Is Your Diet Ruining Your Skin?

Changing your diet is stressful enough. However, it is time to start thinking about how diet effects your skin as much as your waistline. It’s much easier to have a cheat day and make up for it with an extra workout. There is no cheating your skin. It is your body’s largest organ and it is affected by everything you do and everything you eat. Is there a such thing as a skin diet? Dr. Jessica Wu likes to think so. Author of “Feed Your Face: Younger, Smoother Skin and a Beautiful Body in 28 Delicious Days” told Forbes that she believes that what you put in your mouth is just as important as what you put on the skin.

Wu told Forbes: “Foods get digested and broken down into vitamins, minerals and amino acids that your body can use to build healthy skin. For example, if you don’t eat enough protein, you are depriving your skin of the amino acids that go into making collagen (which makes your skin strong) and elastic tissue (which makes it supple).”

Dr. Wu recommends stocking up on antioxidant-rich foods such as red, green and yellow vegetables. These vegetables help reduce sun damage by fighting the free radicals that break down collagen. However, some nutritionists recommend staying away from nightshade vegetables a plant family that includes eggplant, peppers, potatoes and tomatoes as they can stimulate inflammation. This diet has been famously adopted by supermodel Gisele Bündchen and football player-husband Tom Brady.

According to “Significance of Diet in Treated and Untreated Acne Vulgaris,” published in the Advances in Dermatology and Allergology last year, a high intake of omega-3 fatty acids can inhibit inflammation and “can have a therapeutic effect on acne.” Omega-3 fatty acids are often found in fish, walnuts and seeds like chia or flax. A North Carolina study showed that teenagers that consumer large amounts of fish and seafood have less acne symptoms.

On the road to clear skin, there are some foods and beverages that should be avoided. According to “Significance of Diet in Treated and Untreated Acne Vulgaris,” studies have shown that high glycemic indexes (or carbs high in sugar) can increase the production of sebum, which can clog pores and stimulate breakouts. People that avoid refined foods such as cereals, chips, cookies and bread as well as dairy products, coffee, alcohol, sugar and oils experienced minimal to no breakouts.

Can acne be cleared by simply changing your diet? Honestly, it’s uncertain. There could still be other factors triggering your acne such as stress, sun exposure, pollution or hormones. According to Apostolos Pappas in “The Relationship of Diet and Acne: A Review”: “To prevent acne by dietary manipulation may not be possible, but there are scientifically plausible reasons to believe that nutrition can affect acne.” It’s worth a try.

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