Are Flaxseeds the Secret to Perfect Skin?

I'm not one to believe that there is any one solution for perfect skin, but eating the right foods can and will make a tremendous difference in the appearance and health of your skin, especially over the long term. If you were to ask me, 'what are some of the best foods to eat for healthy skin?', then flaxseeds would be one of my top picks. Why are these little, brown seeds such a powerful tool for transforming your complexion? Because they have the characteristics of a beautiful skin super food and then some - fiber, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, and flaxseeds' special claim to fame, lignans.

Flaxseeds are, like other nuts, seeds, and whole grains, high in fiber. These seeds pack a nice little body cleansing punch with a combination of soluble and insoluble fiber as well as mucilage, which is going to help your body get rid of waste faster, a tidbit of knowledge from the University of Maryland Medical Center. A cleansing diet with plenty of high-fiber foods and lots of fluids is essential for keeping your skin clean and and free of congestion (aka blemishes). According to my home supply of ground flaxseed meal, 2 tablespoons supplies 4 grams of dietary fiber, which comes out to about 1/6 of your daily recommended requirement of fiber.

The essential fatty acids are another reason that flaxseeds are one of the best foods to eat to get perfect skin. They contain both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Those anti-inflammatory omega-3's are really valuable for healthy skin and a healthy heart. I am presently taking flaxseed oil supplements to see if there is a noticeable difference in my skin. No marked improvement yet, but it has only been about two weeks.

The magic, miraculous, shout from the mountain tops nutrient that makes flaxseeds the cream of the crop when it comes to foods for perfect skin is the lignans. Flaxseeds (not the oil but the actual seeds) are the highest plant source of lignans. What are they? Lignans are natural compounds that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, but more importantly they act as phytoestrogens. This means they mimic estrogen in the body. What does this have to do with your skin? Well, estrogen is the hormone that makes skin plumper and more elastic. The spike in estrogen during pregnancy is known for the 'pregnancy glow.' Likewise, diminishing estrogen production as a woman ages, especially around menopause, has a lot to do with skin becoming drier, thinner, and less firm.

Eating flaxseeds regularly may not alone create perfect skin, but making this beauty food a regular part of your diet, exercising, drinking plenty of water and maybe a few cups of herbal tea here and there, (and of course using all my amazing homemade face mask recipes!), may not be a bad idea when it comes to trying to improve your complexion and hold onto that radiant glow over the years.

I wouldn't suggest sitting with a spoon and a bag of ground flaxseeds and going to town. I do suggest throwing a couple spoonfuls on your yogurt with some fresh fruit or over your oatmeal. You can also add ground flaxseeds to your smoothies, baked goods, and your favorite pancake recipe. If anyone has any tasty flaxseed recipes or suggestions, please share!


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While I love my skin, I am not actually a dermatologist or a medical professional. The information on this site is not meant to treat or diagnose any health issues.