With growing awareness, people have become more health as well as beauty conscious. In this aesthetic-loving age, it is very essential to let people know that what they consider 'aesthetic' is also related to their skin.
Importantly, manifestations of your nutritional status as well as body's nutritional needs reflect on the skin's health.
Foods that disturb water balance
Dehydration causes drying of the skin. Wrinkling is a common side effect of lack of moisture in the skin. Dehydration and acne are interlinked because drying of skin and dead skin cells coming together cause acne.
Excess salt retains additional fluid in the body causing swelling and a puffy look to the skin. The skin texture is spoilt on prolonged salt abuse. Papads, pickles, salted foods, table salt, brined/canned food products are the potential sources of salt to the body.
Caffeine is a known stimulant which increase the cortisol production in the body and enhances the ageing process by thinning the skin. This dehydrates the skin and even leads to wrinkling. In addition, caffeine is a diuretic which further increases the risk of dehydration. So beware when you decide to go for an additional helping of coffee, tea or chocolates too!
Alcohol inhibits the Anti-Diuretic Hormone secretion thus causing dehydration. Furthermore, it also causes vasodilatation, which then leads to excess water loss through the skin.
Foods with high glycemic load
These foods cause drastic fluctuations in the blood sugar. This leads to excess secretion of insulin and androgens during the high and low bouts respectivel. A major reason to contribute to surplus sebum production, enhanced skin cell division and aggregation of dead skin cells - leading to acne.
Not literally only sugar, but even jaggery and honey!
Aerated drinks can be nightmarish for the skin. Exceptions are the so-called diet-cokes and the family. But their caffeine content makes them the villains for skin health.
Refined or processed foods like maida (refined flour) and its products, canned and sweetened fruits and juices are low in fiber content, thus increasing the glycemic load. Moreover the processed foods are often high in their salt/sodium content. As a by-product of processing, these also lose the nutrients of the parent food products important for skin health.
Foods that enhance free-radical production
Free radicals are known to disrupt the skin's structure by destroying collagen and elastin; the fibres that support the skin structure. They also cause damage at the cellular level by disturbing the DNA structure.
Consumption of red meat, especially fat-laden parts can lead to inflammatory reactions. This is by the virtue of saturated fat content of meats. In excess, free radicals generated overpowers the anti-oxidation capacity of the free radical scavengers in the body.
Fried foods and hydrogenated fat
Excess heat application like during frying of foods and production of hydrogenated fat (margarine, vanaspati ghee) leads to oxidation of fatty acids and destruction of anti-oxidant nutrients like vitamin E, omega-3 fats present in the oils/fat.
Excess use of artificial sweeteners/colours/flavours
These chemicals lodge into our systems and are difficult to flush out of our body. Overuse and inability to flush them out in time could be the pre-cursor for free radical production.
Crash diets affect skin health through all the 3 mechanisms discussed before. Dehydration is a side effect of crash dieting. Studies suggest that consuming lot of water throughout this phase barely helps and this is because body doesn't retain water due to nutritional deprivation and lack of balanced meals.
Crash diets are known to cause dramatic fluctuations in blood sugar levels, no wonder acnes are so common amongst anorexics and bulemics.
Skin requires antioxidant nutrients (Vitamins A, C, E, zinc, selenium, etc.) that scavenge the free radicals.
Source : Times Of India.