How What You Eat Affects Your Skin

skin, food, nutrition

Your grandparents were probably warned to stay away from chocolate and french fries if they wanted to keep their complexions acne free. Later, such advice turned out to be a “myth.” Well, not so fast.

As it turns out, research shows strong links between what you put inside your body and how your skin looks on the outside. At Advanced Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center in Fayetteville and Bentonville, Arkansas, our expert dermatologists consider a healthy lifestyle — including a whole-foods diet and plenty of exercise — an essential component of building and maintaining healthy skin. As part of National Nutrition Month®, they offer a few tips on how to make your diet work for your skin:

Stay away from sugar

High-glycemic foods, including those that contain processed sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, trigger inflammation in your body and your skin. Research shows that high-glycemic diets and processed foods not only can cause acne, but contribute to wrinkling, too.

To limit inflammation, avoid:

You may also have underlying food allergies that trigger rashes, acne, and other skin conditions. Keeping a food diary helps you identify substances that might negatively affect your skin. If you do have acne, psoriasis, or another skin condition, your dermatologist may recommend other therapies in addition to dietary changes.

Load up on antioxidants

Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins and antioxidants that nourish your skin cells, helping them grow and stay strong. Adding more whole foods into your diet gives you an opportunity to expand your culinary repertoire and experience a greater range of flavors while improving your skin. Some ingredients that are chock full of skin-friendly antioxidants, such as beta-carotene and vitamins C and E, include:

Take a tour of your grocery store’s produce aisle and skip the inner aisles, so you expose yourself to more fresh foods and fewer processed products.

Find the healthy fats

Hydrogenated fats and trans fats found in processed foods like potato chips cause inflammation and can damage your cells. Healthy fats help your skin stay hydrated and firm. Try:

Adding healthy fats, such as oil-based salad dressings, to your vegetables gives you a double-health benefit for your skin.

Don’t forget the protein

Skip the sugary protein drinks and go straight to the source. Your skin needs the amino acids in protein — such as L-lysine and L-proline — to rebuild itself with strands of collagen and elastin. Skin-healthy, high-quality sources of protein include:

A healthy diet is essential to a healthy body and skin.

If you have skin issues such as acne, psoriasis, rosacea, or sun damage, our dermatologists can help. Call us today for a skin consultation and a custom-designed treatment plan. Or book your appointment online at your convenience.

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