Besides being a covering for your skeleton and internal organs and playing a large part in your appearance, your skin can also demonstrate what's going on inside your body. Many factors are involved with determining how healthy or unhealthy your skin is, including hygiene, mental health and diet. What you put into your body can affect how it looks on the outside, so it's important to make sure you are regularly consuming a healthy diet in order to maintain great skin as well as overall health. Certain foods can negatively impact your skin and possibly worsen existing conditions like acne, psoriasis, eczema and more. However, there are also foods to try incorporating into your diet that can encourage clear, healthy skin.
Foods That Can Aggravate Skin
Certain foods that can cause adverse effects to manifest on your skin are:
While milk and dairy products contain beneficial nutrients like calcium and vitamin D, they may play a part in wreaking havoc on your skin. Milk contains pro-inflammatory properties, testosterone-like hormones and growth factors that get absorbed into your body and can contribute to acne breakouts—if you'are already prone to them—and speed up the aging process.
It might be your go-to flavoring item, but salt can really ruin your skin. Too much salt can cause water retention and bloating, making your eyes look puffy. It can also dehydrate your skin and possibly encourage premature aging in the form of facial lines or wrinkles.
Sugar is bad for a number of reasons, often contributing to diabetes, heart disease and a number of other negative health effects. Sugar also contains pro-inflammation properties that can act as a trigger for acne and might even worsen eczema.
Since they're considered seafood, crab, shrimp and lobster might seem like delicious foods to boost your health, but they can actually have the opposite effect, when consumed excessively. The high iodine content in shellfish might play a part in clogging your pores and sprouting pimples.
If you can't start your day without your morning cuppa' joe, it's good to know that the caffeine in coffee and other beverages might aggravate certain skin conditions you already have. Caffeine is naturally dehydrating, and it can also break down your skin's collagen and elasticity—both of which help your skin to maintain a soft, youthful appearance.
Foods That Can Promote Healthy Skin
Now that you know which foods can aggravate your skin, so you can proceed with caution when consuming them, you should know which foods can benefit your skin health:
Packed with antioxidants, fruits like blueberries and blackberries can help protect your skin cells from oxidative stress and free radical damage, which are known culprits in accelerating the aging process and causing skin to look older .
Consumed as part of a meal or applied topically to your skin, olive oil may be able to help improve psoriasis, eczema or skin dandruff by reducing inflammation. Additionally, applying olive oil to your skin can provide antioxidant protection from free radicals and fight collagen loss.
According to research from the University of Arizona, eating orange peels demonstrated a reduced risk of developing a certain type of skin cancer, related to sun exposure and UV damage . Limonene is the compound found in the peels that may provide protection against UV rays.
The omega-3 fatty acids in fish are excellent sources of DHA and EPA, which can help reduce inflammation, the main cause of acne.
Kale is loaded with vitamins A and C, which can promote healthy skin by boosting collagen production and contributing firming effects . It also contains lutein and zeaxanthin, two nutrients that may aid with reducing the damage of UVB exposure, inflammation and the development of sunburn cells.
While there may not be a direct, cause-and-effect relationship between certain foods in your diet and skin conditions, what you eat on a regular basis can definitely play a role in maintaining great skin health. We hope this article is able to give you a better idea about some of the changes you can make to your diet to promote beautiful, healthy skin. Thanks for reading, and have a great day!