By Catie Ryan, Staff
How much does food actually impact our skin? If you’re wondering if you can blame that milkshake from two days ago on the painful, mountain-sized pimple emerging on your chin, the answer might be “yes.” We all know that food has an effect on our bodies internally (like when we’re rendered immobile for three days after Thanksgiving dinner), but fewer people acknowledge the striking effect that nutrition has on their complexion.
Below is a list of the best and worst foods for your skin, including the rationale for each. Eating well and exercising obviously helps rid the body of pimple and wrinkle-causing toxins, but sometimes we need more detailed information in order to make the choices that are right for optimizing our image and minds.
THE BIGGEST CULPRITS:
- Shockingly, a majority of people in United States have some form of lactose intolerance (especially African, Asian, and Native Americans). This can cause occasional to chronic stomach aches and fatigue, but many people don’t realize these negative effects because their bodies have adapted to the discomfort. The harms of milk make sense, as human bodies were not designed to consume the magical growth serum of a mother cow used to raise her calf into adulthood, especially considering all of the hormones and preservatives in our milk today. So, your body’s inability to process dairy may be the cause of your most aggressive breakouts.
- Sugar & Refined Carbs
- Eliminating these villains will definitely help your skin, although parting with them may be utterly heartbreaking. These simple carbohydrates actually feed negative bacteria in your gut such as candida (a type of yeast), and this can inflame breakouts.
- This shouldn’t come as a surprise, because soda exasperates pretty much every other health condition. The sweet, bubbly drink overloads your body with sugar, and the high levels of caffeine can cause irritation and dryness.
- For this one, moderation is key. Consistent alcohol intake can intensify acne and actually accelerate aging skin. If your go-to drink is a margarita, you’re not only consuming heaps of sugar, but the drink will also dehydrate skin and deplete the collagen in skin cells. However, if you stick to clear spirits, your skin will notice these effects to a lesser extent. So keep drinking that vodka tonic, honey!
- Green Tea
- Green tea helps flush out bodily toxins that cause breakouts and inflammation. This lovely drink also promotes skin healing and can help fight certain types of bacteria.
- Because salmon is rich in fatty acids (omega-3s), it allows the skin to produce a barrier between itself and irritants. Additionally, the antioxidants found in this fish can calm inflammation.
- Omg what CAN’T water do? It regulates pretty much every bodily function, brings you energy and stability, AND makes you beautiful? Sign me up. There are contradicting studies about how much water you should drink in a day for optimal health, but most nutritionists suggest six to eight glasses. Try your glass of H20 with lemon and cucumber slices for a refreshing summer beverage.
- Citrus Fruits
- Fruits like oranges, kiwis, and grapefruits have high levels of vitamin C that produce collagen to strengthen skin cells. Additionally, vitamin C helps blemishes heal properly and improve skin radiance.
- Brazil Nuts
- These delicious nuts are filled with selenium, a potent antioxidant that supports your immune system. These tiny little food friends also protect against skin cancer, damage from UV rays and age spots. Man, who knew we’d all feel outshined by a couple of nuts.
There you have it, some of the best and worst foods for a healthy complexion. If you want to optimize these effects, keep your diet consistent. Our skin responds best to daily routines, and has major freak-outs when we take on crash diets or alter our food intake too abruptly. Your skin is kind of like your mom: she gives and gives and only wants a little kindness. Continue a healthy lifestyle and your skin will thank you for it!