Redness, swelling, heat, breakouts - we are all too familiar with the symptoms of skin inflammation.
Inflammation occurs when your skin is exposed to irritants such as UV light, pollution, harmful chemicals, and allergens. As a result, your body begins the inflammatory process which engages the immune system to attack the irritant.
We all experience a little skin inflammation from time to time but it becomes a real issue when inflammation is present for long periods of time.
Chronic systemic inflammation weakens the body’s natural immunity and inhibits the body’s ability to meet everyday challenges such as fighting acne or sun damage. When your body is busy fighting against inflammation, it cannot give its all to necessary daily processes like producing skin supporting collagen and elastin.
Chronic inflammation promotes free radicals. Oxidation caused by free radicals results in the body releasing the enzymes hyaluronidase, elastase, and collagenase. These three enzymes break down the main building blocks of skin - hyaluronic acid, elastin, and collagen - causing signs of aging.
Avoiding chemical skin irritants found in many conventional skin care products is a key step in protecting skin health. Opt for skin care ingredients and foods that are anti-inflammatory and rich in plant nutrients. Look for supporting skincare ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and plant based collagen and ceramides.
While we often blog about anti-inflammatory skincare ingredients, we do not often talk about foods that can also help reduce inflammation. By supporting your skincare products with anti-inflammatory recipes you can see results more quickly and experience body-wide benefits.
Some foods that are anti-inflammatory include:
- Bell Peppers
- Shiitake Mushrooms
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Dark Chocolate
Adding anti-inflammatory foods to your daily skincare regimen can have lasting and powerful effects on your natural glow.
One recipe I especially love is "Golden Carrot Soup". I make large batches regularly and freeze them in portion sized containers for an easy-to-reheat lunch.
This soothing carrot soup features anti-inflammatory Carrots, Turmeric, and Ginger. The result is a beautiful soup with a rich golden color and a delicate, velvety texture. Opt for USDA certified organic ingredients whenever possible.
GOLDEN CARROT SOUP WITH GINGER AND TURMERIC
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Red Onion or 1 Leek (cleaned and sliced)
2 cups chopped Fennel Bulb (1 small head)
8 cups chopped Carrots
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tablespoon grated peeled ginger (about a 2 inch slice)
2 Tablespoon Turmeric powder
6 cups low sodium vegetable broth
2 cans low-fat Coconut Milk (14.5 ounces)
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Heat the Olive Oil in a large dutch oven or heavy sauce pan. Add the fennel, onions, and carrots. Saute for 4 to 6 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the garlic, ginger, turmeric, and salt and pepper. Saute for a few more minutes, until the ingredients come together.
Slowly add the Coconut Milk and Vegetable Broth. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
When all ingredients are cooked and soft, turn off heat and allow to cool slightly. Once cooled to a workable temperature, use an immersion blender to puree the soup. (Alternative: Blend soup in a blender until creamy). Adjust seasonings as desired.
Serve as is or with a dollop of coconut yogurt. NOTE: This soup freezes very well. Simply pour into tight sealing containers and freeze for up to three months.
Christine Untiedt, Owner, Brown Barn Botanicals
Notice: These statements and blog content have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information in our articles are not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and are not intended as medical advice. The content of these blogs and associated products is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using products or following blog advice.