Today, we’re going to be discussing tips for healthier skin and a healthier you. There are lots of tips we could give: staying hydrated, eating the right kinds of foods, protecting against overexposure to the sun, and your skin care regime are just some of things we will be discussing in this periodic series. We’ve already discussed staying hydrated. Our #2 tip for healthier skin, and the one we will talk about today is eating properly.
- You Are What You Eat
When you think about the impact food can have on your skin, it can be confusing.
I mean, first they said it did. Then they said it didn’t. Now, they say it does again. What you eat really can affect your skin. Acne, wrinkles, dermatitis, psoriasis, and a whole host of other skin issues can be affected by diet.
White rice, refined sugars and flours, and foods made from these foodstuffs increase your body’s production of sebum (the oil your skin makes), which can cause oily skin that is prone to acne flares. Scientific studies have also shown a link between dairy consumption and acne, though it is much smaller.
And the aging of our skin is greatly impacted by the amount of sugar we get through our diet. Wrinkles, sagging skin, and loss of skin elasticity are all impacted by diet, particularly sugars (in the forms of fructose, and sucrose). They accelerate the signs of aging because sugars they promote the cross-linking of collagen fibers. And once linked, your body isn’t able to repair this type of damage.
There are some foods that actually keep this cross-linking process from occurring. These include herbs and spices, such as oregano, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and garlic, as well as substances found naturally in may fruits and vegetables, so incorporating such foods into your diet on a daily basis BEFORE signs of skin aging will help you keep young looking skin as you age.
If you are prone to inflammatory skin conditions like dermatitis, eczema, or psoriasis, consider eating an “anti-inflammatory” diet, like the Mediterranean-style diet. Even if you aren’t prone to such conditions, many physicians recommend a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, which favors whole grains over processed grains and omega-3 (salmon, mackerel, walnuts, so on) fatty acids over omega-6 (poultry, eggs, so on) fatty acids.
So next time you reach for that plate of cookies and glass of milk, consider having a bowl of cherries instead. Just as sweet, but so much better for you, and your skin. You can pick them up at your local farmer’s market near you!