One of Tata’s central tenants when it comes to great skin is: you are what you eat. What we put in your bodies has a direct effect on our external appearance, since our skin reflects the health of everything from our gut to our circulatory system to our brain. There are some foods that are incredibly beneficial for the skin, and can help reduce inflammation, toxins and acne-causing bacteria (dark leafy greens! fresh spices! avocados!), and there are others that, when consumed consistently or in large amounts, can wreak havoc on us inside and out.
So, here’s Tata’s list: foods she avoids, and suggests that you do, too. Some of these are unexpected, and it can be difficult to cut out a favorite daily snack. But, if you’re suffering from breakouts, rashes or prematurely-aging skin, cutting down on the below may prove beneficial!
1: Milk. For someone who had a glass of milk with dinner every night until adulthood, I know that milk can seem impossible to give up, but here’s why it’s questionable for the skin: most milk in the US contains growth hormones, many of which are naturally in the milk because it’s produced by pregnant cows, or are added to keep the cows producing milk year-round. These growth hormones have been linked to acne as well as estrogen imbalances in both men and women, which can lead to a variety of weird effects. Plus, milk has been linked to excess mucus production in our systems, aka it causes the perfect breeding ground for inflammation-causing bacteria. (One dairy product that’s actually great for skin: yogurt! This is because the fermentation process kills off those growth hormones, and breeds healthy bacteria instead)
2: Excess Sugar. This is an obvious one, but it takes daily diligence and attention. Too much sugar weakens the immune system and can contribute directly to a bad breakout, since bad bacteria breeds on sweets. It also causes internal inflammation and, over time, causes our skin to age prematurely by attacking healthy collagen structures… in other words, explore sugar alternatives like Stevia, Honey or Maple Syrup!
3: Packaged Foods. Packaged foods are indeed easy, convenient and quick. But here’s why they’re really no good: they’re always cooked or processed before getting packaged, and both of those processes kill nutrients and living enzymes that supply our body with everything it needs to… well, live. A diet that is full of packaged food can lead to nutrient deficiencies, and deficiencies often show up in the skin by weakening and dulling it. While packaged food can supply our body with calories at a hungry moment, it’s not suppling our bodies with the nutrients, vitamins, minerals, etc. it needs to really thrive. Cut these foods out of your diet and you may find your skin clearer and glowing.
4: Caffeine! I know, bummer. But here’s why you may want to limit caffeine intake if you’re experiencing skin problems: it triggers the adrenaline glands that produce stress hormones, and of course, too much stress is bad for the skin. Caffeine in moderation isn’t a problem, but four cups a day plus dark chocolate, soda and the odd energy drink may be too much. Also, caffeine disrupts healthy sleep patterns: a tired, stressed body is a body with a weak immune system, which feeds the bad-skin cycle.
5: Fried Foods. Again, this one seems like it’s an obvious one to avoid, especially if you’re prone to oily skin. Fried food is of course pretty oily, and when oil is heated to high temperatures it chemically changes and becomes really hard for our bodies to process and detoxify. A diet with lots of fried foods can contribute to heart problems and poor circulation, which leads directly to poor skin, as our skin is fed fresh nutrients and oxygen daily with a healthy circulatory system.
Which of these would be the biggest challenge for you – or, have you already endeavored to cut some items out of your diets for your skin?
(Featured image via livestrong.com)