How Foods Affect Skin
Eating your way to flawless skin
Guest Written by Kelsey McGillis
While it’s easy to get caught up in following all the latest skincare crazes, the best remedy for many skin issues is closer than you might think. It may even be located in your fridge or pantry. The often overlooked cause of skin dilemmas is the food we eat, and the foods we should be eating but aren’t.
It has become common knowledge that Mcdonald’s fries and chocolate shakes aren’t exactly our skin’s best friends. However, the solution to problem skin lies beyond simply avoiding sugar and fat ridden snacks. Just because you swap your fries for a side salad, doesn’t mean your skin is getting all that it needs. Skin is an organ like any other (our largest one at that) and needs a variety of nutrients to keep it healthy and looking great.
Dermatologist and skincare guru Dr. Lisa Kellett explains the reason that the foods we eat affect skin quality profoundly. The way skin is constructed on a cellular level makes it highly dependent on nutrients. “The skin has scaffolding substance, which consists of collagen and elastin, and then there’s this substance that bathes it called hyaluronic acid,” she explains. “So what do you need to make the scaffolding of skin? You need to take in nutrients and you need things like your basic protein and vitamins and minerals to build that collagen.”
The best way to build your skin’s structure properly is through a vitamin-rich diet; Vitamins A, C, D, E as well as Zinc and Selenium are key, according to Dr. Kellett. Luckily, a quick walk through your local grocery store is all you’ll need to pick up these essential nutrients. Kale has a good amount of Vitamin A and Vitamin C is prevalent in Citrus. Additionally, pecans, berries, artichoke and broccoli contain good amounts of antioxidants.
Dietician Andy De Santis adds to Dr. Kellett’s claims, highlighting the importance of also consuming good omega-3 fatty acids. “These fatty acids are considered essential because we must consume them from food, since our bodies cannot make them”, says De Santis. Omega-3 can be found in walnuts, salmon, trout and even ground flax and chia seeds.
So, as important as it is to limit our consumption of junk food, it’s perhaps even more important to make sure you’re eating enough good vitamins and nutrients. When planning meals, remember your skin is as much an organ as your kidney and stomach, and what you eat can either make or break its’ health and quality.
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