12 Healthy Plant-Based Recipes for Vegans & Non-Vegans

Ready to kick meat to the curb (or at least cut back on your consumption), but not sure what to substitute? You've landed at the right place!

Today, we're discussing my top plant-based recipes: which ones made the list, why, and how to make them.

Get ready to get excited about being in the kitchen! Let’s dive in!


Dr. Pingel’s Top 15 Favorite Plant-Based Recipes

Each of the recipes below contain some of my favorite foods and offer a fun twist on some classics that may not be so good for you. Make sure to go through the entire list of plant-based recipes … these are definitely ones I categorize as “must-try recipes” for my friends and family!


Carrot ginger turmeric soup - Dr. Pingel

1. Carrot Ginger Turmeric Soup with Roasted Chickpeas

Featured in my 7-day detox as well as the Total Health Turnaround Program, this Carrot Ginger Turmeric Soup with Roasted Chickpeas is one my very favorite plant-based recipes.

It’s not only flavorful but also contains naturally detoxifying foods that support both digestive and liver health.


12 Healthy Plant-Based Recipes for Vegans & Non-Vegans 1

2. The Best Ever Lentil Sloppy Joes

Appropriately named The Best Ever Lentil Sloppy Joes, this recipe is rich and flavorful, yet free of inflammatory red meat and gluten. Plus, it’s filled with some great ingredients designed to leave you feeling satisfied and energized!

Featuring 12 g of protein and more than 30 percent of the fiber you need each day, it’s no wonder it made my list of favorite plant-based recipes!


Blueberry shrub recipe - Dr. Pingel

3. The Ultimate Mocktail: Dr. Pingel’s Blueberry Shrub Recipe

If you’re looking for a cool, refreshing beverage, you’ll want to give this blueberry shrub recipe a try.

Not only is it filled with delicious flavors such as sweet blueberries and refreshing mint, but it also features some of nature’s most healthy ingredients, such as blueberries and apple cider vinegar.


Easy vegan crab cakes - Dr. Pingel

4. Easy Vegan Crab Cakes

There’s nothing quite like the delicious and indulgent taste of crab cakes. But what should you do if you’re trying to avoid seafood? I have just the answer that you may be searching for in this list of plant-based recipes: my Easy Vegan Crab Cakes!

The base of these Easy Vegan Crab Cakes is made of artichoke hearts and jackfruit. Artichoke is high in digestion-supporting fiber and has an incredibly rich nutritional profile.

Meanwhile, studies have shown that consuming just 20 grams of jackfruit extract significantly reduced blood sugar levels and improved glucose tolerance in people both with and without diabetes. [1]

That’s a major win-win when it comes to health benefits and taste!


12 Healthy Plant-Based Recipes for Vegans & Non-Vegans 2

5. Blueberry Vanilla Quinoa Bowl

Quinoa for breakfast? Don’t let the idea scare you away. This Blueberry Vanilla Quinoa Bowl is just as good as—if not better than—your typical breakfast oatmeal, which is why it made the cut for my top plant-based recipes.

You may be surprised to learn that quinoa contains eight essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. [2] But you may be even more surprised to learn that it actually has twice the amount of protein as oatmeal—and it’s known to promote digestive health. How incredible is that?!


Easy homemade hummus - Dr. Pingel

6. Easy Homemade Hummus

Looking for a quick and easy healthy snack? Look no further! My Easy Homemade Hummus recipe is delicious, filled with nutritious ingredients, and ready in only 5 minutes! As a bonus, you can pair it with fresh veggies for the ultimately healthy and filling treat.

So, why did it make the list of my favorite plant-based recipes? This hummus is so delicious that it’s become a top-requested item from my family and friends at gatherings. It’s guaranteed to be a hit at yours, too!


Sweet potato black bean nachos - Dr. Pingel

7. Sweet Potato Black Bean Nachos

Featuring filling sweet potatoes, protein-packed beans, and a variety of health-promoting spices, these nachos will leave you feeling satisfied and energized until your next meal.

But that’s not all that these Sweet Potato Black Bean Nachos have to offer.

They also contain black beans and kidney beans, which have been linked to lower spikes in blood sugar. [3]


Vegan appetizers - Dr. Pingel

8. Easy BBQ Cauliflower Wings with Vegan Ranch Dipping Sauce

Who doesn’t love a good wing recipe? These BBQ cauliflower wings offer a vegan, healthy spin on a classic food, making it a great addition to this list of amazing plant-based recipes. But you don’t have to be vegan to love this recipe.

