Everyone is always thinking about what diet they could follow next in order to shake off the unwanted kilos… but have you ever thought about following a diet for your skin? Eating healthy not only means shaking off those extra kg’s on the scale, it could also tame those wild breakouts.
In this post I will discuss the main foods that are an absolute NO NO, as well as foods that are beneficial for your skin. I will begin be discussing the NO NO foods first. I’ll start off with fast foods, I hope that it goes without saying that fast food is complete rubbish, literally… there are so any studies that prove how bad fast food is, not only for your weight, but your whole body (including your skin). And yet people continue to eat away at those burgers and chicken wings. Fast food is full of unnatural oils, preservatives, hormones and many other things that we probably even don’t know about.
Sugar, healthy or not?
Now we get to sugar, especially refined sugars (baked goods, soft-drinks and candy). The reason why sugar is bad for your skin is due to the fact that sugar causes insulin levels to rise, which leads to inflammation of the skin, and this ultimately leads to worse breakouts. Research has also revealed that sugar intake can be linked to acne break outs. Remember in the previous post on cleansing, I introduced Sebum oil to you? Well high insulin levels can increase sebum production. Essentially what happens is that hair follicles become clogged with a mixture of oil and dead skin cells. So refined sugar is a definite NO! Rather opt for a sugar-free soft-drink and dark chocolate if you have those cravings that you just absolutely need to satisfy.
Caffeine, a not so healthy drink.
Lastly I want to discuss dairy and caffeine. Dairy first, whether it’s sweetened or salty, dairy leads to increased blood levels of androgen, this leads to excess oil production and increased breakouts (again).
You don’t need to cut dairy out of your diet completely, but dairy intake should certainly be done in moderation.
Secondly, caffeine amps up production of a stress hormone called cortisol. Raised cortisol levels often lead to acne breakouts.
If you REALLY feel like having a cup of coffee rather opt for the decaffeinated option, and, if you have a soft-drink, choose a clear soda which does not have caffeine.
So now, let’s get to the good part, the healthy foods that you can eat to nurture your skin from the inside.
Foods that contain Zinc are good for your skin due to the fact that it reduces inflammation and bacteria production. Cashews, avocados, blackberries, and raspberries are all good options. Fresh fruit is a good alternative for sweets and sugary bites, but if you feel you absolutely need sugar, like I said earlier, go for a dark chocolate as it also contains zinc as well as antioxidants. Antioxidants also help fight sun damage (so no to wrinkles as well). If you crave salty, crunchy foods, try something like raw vegetables. You can even try different colour vegetables, as they each have essential vitamins and minerals. So snack on a carrot, or raw broccoli (this also helps with weightloss).
Dairy alternatives, such as almond milk, soy milk and fruit sorbets are highly recommended.
So basically, eat a whole lot of veggies, drink Rooibos tea (also rich in antioxidants), snack on fruits, rather have nuts than chips, avoid refined sugars and DRINK A LOT OF WATER!
So obviosuly I am not a dietician, so this is only the broader spectrum of what is healthy for your skin. But I hope it gives you an idea of what to eat and what not to eat. However, I hope that this post was as interesting for you as it was for me. I am sure that no-one follows a strict diet in December, but maybe you should try cutting out sugar as a whole in 2018!
Edited by Tamen de Lange