The end result? She left her job in the corporate world to start a health-coaching business, Well with Wendy.
These days, Kurtz shares what she’s learned with others, from how to reduce your blood pressure, to how to control weight and blood sugar, and even how to attain complexion perfection. “I often get compliments on how good my skin looks,” she says. “I believe the cleaner the body is, the cleaner the skin is. So eating clean—which means avoiding food additives, preservatives, dyes, and other chemicals added to processed foods—is important.”
What foods promote healthy skin? One of the top things to do is to drink a lot water. Water helps nutrients to move into the cells and helps toxins flush out. If skin is dry, it can appear wrinkly. Eating fiber is also so important and is another way of detoxifying the body. Fiber is the scrubbing brush of the colon and keeps the body healthy.
Anything else we should be eating in the name of a “good skin diet”? Having enough healthy fats in the diet is very important. Avocados, cold-pressed olive oil, certain nuts and seeds, and fatty fish like salmon all have essential fatty acids to keep the skin looking healthy. Nutrient-dense foods with a lot of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, such as vitamin A, vitamin E, zinc, and selenium found in foods such as broccoli, carrots, Brazil nuts, and pumpkin seeds are tied to the health of the skin.
What should we avoid? The biggest thing you should avoid is sugar in all of its forms. Sugar hurts your skin by converting to glucose, requiring you to produce insulin. The glucose attaches to the collagen in your skin to produce wrinkles. It has also been shown that a carb-rich meal can cause inflammation in the body, which can lead to dry skin.