You Are What You Eat

By Tisha Jones, Licensed Esthetician

Fizz Facial Bar

Sponsored - Have you ever heard the saying “you are what you eat”?

We often consider how what we eat affects our waistline or overall look, but did you know what you eat greatly affects the look and behavior of your skin? It’s true! Food and drinks can affect the overall health and appearance of your skin. Let’s take a deeper dive into why so the next time you reach for a snack or prepare a meal you can consider how it will impact that healthy glow.

Diet and nutrition can help with disease prevention, anti-aging, and clearer skin when paired with a healthy skin care routine, of course. Instead of cutting out all the foods you love, consider practicing moderation and learning to identify foods that trigger negative skin behaviors.  Protect the inside of your body just like you would the outside. Diets high in sugar and processed foods can lead to inflammation, acne breakouts, and premature aging. Healthy foods promote good skin health, decrease inflammation, aid in healthy digestion, promote even skin tone, and more.

When it comes to wrinkle and fine line prevention, consuming foods with healthy oils and omega-3 fatty acids are the way to go. Consuming oils and fats found in fish and nuts on a regular basis aids in collagen production, which results in more supple skin. Focus on a heart-healthy diet to protect your skin from inflammation which can lead to disease.

Diet and food choices have often been linked to acne. Though it is difficult to pinpoint what could be causing your acne directly, consuming fatty foods, processed foods, and fast food on a regular basis increases intake of refined carbohydrates which cause mild to chronic inflammation. This can be a culprit for breakouts, blemishes, and acne.

Foods to Avoid

Fatty meats are high in saturated fats and are associated with insulin growth factors. Insulin growth factors can increase hormones and can trigger acne. Some meats are also high in nitrates that can damage the skin, causing inflammation and wrinkles. Processed meats contain a high level of sodium which can dry your skin out over time and weaken your collagen production.

Processed flour can cause your collagen to harden, causing it to break and not bend. This can lead to wrinkles and crepey skin appearance. Avoiding white breads, white pasta, and potatoes; opting for whole grain food.

Artificial sweeteners and sugar can create excess sugar molecules to bond to collagen and elastin through a process called glycation. Glycation causes collagen and elastin fibers to loosen their strength and flexibility contributing to signs of aging. These known proteins are AGE’S (advanced glycation end) which is directly related to elasticity and firmness of the skin.

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Dairy that comes from cow’s milk can elevate insulin levels that bind to our sebaceous glands, which increase sebum production.

Whey protein can cause acne due to increased production of a hormone called insulin-like-growth-factor 1. Insulin increases the production of sebum which can cause acne. Try using a vegan, plant-based protein powder instead.

Alcohol can speed up your aging process and affect your skin’s overall texture. Alcohol acts as a diuretic, drawing liquid from your body. Decreasing liquids from your body can take your skin from dehydrated to dry making the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles more pronounced.

In addition to creating balance and consuming the above foods in moderation, add these foods into your regular diet for healthy and happy skin:

Fresh fruits and vegetables contain carotenoids and vitamin A that allow your skin to reproduce cells. Your body sheds approximately 30,000 to 40,000 cells every day. Fruits and vegetables also contain vitamin C which replenishes your skin collagen, provides a boost of antioxidants, and promotes skin radiance.

Fish contains a high percentage of proteins that can help your skin build collagen and elastin. In addition to fish containing omega-3 fatty acids, this can reduce skin inflammation significantly.

Nuts and seeds such as walnuts, peanuts and almonds keep your skin smooth. Adding flaxseeds and chia seeds to your diet can make a noticeable difference in your skin texture.

Good Food Sources

  • Vitamin A: fish oil, salmon, carrots, spinach, and broccoli
  • Zinc: turkey, almonds, Brazil nuts, legumes, and whole grains
  • Vitamin C: oranges, lemons, grapefruit, papaya, and tomatoes
  • Vitamin E: sweet potatoes, nuts, olive oil, sunflower seeds, avocadoes, broccoli, and leafy green vegetables
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: cold water fish, salmon, sardines, flaxseed oil, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and almonds
  • Lean meats like chicken and turkey
  • Whole grains
  • Non-dairy milk: almond, oat
  • Vegan/plant-based protein powder

Though not all skin issues and concerns have to do with what we eat daily, it can also be what prevents us from certain skin issues. No one is trying to take away all the yummy foods we love to eat, but always remember moderation is the key. If you are experiencing any of these issues whether it is acne, inflammation, or noticeable signs of aging, begin to look at your diet on top of your skincare. Healthy skin is in and what you eat can play a factor in having the skin you want.