How important is diet for skin quality? What should I eat?

Avoid:

Sugar: Consumption of too much sugar causes the formation of glycation end products which are proteins that get glycated or react with sugar negatively. This leads to skin that loses its elasticity and is more likely to develop deep wrinkles.

 

Alcohol: Alcohol can cause dehydration by acting as a diuretic or promoting the loss of water from the body. Dehydration is likely to exacerbate and promote the formation of wrinkles. Excessive alcohol consumption can also lead to liver damage and discolouration of the skin such as jaundice (yellowish discolouration).

Refined Carbohydrates: There is some evidence that high glycaemic index foods which include refined carbohydrates can predispose to acne by affecting our hormones. Refined carbohydrates also convert into sugar in the body rapidly and can also contribute to glycation end products.

 

Individuals who consume excessive sugar, alcohol and refined carbohydrates are also more likely to be overweight and therefore have stretched and inflamed skin that is more likely to have stretch marks.

 

What should you eat?

Fresh fruits and vegetables. These foods are generally low glycaemic index and reduce the chance of producing skin-damaging glycation end products. They contain anti-oxidants to help your skin fight damage from pollutants in the air and damage from sun exposure. Vitamins C, E and A, zinc, selenium, beta carotene (carotenoids), omega-3 fatty acids, lycopene and polyphenols are among the antioxidants in fruits and vegetables that may help prevent skin damage. Beta-carotenoids in foods such as carrots, tomatoes, sweet potatoes and cantaloupes also have the added benefit of producing the only healthy tan i.e. it will tint your skin in a manner that most people find attractive.

Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration of your skin and promote the removal of toxins from your body.

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