What are congesting foods?
When the oil (sebum) in your skin is flowing healthily it plays an important role in protecting your skin and keeping it strong, supple and smooth. However, if your skin has a tendency to congest, congesting foods in your diet will cause the sebum to thicken and block your pores, resulting in bumps and breakouts.
Common congesting foods: full fat dairy products (excluding yoghurt), cheese, chocolate (including vegan and organic), chocolate drink powders, ice-cream, commercial mayonnaise, meat fat (especially sausages, mince and chicken nibbles), red meat and pork (excluding lean varieties), chips, fried foods and takeaways, protein bars and powders (including plant based varieties), coconut oil (for highly congesting skins only), peanuts and cashews (and their butters). Note: non-dairy alternatives to cheese, chocolate, ice-cream etc. are often just as congesting. Avoid these foods altogether and focus on unprocessed, whole-foods instead.
Full fat dairy products and cheese (excluding yoghurt): Ricotta, cottage cheese, goats cheese or feta are better than hard cheeses however avoiding cheese altogether until the skin is clear. Nutritional yeast (also known as Brewer’s Yeast) gives food a savoury taste similar to cheese. Hummus or avocado are great alternatives to having cheese as a snack. Skim milk or seed/nut milks, coconut yoghurt are good alternative to full fat dairy. Note: non-dairy alternatives to cheese, chocolate, ice-cream etc. are often just as congesting. Avoid these foods altogether and focus on unprocessed, whole-foods instead.
Chocolate: Medjool dates, figs, date and carob balls or treats from the Bestow recipe books (don’t have too much coconut oil though).
Chocolate drink powders: Use cacao, carob, cinnamon, turmeric or a spice mix to make your own hot drinks using seed or nut milks. Add some honey, pure maple syrup or molasses for sweetness.
Ice cream: Gelato or blended frozen fruits.
Commercial mayonnaise: Bestow French Dressing or any other Bestow salad dressings (ask your therapist for our recipes), pesto or hummus.
Meat fat (especially sausages, mince and chicken nibbles), red meat and pork: Grilled or baked meat dishes favouring lean meats; chicken, turkey and fresh fish alternatives.
Coconut oil: Other oils such as olive or avocado.
Peanuts and cashews: Raw, unsalted nuts such as almonds or brazil nuts.
Nut butters containing peanuts or cashews: Tahini or almond butter.
Chips: Make your own oven-baked sweet potato or kale chips using olive oil.
Fried fatty foods or takeaways: Grilled, steamed or baked foods, salads and stir fries.
Protein powders: Eggs, almonds, walnuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, canned tuna, beans and Brewer’s Yeast. Add 1⁄4 cup of tinned white beans to your smoothie to boost protein levels.
The Bestow Recipe Books
The Bestow way of eating avoids all congesting foods and uses skin-friendly, whole-foods instead. The range of five Bestow Recipe Books follow skin-friendly principles. Instead of focussing on what you can’t eat, you can enjoy what you can eat – including healthy treats! The recipes are tasty, nourishing and easy to prepare. Bestow Within I contains an education section on heating and congesting foods and provides a list of skin-friendly whole-food alternatives and lots of recipes to show you how to use them.