If You have These Skin Problems, Your Foods Might Be to Blame!
If your skin isn’t all you could desire, what you’re feeding it might be the problem. Food and drink can affect us in very visible ways sometimes. Here are some changes in diet that might make a difference.
We know dairy products can provide protein and calcium, but what are these doing to your skin? There’s evidence that protein and calcium cause inflammation, which leads to skin problems. Many people consume dairy products for the calcium, but the 1989 Harvard Nurses Health Study followed 75,000 women for 12 years, and found no protective effect from it. People who give up dairy products often notice that their acne improves, and their skin also loses its red, blotchy appearance. If you like dairy products, though, you can substitute almond milk and non-dairy cheeses, yogurts, and margarines.
People are wary of gluten nowadays, and, among other problems, it can cause adult-onset acne. The American Academy of Dermatology reports that 50% of women ages 20-29 develop this condition, and so do 25% of women between 29 and 49. Often the cause is gluten. Many people can’t digest gluten well, and the body responds to gluten molecules by causing inflammation. The inflammation causes acne, and can also release insulin, another cause of acne. Eliminating gluten from the diet can clear up these skin problems, but sometimes it’s hard to know what has gluten.
Can sugary foods really make you break out? Yes. Snacks like cookies and candy bars will spike your blood sugar. Then your body produces insulin, and insulin can cause acne. Foods that cause high blood sugar and insulin production are said to have a high glycemic load, and foods that keep blood sugar levels even have a low glycemic load. In a 2007 study, one group of teenage boys ate a sugary high glycemic diet, and another group a low glycemic diet of vegetables and meats. The study found that the group who ate the low-glycemic diet had less acne after three months. Some foods to stick to for better skin are beans, apples, oranges, spinach, and plain yogurt.
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A lot of us like a cocktail now and then, but alcohol has several bad effects on the skin. It’s a diuretic, which can dry out your skin, and it has sugars, which can make acne worse. It can cause permanent red marks by dilating blood vessels. It can suppress the immune system, and lead to fungal and bacterial infections. Alcohol can also deplete your body of nutrients, and reduce antioxidants you need for healthy skin. Finally, alcohol can make psoriasis worse. To avoid these problems, it’s best to reduce drinking, drink lots of water, and eat a balanced diet.
Is changing your diet really an easy fix for skin problems? It might be, depending on your individual situation. But a healthy lifestyle is always worth a try.