If you’re using the best skin creams but not eating the right foods, you’re doing your skin a huge disservice. Potentially, you could be throwing money down the drain with the creams merely undoing the damage inflicted on your skin from poor food choices. There is a huge disconnect between what we eat and how we look and feel, but the two could not be more intimately related. The food we eat is information for the body, literally building it cell by cell. The amazing thing about the skin is that its cells completely regenerate every 37 days so it responds really well to dietary changes. Learning how to strategically eat for the health of your skin is the best thing you can do for its clarity, glow and health.
Foods That Affect Your Skin:
#1. Refined Sugar & Dairy
These are the two main offenders in depleting the skin’s natural beauty. Omitting these two things alone, while making no other changes, will drastically increase how healthy your skin is. The quick and dirty is this: sugar binds to collagen molecules in the skin causing stiffness and inflexibility. That’s wrinkles, ladies and gentlemen. In addition to wrinkles, sugar is extremely inflammatory and is one of the greatest contributors to acne. It also depletes the body of the minerals it needs to create a healthy glow.
Dairy (especially cow’s milk) is sticky, mucus-forming and really difficult to digest. Anything that is hard on the gut will be hard on the skin. When you ingest dairy there is a big burden put on the body to try and get rid of the mucus and it shows up in many unsightly ways like clogged pores and pimples. Anyone that suffers from hormonal related acne would especially benefit from ditching the dairy as it also contributes a variety of additional hormones that the body now has to deal with.
#2. Eat More Raw Foods
A green salad a day keeps the dermatologist away! Eating raw vegetables is the key to obtaining the most beautifying vitamins, minerals and enzymes. Heat destroys these nutrients, so in addition to salads try your hand with green juices and smoothies. The chlorophyll found in raw vegetables is also incredibly cleansing, keeping impurities off the skin. Raw fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds are also full of fiber, another way of keeping the body clean. Fiber is crucial to sweeping out toxins that would otherwise get taken out on the skin.
#3. Indulge in Good Fats
Fat is vital to life and vital to beauty. It insulates our internal organs and keeps our skin supple and moist. Goods fats like raw nuts & seeds, coconut oil, avocados and wild caught salmon contribute to the youth of our skin by warding off wrinkles and adding an anti-inflammatory affect that wards off acne. In addition to adding them to your diet consider supplementing with a high quality Omega-3 Fatty Acid. Your skin will thank you (your eyes and heart will too!)
I personally know the power of good food choices on the quality of the skin. I suffered from terrible acne for 15 years before curing it entirely through nutrition. If giving up foods completely (like dairy and sugar) makes you a little uncomfortable, focus instead on adding in the foods that are great for your skin as a way of “crowding out” the bad choices. Our skin is our largest organ and the choices we make will eventually show up there. These choices are either adding to or depleting your natural beauty so I encourage you to choose wisely. Remember, there is no cream that can take the place of a good diet!
-Jessie Rose Maher
Board Certified Health Coach, AADP