What you need to know about your diet and your skin
I’ll admit it: lately I’ve been guilty of overindulging a little too much (okay, a lot!) and it’s been affecting my skin. Little whiteheads have been popping up on my chin, and my skin has become a little rougher in texture and is lacking that ‘glow’, and I’m putting it down to overdoing it on rich, greasy foods and sugary treats. The truth is that what you eat does affect your skin, but how? We spoke to an expert to find out, and to discover the very best foods for better, healthier skin.
How can your diet affect your skin’s health?
When it comes to skin health, it’s all about supporting and maintaining the building blocks of your skin: skin cells. “Skin cells are one of the body’s most frequently replaced cells, and as such our nutrition on a daily basis helps to support optimal cell development,” explains Simple Skincare’s Nutrition Expert, Susie Burrell. “There are a number of key nutrients involved in new skin cell development including vitamins A, C and E, zinc, long chain unsaturated fats and amino acids. These nutrients can be targeted in the diet to help ensure optimal cell health.”
Susie reveals the best foods to eat for healthy, glowing skin:
The rich, bright colour and texture of beetroot gives you some idea of how chock-full of nutrition beetroot is. It contains a number of extremely powerful antioxidants known to support cell health and with minimal calories per serve – it’s a daily must-include in your diet.
Broccoli is quite possibly the nutritionist’s choice of super vegetable; it contains large amounts powerful antioxidants as well as significant amounts of fibre, vitamin C and beta carotene – which are nutrients all crucial in skin cell proliferation.
While all nuts have a number of health benefits, the unique thing about walnuts is they are the nuts richest in long chain polyunsaturated fats. Just 30 grams of walnuts each day again helps to optimise cell wall composition, which in turn is linked to healthy, soft skin.
Atlantic salmon is one of the richest natural sources of the powerful omega-3 fats; the key fats associated with the health of skin cells and texture of the skin.
Brightly coloured berries including blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and cranberries contain some of the highest known amounts of antioxidants and are rich sources of vitamin C.
Note: Vitamin C is an antioxidant that can help to boost collagen production and also treat the effects of photodamage such as pigmentation and age spots.
What foods should you avoid when it comes to your skin’s health?
There’s no surprises here, sugar and high-processed foods are at the top of the naughty list. “Highly processed, high-sugar foods including cakes, muffins [and] lollies, [as well as] soft drink and fruit juice result in a relatively high release of the hormone insulin. High insulin levels over time can cause inflammation and acne,” explains Susie. Time to reign in those 3 o’clock trips to the cookie jar!
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Is it true that eating too much chocolate can lead to breakouts?
This is the question on everyone’s lips, however chocolate isn’t completely to blame for those breakouts. “Not directly, but high-sugar foods including chocolate can result in high levels of the hormone insulin which can lead to breakouts,” says Susie.
RELATED: The truth about sugar and your skin
How can alcohol and caffeine affect your skin?
According to Susie, alcohol doesn’t have a direct impact on your skin, but dehydration due to alcohol consumption can suck the moisture out of your skin. “Excessive alcohol consumption tends to leave people dehydrated and skin cells being rapidly turned over sees the impact of dehydration quickly. Dry, lacklustre skin is commonly seen with chronic dehydration,” says Susie. Caffeine can also impact the hydration levels of the skin, “Like alcohol, when [caffeine is] consumed in place of water, it can result in dehydration which, in turn, can affect the look, tone and appearance [of your skin].”
Can a good skin care regimen also help to improve your skin’s health?
Susie explains that a good skin care routine as well as a healthy diet can help boost your overall skin health. “A healthy skin care regimen becomes a daily habit as eating well on a daily basis provides our body with a platform for good health and as such good skin health.”
Let your skin drink up these nourishing goodies: Simple Skincare Micellar Cleansing Water, Native Australian Rosehip Oil, Lacura Renew Multi Intensive Serum, The Body Shop Drops of Light Pure Healthy Brightening Day Cream
Did you know that what you eat affects your skin? What foods do you eat for healthier skin?
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