Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Is Your Diet Affecting Your Skin?

Your diet is helping slim your waistline and keep you staying healthy, but if you’re not careful, you could be depriving your body of essential vitamins and antioxidants that keep your skin glowing. Read on to see if your diet passes the test!

Mediterranean Diet
This diet emphasizes fish, leafy greens, olive oil, fruit and red wine, all of which are heart-healthy options that may also protect against melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Eating fish helps skin keep its elasticity, while leafy greens such as spinach and olive oil protect against UV damage.

Doctor’s Orders: Red wine contains an antioxidant that your skin loves, but drinking too much can leave your skin dry.

Vegetarian/Vegan Diet
Fresh produce and whole grains contain an abundance of antioxidants that neutralize free radicals that are known to cause aging. Plant-based protein sources such as beans not only contain pimple-fighting zinc but also decrease inflammation that causes redness and premature wrinkles.

Doctor’s Orders: This diet is typically low in fat, but including ground flaxseeds and olive and safflower oils helps your skin stay hydrated.

High Protein, Low Carb Diet
Minimizing your intake of bread and pasta can decrease the secretion of the stress hormone cortisol, which in turn may reduce breakouts. Whole grains, fresh produce and lean meats provide you with antioxidants and collagen-building protein.

Doctor’s Orders: It’s important to limit your intake of red meat because animal fat can increase free radicals that age your skin.

Low Fat Diet
Vegetable oils contain linoleic acid, which strengthens the skin barrier that keeps moisture in and irritants out.

Doctor’s Orders: Cutting back on animal fat keeps free radicals in check, but your skin needs fat because it helps absorb antioxidants and fat-soluble vitamins as well as strengthen your skin cells. Focus on unsaturated fats such as olive oil, nuts and foods rich in omega-3.

High Carb Diet
Carbohydrates that act like fiber keep you feeling full, which help you resist snacks with high fat and sugar counts that produce oil and clog pores.

Doctor’s Orders: Be sure you are getting enough lean protein and fresh produce that arm your skin with antioxidants and skin-strengthening fats.

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