Our bodies are very delicate and what we eat can have a big impact on them. But it isn’t just our bodies that are impacted by the food we eat; our skin is also affected. If you want to look after your skin it is important to consider what you eat and drink. Below are various foods and drinks that are both bad and good for your skin.

Food and drink that is bad for your skin

Meat forms the basis of many people’s diet, but in some instances it can have a negative impact on skin. Two key examples are grilled meat and red meat. Grilled meat can lead to wrinkled skin due to a reaction that occurs between the fat and protein when it is heated at a very high temperature. So if you want smooth skin, it’s probably best to cut down on the barbecues this summer. Eating too much red meat can also lead to wrinkles due to the high level of cartine that is found in animal protein if it isn’t sufficiently cooked.

This probably won’t surprise you but sugar and salt are two things that aren’t good for skin. Sugar affects your insulin levels, thus leading to inflammation of the skin. High levels of salt, on the other hand, leads to high blood pressure. This can result in all manner of health issues, one of these being to weaken the skin. If you want to look after your skin what you eat as snacks should be considered. Sweets and crisps are amongst the biggest culprits. Although it varies between different varieties, sweets tend to contain very large amounts of sugar. Crisps usually contain a large amount of salt but also contain sodium. Sodium causes water retention, which results in puffy skin.

High glycaemic foods such as white bread, pasta and cakes can cause acne. The glycaemic index is a measure of how quickly blood glucose levels rise after a particular food is consumed. High glucose levels, which are generally found in high carbohydrate foods, can be a cause of acne so these foods should be eaten in moderation. Where possible you should instead stick to wholemeal bread and pasta.

You shouldn’t overdo the consumption of spicy foods if you want to look youthful. The reason for this is that spicy foods can dilate blood vessels, including those in the face.

Fizzy drinks should be avoided if you are concerned about your skin. Sugar is one of the obvious reasons for this – some fizzy drinks contain up to nine spoons of sugar in a can – but there are other reasons too. Fizzy drinks are very acidic and contain high levels of sodium. Dull skin can be the result of this.

Something else that can be problematic is tea and coffee. The reason for this is that they can lead to dehydration. While you would need to drink a lot of tea and coffee to become seriously dehydrated, it may not take a massive amount of dehydration to impact the skin. Dehydration causes skin to dry out, making it appear older than it is. Alcohol can also cause dehydration. It has much of the same effect as caffeinated drinks but it is more pronounced.

Food and drink that is good for your skin

You may be thinking that there is a lot of food and drink that will have a negative effect on skin but there are also those that have a positive impact.

Drink-wise, water is the best thing for your skin. While caffeinated drinks, alcohol and sugary drinks can be bad for skin, water has the opposite effect. The purity of it means that it doesn’t contain some of the nasty’s that can negatively affect your skin.

The sun can be damaging to skin and there are a number of foods that can protect against sun damage. This includes anything that is high in vitamin E, with nuts and seeds good examples of this. Over exposure to sun can cause the skin to dry out, and to an extent this damage can be limited by consuming high vitamin E foods.

While regular tea isn’t great for your skin, green tea is. Heating green tea leaves releases catechins, a type of antioxidant, which is anti-inflammatory. This doesn’t just reduce the impact of the sun on the appearance of skin; it can even slightly reverse it.

Vegetables are extremely good for your skin. Vegetables contain monounsaturated fats, antioxidants and protein. The combined effect can protect against developing wrinkles.

You may want to eat foods that are high in vitamin C if you are concerned about your skin. Vitamin C is key to the production of collagen. Collagen assists the growth of cells and blood vessels, thus giving skin more firmness and strength. Examples of high vitamin C foods include peppers, kiwi, broccoli and raspberry.

Due to its high protein content fish is good for skin. This is because protein speeds up the repair and regeneration of skin cells. Fish is also high in vitamin E.

There are many things that we can do to look after our skin. This includes watching what we eat and drink, with various food and drink that is bad for our skin. There are also many, though, that have a positive impact and that you should attempt to work into your diet if possible.

This article is a guest post, written on behalf of the Medical Chambers Kensington.
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