Those of us interested in healthy lifestyles already know about the havoc that diets heavy in processed foods can wreak on our systems—but how much did you know about their effect on skin health and complexion
It turns out that when if comes to calming breakouts, it’s a bit more complicated than just cutting out the chocolate, as my mom used to tell me to do as a teenager. In fact, it turns out that chocolate itself gets a bad wrap, it’s actually the components of highly processed, low quality chocolate that’s giving you oily skin and blemishes—things like caffeine, sugar, and milk.
I’ll walk you through a few of those foods that you may already be aware of if you’re weight- and body-conscious, and explain how their effects may be manifesting themselves externally as well.
In addition to leading to the production of cortisol (the stress hormone), which can accelerate the process of aging, leading to thinner skin and wrinkles, caffeine is a diuretic, meaning it dehydrates you the more you drink. Anything dehydrating will leave your skin drier, duller, and more susceptible to pre-existing conditions like acne and eczema. If you absolutely can’t skip that morning coffee, at least try to counteract it by drinking lots of water, which will assist in detoxification and regulation of oil production.
Excess sugar in your system weakens the immune system, which will then provide a breeding ground for the bacteria that cause acne and inflammation. A spike in blood-sugar levels will also lead to the release of hormones that stimulate oil production, clogging pores and aging skin.
Many people, even if their unaware, have a slight intolerance to dairy, and their bodies can only handle small amounts. Consuming more than your system can tolerate can lead cysts forming on the skin and face, as well as a buildup of mucus in your digestive tract. In addition, most dairy cows are fed hormones to increase their milk production, which can then cause hormone imbalances in the humans that drink that milk, leading to acne and other health issues.
Fried Foods and Hydrogenated Fats
When fats and oils are exposed to certain levels of heat, such as for frying, they become oxidized and free radicals are created, which harm the skin and cause premature aging. Moreover, these fats lead to poor circulation and a weakened metabolism, which slows the production of proteins that keep the skin youthful and supple.
Processed foods pretty much take the cake, so to speak, when it comes to wrecking your system, skin and otherwise. Not only are processed foods depleted of their water and nutrient content, but they tend to be high in sugar, sodium, and hydrogenated fats, which will cause dehydration, slow your metabolism, and make blood-sugar levels spike.
If you’re feeling down about all the things I just told you not to eat, try some of these delicious recipes that will give your skin a healthy boost! And hey, maybe you can even finish with a chocolate bar, as long as it’s organic.