CLEAR SKIN DIET
I know this post was meant to talk about hormonal acne, but after the questions I got from my previous post I decided to talk more on the correlation between diet and skin first.
Ever heard of GIGO? Garbage In Garbage Out. Well, surprise! You can’t respect your skin but trash your body and expect beautiful skin. Skin care is more than skin deep.
Let’s jump straight into it;
FOODS TO AVOID:
- SIMPLE SUGARS –e.g. white flour, white bread, fried foods, processed baked goods, sugary drinks, candy, ice cream. These foods have a high glycemic index; meaning once ingested, convert quickly into glucose. Insulin is then produced to counter the glucose insulin level spikes. Now what this does is produce inflammation-producing enzymes which attach to your body’s collagen through an oxidative process called glycation. We know collagen is essential for vibrant glowing skin. Unfortunately, the glycation process I’ve just mentioned breaks down collagen and elastin, leading to increased appearance of aging and skin conditions such as acne and roscea.
High insulin levels also increase in production of androgen levels; increased androgens stimulate sebum production and clog pores . Choose foods with a lower glycemic index like vegetables and foods with natural sugars like fruits and whole grains.
2. DAIRY – Any time that I’d have any dairy product I’d wake up with acne on both my face and chest. Bye cheese and milk. For the workout bunnies, be careful with the whey protein since it’s derived from milk. Yoghurt, however, is less likely to cause acne. In fact its good for you since it has probiotics. The hormones in dairy products,just as discussed above with the simple sugars, increase levels of androgens(male hormones) which increases sebum production causing acne.
FOODS GOOD FOR THE SKIN:
- VITAMIN A – Promotes healthy skin cell production. It’s the main ingredient in Accutane. If you’ve suffered from acne I’m sure you’ve heard of Accutane. Foods rich in Vitamin A include carrots, fish oil, salmon, spinach and broccoli.
- ANTIOXIDANTS – These protect cells from free radicals like sun exposure, which damages the skin cells, potentially damaging the DNA of the cell. Sources of antioxidants include foods rich in vitamin C like oranges, blackberries, strawberries, papaya, lemons; foods rich in vitamin E like sweet potatoes, nuts, olive oil, leafy green vegetables and foods rich in a mineral called selenium also have antioxidant properties eg tuna, salmon, garlic, brown rice and eggs.
- OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS– salmon(again!!), walnuts, canota oil, flaxseed oil, almonds. They are responsible for healthy cell membranes (what separates the interior of all cells from the outside environment). The cell membranes act as barriers to harmful things like inflammatory processes; act as the passageway for nutrients and waste to cross in and out of the cell. It also holds water in, meaning the stronger it is, the better your cells can hold moisture meaning plumper, hydrated, younger looking skin.
- WATER – Hydrates the body leading to plump, healthy skin; helps flush out toxins that cause skin issues; essential in skin metabolism and regeneration. The recommended daily intake is 8 glasses of water.
- GREEN TEA– This deserves to stand alone guys. So many skin benefits from drinking green tea. It has anti-inflammatory properties; protects the cell membrane and can reduce the risk of damage from ultraviolet rays hence reducing the risk of skin cancer. It’s also an antioxidant. Yes guys all those benefits.
- PROBIOTIC RICH FOODS – such as yoghurt, kefir, fermented food like kimchi,kombucha (you can find it in Healthy U) and sauerkraut. In my previous post I emphasized on the contribution of probiotics to healthy skin. It promotes a healthy gut by making sure the bad bacteria are kept in control, overall improving the skin health. Kindly refer to my post on digestion and skin health.
- ZINC – Last but not least, zinc. It’s a key mineral in collagen production, whilst it also acts as an astringent, anti-inflammatory and healing agent. It also prevents acne by creating an environment unfavourable to the growth of P. Acnes. Zinc is found in almonds, turkey and seeds like hemp seeds.
In conclusion, you are the only one who can pinpoint how your diet is causing your skin issues. You really have to note down the foods that causes havoc to your skin. If it means keeping track of the foods you eat on a journal, go ahead and do it. Once a pattern emerges, then you’ll know what to avoid.
A STEP CLOSER TO HEALTHY SKIN!