If no makeup and no filter are your skin goals, Toronto-based integrative nutritionist and Good Goddess founder Natasha Geddes needs to be on your radar. This former fashion buyer and stylist to the stars, turned her laser focus to healthy eating after the birth of her son and daughter. She became passionate about quality ingredients, the power of supplements and, along the way, created an in-demand brand with a celebrity following. Here are 10 of her go-to foods for luminous skin that will help you get your glow on!
1. Wild-Caught Salmon
While Natasha likes to eat a plant-based diet as much as possible, she does make an exception when wild salmon is on the menu. It’s packed with vitamin E and omega 3s – key players in reducing inflammation – plus a tongue-twister secret weapon: astaxanthin (pronounced asta-zan-thin). “This is a type of carotenoid and natural red pigment derived from algae,” says Natasha. “Astaxanthin helps skin maintain optimum moisture levels and has been proven to protect cells from UV damage.”
Get the recipe for Wheat Berry Bowl With Salmon and Miso Sauce
Once relegated solely to taco night, this nutrient-dense fruit is now a menu powerhouse (avocado toast, anyone?). “Avocados are one of my favourite things,” says Natasha. “Full of healthy fats, they’re not only deliciously creamy, they also really pamper skin with antioxidants that brighten and hydrate. They are loaded with vitamin E, nature’s amazing moisturizer, and contain a natural sunblock that, like wild salmon, helps protect skin against UV rays – win win!”
3. Sweet Potato
Natasha remedies dry and dull looking complexions with this colourful superfood. A mashup of nutrients, the sweet potato is super skin-friendly thanks to beta carotene, the powerhouse antioxidant that converts to vitamin A when consumed. “Vitamin A promotes cell production and turnover so skin looks luminous – it’s sort of like the food version of retinol, which leaves skin supple and dewy. Use it to make fries or swap out your avocado toast’s bread with a slice of baked sweet potato.”
Get the recipe for Sweet Potato Toast With Avocado and Sprouts
Natasha rates most nuts as skin boosters – she’s especially fond of omega 3-rich Brazil nuts and how they promote skin elasticity – but her go-to for clear skin is the cashew. “It is the acne-fighting nut! Full of selenium, vitamin E and zinc, cashews reduce inflammation, promote cell growth and help renew damaged areas of the skin.” However, not all nuts are created equal when it comes to breakouts: Avoid peanuts, as they contain androgen, which speeds up sebum production and can worsen acne.
5. Bone Broth
This popular elixir is made by boiling bones to extract minerals, collagen (a key player in skin elasticity) and amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. Note: when protein levels are low, premature sagging and wrinkling can occur. One of the broth’s noteworthy amino acids is glutamine, which helps heal the intestinal barrier for optimal gut health. Natasha says, “I truly believe that great gut health equals healthier-looking skin.” She suggests adding greens to bone broth for a healthy light meal.
Get the recipe for Immune-Boosting Bone Broth, Chicken and Vegetable Soup
This sweet treat is the skin’s multi-tasker thanks to a dynamic combo of vitamins A and C. On its own, vitamin A keeps sebum production and cell turnover humming along so skin glows; double it up with vitamin C and you’ll double down on collagen formation, which contributes to smooth, firm-looking skin. “Vitamin C is necessary to build collagen. Just one cup of cantaloupe contains 97% of the recommended daily dosage.”
If you’re worried about broken capillaries, this berry is for you. Its point of difference is a mix of phytochemicals, including bioflavonoids, which help strengthen blood vessels so they’re less susceptible to breaking. “While everyone can benefit from blueberries, I highly recommend them to those with fair and sensitive skin.”
Think of beets – whether juiced, steamed, roasted or raw – as the food version of wrinkle cream. “They are the anti-aging veggie!” says Natasha. “Packed with high concentrations of antioxidants, carotenoids, folate, fiber, iron, manganese, potassium and vitamin C, beets can actually decrease the depth and severity of wrinkles. The results are remarkable.”
9. Dairy-Free Coconut Yogurt
When Natasha was developing Good Goddess’s Coconut Cloud Yogurt, she knew that what she left out of it was just as important as what she put in. On the out list: dairy and sugar, which can weaken collagen and make skin vulnerable to wrinkles and sagging. On the in list: just two ingredients (coconut and vegan bacterial cultures!). “This is a guilt-free treat that’s rich in probiotics, which get skin super glowy.”
10. Detoxifying Water
To make the most of the day’s eight (or more) glasses, Natasha concocts her own detoxifying water. “Adding powerful boosters to water is fun and makes your H20 that much more efficient. My usuals: grass-fed collagen, lemon peels (filled with vitamin C to protect against free radicals), mint (fresh flavour plus nutrients) and a few slices of jalapeño (hello vitamin C and B6!). Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies, and it promotes skin elasticity. As we age, we lose it, so it’s important to supplement whenever we can.”
Photo of dairy-free coconut yogurt courtesy of Green Goddess