Can what you put on your plate affect what you see in the mirror? Absolutely! But a few tweaks to your eating habits can go a long way to keeping your skin youthful and your body healthy.
Poor-quality foods, like trans fats, cause inflammation -- and aging is basically a chronic inflammatory state. For example, eating too much sugar and processed carbohydrates (like pasta, bread, and baked goods) can lead to damage in your skin's collagen, which keeps your skin springy and resists wrinkles. Not to mention that these foods also are tied to diseases like heart disease and diabetes.
Foods to limit? Anything that's deep-fried, aka potato chips, donuts, french fries, in oil can add to inflammation throughout your body. Especially avoid trans fats. It can raise your LDL "bad" cholesterol and lower HDL "good" cholesterol, which increases your risk for heart disease. Check food labels and avoid "partially hydrogenated oils" and "vegetable shortening."
Donuts actually sock a double punch by being loaded with another food to limit...sugar. Remember that when you're trying to outrun a binge. Sugar doesn't just affect pounds but also contributes to wrinkles by breaking down our skin's collagen. You ain’t outrunning wrinkles!
Also, limit processed meats like deli cuts and hot dogs which are usually high in saturated fats and have nitrates in them. Both of those can lead to inflammation.
Finally, limit alcohol. Moderate drinking may be good for your heart, but heavy drinking can speed up the aging process. "Moderate" is one drink per day for women (such as a 5-ounce glass of wine or 12-ounce glass of beer) and two drinks for men.
So what is good for your skin?
Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean protein can help fight inflammation and keep you looking your best.
Eat whole foods that are closest to their natural state as possible. Apple vs applesauce...you get it.
Also, try eating more of these foods:
Broccoli, spinach, spring mix, arugula, watercress, escarole, and endive. They are high in vitamins A and C, which curb inflammation.
Also, try foods rich in the nutrient called lycopene, a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that helps protect from environmental agents that can contribute to clogged pores and breakouts. Good choices are tomatoes, watermelon, grapefruit, guavas, asparagus, and red cabbage.
Eat your fish! Salmon is high in omega-3 fats, which fight inflammation. Tuna is another good choice.
Your skin is essentially made of protein, so if you don't get enough healthy protein in your diet, your skin will reflect that lack.
And finally, whole grains such as oatmeal, brown rice, and quinoa help curb inflammation. They have B vitamins in them, like thiamine and riboflavin, which are important for skin as well. Go for a variety and make this way of eating a habit. If you need help, see us at Grabbagreen where all of these healthy foods and so much more make up our menu.