The epidermis is the largest organ and one of the most obvious places on our body that shows any signs of stress, disease, poor eating/lack of nutrition and so forth. Experts advise drinking plenty of water and consuming healthy foods in order to maintain a glowing complexion and smooth elastic skin, but we tend to forget that it isn’t simply about eating the right foods – it’s also important that we avoid consuming too much of the wrong things. Keep in mind that you don’t have to completely stop eating your favorite foods – just try to decrease the amounts that you take in and instead substitute them with healthier options. Not only will your skin thank you but you’ll feel a lot better, inside and out.
Salt: According to an article in Woman’s Day, consuming more than 1,500 mg of sodium a day can lead to high blood pressure, which weakens your skin and affects collagen levels. It’s also responsible for wrinkles around the eye area, along with puffiness. Yes, this one is hard to avoid in entirety since it’s in practically everything, but some options include using potassium salt instead of regular salt to season your foods. You can purchase potassium salt at any health store or in the condiment section near the salt. Potassium salt is much better for you and still helps give your food a slight zest if you’re looking for that salty taste. You can also use this as a chance to experiment with herbs in your cooking, which contain plenty of flavoring that is delicious and not as harmful.
Sugar: Yep, another one of our favorite vices. Sugar in excess affects blood vessels and speeds up the aging process of your skin, overloading your insulin pathway. Find ways to decrease the amount of sugar in your diet by choosing safer and more natural sweetening substitutes, like agave syrup. When you’re feeling the urge to reach for something sweet, opt for fruit. Natural sugars are more complex and are processed slowly by the body, which prevents an overload of sugar that ages the skin faster.
Coffee: Drinking coffee actually dehydrates your body, which dries out your skin and makes it less plump. In addition, it stains your teeth, which is another beauty challenge you have to deal with. Try drinking green tea or jasmine tea, which contain antioxidants and tend to dehydrate skin to a lesser degree compared to their lower caffeine content. If you absolutely refuse to part with your daily Starbucks ritual, make sure that you moisturize your skin on a regular basis and drink more water in order to counteract the dehydrating property of coffee.
Red Meat: We all love a good steak here and there, but eating too much can lead to wrinkles due to the high levels of carnitine, which harden blood vessels in the skin. Protein is important, but you can get that in a lot of other ways by consuming alternative sources such as seafood, tofu and dairy products.
Spicy Food: While foods with spice and peppers are good for a metabolism boost, they can have negative effects on your skin. Consuming too much spicy food can dilate the blood vessels in your skin (especially if you have a pale complexion) and can cause flare-ups of rosacea.