Whole body health. You are what you eat, and what you eat impacts your entire system—including your skin. If you’re dealing with ongoing skin issues, it may be time to look at what you’re consuming, and how it might be affecting the health of your skin.
Some links between your diet and your skin are obvious. Drinking enough water helps to keep your skin hydrated, and eating foods rich in antioxidants will help to neutralize free radials in your entire system. But what about some surprising diet-skin connections?
One skin condition that is known to be impacted by diet is problem skin, or skin that is more prone to blemishes. You are more likely to break out if your diet carries a high glycemic load; that is, if your blood sugar is caused to spike often. Foods that will spike your blood sugar include high-sugar, high-carb foods, like white bread, white rice, sugary cereal, ice cream, and soda.
Another blemish-related skin condition is rosacea, which is characterized by red, sometimes thickened skin, usually on the cheeks and across the nose. Rosacea also often causes small pimples in the affected area. Foods that trigger or exacerbate rosacea include spicy food, alcohol, dairy, and chocolate.
On the other hand, there are some foods that may help reduce symptoms of rosacea. Omega-3, nuts and seeds, eggs, and olive oil are all said to give the skin what it needs to combat rosacea symptoms.
Yes, diet can help aging skin! Eating healthy oils and omega-3s, along with a good amount of protein, will assist your body in collagen production, which is what keeps your skin smooth and supple. One great source of protein is collagen itself, which can be taken as a supplement in pill or powdered form.
Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer, and it’s frighteningly common. Melanoma is usually caused by UVB sun damage, which is the same type of sun damage that causes sunburns.
Many people will be surprised to learn that diet may affect your risk of developing melanoma. Heart-healthy diets will support your system so that it can properly fight off cancer cells. Fish, dark leafy greens, and foods high in antioxidants will reinforce the healthy functions of your body so that it can protect itself.
This dry, sensitive skin condition is characterized by patches of rough, scaly, raised skin. It can be uncomfortable and impact one’s self-esteem. Sometimes eczema is caused by external irritants, such as laundry detergent, or even seasonal allergies. Other times, eczema is directly linked to diet, particularly food sensitivities.
The biggest food culprits when it comes to eczema include eggs, wheat, peanuts, milk, soy, and fish. Unsurprisingly, these foods are some of the most common triggers when it comes to food sensitivities or allergies in general. If you suspect a food-related case of eczema, talk to your doctor or dermatitis about ways you can narrow down the causes of your eczema in order to avoid triggers.
Best foods for skin
Unless you have a sensitivity to one of the following foods, here’s a list of the very best foods for your skin health. Incorporating lots of healthy fats, vitamins, and antioxidants is key to gorgeous and healthy skin.
- Fatty fish, like mackerel, salmon, and herring
- Nuts, especially walnuts
- Sunflower seeds
- Red and yellow bell peppers
- Sweet potatoes
- Green tea
These foods will support your system as a whole, while giving your skin the fats and micronutrients it needs to function at its healthiest.