What Does Your Diet Tell About Your Skin Health?
Healthy skin in my opinion is a combination of different factors diet, lifestyle and skin care. In today’s are we’re kick-starting a two-part skin care series. Today we’re gonna talk about diet and nutrition and how it effects your skin. Let’s dive into the tips. These tips will be mainly for reducing things like:
- Premature aging
- Reducing acne
1. Consistent and Well Balanced Diet
The base tip as I’d like to call it to eat a healthy and balanced diet consistently. We all know we need to eat a healthy diet for good skin. And it is the foundation for the rest of the tips. If you’re not eating a healthy diet consistently none of the other tips that I’m going to provide you in this article will make any sense. What makes the difference is sticking to a diet which is predominantly Whole Foods or minimally processed food. So take out those ultra-processed foods take out the foods that don’t have much nutrition. And if you are interested in learning more check out my article on “why processed foods aren’t good for you”. Anyway let’s move on to our next tip.
2. Reduce The Amount Of Refined Sugar
This is an important one, and that is to reduce the amount of refined sugar you eat. There is a link in the science. So what is it about the sugar that causes problems? When there’s extra sugar molecules they attach to the collagen in your skin. And they make it stiff and less elastic. So your skin loses its firmness it starts to Sag. And then we have wrinkles. So if you want to prevent wrinkles. And you want to keep your skin healthy for long-term. It’s a good idea to reduce the refined sugar.
3. Eat Enough Protein And Vitamin C
Another tip is to eat enough protein and vitamin C. Now if you’re eating a balanced diet you probably are getting enough protein and vitamin C. But I still wanted to mention some special considerations. So first of all why is protein and vitamin C important. Well both of them are building blocks for collagen. And your skin is made out of collagen. So if you want to have healthy skin you need to get enough protein and vitamin C.
Now let’s tackle protein first. So in terms of the protein, if you’re eating a balanced diet you probably are getting enough protein. But let’s say you’re on a calorie restrictive diet. Or if you’re trying to lose weight make sure you’re getting enough of proteins. Now let’s talk about the vitamin C. So if you’re eating enough fruits and veggies and a balance of them. You probably are getting enough vitamin C. But one important consideration is that when you are stressed or when you’re going through periods of stress. Your body actually uses up a lot more vitamin C than normal. So during that time it’s a good idea to eat more vitamin C.
4. Eat Enough Omega-3 Fatty Acids
It is recommended to at enough omega-3 fatty acids. So why are omega three fatty acids are important? Well they manage oil production in your skin. They can help reduce inflammation, reduce acne and premature aging. If you’re not plant-based you can get your omega-3 fatty acids from fish, salmon, herring and mackerel. These are fatty fish that have a lot of omega-3 fatty acids. If you are plant-based you have options like nuts and seeds or supplements. You can take a supplement there is an algae based supplement it’s plant base that does have omega-3 fatty acids. So that could work for you if you have issues with nuts and seeds.
5. Get Enough Zinc
For the next tip we have zinc. Make sure you get enough zinc. I wanted to mention zinc specifically because there is a link between low levels of zinc and acne. So if you are struggling with acne and breakouts and scarring as well. Then it might be related to zinc. I’m not saying it is definitely related to zinc. It just might be the cause. So have a look at what you’re eating. And make sure you’re getting enough. Zinc sources include, oyster, meat, poultry, nuts seeds, beans and chick peas.
6. Get Enough Fruits And Veggies
Its important to get enough fruits and veggies. And to make sure you get a variety. So this kind of ties into the base tip which was to eat a healthy diet. And to me that means eating a lot of fruit and veggies. The amount of fruit and veggies you eat is totally personal. But I would suggest half a plate of fruit and veggie that is also the suggestion of a lot of nutrition organizations. So when you’re getting half a plate of fruit and veggie for every single meal. Try to focus on getting a variety. So you’re not eating the same ones every single week.
When you’re eating the same fruits and veggies all the time you’re getting exactly the same nutrients again and again. And it’s a good idea to change it up. Because all different fruits and veggies have different vitamins different minerals and different phytochemicals. For example something like watermelons have lycopene. And lycopene can help to reduce sun damage. And something like onions have a compound in them that helps reduce scars. So it really is a good idea to get a variety of fruits and veggies so you get a variety of different nutrients.
7. Eat Enough Probiotics And Prebiotics
It is really important to eat enough probiotics and prebiotics for good gut health. And good digestion means we’re going to have healthier skin. Probiotics in the simplest sense are bacteria that are good for us. And prebiotics are the food for that bacteria. So if you were to just focus on the probiotics and not eat the prebiotics you’re not going to have that much of a benefit. It’s important to get both in your diet for better skin health.
So in terms of probiotics a lot of people recommend supplements. I think supplements do work for certain people but I am a big believer in getting it from food first. And if that’s not helping then try a supplement. So in terms of food there are a couple of options. Things like sauerkraut, kimchi and yogurt it can be plant-based or dairy depending on what works for you.
And in terms of prebiotics, there are a lot of foods that have prebiotics. These are basically types of fibers that your gut bacteria feeds on. So things like garlic, onions, asparagus, apples and oats all of these have prebiotics. And it’s so easy to incorporate these foods in your diet. Remember as we talked earlier, it is crucial to include prebiotics in your diet as they serve as food for probiotic bacteria.
8. Reduce Dairy
Last tip is to reduce dairy and see how it goes. I was almost not going to include this tip. Because it’s not based on concrete scientific evidence. But there is some preliminary evidence in the last two or three years. It shows that high dairy consumption is linked to increases in acne. And I personally do find this to be the case.
Well now you know how your diet can effect your skin. So try to eliminate the bad kind of foods and stay young and healthy for long. See you in second article of healthy skin series!