We’re all searching for the secret to healthy skin. More often than not, it begins with what you eat. You’ve likely heard of a “plant-based diet”—but have you thought about what it can do for your skin?
Consuming a balanced intake of nourishing foods will help to play an essential role in your skin’s health. So, if you’re looking to improve the condition of your skin and preserve your skin’s youthful appearance for longer, could a plant-based diet offer you the solution?
What is a plant-based diet?
A plant-based diet is one consisting mostly or entirely of foods derived from plants, including vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and fruits (a plant-based diet is not necessarily vegetarian). It can have important benefits for your skin.
It’s a great way to increase your intake of beneficial fruits and vegetables which are packed full of vitamins and antioxidants, nourishing your body both inside and out.
They can help to:
● Reduce acne and breakouts
●Hydrate and plump your skin
●Provide a healthy “glow”
●Protect against premature ageing
Could a plant-based diet help my skin look healthier?
Absolutely. Eating more fruit and veg can make your skin glow within a matter of weeks, according to new research. Experts from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland discovered after six weeks of increasing their regular servings of fruits and vegetables; participants showed changes to their skin usually associated with a healthy radiance.
This is because the majority of the antioxidants which neutralise free radicals found to help promote natural glowing skin comes from plants. These antioxidants help to reduce inflammation in the body and encourage collagen generation – helping to make the skin look natural and healthy.
From vitamin C in citrus fruits to vitamin A found in leafy greens, eating a balanced diet will make sure you’re getting all the nutrients and antioxidants you need for healthier-looking skin.
What else can I eat or drink for healthy skin?
Drinking plenty of water throughout the day will help to keep your skin plump and healthy. Eight glasses of water (or two litres) is typically recommended per day. Drinking green tea can also help you in your quest for glowing skin. It’s been found to improve it’s moisture, thickness and elasticity - all of which are all so important for healthy skin.
You might also be surprised to find out that eating dark chocolate (without dairy) can also help your skin. Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants, and research has found that those who consume it every day have more resilient and healthier skin. To get the most benefits, it’s best to go for dark chocolate that contains at least 70% cocoa content and minimal sugar.
It’s not just what you do eat that matters, it’s what you don’t eat.
How dairy and sugar could affect your skin
Studies have shown that consuming dairy products, such as cheese and milk, may trigger breakouts due to their high levels of proteins.
A hormone similar to Insulin called IGF-1 is released when we digest these proteins. And it is precisely these hormones that can confuse our body’s endocrine system and have a knock-on effect on our hormone levels, causing skin breakouts.
Sugar could also cause insulin levels to rise, which can increase the inflammation in the skin. And as inflammation is a key ingredient in the development of acne, you could up see flare-ups on your skin.
What are healthy alternatives to dairy?
If the thought of eliminating out all dairy products right away seems daunting, you can ease into it. The best method for eliminating dairy from your diet involves not cutting them out but instead replacing with non-dairy alternatives.
From soy, rice, almond and coconut milk to non-dairy based cheese’s, yoghurts and ice creams there are all sorts of non-dairy products available at natural food stores and most supermarkets.
If, for example, you frequently consume whole milk, yoghurt, ice cream, cheese and butter, it might be that yoghurt and cheese are the only foods that you’re especially fond of. So, get rid of the others, and you’re immediately more than halfway to being dairy-free!
Are you already experiencing the benefits of a plant-based diet? Or perhaps thinking of making the change? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.