We spend lots of money and time on serums, peels, masks, moisturisers and other skin care products in a bid to acquire and maintain that healthy glow and beauty. But did you know that what you put into your body is just as important as whatever you choose to put on it, if not more important? Good nutrition works from the inside out to nourish your skin. However, some foods will also have undesirable effects on your skin. So what foods should you eat and which ones should you avoid for glowing skin? Keep reading to get all the tips you require to eat your way to beautiful skin.
Cut Down on Sugar
If you want your diet to be skin-friendly, you’ll need to reduce your intake of inflammatory foods. Inflammation is one of the leading causes of wrinkle formation. One of the main culprits is sugar. Sugary snacks like protein bars and candy are big beauty offenders.
When you eat high sugar foods, the sugar quickly enters your bloodstream and sets off glycation, a process that involves sugar molecules attaching to proteins to form AGEs (advanced glycation end products). These products usually build up in your skin naturally as you grow older. However, your AGEs will increase as you consume more sugar. The AGEs weaken collagen and elastin after cross-linking with them. This causes sagging and wrinkles.
If you want a quick snack after working out or in the middle of your day, have a piece of fruit and a few almonds rather than a protein bar. You’ll be doing your skin a huge favour.
Monitor Dairy Intake
Consuming excess dairy can have an adverse effect on your skin. A number of studies have linked dairy to acne. According to research carried out by Harvard School of Public Health researchers, teenage girls who take plenty of milk have about 30 percent higher risk of getting acne than girls who consume a lot less.
Scientists believe that the natural levels of hormones in dairy products are to blame. Hormones influence sebum production. Excessive sebum production can lead to acne. If you have severe breakouts, you may benefit from cutting down on dairy. If you must have milk, consider goat’s milk or other non-dairy alternatives.
Only Eat Very Dark Chocolate
Sugar-laden chocolate can contribute to wrinkling and acne. However, the high quality, very dark variety — with a minimum of 70 percent cocoa — can be excellent for your skin. That’s because cocoa is rich in antioxidants known as flavonols, which help ward off wrinkles caused by UV damage and improve your skin’s elasticity.
Because it’s high in calories, treat yourself to just 1 oz. of very dark chocolate a day.
Dampen down Alcohol’s Damage with Fruit Juice
Alcohol is linked to higher sunburn rates. It eats up your skin’s antioxidant protection rapidly. In fact, your levels of skin-saving phytonutrients plunge within minutes of binge drinking. Heavy alcohol use can decrease levels of vitamin A, an essential nutrient for beautiful skin. Remember, alcohol tends to work as a diuretic, making your body release water. Besides making you feel dehydrated, your skin may look dry.
Fortunately, you can reduce alcohol’s damage by drinking fresh fruit juice. Taking orange juice diminishes the harmful effects of alcohol on the skin, such as increased UV light exposure. Berry-rich drinks such as strawberry daiquiris are also perfect.
Eat Different Colours of Vegetables Daily
The best diet for healthy skin can’t miss having rainbow-coloured vegetables. You get a wide variety of antioxidants when you consume veggies of different colours every day. The antioxidants fight off the free radicals that form in your body and can cause severe damage to your skin cell structures. Also, make a point of drinking a green juice each day. And it shouldn’t be so hard to keep up with this healthy routine if you purchase an easy-to-use juicer to make the juice from your favourite foods like spinach, kale or even carrots (a colourful mix from orange to red!).
Hydrate Dry Skin with Healthy Fats
You’ve probably known for years that drinking water helps to hydrate your skin. However, it isn’t the only way to keep your skin hydrated. Healthy dietary fats moisturise your skin from the inside out. If you’ve been battling skin dryness, you should incorporate foods that are excellent sources of these healthy fats into your diet. They include chia seeds, olive oil, avocados, nuts, mackerel, salmon, and sardines.
Vitamin C-rich foods like leafy greens and kiwis have been associated with dry skin relief. The flavonols in dark chocolate increase the circulation levels in the blood and improve hydration.
Switch to Green Tea
Green tea has anti-inflammatory properties that can be soothing to the skin. It contains epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) that may help prevent the destruction of collagen, which causes wrinkle formation. It also helps protect the skin from sun-induced DNA damage.
Several studies have shown how beneficial green tea may be in protecting the skin from wrinkles and sun damage. In one 12-week study, women who randomly drank it after exposure to the sun exhibited a 16 percent reduction in skin roughness as well as a 25 percent reduction in scaling.
With the right nutrition, you’ll improve how your skin feels and looks in no time.