When you think about eating healthy, you probably focus on what it can do for disease prevention, your energy level, and your waistline. However, what you eat can either give you a rosy glow or make you look all worn out.
How What You Eat Affects Your Skin
Think about it: you see lists of foods that are supposed to make your skin look younger all the time. But what about lists of foods that speed up aging? What about the foods that negatively affect your appearance? Unhealthy choices like fried or fatty foods will prevent weight loss, leave you feeling lethargic, and put you at risk for heart disease. However, they can also give your skin a rough appearance. They may give you dark circles under your eyes or a blotchy look. Fatty, sugary, and salty foods also contribute to the development of acne and the worsening of psoriasis, eczema, and wrinkles.
But why does this happen?
You see, unhealthy foods are lacking in the vitamins and minerals your body needs to give its top performance. Without these nutrients, your skin is going to reflect the poor state of your internal health.
Beyond a sallow, blah complexion, other signs the foods you’re eating has a negative impact on your skin include brittle nails, oily hair, and dry or cracking skin.
Foods That Wreak Havoc
While it’s pretty self-explanatory what foods we’re talking about when we say “unhealthy” foods, let’s take a look at a few in particular and why they zap your skin of its youthful luster.
- Salt. Good ol’ sodium. Foods high in salt will cause you to retain water, which leads to puffiness and worsened acne.
- Simple carbohydrates. High glycemic foods and refined sugars have been shown to increase acne outbreaks, so steer clear of white bread, pasta, pastries, and candy. Plus, eating too much sugar can cause wrinkles to develop early. It does this by damaging the collagen and elastin in your skin. Without these fibers in top condition, wrinkles develop and the skin begins to sag.
- Alcohol. It’s highly dehydrating, which can zap your skin cells of moisture, leading to dry skin and premature wrinkles.
Foods That Repair the Damage
Ready to turn back the clock on any premature aging your previously unhealthy food choices have done? Here are a few foods to get you back on track:
- Yogurt. Chock full of vitamin A, yogurt will give you a clear skin boost, especially when you factor in the protein content. Be sure to steer clear of high fat varieties with added sugar.
- Grapefruit. The vitamin C content in grapefruit is essential for collagen production, protecting skin cells from environmental damage. If grapefruit isn’t your thing, oranges, pineapple, and bell peppers are excellent runners up.
- Almonds. Getting enough vitamin E, like that which is found in almonds, can protect your skin from UV exposure and sun damage. If you’re not fond of almonds, try spinach, peanut butter, avocados, or pine nuts on for size.
- Salmon. This fish is filled with omega-3 fatty acids, healthy fats that keep your cell membranes intact and protect your skin from environmental toxins. Eating salmon can also protect you from sun damage. Don’t like salmon? No problem. Herring, sardines, and anchovies will also do the trick. Hate fish? Okay! Other foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids include canola oil, edamame, flaxseed, and walnuts.
Author: Brenda Stokes Barron