When it comes to diet and our skin, most of us are in one of three categories:
*I don’t really care, because you only live once!
*I get it, but it’s hard. So, I do what I can.
*I take it very seriously. After all, you are what you eat!
Regardless of where you fit, we have good news. You are closer than you realize to optimizing your skin health! Think about it, if you only live once, isn’t that the perfect reason to take care of what you have and make the most of each day?
Let's be clear, this is not a blog about losing weight or achieving a smaller waist line. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and more important than the number printed on your clothing tag, is having optimal health and body positivity.
This blog is focused on making mindful decisions so we are choosing meals that fuel our longevity, not hinder it. Think about it, would you ever consider pouring sugar into the gas tank of your car? Hopefully, you shouted "NO!" in your head because sugar kills your gas tank and ruins your car. Your vehicle simply cannot process sugar and will not run if it's not cared for properly. Our bodies are extremely similar, yet we often turn to foods that "kill our gas tanks".
If you already do what you can, this blog will help you make some easy substitutes and do even better! And, for those who take the diet-skin connection seriously, you may be ready for the next level of healthy skin care.
The BIG Deal
Your skin is the largest organ in your body, and its job is to keep you protected from outside chemicals and pollutants. A healthy and stress-free lifestyle increases the skin’s natural barrier, strengthening overall wellness. This means that healthy skin is a vital component for our overall wellness.
While being mindful of what we eat increases our energy level and helps keep our skin smooth and vibrant, the regular intake of oily foods or a diet high in sugar has the opposite effect. It can result in inflammation and acne, premature aging, and other skin problems, all of which weaken our protective skin barrier.
Research on the diet-skin connection is clear that what you eat can directly impact the health and aging of your skin.
What we eat is largely habitual and changing habits can be difficult. We are on the journey with you on adapting to a new lifestyle that incorporates the healthy alternatives listed here.
Fresh Fruit and Vegetables
We’ve heard it since we were kids, and it really is true: eat your fruits and vegetables. The more colorful, the better! Think avocados, red grapes, apples, carrots, sweet potatoes, and bell peppers. These (and more) are rich in carotenoids and Vitamin A that help our skin with cell reproduction. Our body naturally sheds nearly 35,000 cells each day and eventually stops producing new cells. The Vitamin C that we get in fruits and vegetables helps create the collagen needed to keep our skin strong and healthy. Not only do we benefit from the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables, but we are also nurturing smooth, vibrant, and healthy skin.
Nuts and Seeds
Sunflower seeds are not just for the ballpark. They are packed with skin-boosting nutrients, including Vitamin E, Zinc, and protein. Almonds and walnuts share these nutrient-filled properties and are also a good source of essential fats and omegas. For a noticeable change in the texture of your skin, consider adding chia and flax seeds to your dietary routine. Side note: we love peanuts too but be warned that while nutritious, these popular snacks are triggers for acne.
Dark Chocolate and Green Tea
If you’re anything like us, then you really appreciate this one! Now, these two don’t necessarily go together, yet they provide similar benefits. They both contain antioxidants that help protect your skin against sun damage, as well as improve the skin’s hydration and thickness.
When choosing your dark chocolate, make sure it has at least 70% cocoa. Not only will this keep sugar to a minimum, but it will also maximize the benefits to your skin. Some studies even found cocoa to be effective in reducing the appearance of wrinkles!
In addition to the benefits already mentioned, a daily cup of green tea could reduce redness from sun exposure and improve your skin’s elasticity. Make sure to avoid adding milk to your tea, as this may reduce the positive effects of the antioxidants.
Don’t Wait – Start Today!
So, are we really what we eat? Yes, we really are, but don’t forget the good news that we started with. You’re closer than you realize to optimal skin health! Making a few small changes to your daily diet is all it takes. Try substituting oily and high-sugar foods with those mentioned above to have noticeably softer, smoother, and healthier skin.