How What You Eat Affects Your Skin
How what you eat affects your skin. In the past few months I’ve increased my workouts and tried to stay as healthy as possible, but I’ve also had to eliminate some foods which weren’t agreeing with me and probably because of this, I noticed that my skin wasn’t looking so fabulous. I had some sporadic breakouts and my skin was looking kind of drawn and basically, old. Then as luck would have it, I switched endocrinologists and my new doctor put me on a temporary cocktail of supplements. Although this was done to strengthen my immune system, I quickly saw a remarkable change in my skin. This lead me to take a closer look at my diet and how it has been affecting my skin.
HOW WHAT YOU EAT AFFECTS YOUR SKIN
Water. I know, I know, all of these lists always start with good old H2O, but there really is an important reason for this. Water helps your organs function optimally and flushes toxins from your body. When you are well hydrated, the effects will be apparent because your skin will be plump and any minor fine lines will be much less visible. For more read: Top Reasons For Drinking Water.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids. Found in fish (salmon and tuna), walnuts, flax seeds and chia seeds, omega 3 fatty acids help preserve the health of your cell’s membranes. This is important because those membranes are a barrier that stops toxins, while letting nutrients and water in.
Zinc. This is a trace mineral that protects your cell’s membrane, maintains collagen and acts like an antioxidant. Not only that, but since zinc boosts your immune system, it can also help reduce the inflammation that comes with breakouts. You can find zinc in turkey or chicken (dark meat), peanut butter, lentils, oysters, mussels and starchy beans.
Vitamin A. You know how your mom always told you to eat lots of vegetables? Well that’s a good thing because many vegetables contain beta carotene which is converted to Vitamin A in your system. Vitamin A, in turn, protects your skin from UV damage and helps slow the breakdown of collagen (your skin’s support structure) while repairing body tissue and encouraging cell production. You’ll find beta carotene in foods like: spinach, lettuce, asparagus, sweet potatoes, apricots and cantaloupe.
Vitamin C. This potent antioxidant evens out your skin tone, evens out your skin’s texture and acts like a natural sun protector while helping to prevent sun damage. That should be enough to want to make sure that you are getting enough of it. You can find Vitamin C in: oranges, grapefruit, kiwi, cauliflower, summer squash, watermelon, cabbage and in many other fruits and vegetables. For more read: Benefits Of Vitamin C
Vitamin E. Another powerful antioxidant, Vitamin E works in conjunction with Vitamin C to absorb UVB rays which cause premature ageing. It also helps neutralize free radicals which damage your collagen and skin cells. Find Vitamin E in foods like: Almonds (and almond butter, broccoli, avocados, mangoes, olive oil, wheat germ and sunflower seeds.
Now, while I’m taking most of these in supplement form, it’s all being overseen by my doctor and it’s only for a limited time. Before you rush to your drug store, start by ensuring that you have a complete diet and if you feel that anything is missing, make sure you see a medical professional first.
FOODS TO AVOID
Salt. Eat too much salt and the next day you might find yourself retaining enough water that your eyes are puffy and you are feeling bloated and just plain blah. If you are craving salt, try opting for selenium, Vitamin E, magnesium, iron and calcium rich nuts which will give your complexion a healthy boost.
Junk food. No surprise here, but all of that refined sugar (not to mention the chemicals) in sweets and sodas causes a surge of inflammation and a rapid increase of insulin. All of this, overtime, will give you a sallow and dull complexion with the possibility of breakouts. To counter this effect reach for raspberries, cashews or avocados which all contain inflammation fighting zinc. When you are craving something sweet, reach for a few squares of dark chocolate.
High fat protein. As opposed to lean protein like poultry, seafood or even beans, eating too much fatty protein (red meat, sausages, cheese) will cause (or exacerbate) dark under eye circles as well as leave you with a dull and puffy looking complexion.
Alcohol. The occasional glass of wine, cocktail or a beer is just fine, but don’t forget that alcohol is a diuretic and having too much will sap your skin of moisture and highlight fine lines.
Of course, it’s not realistic for everyone to suddenly eliminate every fun and pleasurable food forever. That’s absolutely not what I’m saying. The trick is to cut way back on these foods & additives for a while until you start seeing an improvement in your complexion and then reintroduce them gradually and in moderation.