They are coated with the most delicious maple sriracha sauce guaranteed to please everyone.


Vegan Shish Kebab - Dr. Pingel

9. The BEST Tasty Vegan Shish Kebab Recipe!

A vegan shish kebab is an easy way to pack a bunch of nutrient-dense veggies (and fruits) into your system. They’re definitely a favorite in my household.

In fact, I like to make this with my kids to encourage healthy eating that they’re excited about. Anytime I get them into the kitchen with me, they’re more likely to enjoy what they’re eating because they helped make it!


Vegan burger

10. The Best Vegan Burger Recipe for Your Next BBQ

I can’t have a list of top plant-based recipes without including an incredible burger option. Besides, what goes better on the grill than juicy, filling burgers—with a twist?!

So, what’s the twist? It’s totally customizable! You start with a base such as beans or lentils, and then you mix your base with nuts or seeds, vegetables, or whatever else you’d like to incorporate.

Next, you need to include the “glue” to hold it together, such as soaked chia seeds, sweet potato, tahini, nut butter, or a sticky grain.

Finally, you add in your favorite spices. And that’s it! Super easy, super delicious!


Vegan chocolate tart recipe - Dr. Pingel

11. Decadent Vegan Chocolate Tart Recipe

While it looks like a typical chocolate tart, this recipe has a plot twist: it features one of my favorite healthy fat sources—avocado!

While I was creating this vegan tart, it dawned on me that I should mix my love for chocolate with my love for avocado. And it’s perfect for this dessert because it provides the creamy, rich texture you expect in a decadent chocolate tart.

Every list of amazing plant-based recipes should feature one decadent dessert—and this is it!


Best tasting green smoothie - Dr. Pingel

12. Best Tasting Green Smoothie

While green smoothies often get a bad rap for tasting “grassy,” my Best Tasting Green Smoothie features tropical flavors and a natural sweetness you’re guaranteed to love.

The best part (and the reason it made my list of plant-based recipes you’ll love)? This recipe comes with a ton of health benefits—from supporting healthy blood sugar levels to relieving constipation. [4, 5]

How to Lose Weight with Hypothyroidism [Diet, Lifestyle, Stress Management]

One of the most common thyroid-related questions I receive revolves around how to lose weight with hypothyroidism. And that makes sense because hypothyroidism is known to cause weight gain.

But why? How does your thyroid impact your weight? And, specifically, why is it so hard to lose weight with hypothyroidism? What can you do about it?

I’m answering all these questions and more, so keep reading to learn what you can do about thyroid weight gain so you can start feeling like yourself again!

What is Hypothyroidism?

First, let’s revisit what hypothyroidism is. As you may recall, your thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of your neck and plays an important role in helping your body to maintain your skin, bones, nails, metabolism, and more.

Your thyroid adapts to your body’s demands and usually steps in to help when other hormones in your body aren’t working to their full capacity.

Thyroid disease occurs when there is an imbalance in thyroid hormones. And this imbalance may happen due to autoimmune disease, genetic causes, viruses, toxins, or nutritional deficiencies.

Depending on how the thyroid imbalance manifests, it will either become underactive (hypothyroidism) or overactive (hyperthyroidism).

It’s estimated that about 20 million Americans have thyroid disease, and hypothyroidism is more common than hyperthyroidism. [1]

In the U.S. about 4.6 percent of those aged 12 years and older have hypothyroidism, with women and seniors at greatest risk. [2]


What Causes Hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism has several different causes and risk factors. Here are a few:


Why Does Hypothyroidism Make You Gain Weight?

While hypothyroidism has a myriad of symptoms and consequences, ranging from fatigue to brain fog to digestive troubles, one of the biggest complaints of those with the condition is weight gain.

In fact, one of the most common questions I get as a physician is how to lose weight with hypothyroidism.

But why does hypothyroidism cause weight gain? And how much weight gain are we talking about?

Research has shown that even small variations in your serum TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) can decrease your resting basal metabolic rate (BMR), meaning it reduces the amount of calories you burn while at rest.

