One dreaded topic during pregnancy can be stretch marks. Stretch marks appear when your body starts to grow at a much faster rate than your skin, which makes it hard for the skin to keep up. The elastic fibers that are under your skin’s surface break hence the stretch marks. It turns out growing a human can be tough on the skin. Who knew!
It is estimated that about 90% of women globally get stretch marks after the 6th or 7thmonth. Genetics also play a role in determining whether you will have stretch marks or not. Therefore, if your mother had stretch marks when pregnant, there is high likelihood that you will also get them. Even though this did not hold true for me with my first son, I was still amazed at how much my skin actually stretched.
When I was pregnant with Storm, I bought every cream and lathered my belly up 10 times a day! This time around, I have learned to make my own belly butter (free of those nasty chemicals!), incorporate skin brushing everyday and have also made it a routine to include some special foods into my diet to help increase the elasticity of my skin.
Stretch marks can also be a common thing for people who are not pregnant. So if your not expecting, keep reading!
A Healthy Diet
The most important thing to keep in mind when healthy skin is concerned is your diet. These few but very important nutrients will help stretching skin thrive,
- Foods packed with antioxidants as they will help protect and nourish your skin. They include vegetables and fruits such as strawberries, blueberries and spinach, cucumbers, celery,and kale.
- Food that is rich in Vitamin E as it protects the cell membranes of your skin. Eat collard greens, broccoli, avocados, seeds and nuts.
- Foods rich in Vitamin A as they repair the tissues of your skin. Eat red bell peppers, sweet potatoes, carrots, squash and mango.
- Food that is rich in Omega-3 and 6 as it will make your skin glow and keep the cell membranes healthy. Eat eggs, walnuts, fish oil and fish.
Celery is the main star, so let’s focus on this gem for a minute. Before I get into why this juicy vegetable will help prevent stretch marks, lets look at some of the other benefits.
- Celery contains 8 families of anticancer compounds. One of the active compounds called Phthalides, which are known to relax the muscles of the arteries that regulate blood pressure, allowing them to dilate. It also helps reduce stress hormones. I’ll take all I can get!
- Celery also contains a compound called Coumarins that helps prevent free radicals from damaging cells. Decreasing the mutations that increase the potential for cells to become cancerous. How you ask? It magnifies the activity of certain while blood cells, immune defenders that target and eliminate potentially harmfull cells, including cancers cells.
- Celery contains Silica!
Celery is very high in silica. Silica is a trace mineral that strengthens the body’s connective tissues – muscles, tendons, hair, ligaments, nails, cartilage, and bone and is vital for healthy skin. Silica has been shown to contribute to certain enzyme activities that are necessary for normal collagen formation and is essential for maintaining the health of connective tissues.
Not only is this trace mineral very good for your growing baby, it is vital for your growing belly. Healthy skin can stretch and bounce back! Simply balancing your intake of omega-3s with omega-6s can result in smoother, younger-looking skin too. The typical American diet is overabundant in omega-6 fatty acids found in baked goods and grains, and lacking in omega-3s, found in salmon and nuts and seeds.
Try including this healthy glow juice in your morning routine 3-4 times a week for extra skin stretching properties!
- 2 carrots
- 1 small apple
- 1 medium orange
- 6 large celery stalks
- 1/2 lemon
Juice and enjoy!
I call this “glow juice” because it provides your skin with every nutrient and mineral it needs to truly glow. I drink this 3-4 times a week and reap the benefits not only for my skin but for my immune health and for the health it offers my growing baby.
Homemade Body Butter
After learning how toxic store bought lotions and “butters” truly are, I stay far away from them. Read more about the toxic ingredients you commonly find here, in this post. You can also whip up a batch of my favorite body butter to help keep your skin from drying out.
Squeezing this into your morning or evening routine will do wonders for your skin! Read more about the benefits I have experience in this post!
There are a number of things you can do for your skin to help accommodate your growing belly during pregnancy. Try adding in these simple steps and reap the benefits!