'An apple a day keeps the doctor away'
It is an all too familiar proverb but do you know what magical powers apple possess that keeps you away from the doctors with their pointy needles? Apples are rich in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds. They are also a great source of proteins and vitamins that allow your body to heal and repair. This includes skin repair and growth of new skin. But there are many more food items that can help you look gorgeous. And then there are items that can take away the glow from your skin, making you look dull, lethargic and older.
How food affects your skin?
The skin is the largest organ of the body and the most exposed as well. Your skin gives you your outer appearance and also protects you from harmful UV Rays, microbes and regulates body temperature. Your skin is basically the first line of defence. But your body sheds the outer layer of your skin every 2-4 weeks, to allow the growth of new skin. This new skin replaces your old damaged skin and continues protecting you. This is a complex process but what lies in the core of all this is the food you eat. Food brings the necessary nutrients that your body needs to continue this metabolism. Proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, fat and water.
These are formed of amino acids, these act as the building block of your skin, bone, hair and many more. Without proteins, your body won't be able to continue cell regeneration and repair activities. Also, these are essential to keep synthesizing your hormones, necessary enzymes and even your antibodies, the crucial part of your immunity.
The energy providers, carbohydrates include starch, fibre and sugar. Unlike its modern-day reputation, carbohydrates are absolutely essential in your diet. Without these, you'll feel lethargic and weak. Though there are different types of carbohydrates, eating the right kind will prevent your skin from breaking out.
The name might mislead you into believing that fat makes you fat. But the reality is that there are many types, and only a few of its kind are problematic. Fat are what keep you from crashing and assist in absorbing vitamins and minerals. They are the ones that give strength to your skin and keeps dirt and impurities out.
These are required in small quantities as they only play a minor role in the biosynthesis of energy and other compounds in your body. But nevertheless, essential. They allow your skin to repair. Vitamins make you look youthful and help in reducing unnecessary pigmentation.
These play a minor yet direct role in the formation of the skin itself. They maintain the pH level of your skin while facilitating regular cell functioning. They play a huge role in collagen and elastin formation, which are vital to your good looks. They support your skin and make you look youthful.
Foods that are bad for your skin
High Sugar foods – Sugar tends to activate an inflammatory response that makes your skin look inflamed. This leads to acne breakouts and worsens any pre-existing skin condition. High sugar foods also loosen your skin and aids in the formation of wrinkles. This includes white bread, soft drinks, cakes and many more.
Fried foods – Usually, fried items are high in bad cholesterol, which are low-density lipids (LDL). These might not directly affect your skin, but it does affect your metabolism, which will affect your hormones. And any hormone change can trigger acne formation.
Caffeine – People love tea and/or coffee, which are high in caffeine. But caffeine releases stress hormones in your bloodstream. These increase the amount of oil in your oil glands, which lead to the formation of excess sebum. This develops acne and also attracts dirt.
Alcohol – Booze dehydrates your skin. It also deprives your skin from necessary vitamins and minerals which support your skin. While drinking once in a long time is okay, frequent consumption of alcohol will make your face look bloated and chubby.
Foods that are Good for you
Curd/Yoghurt – These introduce good microbes in your gut which help clear out your stomach. This internal cleansing is essential to release all the toxins, thus preventing skin breakout, acne formation and even wrinkles.
Fruits – All fruits are a great source of antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties. They fight the free radicals and tighten your skin. They also promote skin growth and makes your skin clearer.
Green Tea – Substituting green tea for your other caffeinated beverage is a great source to cut down on skin ageing agents. They are rich in antioxidants and strengthen your skin.
Oils – Unlike contemporary beliefs, cooking food in Rice Bran, Mustard or coconut oil is actually much better than vegetable oils. They introduce good cholesterol in your body, which helps absorbs essential vitamins and minerals.
Lean proteins – Consuming products like fish, chicken or paneers instead of red meat and pork can go a long way in keeping your skin healthy. They are necessary for skin repair and regeneration.
Leafy vegetables – These are rich in antioxidants that fight off the excess free radicals that your body produces. They elevate your skin's strength and gives you natural protection from UV rays.
While there are many more food items with health benefits, its always better to read up about it and then consume it. The best food for you is a balanced diet, which includes the reds (e.g. carrot), the greens (e.g. spinach) and the whites (e.g. milk).