Accordingly, hypothyroidism is known to decrease your metabolic rate, resulting in weight gain of typically five to 10 pounds! [3]


How to lose weight with hypothyroidism - Dr. Pingel


What You Can Do: How to Lose Weight with Hypothyroidism

Fortunately, massive weight gain isn’t super common with hypothyroidism. But anyone who’s ever tried to “diet” can attest to the fact that losing that last five to 10 pounds can sometimes be the trickiest part of weight loss.

If you’re wondering how to lose weight with hypothyroidism, the key is to focus on what caused your hypothyroidism in the first place.

Some of the most common causes include a nutritional deficiency, high amounts of stress, and lack of sleep.

So, when you’re looking for answers on how to lose weight with hypothyroidism, begin with addressing these areas first.

1. Switch to a hypothyroidism diet.

To adjust your diet when you have hypothyroidism, focus on eating nutrient-rich plant-based foods.

First, plant-based foods are whole foods that are naturally lower in calories than processed foods, meaning they support healthy weight management.

In fact, studies have shown that people who eat a whole-food, plant-based diet that’s rich in nutrients tend to have a lower BMI (body mass index).

In addition, adopting a plant-based diet has been shown to help with obesity management and be effective for weight loss. [4]

But that’s not all. Plant-based foods are also designed to give you the nutrients you need to support your thyroid function.

Specifically, your thyroid requires iodine, selenium, and zinc to function properly, so you’ll want to focus on eating foods rich in these nutrients.

To get started, check out my article on switching to a plant-based diet.

2. Support your body’s stress response.

Your thyroid function is directly impacted by the stress your body is under. And when your body doesn’t know how to properly manage that stress, your thyroid tries to compensate.

As a result, it’s best to support your body’s stress response so that it doesn’t call upon your thyroid to adapt as much.

So, how do you properly support your body’s stress response? You focus on doing things that boost your adrenal health. In addition to eating a nutrient-rich diet, you’ll want to prioritize the mind-body connection by doing things you enjoy, journaling, practicing gratitude, and taking adrenal-supporting herbs and supplements.

3. Get plenty of sleep.

While the connection isn’t fully understood and requires more research, thyroid disorders are often linked to sleep disorders such as insomnia, restless legs syndrome, and obstructive sleep apnea. [5]

Likewise, lack of sleep has been shown to trigger a chemical reaction in the body that spurs appetite and cravings for junk food. [6]

Accordingly, getting plenty of sleep each night can go a long way in in your search for how to lose weight with hypothyroidism.

So, where do you get started? Check out my top five home remedies for sleep as well as my own personal bedtime routine for a good night’s sleep.

Keep in mind that these tips will get you started, but you may find that you need additional help as you find answers for what works for you in your search for how to lose weight with hypothyroidism.

If that’s the case, consider scheduling a consultation with me, where I can look at your individual situation and help you best determine how to lose weight with hypothyroidism. Remember, everyone’s situation is different, so sometimes a personalized approach is exactly what you need to achieve the success you’re looking for.

Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMJ & TMD): Causes & Treatment

As our rates of stress rise, so do our rates of other conditions. One of those conditions? TMJ disorder.

Think about it: Have you even woken up with a pounding headache in your temples—only to realize you’re clenching your teeth? Or do you find yourself clenching your teeth when faced with a particularly tough work problem?

Odds are high that if you regularly experience discomfort around your jaw, you may have some form of TMJ dysfunction, also known as temporomandibular joint dysfunction.

But what's the link between the two, and what should you do if you're experiencing TMJ pain?

Let’s dive in and learn all about TMJ disorder and what you can do about it.


What are TMJ and TMD?

First, we need to make an important distinction: TMJ itself isn’t an issue. Oftentimes, we’ll hear something like, “I have TMJ.” But TMJ simply refers to the temporomandibular joint.

What people actually mean to say is that they have TMJ disorder, also known as TMD, or temporomandibular disorder.

So, what is TMJ disorder? It’s a painful, degenerative condition that impacts your jawbone and the surrounding muscles and tendons.

In up to 70 percent of all cases, this condition occurs from the TMJ disc being in the wrong position. [1]

Causes and Risk Factors of TMJ Disorders

Interestingly, studies have shown that there’s a direct link between TMJ disorders and stress, with higher self-reported rates of stress being linked to an increased incidence of TMJ disorders. [2]

Meanwhile, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, it’s a combination of genetics along with psychological and lifestyle stress that causes TMJ disorders. [3]

It’s also commonly accepted that TMJ disorders can be caused by bruxism (teeth grinding or clenching), which is commonly linked to stress, or even arthritis in the TMJ.

