Everybody wants to have nice, clear skin, particularly on our faces. It affects the way you look and how other people perceive you, which in turn can have a profound impact on your self-esteem and mental health in general. Pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies alike have come forward to try and meet the demand for beautiful skin by producing various cremes, serums, and cleansers that are meant to make sure that your skin stays healthy and acne-free.
Although maintaining a proper skincare routine is a vital part of anyone's beauty regimen and does, in fact, contribute towards revitalizing your skin cells, they can't overturn the impact that poor dietary habits can have on the overall quality of your skin.
The holistic wellness experts from Primal Harvest even go as far as saying that the quest for better skin can only be completed with an appropriate diet, rich in the right vitamins, antioxidants, and other substances that are paramount for ensuring its smoothness and health. No amount of face cream, cleanser, or exfoliant will ever be enough if you keep eating trash. It may sound harsh, but it's the truth.
What constitutes a healthy skin diet, though? It's not really something that gets taught at school (although it really should be), so you're excused for not knowing where to start. We've prepared this article for people like you -- it will help you get started on your way toward healthier, more vibrant skin!
1. What Foods to Avoid
Processed foods are some of the biggest enemies of healthy skin. Regardless of whether we're talking about stuff from fast-food chains or processed meats, such as bacon or ham, all of these things are filled with preservatives and other compounds that, although helpful in the production process, may have a detrimental effect on the quality of your skin. The same thing goes for artificial additives, such as MSG. Although they're not deadly or carcinogenic, like some media outlets would have you believe, they may still have some inadvertent effects on your body and should not be consumed too often if you're trying to avoid acne and eczema breakouts.
You should also avoid overeating red meats, such as beef. It often contains a lot of cholesterol and saturated fat, which can lead to inflammation in your body, resulting in a decrease in collagen production. The right levels of collagen are vital if you want to maintain healthy, glowing skin.
Other things to stay away from are, for example, alcohol, sugar, full-fat dairy, and legumes. Of course, a moderate amount of sugar or milk here and there won't do too much harm, but you still might need to cut back on those, especially if you've been following the Western/American diet up until now.
Continuing to consume the foods mentioned above excessively may lead to faster growth of free radicals, which are chemical particles that lead to the deterioration of skin cells. They are a natural part of aging - you can't really avoid free radicals altogether, but you can slow down their production and alleviate their impact to keep your skin young and fresh for much longer.
2. Essential Compounds and Particles
The most important thing to keep in mind when planning out your healthy skin diet is to go for antioxidant-rich foods as often as possible. Antioxidants inhibit, or slow down, oxidation, which is a chemical process responsible for creating free radicals and, therefore, damaging your cells. Antioxidants reduce this process, as well as terminate the reactions that occur as its result, therefore preventing further damage. Vitamin C and vitamin E are considered to be some of the best, most easily accessible antioxidants. They can be also found in olive oil, as well as some fruits and vegetables.
Last, but not least, the consumption of omega 3 fatty acids is considered to be incredibly important when it comes to taking proper care of your skin. Not only do they exhibit antioxidant properties, but they've also shown to have anti-inflammatory effects, which can work wonders in terms of preventing acne breakouts.
3. What to Eat Often
In order to make your life a little easier, we've prepared a list of foods which you can use to compose your diet, rich in antioxidant products and omega 3s.
Strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries are considered to have the highest antioxidant capacity of all foods! On top of being great for your skin, they're also extremely yummy, meaning that you can easily incorporate them into your regimen by using berries as replacements for unhealthy, sugary snacks such as chocolate bars or gummy bears.
Low-Fat Dairy Products
Although excessive dairy consumption is considered to increase the risk of inflammation, especially in the case of whole milk or artificially sweetened yogurts, upping your intake of low-fat dairy products may actually be good for your skin! This is because they contain a lot of vitamin A, another crucial compound for the health of your skin cells. Although its best source is carrots, some people's bodies have a problem converting beta carotene to vitamin A. Low-fat dairy is a great alternative.
Salmon and Walnuts
Salmon is one of the tastiest fish you could possibly eat. It is also high in omega 3 fatty acids, making it an essential part of your new diet. The same goes for walnuts, which are also great for your brain, thus making for the ultimate snack to take to school or work!
Heavily-processed, white bread is not really good for your skin, nor for anything else in your body, for that matter. Sure, it provides you with the right amount of carbohydrates and calories, but that's about it. If you're serious about taking better care of your skin, you should eat bread made with whole-wheat flour instead. Aside from being healthier, whole-grain food also contains plenty of selenium, which is a mineral that inhibits oxidation.
Just like in the case of whole-grain bread, turkey and tuna are rich in selenium. You can easily incorporate turkey into your diet by using it instead of chicken. As for tuna, it makes for a great addition to salads or sandwiches, as well as the main ingredient of some delicious hot dishes!
4. The Bottom Line
There you have it - some basic tips that may help you formulate a skin-friendly diet. Aside from eating the right food, you should also remember to drink plenty of water, as hydration is another important factor in maintaining skin health. If you feel like a cup of something warmer, go for green tea -- it has excellent antioxidant qualities!
Remember: healthy skin isn't only a matter of beauty and acne prevention. It can help you fight off some more serious conditions, not all of which are skin-related. This is why your diet should not only focus on the skin itself but also contain elements of general health-conscious habits, such as not eating red meat more than once per week or avoiding foods with a high sugar content every day. Finally, you should keep in mind that before starting out with any new diet, it would be best to seek medical advice to ensure that it is compatible with your organism.