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The Impact Diet Can Have on Your Skin

The skin is the largest organ of the body but its is also the last place to receive nutrients. So, if your skin is supple, and looks all dewy and glowing, it generally means that your insides are in pretty good shape. However it is common for your skin to go through phases where it may not look as good, due to dietary changes, hormonal changes and even environmental changes.

One of the things we know for sure is that, what you put in your body matters, so does what you put on your body. Beauty products promising to rehydrate your skin are often laden with toxic ingredients that you probably can't even pronounce.

One of the functions of the skin is to eliminate toxic waste products through sweating. As toxins escape through the skin, the skin’s health integrity is disrupted. This is a key factor behind many skin disorders. The skin also breathes, If pores become blocked, microbes that are involved in causing skin conditions such as acne, flourish. Dirt , dust, oils and grime from pollution clog the pores, but this can be eliminated by cleansing the skin properly.

Acne

Many adolescents experience acne due to an increase in hormone production, which often leads to the overproduction of sebum that can cause blockages in the skins sebaceous glands. Poor diets that are nutrient deficient and include too much sugar, fat and alcohol can exacerbate the problem. For adults, acne often results from internal toxicity. Constipation, candida (a yeast overgrowth) or food intolerance can trigger the problem. Pre-menstrual women may also experience acne. The key factor in preventing flare ups is to look after your liver as once the liver becomes overloaded it starts dumping toxins into the skin.

Foods to Avoid

  • Sugar and foods high in sugar such as cakes, sweets, biscuits, fizzy drink.
  • Mass produced, pre-packaged meals, pies which are generally high in salt, sugar and fat.
  • Full fat cheese and dairy produce, all fried and greasy foods such as burgers.

Friendly “Skin” Foods

  • Cucumbers – contain silica, an ingredient that boosts moisture and elasticity as well as magnesium and potassium. The flesh of the cucumber is also largely water (96%) so aids hydration. Great to add to juices.
  • Celery makes an ideal liver cleansing food. Celery is high in vitamin C, B, and A and iron. Containing diuretic properties, celery can remove toxins and wastes from your body.
  • Beetroot, kale, celeriac and artichoke also great liver cleansers
  • Chickpeas, soya, black-eyed, haricot and cannellini beans as well as pulses help the body excrete excess hormones.
  • Miso and tempeh help regulate hormones.
  • Increase fruits and vegetables which will help to decrease toxicity. All fruits and vegetables are good for your skin but melons, especially water melons are particularly hydrating because of their high water content
  • Add a tablespoon of pre-soaked linseeds to porridge, muesli or natural low fat probiotic yoghurt to help increase bowel function which will assist in waste elimination.
  • Eat avocados which are rich in vitamin E, which nourishes the skin. The avocado is also
  • Liver, sweet potatoes, mangoes, squash, dark green leafy veg are all high in vitamin A which is essential for healthy skin.
  • Low levels of zinc may be responsible for acne during puberty. Include zinc rich foods such as pumpkin seeds, ginger root, pecans, brazil nuts, wholewheat, rye and oats.

Recommendations

  • Adopt a low-glycaemic load diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables and low in processed grains.
  • Eat a high fibre diet and increase your intake of raw food, especially fruit.
  • Water – Up to 60% of the body is made of water and for our body to function properly we need to be hydrated. Drink 8 good size glasses of water a day and ideally start the day off with water or hot water and a slice of lemon.
  • Avoid alcohol, butter, caffeine, cheese, chocolate, cream, eggs, fat, fried food, all forms of sugar and processed foods.
  • Do not touch the affected area unless your hands have been thoroughly cleaned.

Resources:

Balch P (2010) Prescriptions for Nutritional Healing. 5th edn. New York: Penguin Group. p151.

Courtney H (2009) 500 of the most important Health Tips You’ll Ever Need. London: CICO Books. P21. Murray M (2010) The Encyclopaedia of Healing Foods. London: Piatkus. P139

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