Despite popular belief, an improper bite and/or orthodontic braces are not believed to cause the condition.

4 Surprising Facts About TMJ Disorders

Here are a few more surprising facts about TMJ disorders: [4]

1. TMJ affects about 25 percent of all American adults.

2. It commonly appears between the ages of 20 and 40.

3. TMJ is more common in women than in men.

4. It can change the way your upper and lower teeth fit together!


TMJ - Dr. Pingel


Symptoms of TMJ Disorders

So, what are the symptoms of TMJ disorders? Are there certain signs you could have this condition?

Research on stressed-out dental students revealed that there are certain symptoms linked to TMJ disorders: [5]

Diagnosing TMJ Disorders

If you’re wondering how TMJ disorders are diagnosed, they can be diagnosed in a few different ways.

First, they may be diagnosed on symptoms alone. Your doctor or dentist will likely ask you a serious of questions to best determine if TMJ dysfunction could be the cause of your discomfort.

If your doctor or dentist still isn’t quite sure, he or she may order an MRI or X-ray. While the X-ray will show damage to the joint itself, an MRI will reveal any damage to the disc or tissues surrounding the TMJ.

Treatments and Remedies for TMJ Disorders

Now that you know a bit more about TMJ disorders, including the symptoms and what causes them, let’s discuss what you can do about it.

Typically, most doctors and dentists will recommend that you begin by taking NSAIDs or using a nightguard to help prevent teeth grinding. Some even suggest taking anti-anxiety medications, if they suspect anxiety and stress are at the root of your TMJ disorder symptoms.

Personally, I’ve found that engaging in meaningful mind-body practices that both promote stress relief and support your body’s ability to handle stress to be most effective.

So, how do you do that? Start by eating a diet rich in nutrients known to support the health of your adrenal glands, which will help your body handle the stress coming its way on a daily basis.

Then, I recommend to supplement with stress-busting herbs, incorporate relaxing movements and breathing exercises into your daily routine, and prioritize the mind-body connection.

If you’re needing a little help pulling it all together, you can schedule a Personal Health Consultation to receive additional guidance or grab a copy of my book, Total Health Turnaround, which breaks down the steps above into a doable 30-day plan.

Regardless of the path you take, know that you don’t have to live in discomfort from TMJ pain. There is hope–you just have to be ready and willing to make the changes needed for long-term relief.


Key Takeaways

The Gut-Brain Axis: How It Works, What It Means, Why It Matters

I have some important info to share with you: There's something known as the gut-brain axis, which refers to how your gut and brain work together. And this connection impacts many areas in your body and can even affect your immune system!

But how does it work? How do you balance your gut-brain axis? Should you take probiotics to support your gut-brain axis? And what foods balance the gut-brain axis?

To get the answers to these questions and more, keep reading, as I dive into everything you need to know about this relationship, including why it’s so important.


What is The Gut-Brain Axis?

You likely already know that the brain and spinal cord make the up the central nervous system, which is responsible for communicating with the rest of your body. It received sensory impulses and sends out motor impulses

Well, your gut also has its own kind of "brain" known as the enteric nervous system! And the central nervous system and enteric nervous system make up what is known as the gut-brain axis.

The gut-brain axis is a two-way communication network that links these two aforementioned nervous systems but goes even beyond that. It also includes endocrine, humoral, metabolic, and immune communication as well! [1]

Basically, this axis allows your brain to influence what’s happening in your gut while simultaneously allowing your gut to influence your mood, cognitive abilities, and even your mental health.

Have you ever heard of having a “gut feeling” about something? Turns out there’s truth to the link between your gut and your emotions, mental health, and cognition!

In fact, research has shown that changes in the microbiota in your gut are linked to changes in emotional states and cognitive performance. That’s because the trillions of bacteria currently living in your digestive system (or “gut”) communicate directly with your brain. [2]

In your gut, the bacteria’s messages are processed and turned into commands for other parts of the body. In turn, your brain sends messages back to your gut, altering their flora production.

