The way you eat doesn’t just affect your mood and your weight, there are also many ways your diet affects your skin. Even if you aren’t “dieting,” per se, the foods you eat truly do give you the skin you have. I know, because I’ve experienced this firsthand. As someone who used to suffer from acne, dry skin and even wrinkles from too much sun and poor food choices, I can tell you that changing my eating habits was the best thing I ever did for my skin. I’d like to share my tips for understanding ways your diet affects your skin, in case you need a little assistance in this area too.
Dry skin is one of the ways your diet affects your skin, more than any other. If you’re not eating enough healthy fats, your body is devoid of essential fatty acids that keep your skin moist and supple, preventing dryness from the inside out. Also, eating a healthy diet doesn’t mean going fat free. For one, without certain fats, your body can’t absorb the nutrients you’re actually eating. Healthy fats help your body absorb those nutrients, and give you great skin as a result. Choose healthy fats from raw nuts and seeds, avocados, unsweetened coconut, wild fatty fish and hemp or olive oil.
If you have wrinkles, I want you to consider how much sugar you’re eating. Yes, wrinkles come with age, but many people have wrinkles that are caused by improper collagen production. Sugar actually kills collagen in your cells, whether you’re 15 or whether you’re 75. Collagen is what keeps those wrinkles at bay, and helps skin stay supple and plump, preventing wrinkles from occurring. Sugar is quite possibly the worst thing you can eat for your skin in almost any light. When choosing sugar from food, be sure to choose natural, low glycemic options.
If you suffer acne, just doing two things can change that in one week through your diet. First, cut all the sugar out of your diet and only keep in sugar from low glycemic sources such as berries, or try stevia as your sweetener, which has no affect on you glycemic index. You should also be careful about starchy foods, which raise blood sugar, just like sugar does. Anytime your blood sugar goes up, inflammation occurs, and your insulin levels are out of balance. This creates acne in two ways. First, insulin production triggers certain hormones that lead to acne, and number two, inflammation from increased blood sugar, and inflammation automatically caused by eating sugary foods, affects the skin and the liver. When the liver is burdened by too much sugar, it can’t properly filter out all the daily toxins we come in contact with. When this happens, toxic overload occurs, and your skin tries to release the toxins as a last resort. This shows up as acne,and other skin disruptions as well, such as blackheads. Lower the sugar in your diet and eat more leafy greens, lean protein and healthy fats. Your skin will thank you!
If your skin looks sallow and lifeless, it could be from a few things. You could be eating too little fat, and your face isn’t getting fed, literally. As you know, eating fat works two ways for your body. It keeps skin moist and supple, but also allows other nutrients for bright, glowing skin to be absorbed. Also, eating more natural foods instead of processed foods can help this issue. Processed foods contain less nutrients, and are harder for your body to retrieve vitamins and minerals from those foods. To prevent sallow skin, sleep enough and eat the right foods.
Getting enough sleep isn’t the only reason you might get dark circles. So is adrenal exhaustion, caused by your diet. Your adrenals are located right near your kidneys and they are important for every function of your body. Feeling exhausted is one sign of poor adrenal function, along with under eye circles. To fight this issue, eat foods that are low in sugar and high glycemic carbs, and also be sure to eat enough period. Not eating enough stresses your adrenals out greatly. You should also avoid excess caffeine, which stresses out your adrenal glands and makes you look tired, along with avoiding inflammatory foods like highly processed wheat, dairy and sugar. Many food allergies or sensitivities can cause dark under eye circles as well, so be sure to check to see if you’re allergic to a food you’re eating that might be causing the issue.
We all get dry lips in the winter, but if they’re a consistent problem for you, you may be short of zinc or B vitamins. Both of these are commonly depleted in people who don’t eat a healthy diet, or have a low functioning immune system. To prevent and treat dry lips, take a supplement or eat more zinc rich and B vitamin rich foods, like nuts, seeds, cacao, seeds, fish and organic yogurt.
If you suffer general redness in your skin, it could be caused by eating foods your body is sensitive to, that you have an allergy to, or from eating spicy foods. If this is a real problem for you, be sure to get tested for a food allergy, and reduce the amount of spicy foods you are eating if that is the cause.
Have you ever suffered one of these skin issues? I’d like to hear about it! Tell me which skin issue you’re struggling with, and if you think changing your eating habits might help.