It’s easy to forget that what you put into your body plays a huge part in how your body feels and how well it performs. As guys we get focused on our protein intake when we are hitting the gym regularly and obsessed with seeing ‘gains’, but do we ever consider the impact of what we eat on our skin?
When you get caught up in the day-to-day, you can lose sight of the importance of watching what you eat. Cooking real foods from scratch can become a burden to fit into a busy schedule which tempts us to opt for quick and easy options that are often processed or unhealthy.
For some of us food is simply a fuel that provides energy. For others its an obsession and eating is the best part of the day. Whatever your relationship is with food, pivot it into a healthy one and constantly assess what you are feeding your body. This is the first step for reviving your appearance and overall health.
To make things easier for you, we have put together a list of foods you should eat and foods you should avoid if you want better and healthy skin. Time to adjust your regular grocery list!
Best Foods to Eat For Healthy Skin
These food-related decisions will help you achieve and maintain better skin:
- Eat tomatoes. They are high in vitamin C and contain a all the major carotenoids which can protect your skin from sun damage and prevent skin wrinkling.
- Eat berries. Berries like raspberries, blueberries and blackberries are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants. Antioxidants play a huge part in helping to eliminate toxins from the body. As you may know, toxins are dangerous and contribute to all sorts of negative symptoms, including tiredness, weakened immune system, and even tainted blood.
- Eat enough fiber every day. High fiber foods are effective at aiding digestion, controlling blood sugar and allowing the body to get rid of free radicals that can wreak havoc on your system. When you eat foods high in fiber, your strengthened health is reflected in your skin too. Great choices include whole grains and vegetables like broccoli.
- Eat oily fish like salmon. Eating salmon can help lower inflammation and the acne linked IGF-1 protein. There are even indications that the rich source of omega-3 in oily fish like salmon means these foods can help to manage your skin’s oil production, improve your skin’s hydration, and prevent premature skin aging. Not a bad set of benefits for something that is so tasty!
- Eat healthy fats. Foods like avocados contain healthy fats that can boost the health of your skin and keep it flexible and moisturized. Avocados in particular are also a great source of vitamin E – looks like its time to up your guacamole or eggs with smashed avocados
- Eat dark chocolate. Finally a cheat food made the list! Dark chocolate is high in antioxidants due to the cocoa content. These antioxidants can improve blood flow, skin hydration, skin texture, wrinkles and skin thickness. On caveat is that chocolate has been linked to increased acne, so if you suffer from too many pimples then it may be best to leave this off the list.
- Drink green tea. It’s because of antioxidants again! Green tea contains something called catechins and these powerful compounds can boost skin health in ways such as elasticity, hydration and improved thickness.
- Eat nuts, especially walnuts. Nuts are crammed with healthy vitamins and minerals that are great for your skin. Take walnuts for example, eating them regularly will boost zinc, vitamin E, protein, selenium and essential fats.
- Drink lots of water. Water clearly has many benefits for the body, but when it comes to your skin you need to drink enough to flush toxins from your system and keep you skin hydrated. You should aim to drink at least 2 liters per day; more if you are exercising. Don’t get reckless though - there is such a thing as drinking too much water and you can imbalance your electrolytes
Foods to Avoid if you Want Healthy Skin
- Processed foods. In lots of cases, processed foods contain ingredients that the human body just doesn’t know what to do with. When you eat them, the body just holds on to what it can’t process. In such cases, you really don’t know what kind of impact those ingredients are having on your system.
- Foods high in refined sugar. All sugar is bad, but refined sugar can be especially problematic. It encourages inflammation so can make worse conditions like acne, eczema and psoriasis. Foods that are guilty of being high in refined sugars include cereals, sodas, white bread and candy.
- Avoid too much dairy. Dairy products usually contain casein and whey protein which can influence a hormonal change in your body. The result can be more oil production and higher rates of acne. Recent studies suggest that cutting down dairy can have a noticeable impact for people suffering from acne.
- Alcohol. You should moderate your alcohol intake anyway, but when it comes to your skin too much alcohol can lead to dehydration and so those wrinkles are going to be more visible.
- Salty snacks. I know we keep ruling out comfort foods, but salty snacks can lead to water retention and this is not good for the skin.
Foods high in Omega-6. These include things like mayonnaise and salad dressings. They can cause inflammation which is a major enemy for the skin.
All in all it’s not too difficult to have and maintain a diet that your skin will thank you for. The key is balance and moderation paired with some strategic inclusions and exclusions. By making just a few changes to what you eat, you’ll enable your body to function well and your skin to maintain a healthy glow.
When changing your diet, it can be easier if you implement just one change at a time. Once that change becomes a habit, you can make another change and repeat this process until you achieve your goal. Your skin will show the results before you know it.
For more general information about looking after your skin, visit our main skin care for men blog page.