The brain-gut axis is highly involved in the actions of your immune system, neurotransmitters, hormone signaling, and even weight management. [3]

They’re so closely intertwined that it’s now well-accepted that numerous mood disorders, from anxiety and depression to autism, have gastrointestinal components. [4, 5]


Gut-brain axis - Dr. Pingel


Symptoms of Imbalanced Gut-Brain Axis

You’re likely wondering how you’ll known if you have an imbalance in your gut-brain axis. Here are some of the symptoms you may experience:

Benefits of a Balanced Gut-Brain Axis

By bringing your gut microbiome into balance, you can also help promote a healthier gut-brain axis. Let’s review a few of the major benefits of having a balanced gut-brain axis before we dive into the best ways to get a balanced gut-brain axis.

How To Balance Your Gut-Brain Axis

Here are a few of my best tips to help balance your gut-brain axis.

1. Take probiotics.

There are two types of flora or microorganisms: those that are “good” and others that are “bad.”

The “bad” flora can become problematic if there are too many of them in your system. They can also become a problem if your body doesn’t have enough of the “good” bacteria.

Much like the microbiota in your gut, probiotics are live microorganisms—the “good” kind—typically administered in supplement form.

By consuming probiotics, you help to increase the number of flora in your gastrointestinal system that are needed to help break down food and absorb nutrients.

While you can eat probiotic-rich foods (see my second tip for more), probiotic supplements offer a concentrated dose and often containing specific strains to produce a specific health benefit.

Each capsule should contain billions of healthy live bacteria that will help your body better digest your food and balance your gut-brain axis.

2. Eat fermented foods.

Fermented foods are probiotic-rich foods that support digestive health and your gut microbiome.

Research has shown that eating fermented foods can help to support and improve overall gut health and the gut-brain axis.

Just as with probiotic supplements, fermented foods add “good” microorganisms to the gut microbiome. [67]

For a list of the best fermented foods for your gut-brain axis, click here.

3. Get moving.

 While mild to moderate exercise is known to improve fitness and overall health, it’s also been linked to better gastrointestinal digestion and elimination. [8]

Not only does it increase blood flow to promote movement, but it strengthens supportive muscles in the pelvic floor and abdominal wall. Strengthening these muscles helps to keep your body more upright, which allows for proper movement of stool through the colon.

Calming routines such as yoga or Pilates have been shown to fight stress and support feelings of relaxation while also promoting better digestive health by keeping your food moving through your digestive tract. [9]

Meanwhile, studies have shown that engaging in cardiovascular exercise each day can help support digestive health by promoting a healthy gut microbiome. [10]

And other studies have revealed that exercise supports stable and enriched microflora diversity, which is known to support the health of the gut-brain axis and overall health. [11]

If you’re trying these suggested steps and still feel something is missing, or if you’re having trouble staying motivated, you may need a little help getting started—and there’s no shame in that. Changing certain lifestyle habits can be hard!

If you find that you’re in need of some extra guidance, head over to my Personal Health Consultations page and schedule an appointment with me. I’ll help you identify what’s holding you back and areas to focus on so you’re on track for a healthy gut-brain axis!

What Is Aphasia? 4 Facts About Bruce Willis' Condition

Aphasia. If that word sounds familiar, it's likely because you heard it relatively recently in the news about Bruce Willis.

Unfortunately, Bruce Willis confirmed that he does, in fact, have aphasia. But what is it, exactly, and what's the prognosis? And how common is it really? And are there warning signs?

Today, I'm answering these questions and more. And I'm also sharing my personal stories of my experience with aphasia, as I've watched family members succumb to this condition

Keep reading …. This is one article you don't want to miss.


My Experience with Aphasia

When my mother-in-law Carol was in her mid 50s, she started to have very minor memory loss. It began with just the little things, like forgetting what she just said or where she put something.

She recovered easily from those episodes and life continued on. But within a year or so, she would regularly lose her ability to form a specific word. You could see her internally struggling.

She would shake her head and often say “frustrating” or “I can’t.” And quite often, she could not form a whole sentence. Then she would be able to speak normally for a short period of time before her speech would go away again.

As time went on, moments of lucidity became less and less frequent.

You could tell that she was 100 percent present (at least in beginning), meaning what was happening to her wasn’t similar to dementia or delirium where the person may not know what’s happening.

Over the course of the next few months, she spoke less and less, as she would be unable to finish a whole sentence. She used to smile and nod along, but that also began to happen less frequently.

She would still have small moments of lucidity where could speak normally and share her thoughts. In those moments, she would share how unbearable it was to be aware of everything yet unable to communicate. She knew what was happening to her. She was a prisoner in her own body.

