People today are tremendously conscious about beauty and health because of growing awareness in the mass. It is important to inform people about the real meaning of “Aesthetic” and especially when it is related to the skin in the modern aesthetic–loving age. Accordingly, display of the nutritional standard and the body’s nutritional requirements are mirrored perfectly on the health of the skin.
In this context, Priya Jain, Dietician, P D Hinduja National Hospital & MRC, Mahim, Mumbai explains her concern on 10 food items that are harmful to your skin.
Foods that Create Disorders in Water Balance
Dehydration results in dryness of the skin. Appearance of wrinkles is a common side effect, which is due to lack of moisture present in the skin. Drying of the skin and dead skin cells collaborate to the appearance of acne, which is also linked to dehydration.
Surplus salt in the food helps retain extra fluid in the body, which causes bloated and swelling feature of the skin. The skin texture is damaged on continued intake of surplus salt. Items like pickles, papad, salted food, brined or canned food items, table salt are possible sources of acute salt abuse.
Caffeine acts as a stimulant and helps increase cortisol production in the system, which in turn accelerates ageing process as the skin becomes thinner. The process dehydrates the skin, which results in the appearance of wrinkles. Additionally, caffeine works as a diuretic and enhances the possibility of further dehydration. Hence, you need to be careful enough in accepting additional intake of tea, coffee and chocolate drinks as well.
Alcohol effectively reduces anti-diuretic hormone secretion, which results in dehydration. Since alcohol causes vasodilatation, it leads to additional fluid loss through the skin. American Academy of Dermatology confirms the effect of alcohol to be responsible for acute stages of psoriasis in some patients.
Foods that Contain High Glycemic Content
These types of foods are responsible to cause severe fluctuations in the blood sugar level of the body. It produces surplus secretion of insulin and androgen in course of high and low spells correspondingly. It also amounts to the key reason in contributing excessive sebum production with greater skin cell division and collection of dead skin cells resulting in acne.
It is not only sugar, but also honey and jaggery as well.
Aerated drinks are terrible things for the skin. However, there are exceptions in the list such as diet-cokes and so on. However, be careful about the caffeine content in these drinks, which is really bad for your skin.
Products those are refined or processed such as refined flour or Maida and its varieties, sweetened and canned juices and fruits have low fiber content, but are high in glycemic content. Additionally, all the processed foods are found to contain high sodium or salt content. Packaged food loses the nutrient value considerably as it undergoes processing and hence, does not contribute to the improvement of the health of the skin.
Food that Increases the Production of Free-radicals
Free-radicals are harmful for health of the skin as it interrupts the structure of the skin by wiping out collagen and elastin; fibers, which are responsible for supporting the structure of the skin. They are also known to cause harm at the cellular level by interfering with the DNA structure.
The intake of red meat especially the fatty portion is harmful and known to create inflammatory reactions due to the presence of saturated fat content of the meat. If it is consumed in excessive quantity, free radicals overwhelm the anti-oxidation capacity of free radical searchers in the body system.
Fried Food & Hydrogenated Fat
The use of excessive heat during the frying process of different food items and of the manufacture of hydrogenated fat such as vanaspati, ghee and margarine results in oxidation of fatty acids and damage of anti-oxidant nutrients like Vitamin E and Omega-3 fats in oils and fat. The production of trans-fatty acids supports the generation of free radicals by helping the oxidation process. From now on, think twice when you decide to buy margarine over butter as the healthier product.
Excessive Use of Artificial Flavors or Colors or Sweeteners
When you consume artificial colors or flavors or sweeteners, they stick to the stomach bed and become difficult to flush them out of our body system. Failure in flushing them out may lead to production of free radicals in the body.
Crash Food Diet
The harmful effect of crash food diet has already been discussed above. Dehydration is one important side effect of having crash diets. Reports authenticate that intake of water is of little help in this situation as the body system refuses to retain fluid due to nutritional deficiency and absence of balanced diet.
Crash diets are believed to affect blood sugar levels, which is why there is outburst of acnes in anorexics and bulemics. The skin needs the care of antioxidant nutrients such as Vitamin A, C, E with Zinc, Selenium and so on that search for free radicals.
The Journal of Investigative Dermatology, February, 2005 describes that a long-term Vitamin C and Vitamin E therapy is fruitful in reducing occurrences of sunburns due to UVB exposure. Vitamins with antioxidant properties are capable of protecting the DNA damage by protecting the skin structure. Crash diets contain deficiency in nutrient value and therefore, lack in antioxidant properties.