Think about the ways you use food to help in your daily life. Feeling under the weather? Grab an orange. Need a quick boost to your immunity then grab a handful of blueberries or add ginger to your tea. Need energy for a long run or a sporting event then you load up on carbs ahead of time. Food has so many healthy uses that we often forget that plenty of things can have a negative impact on our health.
And our skin.
Whether it’s simply increasing our body weight or foods that may or may not contribute to acne, oily skin or body odor, what you put in your body will inevitably come out through your skin in some form. So let’s talk about some of the foods you might love that are doing nothing to help you get the skin you want.
You probably already know what a hazard fast food is to your body with its high saturated fat content, grease, chemical-laden meat, sugar and insane protein count. This all leads to a variety of health problems, many of them chronic and possibly deadly.
But they also clog pores, increase oil production that leads to acne breakouts and gives your skin an oily, rather than glowing look.
Remember in the not so distant past when we would all load our shopping carts with cheese and apple flavored rice cakes in the hopes we might look a fraction as good as the world’s supermodels? We choked back those dry things thinking we were doing it for the good of our waistlines. They’re tasteless, airy and have a texture like cardboard but that’s not all.
Turns out rice cakes also increase in blood sugar which—gasp!—speeds up the formation of wrinkles. Why? Simple carbs, plain and simple. They get converted and stick to the proteins that fight wrinkles, which causes damage.
Your penchant for adding extra salt to your food is contributing to those puffy eyes that you hate so much and probably have no time to treat each morning. Salt makes us retain water and that leads to swelling so forego adding extra salt to your foods and opt for other non-salt seasonings instead.
Do you have a hidden drawer in your office to help you deal with annoying coworkers and demanding bosses? Candy might be delicious but all that processed sugar and dyes not only cause acne breakouts but the degrade elastin and collagen which makes skin springy, soft and supple.
I know, I know. All of our lives we’ve been told that milk is good for bones and teeth and hair but think about the fact that this milk comes from a female animal to feed her young. What’s my point? One word: hormones. Even after the pasteurization process these hormones remain and they can have a devastating impact on your skin.
The hormones make their way into the blood stream affect insulin and oil production and cause inflammation. This makes your skin more prone to acne breakouts and puffy skin.
We all know that soda is pretty much a direct delivery of liquid sugar but most people don’t know that many juice products are pretty much the same. They are packed with sugar to make you drink them and keep on drinking them while you think you’re actually doing your body a favor.
So while its no secret that soda is a dietary no-no for anyone looking to live and look healthy the same could also be said of juice. You’re thinking that if fruit is good for you why isn’t fruit juice and the answer comes down to one word: fiber.
Fiber prevents dramatic swings in blood sugar that aid in the premature aging of skin. So if you’re feeling a hankering for orange or peach juice, grab the whole fruit instead.
You know those zits that develop under the skin? They’re hard and painful and hang around for weeks before they finally pop to the surface, and they’re known as cystic breakouts. Yep, they even have a name. And a cause, eating more dairy food than your body can handle.
Think of the last time you binged on alcohol and the next day even after showering you could smell the alcohol. That happens because our skin is basically an excretory system that gets rid of things your body does not like or cannot handle. When you over-indulge in cheese or milk, your body responds with those painful zits.
Caffeine is a diuretic which means it dehydrates you and dehydration is nasty for the skin. Too much coffee or soda and not enough water makes skin more prone to wrinkles and sagging because caffeine wreaks havoc on the collagen and elasticity of the skin.
Like caffeine alcohol is a natural diuretic which is why the more you drink, the thirstier you feel. It steals all the moisture from your skin which contributes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, not to mention a greying complexion.
And if you have pre-existing skin problems like rosacea, excess alcohol consumption can trigger breakouts. Now you have another reason to enjoy your cocktails in moderation.
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