Ultimately, she was diagnosed with aphasia, and her condition progressed rapidly. Our family also believes she developed dementia, although we couldn’t really test her recall or ask her anything but yes or no questions.

Many times she would just stare blankly at us—and we’re still not sure if that was dementia or simply a lack of response.

One of my clearest memories is when she met my oldest Cameron.  He was under a year old, but she was able to meet him prior to her passing. She smiled as she touched him and hugged both my husband Tyler and me.

To me, it seemed like she knew exactly who was there and that perhaps she just couldn’t understand and relay instructions. And that’s exactly what aphasia is: a loss in the ability to relay information.

Carol was 64 when she died, which means she spent the last decade of her life struggling with aphasia. Sometimes I wonder if there was even more going on, but we will never truly know.


What is Aphasia? 4 Facts You Need to Know

Aphasia is often misunderstood. Given this, let’s break down what, exactly, aphasia is—and what it isn’t.

Here are four facts you should know:

1. Aphasia is a disorder that results in impairment to comprehension or language formulation. It can impact expression and understanding of language as well as someone’s ability to read and write.

2. It usually results from a stroke or injury to the left side of the brain, which is responsible for language. [1] That said, it can also result from a brain tumor or neurological disease.

3. Aphasia has no impact on intelligence.

4. It's more common than cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, or muscular dystrophy combined! [2] And though it affects about 2 million Americans, many people still remain unfamiliar with aphasia.


Aphasia - Dr. Pingel


What Are the Warning Signs of Aphasia?  

Just as with my mother-in-law Carol, the warning signs of aphasia typically begin gradually and small before progressing

What begins as minor speech concerns often turns into difficulty communicating and even forming solid judgement.

According to The Cleveland Clinic, here are some of the major symptoms of aphasia: [3]

What’s the Prognosis for Aphasia

The prognosis for someone with aphasia depends on the cause. For example, if someone’s aphasia is due to a minor brain injury, that person may make a substantial recovery.

Alternatively, if the aphasia is due to a progressive neurological disease, which is known as primary progressive aphasia (PPA), it will continue to worsen. This usually appears between the ages of 50 and 70 and more commonly occurs in men. [4]

If you were to look at a brain scan of someone with PPA, it would likely show some atrophy in the left side of the brain.

Regarding treatment, aphasia is typically diagnosed by a speech-language pathologist following a suspected brain injury or following certain symptoms. Once diagnosed, the patient may be referred to a speech-language therapist to help them retain their ability to communicate.

For those with PPA, the treatment would focus more on improving quality of life by utilizing card with specific words or sentences or counseling the caregivers in the patient’s life.

The typical life expectancy of someone with PPA is up to 12 years after diagnosis. [5]

How You Can Help

Because there’s a major lack of awareness of aphasia, one of the best things you can do is to continue to educate yourself.

The University of Michigan Aphasia Program offers some amazing resources to aid in your continuing education. Click here to learn more.

Additionally, if someone in your life has been diagnosed with aphasia, speak with a speech-language therapist to see how you can help your loved one. Offering support and understanding can go a long way in aiding their ability to retain quality of life

How To Get Glowing Skin in 4 Steps With Skin Health Home Remedies

I have a secret to tell you regarding the truth about glowing skin, and you're probably not going to like it. Are you ready?

Your skin is a direct reflection of what's happening inside your body. Know what that means?

It means all the products, including cleansers, moisturizers, retinol, Botox, and more won't make up for the internal factors that could be harming and even aging (!) your skin!

Look, we all want to have glowing skin and find ways to turn back the clock. And that means that when it comes to your skin, you have to start thinking from the inside-out.


Glowing skin - Dr. Pingel


What is Glowing Skin?

A global survey revealed that of 14,584 people interviewed, 94 percent reported a strong desire to improve their skin and made specific mentions of desiring “glowing skin.” [1]

But before we can dive into how to get glowing skin, let’s first discuss what glowing skin actually is.

Scientifically speaking, glowing skin can be described as skin that appears youthful and well-hydrated. It’s rich in collagen and elastin and free of inflammation. Glowing skin is typically free of large pores, wrinkles, blotchiness, and dryness. [2]

But what determines the health of your skin? The truth of the matter is that how healthy—or unhealthy—your skin is depends greatly on your lifestyle. So, let’s look at some of the top factors that affect your skin health.


What Affects Skin Health?

