Some dermatologists may contend the jury is still out on whether diet affects your complexion, but we've been conducting our own research – in our homes and on ourselves – and the judgment is unanimous. A healthy diet is synonymous with gorgeous skin. Just ask raw foodists where they get their luminous glow.
A study at Colorado State University concluded that the consumption of all those processed sugary and starchy foods we're surrounded by like candy bars, chips, doughnuts, soda, pizza and white breads takes a toll with acne. Researchers arrived at their findings after studying 1,200 Kitavan Islanders of Papua New Guinea where they didn't find so much as one person with acne. And they're pretty sure it's not just good genes, as the Eskimos too had flawless skin until they started adapting to a Western diet... and it was all downhill from there.
What do those Papua New Guineans eat? Well, they rarely if at all consume refined carbohydrates or any processed food. Hmm... something to think about.
And here are a few more things to test in your own test tube kitchen if you're after flawless skin.
- Vitamin A from Cartenoids: deals with inflammation, encourages cell turnover (for natural exfoliation) and strengthens your skin's defenses against clogged pores. Add a spinach or kale salad with tomatoes to your daily diet and see what happens. Reap all the benefits of vitamin A by pairing it with zinc, which helps the transportation of vitamin A from your liver to all of your tissues, including your skin.
- Which brings us to Zinc: an acne combatant, zinc helps regulate sebum production, stopping shine and preventing more breakouts. Add 1 cup chickpeas or 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds to that salad we were talking about for skin that glows without looking greasy.
- Omega-3s: The right oils can help replenish lipid-starved skin from the inside, sealing in moisture and soothing inflammation that can result from dryness. Consider adding flax oil to the dressing in the aforementioned salad to quench your skin.
- Whole Grains: if you (or your teen) have acne prone skin, try this experiment. Cut refined carbs from your diet in favor of high-fiber grains and let's talk in 12 weeks. If you don't have half as many pimples by then... well, we'll be surprised. All those processed carbs cause your pancreas to send out a surge of insulin, triggering a hormonal reaction that increases oil production and tells cells to multiply — all of which gridlocks those pores.
- Ahh, Probiotics: these beneficial bacterias help keep skin soft. When your intestines are working right, they can better absorb all of the nutrients your skin needs from your diet. Keeping that salad in mind, you can get your probiotic fix by adding a helping of tempeh or fermented veggies such as pickles or sauerkraut. Or, if you're on the train, have a kombucha on the side!
All of this adds up to one damn good salad... in addition to your radiant skin.
For more skin care tips, check out Organic Skin Care Solutions.
image: Winelblat Eugene