Have you ever thought to what extent the foods you eat can affect your skin? Throughout time many theories appeared connecting an unhealthy diet to different skin problems. However, it seems that this topic is more complex than it looks and it goes far deeper than that. Following the idea that beauty comes from the inside, it's essential to consider the fact that a healthy body can have a positive effect upon our skin and that junk food is related to various chronic skin issues.
The connection between unhealthy foods and skin issues is rather
controversial. In fact, even though some specialists say that there
are no proofs in this sense, it is known that what we eat strongly
affects our health and consequently our skin. Certain foods
consumed in excess and on a longer period of time can have negative
effects upon our skin causing acne, wrinkles
and other cutaneous issues such as eczema or psoriasis. Therefore,
if what you want is young-looking, glowing skin, make sure you
invest in nutritious foods.
When saying refined carbohydrates we mean sweets, cakes and other processed foods that lack important nutrients, such as B vitamins, fiber, and iron. These foods are rich in sugar and white flour, and consumed in large quantities they increase the production of androgen, male hormones that stimulate the activity of sebaceous glands and therefore the sebum production. Well, we all know that the excess of sebum will clog pores leading to acne.
Sugar is related to various health issues. The problem of sugar excess is rather complicated and it starts with a process called glycosylation. Throughout glycosylation, sugar in the blood attaches itself to proteins impeding their proper functioning. And imagine that all the cells in our body are in part made of protein. Collagen, which is an essential component of the skin, represents about 40% of the body's proteins. In consequence, if the collagen is affected by glycosylation, you can see the negative effects on the skin. Sugar is also related to different digestive problems that ultimately damages our health and the skin too.
We must admit that salty snacks are delicious. However, you should think twice next time you feel like relaxing in front of the TV with a large bowl of chips and pretzels, as too much sodium has the same effects as a meal rich in saturated fats. The excess of salt draws the moist out from the cells of the skin leading to swollen tissues and loss of elasticity.
You should know that when we eat sugar and refined carbohydrates in excess, these are transformed into fats in the body. Still, not all fats are good for our health and those coming from sugar certainly are not the best choice. So, how are these fats linked to skin problems? Well, it is a rather simple question. First of all, we should be aware that our skin needs oxygen in order to maintain its health. Why? Because oxygen facilitates the production of collagen, elastin and other vital elements. These fats diminish the quantity of oxygen supply to cells especially those on the skin.
Besides, sugar blocks the release of linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid required by the body and thought to be helpful with skin disorders.
Many studies have revealed the fact that dairy products can negatively affect the skin. Excepting yogurt, it has been proved that all dairy products, especially milk, increase the risk of skin breakouts. Milk contains androgen hormones that are converted into DHT (dihydrotestosterone) hormone, which increases sebum production. Besides, breakouts can also be caused by some growth hormones found in milk. A better option would be to choose yogurt, as through the fermentation process 80% of these growth hormones are eliminated.
Sodas and caffeine
We have already seen that keeping a balanced blood glucose level is crucial for a beautiful skin. Sodas are rich in sugar, artificial sweeteners, and caffeine, thus there are high chances for these drinks to encourage a series of cutaneous problems such as acne or wrinkles. A preservative used in sodas called sodium benzoate might be responsible for skin rashes.
What about diet soda? Well, diet soda contains artificial sweeteners such as Aspartame that may increase your cravings for sweets and junk foods. Besides, caffeine will amplify your stress level. When passing through stressful moments our skin is deprived of blood and oxygen making it look lifeless.
Long gone the days when cocktails represented the best way to boost your party mood. Yes, it is true that many researches have shown that a moderate alcohol consumption can have some health benefits, while too much drinking might result into severe side effects. Still, if you want to maintain a radiant look remember that alcohol dehydrates the skin just like sodium does. Alcohol dilates the blood vessels in the skin, causing an inflammation that will have detrimental results on your skin since the vessels can be enlarged until losing their tone. In addition, alcohol causes broken capillaries, wrinkles, and worsens acne rosacea.