The appearance of your skin depends on a few factors: the amount of collagen in your body, your diet and hydration status, and other lifestyle factors. And as you may have guessed, that first factor is dependent on the following ones.

Here’s why: Collagen isn’t only the structural protein that keeps your skin plump and wrinkle-free, but it’s also vital for maintaining the structure of many parts of your body, including your bones, muscles, tendons, skin, and more.

Simply put, collagen makes up almost 80 percent of the protein found in your skin! [3]

Without proper collagen stores, you’ll begin to experience joint discomfort, stiff muscles and tendons, and, ultimately, signs of aging in your skin.

Now, as you age, your natural collagen production decreases at a rate of about 1 percent each year after you reach age 20. [4]

And while aging alone diminishes your collagen production, poor lifestyle choices can also impair the amount or quality of collagen in your body.

According to a 2009 review, stress impairs the quality of your collagen and even further lowers your production of this vital protein! [5]

And eating a diet high in inflammatory foods only wreaks further havoc on your skin, causing dryness, blotchiness, and even premature wrinkles.

In addition to the above-mentioned factors, there are skin conditions that plague many. From eczema to psoriasis to acne, many skin conditions are rooted in inflammation and may often be traced back to dietary and other lifestyle factors, though not always.

If you have a skin condition that’s causing regular issues for you, I want to encourage you to speak with a doctor about the possible root cause of your troubles. You deserve to feel confident and get the glowing skin you deserve!

Speaking of, let’s get the heart of why you came here: How can you get glowing skin? Keep reading for my top four tips!


How To Get Glowing Skin: Dr. Pingel’s Top 4 Tips

In addition to cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing your skin along with implementing safe sun practices, there are several things you should be doing to get glowing skin that comes from within. Here are my top four tips.

1. Eat a plant-based diet.

Your diet is perhaps one of the most important factors in your endeavor to get glowing skin.

So often, we hear about how certain animal-based foods, such as bone broth, are great sources of collagen. But the truth is that your body needs vitamin C in order to actually produce collagen in the first place!

In fact, vitamin C is responsible for helping to maintain activity in the enzymes that are part of collagen synthesis. [6]

So, how effective is it? Well, according to a study published in 2015, vitamin C significantly induces collagen synthesis in women of all ages, but especially in those under age 50. [7]

Some of the best sources of vitamin C come from plants. These include berries, ginger, citrus fruits, and more. And, interestingly, plant-based foods are also known to help fight inflammation, which we know wreaks havoc on your skin.

How’s that for a win-win?

2. Stay well hydrated.

When your cells are dehydrated, it shows up on your skin, plain and simple. That’s why one of the best ways to get glowing skin is to stay well hydrated.

In fact, as confirmed in a 2015 study, increased water intake was directly linked to increased skin hydration. [8]

So, how much water do you need to consume each day to help get glowing skin? Aim for a minimum of half your body weight in ounces daily, meaning that if you weigh 150 pounds, you should drink at least 75 ounces of water each day.

3. Consider taking supplements.

We reviewed above that vitamin C is essential for collagen production—and therefore essential for glowing skin. And because sometimes it’s hard to get enough nutrients from your food, it’s a good idea to consider supplementing.

In addition to taking a vitamin C supplement, you may also want to consider supplementing with vitamin E, which has been shown to help fight wrinkle development, and vitamin D, which is a powerful antioxidant known to help slow the aging process. [9]

Additionally, research has shown that taking a quality probiotic provides great benefits in treating a range of skin troubles from eczema to acne. And it has even shown promise as a cosmetic product! [10]

4. Support your body’s stress response.

In your quest for glowing skin, there’s one final tip that you must take into consideration: the amount of stress you’re under.

Unfortunately, if you’re under a lot of stress and aren’t adequately supporting your body’s ability to handle it all, that stress can manifest on your skin the form of acne. And this is all thanks to the fact that stress slows your digestion, which causes toxin buildup that releases through your skin.

Another reason why you need to support your body’s stress response in order to get glowing skin is because higher basal levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) is linked to accelerated aging. [11]

If you’re not sure where to begin, check out my article on how to best support your body’s ability to handle stress. It includes everything you need to begin, including tips on dietary habits, supplementing for optimal stress response, and even mind-body practices.

The key to getting glowing skin is to remember that it starts on the inside. By supporting your body at the cellular level, you’re ensuring that you’re healthy from the inside-out—and what you see reflected in the mirror is truly an outward expression of your overall health.