You may have heard the old saying, “You are what you eat.” Never does it ring more true when we consider the quality of our skin. It’s not a fallacy to say we feel better when we eat pure, healthy foods that support and nourish our bodies as compared to a diet of over-processed, chemical-laden foods. Without proper nutrients, the body just can’t function optimally. It will be sluggish, lack vitality, and lack muscle mass. On the surface, the skin may show wrinkles, sagging, acne, age spots and appear overall to be dull. Free radicals can take the blame for some of this skin degeneration, but if you want beautiful, healthy, glowing skin – you have to feed it right.
Antioxidant-rich foods that contain vitamin C and E have been found to defend against free radicals by giving them their own electrons and forming a barrier that protects skin cells. You may already know certain behaviors and habits will either help or harm your skin, such as proper diet, exercise, smoking and sun exposure. One of the most significant sources of skin-damaging free radicals is cigarette smoke.
The modern Western diet is filled with carbohydrates, unnecessary sugars and salts, fats and caffeine. Most would be shocked to learn just how many of these detrimental elements they consume in a day. According to current research, it is the sugars and carbohydrates that have the worst effects on your complexion. They rob your skin of the oxygen it needs to stay youthful and can also cause inflammation.
In opposition to the processed foods, a diet that is pure and natural to its original essence as possible will provide your skin with vital nutrients and oxygen. Fruits and vegetables are on the top of this list of course, but other vital fats like walnuts, olive oil and fresh fish oils will also contribute greatly to beautiful, glowing skin. You cannot improve your skin without first improving your daily diet. Take the time to research various natural foods and their beneficial qualities. Try to incorporate these foods as much as possible into your lifestyle. Also beneficial is to replace those sugar-laden sodas with fresh water and teas. Proper hydration will help flush residual toxins from your system while you are optimizing your diet.
Once you consider what foods you are ingesting, you may also need to consider your smoking and drinking habits. We all know how harmful excessive smoking or drinking can be for our health, but our skin will be the first to show the signs of damage–long before our bodies give any indication of disease or imbalance. Smoking creates a toxic metabolism in your whole body. Many know the lungs are damaged by smoking–which is bad enough in itself–but the lack of oxygen will show on your face first. You will see more wrinkles around the eyes and mouth and smokers also have skin that is slower to heal. Blood is actually directed away from the skin by the destructive effects of nicotine, resulting in a sallow, grayish skin tone. On a scientific level, the nicotine blocks the oxygen supply to your skin, causing the subdermal capillaries to go into spasms, eventually increasing the rate at which your skin ages.
If you are hoping a cosmetic procedure will “erase” all the damage you have done – be aware that many doctors today will not perform any invasive procedures on a smoker due to the slower healing rate and lack of it results it can cause.
Once you have incorporated healthier foods into your life and reduced or eliminated smoking and excessive drinking, it is guaranteed you will see noticeable positive results in your skin’s appearance and in your overall health.