The body is a very complex system and something that is used in one area can easily affect another area. Take food, for example. We eat something to help stave off hunger and to give our body energy. Yet the food choices we make affect our entire body, including the skin.
People spend billions of dollars per year on skin-care products, yet the foods we ingest can often have a bigger impact than the products we apply topically. Some foods are definitely better than others. Here is the good/bad list:
- Nuts and Seeds! Foods such as Brazil nuts and pumpkin seeds contain vitamins and minerals like zinc, selenium, vitamin E, copper and potassium. Selenium, especially, is an extremely powerful anti-oxidant. Studies have shown that selenium can protect against skin cancer, sun damage and age spots.
- Avocados and fatty fishes. These types of foods contain high levels of very good fats. These fats work as a natural moisturizer for the skin and also contain higher levels of vitamin E. Vitamin E helps protect against free radical damage.
- Flaxseeds, walnuts, linseed oil. These all contain higher levels of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. These fatty acids are anti-inflammatory in nature. This means they can help clear up conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.
- Fruits and Vegetables. These foods have high levels of anti-oxidants which protect the skin from damage. Make sure to get different colors of fruits and vegetables as each color provides a different benefit. Yellow-orange colored fruits and vegetables provide higher betacarotene, while dark green fruits and vegetables contain lutein. Both betacarotene and lutein protect against premature aging of the skin.
Make sure to include citrus fruits, which have higher levels of vitamin C. Vitamin C increases skin radiance and assists in collagen production.
- Water. Water is one of the most beneficial “foods” for healthy skin. Dehydrated skin looks wrinkly and old and it will make your eyes look sunken in. Keeping well hydrated also keeps your skin filled out correctly.
- Added Sugars. These sugars, often found in cookies and ice cream, increase the level of insulin in the body. Increased levels of insulin have been shown to increase the severity of acne outbreaks.
- Simple Carbs. Simple carbs, such as those found in white breads, processed cereals and pastas, have the same effect as added sugars. The body takes a simple carb, converts it to sugar and pushes it through the bloodstream, which increases the level of insulin.
- Processed snack foods. Processed snack foods either contain too much sodium, too much sugar, or too many man-made chemicals. Too much sodium can cause water retention. Too much sugar can cause acne and skin breakouts. Man-made chemicals can make our skin look aged and splotchy.
- Alcohol. t’s very easy to tell a heavy drinker by taking one quick look at their face. They can have visible spider veins, puffy skin and an increased level of wrinkles. It’s important to note that mild drinking does not cause the same problems, but can cause dehydration which makes the skin appear tight and wrinkly. So if you’re a mild drinker, make sure to stay well hydrated.