Foods with added sugars cause a spike in blood sugar and are responsible for inflammation in the body. Chips can be the most obvious saboteur of your good skin. They are high in both fats and salt, dehydrating your skin and causing that tired, aged look of puffiness beneath your eyes. Cutting out chips and doubling up on water intake will deflate your swollen under eye and reduce redness that comes from high-fat foods.
Alternative: Natural sugars found in fruit won’t cause a sudden spike. A few squares of dark chocolate can also be actually beneficial for your skin, as dark chocolate (go for 70% or higher) contains the anti-inflammatory antioxidants your skin wants. And it doesn’t taste bad either.
Unsalted nuts can satisfy your snack craving too, and those high in omega-3 fatty acids improve skin’s elasticity by promoting collagen production. Walnuts have the highest omega-3 fatty acid content.
Spikes in blood sugar are also caused by food with high-glycemic content. Starches like white pasta, bread, and rice are linked to acne-causing inflammation.
Alternative: Whole grain pastas, bread, and rice contain less sugars and are complex carbs that will keep your energy pumping for longer throughout the day.
Watch what and how much of it you’re drinking. It is easy to take in an incredible amount of sugar through beverages without noticing, in fact, it’s probably what is worth watching the most. Added sugars cause inflammation and dehydrate the body. This is especially true for drinking alcohol, which dehydrates you and thus speeds up the process of aging.
Alternative: Drink natural juices, but always focus on drinking enough water throughout the day to remain hydrated. Drinking enough water keeps your skin feeling elasticized and healthy, and makes you feel more alert throughout the day. Green tea is also high in anti-oxidants, which will reduce redness. The calming sensation of green tea is an added bonus.
Many people find that reducing or removing dairy from their diet dramatically improves their skin tone.
Alternatives: If your skin improves by cutting out or down on dairy, replace milk’s calcium and Vitamin D by getting it from other sources, like dark leafy greens, broccoli, and almonds. High levels of vitamin D are found in eggs and mushrooms among other places.
Improving your diet for your skin health shouldn’t feel like a cruel trial, and should dramatically improve your lifestyle. Healthy skin is great for self-confidence, and being better hydrated reduces day-time sleepiness and provides you with more energy throughout the day. Alternatives to rise-and-fall beverage and snacks are the hardest habit to change, but healthy skin, plentiful energy, and leveled moods will show themselves sooner than you think.