We are what we eat and our skin is a reflection of how we take care of our body. As we age our skin looses its elasticity and we form those annoying small lines and wrinkles around our eyes and mouth. Despite the natural aging process however, some lifestyle habits can damage skin more rapidly while others will keep it looking younger for longer. Take a look around you; those who smoke and drink to excess have skin that belies their actual age – they look older than they should. The skin is dried and drawn and age spots have set in before their time. This is just one example of how poor health habits can result in skin damage over time.
Our skin is made up from what we put in to our body. Everything from the condition of our hair to our nails to our skin are reflections of our eating and exercise habits. When we overeat and over indulge, our life is not only out of balance but we slowly see the effect of what being overweight does to our body. Have you ever noticed how much younger a person suddenly looks after they’ve lost a great amount of weight?
The good news is that there are many similarities between the diet tips for better skin and for losing weight. In both situations, a healthy, well-balanced diet is key to reaching your goals. With this in mind, here is a list of foods to include in a diet that will give you both better looking skin and help you shed some weight:
FRUITS – that are rich in Vitamin C which creates an increase in collagen. Collagen is a protein that gives our skin its elasticity and keeps it from drying out and therefore wrinkling and sagging. We need that collagen to keep us from prematurely aging.
VEGETABLES – Okay, here’s one that many of you don’t want to see on the “good things to eat” list but the truth is the truth. Our bodies require the multitude of nutrients and vitamins that come with our veggies. Our skin depends on the antioxidants that are plentiful in a variety of vegetables. Spruce up the preparation so that they become an enjoyable addition to your meals. Create a scrumptious salad with lettuce, tomatoes, celery, cucumber, walnuts or almonds and then add a fruit like watermelon or tangerines to the mix. Top it with oil and vinegar and watch the pounds and wrinkles become history.
FISH – Salmon, Cod, Halibut and Tuna are all on the good food side of things. Besides, adding natural oils to your skin, fish contains Omega 3 oils that are heart smart and help us maintain a healthy level of cholesterol.
WHOLE GRAINS – This food group supplies us with fiber. By increasing the amount of fiber we eat on a daily basis, it keeps our intestinal track operating smoothly which in turn removes the toxins from our colon. Toxins show themselves in the form of crusty, dry skin, or as blotches or puffiness. The toxins are trying to leave our body because our body doesn’t want them. Colon cancer is caused by built up toxins. Toxins are acidic and they steal our health from us.
OLIVE OIL – When you cook, opt to using Olive Oil rather than butter or canola oil. Trans fatty oils are a killer of both healthy skin and a healthy heart. If you don’t care for the taste, allow the olive oil to heat up a bit more before adding the items to be cooked.
NUTS – Are a great source of nutrition and energy. They come without cholesterol or sodium and are low in saturated fat. Nuts have also shown to have a calming affect on those with Hypertension.
WATER – Drinking lots of water (at least eight 8-ounce glasses a day) is strongly recommended not only for helping you to curb hunger and shed some pounds, but also is essential for keeping your skin hydrated and looking healthy.
Of course, no list of diet tips for better skin would be complete without a mention of foods to avoid. Keep in mind that these are diet tips only and that there are a number of other lifestyle changes that will benefit your skin and overall health, such as not smoking and avoiding excess sun exposure and sunburns. The foods to avoid for better looking skin include:
CAFFEINE – Everything from coffee to chocolate and cola sodas have high amounts of caffeine. Combine this food group with too much UV sunlight, smoking or excessive alcohol and you’re sure to have the wrinkles that nightmares are made of. Consume caffeine in small amounts.
RED MEAT – This food group has a two fold effect on us. First, it tends to rob our skin of the things like collagen that keep it fresh in appearance and second, it creates a desire for sweets…yep, sugar. Again, there are a lot of red meat eaters out there who don’t want to give up this choice…just eat it in moderation. Many people have reported that several medical issues have cleared up once they eliminated red meat from their diet entirely.
DAIRY PRODUCTS – I know, I know, we’ve heard for years how we need our calcium but on the reverse, the animal fat in dairy products help in the formation and increase of wrinkles. Again, if you love your dairy, eat it in moderation and try to stay with the low fat products.
SUGAR & SODIUM (Salt) – We all know that sugar and salt can be our worst enemy in the weight and skin department. Many people find that by cutting their consumption of both items reduces the puffiness they see in the mirror upon rising in the morning. Joints tend to be more cooperative as well.