When most people think about the problems they have with their skin, they may not immediately connect them to their diet, but the two have a much closer connection than you might realize. Many of us grew up being told to drink our milk to build good bones or stay away from sugar because it would rot our teeth, but did you ever stop to think that what you’re putting in your body could affect the health of your skin?
It’s true. Just as with the rest of your body, the skin is constantly in a state of growth and change, and it requires various nutrients in order to complete that natural rebuilding process. If you don’t consume the proper amount of nutrients, the results could become visible in everything from acne breakouts to skin rashes to the wrinkles and sagging of old age.
Many skin conditions, including acne, are directly related to the improper turnover of skin cells. When these skin cells aren’t shed, they can accumulate and block the pores, leading to breakouts and other reactions. Of course there are other factors that can affect skin health, including stress, hormones, improper sleep, and environmental contributors, but diet also plays a real part in the process.
To get a better idea of the connection between diet and skin health, we can look at some specific foods and what they do for you. Fresh vegetables and fruits, for instance, contain high levels of various vitamins, including Vitamin A, C and E, all of which are vital to maintaining healthy skin. Eating foods such as spinach, carrots and broccoli, which are rich in vitamin A, can help to regulate the turnover cycle of skin cells and prevent acne.
Dairy products are often linked to skin issues, particularly acne. This is probably due to the prevalence of hormones found in milk. These hormones, fed to cows to increase production, can throw off the natural balance of hormones in your body and the result can be skin problems.
Vitamins C and E and the mineral selenium all have strong antioxidant properties, which make them vital to maintaining good skin health. These antioxidants help prevent the build-up of free radicals, which can cause damage to skin by drying it out, depleting collagen levels and destroying elasticity. All of this leads to dry, wrinkled and unhealthy looking skin.
Once again, eating fresh fruits and vegetables, particularly oranges, grapefruit, lemons, avocadoes and leafy green vegetables can help to ensure that you are getting the proper amount of Vitamins C and E. Selenium can be found in tuna, salmon, garlic, eggs and brown rice. Eating these foods can not only help to boost your immune system and improve overall health, but help to maintain soft, smooth, supple skin.
Eating right is about more than just ensuring strong bones, flexible joints and a healthy heart; it is also about encouraging the proper turnover of skin cells so that your skin is free of blemishes and breakouts. If you want to not only feel better but look better as well, then you should pay close attention to what you’re eating. It just might make all the difference for your skin!