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  • Srdjan Savic

The Good Skin Diet

Are you washing your face properly and never picking at blemishes but are still breaking out? What you put on your plate has a big part to play in achieving good skin care. Keep reading to learn about the foods that rejuvenate your skin and which ones wreak havoc on it.


Fill your plate with…..


Omega-3s


Why?


Foods with “healthy fats” (aka omega-3 fatty acids)- such as avocadoes, flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts and wild salmon- are anti-inflammatory. Eating them helps halt the breakdown of collagen, a skin-firming protein. That, in turn, helps prevent fine lines.


How much should I eat?


Try for at least 2 servings of fish per week (salmon is one of the best sources of omega 3). Not a seafood fan? Eat a snack with healthy fat, like a handful of walnuts, daily.



Antioxidants


Why?


Vitamins A and C counter skin-cell damaging free radicals in your body- but that’s not all. Vitamin A, found in butternut squash, carrots, sweet potatoes and rockmelon, can help reduce inflammation and encourage cell turnover, thereby reducing your risk of breakouts.


How much should I eat?


Depending on your age and physical condition (smokers, for example, may require more antioxidants than non-smokers), the amount varies. Consider slicing kiwi into yoghurt for breakfast; one whole fruit delivers 100% of most people’s daily value for vitamin C. As for vitamin A, try half a cup of rockmelon a day.



Cruciferous Vegetables


Why?


Broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and kale contain a phytonutrient called sulforaphane, which can stimulate liver detoxification of hormones. This process helps eliminate excess storage of the hormone estrogen, which may lead to blemishes.


How much should I eat?


Aim for a salad the size of two open palms containing the aforementioned vegetables every day. If the monotony wears on you, steam them, blend them and toss them into a smoothie, the ground greenery will add thickness if not flavour.



Lean Protein


Why?


Eating lean meat from grass-fed animals, organic chicken and wild fish helps stabilise blood sugar, combating insulin spikes that jump-start inflammation. And remember: the more inflammation in your body, the more prone you’ll be to acne and collagen loss.


How much should I eat?


Though the amount of lean protein your body needs is based on your weight ,health goals and physical condition, it is recommended that you get 25-30% of your daily kilojoules from protein. You can incorporate protein shakes, but try to avoid a sugary or too-rich dairy base.


What you should cut back on….


Sweets


Why?


A spike in blood sugar can trigger an inflammatory response. The worst offenders: high-sugar lollies, fruit juices and soft drinks. Extra sugar in your bloodstream can degrade proteins such as skin-firming collagen and keratin in a process called glycation.


High insulin levels can also stimulate the production of androgens, hormones that may cause acne flare-ups. If you need a sugar fix, indulge a few times a week, at the most.


How can I cheat?


Curb your sweet tooth with fresh fruit. If you’re going to eat a cookie, make it a small one with high-quality ingredients (e.g. raw butter and antioxidant-rich dark chocolate). When you can’t resist that slice of birthday cake (no judgement), make sure you increase your daily intake of those “good fats”, which can stabilise the influx of sugar and quell further cravings.



Processed foods


Why?


Most contain man-made fats and oils such as canola and soybean, which can trigger inflammation. They’re also often high in sodium which makes the body retain water and can cause your skin to look puffy. How much less are we talking about? Aim to make processed foods a once-a-week rather than once-a-day occurrence.


How can I cheat?


If you do nothing else, cut “white foods” such as white bread, sweetened cereals, white rice: They break down fast, requiring your body to release extra insulin, speeding up inflammation.



Dairy


Why?


In a word, pimples. If you are prone to breakouts and acne, you could try eliminating some dairy products and observe how your skin reacts. Consider other sources of calcium such as almond milk, sheep or goat’s cheese and leafy greens.


How can I cheat?


You could get a taste by treating dairy as a condiment (sprinkle cheese over vegetables) occasionally.



Wine


Why?


Sadly, vino is basically fermented sugar. Excess wine consumption leads to more pronounced lines, droopy eyelids and dehydrated skin. Wine also kills good bacteria in the gut, allowing the bad kind to multiply, which can cause a low level of toxicity that can turn out the lights on your complexion. Aim to cut down to one glass, no more than 3 days a week.


How can I cheat?


Keep in mind that dry red wine is less acidic than a sweeter white variety.






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