Our Dr. B often says “beauty is a lifestyle.” She’s right. Not that we have to be perfect… we can definitely enjoy indulgences. With that said, the small decisions we routinely make day to day have a big impact on our skin and vitality. When it comes to dermatological health, few things make a bigger impact over time than food choices. Deciding what to eat to optimize skin radiance can be confusing, so we summed up a few important guidelines to help make it easier.
A palatte for your palate (and your skin).
Some of the fiercest protectors of your skin are also the most beautiful. We are talking about the vivid hues found in plants—colorful pigments that double as powerful antioxidants that can protect your skin from premature aging from the inside out. Rich red, purple, and blue pigments found in black berries, blueberries, raspberries and purple cabbage are free-radical fighting anthocyanins. Carotenoids, another family of antioxidants, are vibrant yellow, orange and red. These are found in many vegetables and fruits including carrots, leafy greens, apricots, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, and squash. Our tip: strive to eat five different colors of vegetables and fruits each day to get a variety of these potent nutrients.
Run, don’t walk, away from sugar.
Sugar can be sticky. Ewww. But did you know it also causes “stickiness” inside the body? It happens through a chemical reaction called glycation
that makes collagen molecules “stick” together, rendering the collagen then difficult to repair. This ultimately leads to increased wrinkle formation and premature aging of the skin. Yikes! Sugar also increases the activity of insulin and androgenic hormones that can lead to thicker sebum (the natural oil our skin produces) and, unfortunately, more blemishes. No thanks! So, even though an occasional splurge is fine, choose foods low in sugar as a matter of habit.
Kick inflammation to the curb.
Chronic inflammation has a negative effect on the whole body… especially the skin. Simply put, inflammation causes skin to break out and break down. The key to minimizing inflammation in the body is through, you guessed it, eating anti-inflammatory foods. This means eating lots of vegetables and fruits, healthy fats like in avocados, and high-quality, clean sources of protein. It also means skipping the foods that stoke the fire of inflammation such as sugar, dairy, gluten, as well as others. Read more about inflammation and how fine tune your dietary choices to avoid it here