We’ve said it time and time again: what you put into your body has a major impact on what appears on the outside.
“Skin is the largest organ in our body and reflects our overall well-being”, says Ringaile Sirvaitis, Certified Nurse Practitioner at Apex Dermatology in Concord. “The foods and drinks we consume directly impact what our skin looks like on a day-to-day basis. Nutrition has a very strong correlation with various skin conditions such as acne, premature aging, and other inflammatory skin conditions.”
This is why it’s not always wise to only rely on external medicines in order to aid skin conditions, but rather to use them in unison with foods that can support healthy skin from the inside out.
Born in Lithuania, she has resided in the United States since 1999. In addition to English, she is fluent in Lithuanian and Russian. For many years, her passion and interests were focused on health, and more specifically, on beautiful skin.
Ringaile says, “It gives me huge satisfaction to see my patients looking and feeling better.”
During her advanced nursing training she studied in the dermatology department of Cleveland Clinic. Her diverse background and expertise in skin care gives her an excellent platform for sharing her knowledge and educating patients about the preservation, nurture, and well being of the skin.
And that includes which foods and drinks can help your skin in the long run.
What foods are good for skin overall?
Your skin is comprised of many layers and in order to properly care for them, they need nutrients that supports them.
When you want to buy foods and drinks that are good for your skin look for:
- Fatty fish – such as salmon (wild-caught better than farm-raised to avoid hormones and antibiotics), mackerel, herring, sardines. These fish are rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids that act as building blocks for healthy skin cells and maintain a healthy skin barrier.
- Eggs – are protein rich and contain biotin, a B vitamin that is essential for healthy hair, skin and nails
- Grass-fed meat that does not contain hormones or antibiotics
- Vegetables, such as dark leafy greens, spinach, broccoli, green beans, peppers, sweet potato, tomato, carrots, squash, pumpkin – contain antioxidants, minerals and vitamins as well as fiber.
- Fruits – lemon, papaya, avocado, orange, watermelon, honeydew, mango, pomegranate, apple, kiwi, apricot, banana, organic berries (blueberries, raspberries, goji berries, acai berries, cranberries, strawberries, bilberries) – contain antioxidants, are rich in vitamins and minerals, are anti-inflammatory and high in fiber.
- Mushrooms – rich in vitamin D
- Whole grains, beans and legumes – high in B-group vitamins, iron, calcium, phosphorus, zinc and magnesium. Good source of folate. Low in saturated fat.
- Almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, sunflower, sesame and pumpkin seeds – contain natural fatty acids and vitamin E that helps to increase skin hydration and keeps away wrinkles and fine lines.
- Green tea contains antioxidant EGCG that fights DNA damage from UV rays to prevent skin cancer. Also has anti-inflammatory effect improving skin tone and reducing acne.
- Water has ability to flush toxins from our system, keeps our skin clean, well hydrated and more youthful.
What foods and drinks are bad for your skin?
It’s just as, if not more, important to understand which foods and drinks can also hurt you in your quest for perfect skin.
These are foods and beverages you should consume in moderation if you want to maintain healthy skin:
- Refined carbohydrates – white flour foods such as white bread, pasta and white rice have a high glycemic index. This causes an insulin surge after consumption and leads to production of androgen hormones that cause sebaceous glands to produce more oil and cause acne.
- Sugar/corn syrup – soda, juices, sport drinks, protein-granola bars cause inflammation and destruction of collagen and elastin in the skin that leads to wrinkles and premature aging and also same mechanism as with refined carbs, where an increase in serum insulin leads to more oil production by sebaceous glands and the overproduction of oil leads to clogged pores and acne.
- Dairy products – high inflammatory food that will contribute to skin conditions such as acne, eczema and wrinkles.
- Overconsumption of alcohol – pro-inflammatory, causes dehydration, increases likelihood of broken capillaries due to skin vasodilation, increases skin dullness and wrinkle formation.