You don’t need expensive creams and moisturizers to have healthy skin; you need to eat healthy. Let us show you how.
With all the marketing behind what we buy and eat, it can be quite confusing to distinguish between the truly healthy foods and the health food junk foods. While any effort to eat healthily is better than no effort at all, there are certain foods disguised as healthy that really aren’t and which are particularly damaging to our skin.
While your skin might not be something you think about as often as other areas, your skin is your body s largest organ, and it certainly needs to be kept well if we are to be able to function optimally. Additionally, for those who desire to maintain a youthful appearance or avoid acne, taking care of your skin is paramount. And no, taking care of your skin does not mean spending your paycheck on expensive creams and tinctures, but rather, on nourishing your skin from the inside out.
If you want to have healthy, glowing, youthful skin, be sure to avoid eating certain foods:
Foods processed to remove naturally occurring fats are damaging to our health and also to our skin. When fat is removed during processing, food companies have to compensate for the lost flavor and texture, which means added processed ingredients, often sugar and chemicals. Unless the food is a naturally low-fat food, then the low-fat food items you buy are higher in sugar or chemicals, both of which cause damage to the collagen proteins of the skin, which causes wrinkles and loss of elasticity. Opt instead for full-fat products, ones that are organic and as close to their natural form as possible.
This is a specific example of a low-fat food to be avoided. It’s worth its own mention because of how commonplace it is in the diets of many Americans. Low-fat milk is highly processed. Studies indicate the frequent consumption of milk increases the incidence of acne. Additionally, most of the skim milk brands contain pus, antibiotics, pesticides, and other unnatural ingredients that damage the skin and can even cause allergic reactions such as hives and eczema. Instead, opt for full fat and organic milk or unsweetened nut milks.
When healthy polyunsaturated fats, like those found in nuts, seeds, and plants, are heated to high temperatures, the healthy fat structures are damaged and become toxic rather than nourishing. All forms of processed vegetable oils cause a great deal of oxidative stress, which leads to aging skin. This is a tricky ingredient, as it’s even found in many organic products. These highly inflammatory oils are strongly linked with acne and wrinkles. Instead, opt for organic olive oil or coconut oil.
Processed drinks including fruit juice, soda pop, sweetened tea, sweetened milks, and other common drinks loaded with sugar. Sugar, especially in its processed form, causes oxidative stress that can lead to wrinkles and also damages the collagen proteins that are needed for strong, firm, and elastic skin.
This drink gets a category of its own because even when made fresh at home, too much fruit in a liquid form is a lot of sugar for the body to handle at one time. A high amount of sugar, especially when in liquid form without the fiber, is especially damaging to the skin. Studies have indicated that those who consume a diet high in fructose (the primary sugar found in fruit) have higher degrees of skin damage. If you do drink a smoothie, make sure to only include one to two servings maximum of fruit, and use an unsweetened liquid base, and include plenty of healthy fat with the smoothie.
(NOTE: If you're struggling to keep your smoothie healthy or just need some ideas for new smoothies, check out Sunwarrior's free smoothie eBook.)
Gluten Free Products
A huge fad currently trending is gluten-free foods. While there are some people who truly do need to avoid gluten, many of the gluten-free products available on the market today are highly processed, high in starch and sugar or chemicals, and low in overall nutrition and healthy fats. The skin requires healthy fats to stay healthy and vibrant, and nutrients are also needed to allow it to stay youthful. Not only are most gluten-free foods devoid of needed nutrients, but they’re also highly processed and typically contain skin-damaging ingredients such as processed starches, sugars, or vegetable oils. If you must consume gluten-free products, buy natural kinds free of highly processed ingredients, such as grain foods made from quinoa or brown rice.
Many breads found at the typical grocery store today are made up of highly processed, low nutrient flours. Even brands claiming to be wheat are often just white bread with some coloring or a small amount of wheat flour. Additionally, most conventional brands contain added processed sugar or corn syrup, which is damaging to the skin and pro-inflammatory. Highly processed wheat breads not only aren’t giving you the nourishment your skin needs, but you re-consuming ingredients that further damage the skin. Instead, choose organic breads, 100% whole grain, and ideally soaked and sprouted.