What Diet Is Best for the Skin?
Nutrition is the most important thing for health. It affects our metabolism, our hormones, and our organs. What's more, our skin is the largest organ we have. The best diet for the skin is one that's rich in nutritious, unprocessed foods and focuses on ingredients in their natural forms.
In short, the Mediterranean diet is best for the skin. Rich in nuts, beans, fish, olive oil, whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables, the Mediterranean diet is nutrient-dense and low in meat and dairy, which is ideal for skin nutrition.
Foods like dairy, gluten, refined sugar and saturated fats are classed as ‘allergens’ for the skin by dermatologists, which means that they are commonly linked to skin issues like acne, dryness and inflammation.
This is all because of the effects of food on our hormones.
Dairy cows are treated with artificial hormones to keep them pregnant all the time so that they can produce milk. When we drink this milk, we ingest some of these hormones, which can throw our own hormones off balance. You don’t need to cut dairy completely out of your diet, but the best options for your skin are plant-based alternatives (almond milk, cashew milk, soy milk, margarine, vegan cheese etc.)
Refined sugar is absorbed quickly into the bloodstream, which rapidly raises blood sugar levels and insulin levels. Insulin makes androgens more active, increasing the production of sebum and leading to skin problems like acne.
Reducing your intake of refined sugar will come easily when you switch processed foods for whole foods and will help improve skin complexion.
Saturated fats are found in meat, poultry, dairy, fish, eggs, corn, sunflower oils and coconut oil. If we pair a diet rich in saturated fat with a diet that lacks omega-3 rich foods (fish, nuts, seeds and plant-oils), this causes an imbalance that triggers insulin levels to rise. Like with refined sugar, this makes androgens more active, which increases the production of sebum and can lead to the formation of acne.
Gluten has also been linked to poor skin health because of its inflammatory properties. The elimination diet would work well for gluten; cut out gluten (bread, pasta, cereals etc.) for a little while and see if it has any effects on your skin.