Diet & Foods Impact On Your Skin – Healthy Cooking Ideas
You Too Can Cook Your Way to Clear, Great Looking Skin
If you buy into the theories of futurist Ray Kurzweil, there’ll soon come a day when we’ll be able to eat whatever we want while living longer, healthier lives in better-looking bodies. In this vision of the future, tiny robots inside our bodies—nanobots—will optimize our health for us. They’ll make sure our cells get all the raw materials they need, safely remove all harmful waste, and repair all cellular damage from acne to pancreatic cancer.
Just imagine. A world where you never worried about nutrition—or breakouts. Something else, huh?
But in today’s reality, this vision of the not-too-distant future seems like a science fiction pipedream. The only way to ensure your body stays at optimal health is to get personally involved. And, regrettably, this means being careful about what you eat.
So, what’s the best way to eat carefully? It’s a simple 3-step plan, really. Avoid the bad, enjoy the good, and make it yourself to ensure you get what you want—good food that helps you have great skin.
But wait, you say, what if I can’t cook? Don’t worry. We’ve got great tips to help with that, too.
Avoiding the bad
First, stop putting things into your body that might taste great but aren’t doing your skin any favors.
Refined foods have to go. Processed carbohydrates and sugars cause your blood glucose to spike when you digest them. Not only are you risking type 2 diabetes, but you’re damaging your skin’s collagen and elastin in the process.
It might surprise you to learn that some consider acne to be a first world problem. Although not unheard of in the developing world, acne is more common in nations where processed foods are consumed more widely. When your blood sugar spikes, so do your androgen and insulin levels, leading to more acne.
But if you think eating fruit will cure the sugar problem, you should know that fructose also raises your blood sugar, leading to the same problems. Swapping out junk food for fruit is a good thing in general. Just do it in moderation.
Another thing to avoid is milk. A lot of dairy cattle in the US are raised with injected hormones that find their way into the milk and survive the pasteurization process. In humans, these hormones promote inflammation and skin oil production, thereby leading to more breakouts.
This last point might tempt you to give up butter and start using a non-dairy spread instead. But it turns out that margarine may not be too great for your skin either. The trans fats found in margarine can inhibit normal hydration of skin cells, leading to more wrinkling.
So what should you be spreading on your toast? Follow your heart. Pick a preference and go for it. As with fruit, just keep moderation firmly in mind.
Enjoying the good
As you dial back or eliminate the bad stuff from your diet, it’s time to replace it all with things that will be better for your skin.
Side benefit: doing so is better for your health all around. Don’t be surprised if you have more energy and less weight when you do this.
Here’s a brief list of foods that are great for your skin:
- Olive oil – for monounsaturated fatty acids that reduce the signs of aging, as well as antioxidant polyphenols to keep free radicals in check
- Tomatoes – for the antioxidant lycopene, nature's SPF
- Green tea, green and yellow vegetables – for even more antioxidants
- Dark chocolate – for flavanols that help hydrate your skin and improve circulation
- Sardines, Walnuts – for omega-3 fatty acids rich in DHA, an anti-inflammatory that’s great at fighting acne
- Grass-fed beef – for even more omega-3 with your protein
- Eggs – for lots of protein without a lot of fat
- Chickpeas – for a high protein with a low–glycemic load, preventing the blood sugar spikes that can aggravate acne
- Kale – for lutein and zeaxanthin which both help get rid of free radicals
- Savory herbs like rosemary - for reduced risk of melanoma
- Water - for skin hydration
- Soy - for aglycone to improves skin elasticity
- Oysters – for zinc, deficiencies of which might be linked to causing acne
- Kiwi – for vitamin C which stimulates collagen synthesis
- Cooked pumpkin – for beta-carotene that your body converts into vitamin A which is essential for the growth of new skin cells
- Carrots – for carotenoid which gives you a natural, healthy glow
- Sunflower seeds – for vitamin E to help clear up pimples
- Mackerel – for vitamin B12 which promotes even skin tone
For those who don’t cook
If you’re serious about eating right to improve your skin, then you’ve got to get your hands dirty in the process. It’s okay, though. You can wash up as you go along.
The best way to control what goes into your body is to take complete control of everything going into your body. No more relying on fast food or frozen meals, because every time you opt for a cop-out meal you put your skin at risk. Whether you’re eating from a burger joint or the freezer aisle, you’ve got no control over what you’re consuming anymore. And no control over what it does to your skin.
Fortunately, even if you have little to no experience in the kitchen, it’s easy to learn a few basic, tasty recipes to get started. Just remember, this isn’t rocket science. Your ancestors have been doing it for thousands of years. You can do it too.
Getting started in the kitchen
If you feel like your kitchen is lacking in equipment, it doesn’t take much to make it functional. It’s amazing what you can pull off with a decent knife and a frying pan.
Start small and work your way up. And only buy what you’re going to use. Don’t foresee a lot of baking in your future? Great! No need to buy mixing bowls, cooling racks, or muffin tins.
If you’re looking for a great list of cooking staples for under $300, this article from Kitchn is worth the read.
Online cooking resources
Back in the day, if you wanted to learn how to cook for yourself, you usually had to play nice and ask an older relative like your mom or your grandma to teach you. And this would lead to days on end trapped in the kitchen with them, cooking things you’d never want to eat, and wondering if you’d ever see daylight again.
Lucky for you, they invented the internet. It’s literally chock full of useful information on any subject imaginable. Including cooking.
If this is all new to you, there are lots of YouTube cooking channels that aim a lot of their content at newbie chefs. If you want your teacher to have an English accent, celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube might be perfect for you. Or if you’re still low on gear, try a recipe or two from the One Pot Chef Show.
If you’ve been cooking for a bit and you think you’re ready to get serious about eating with your complexion in mind, there are channels for that, too. Try out Clean and Delicious or Sweet Potato Soul for more adventurous dishes with an emphasis on eating healthy.
Control your complexion by controlling your intake
Don’t wait for the nanobots to clear up your complexion. It might be a while before science gets its act together in that regard. Do it now. Take control of what you eat today for better-looking skin tomorrow.
Following our simple, 3-step plan. Eliminate junk from your diet. Eat healthier foods. And learn to cook health-conscious dishes for yourself. Stop damaging your skin from within and take full advantage of all the good stuff that comes from eating well.
Your skin will thank you for it.