We cannot stop the aging process, but we can ensure we age gracefully. Adopting a healthy diet is one of the most effective ways to slow the signs of aging. Did you know certain seasonal foods can help your skin preserve and even enhance its radiant glow? But before you dive into the pumpkin pie, it's important to learn more about the effects seasonal foods can have and how to get the most out of them. In recognition of National Healthy Skin Month, here's how to keep your skin healthy from the inside out.
The air is crisp and clean, and the leaves are turning beautiful shades of gold and red, but for most of us, the month of November means festive holiday tables filled with delicious food – food that isn't necessarily always great for our skin. However, some of the most nutritionally dense fruits and vegetables are also coming into season.
The benefits of eating seasonal produce are endless. When your fruits and vegetables are in season, they are likely fresher and more flavorful. You can also supplement your diet with nutrients that might not be as prevalent in spring and summer produce. Many of these nutrients are particularly good for the skin.
Fall Foods for Healthy Skin
Limit your consumption of sugary, fatty, high-calorie foods and instead enjoy a fall harvest of seasonal fruits and vegetables. Here are some of the most skin-friendly autumnal foods you can enjoy at the Thanksgiving table and throughout the season.
Orange vegetables are high in vitamins that provide tremendous skin-nourishing benefits. Vitamin A is among the most potent nutrients for beautiful skin – it supports cell turnover and wound healing. It also facilitates the hydration of skin cells. One serving of butternut squash delivers the full recommended daily allowance of vitamin A.
Some of the other nutrients in butternut squash include magnesium, potassium, and vitamin C. This powerhouse vegetable can aid in managing blood pressure and diabetes, and might even reduce the risk of certain cancers.
Sweet potatoes are also among the orange vegetables rich in vitamin A, and they are also very high in fiber and antioxidants. These nutrients promote skin health by aiding in nutrient delivery to skin cells, improving circulation, and combatting oxidative stress. These root vegetables also contain high concentrations of vitamins B3, B5, and E.
While this popular squash is commonly found in pies around holiday time, it can be enjoyed in soups, roasted on its own, and put in ravioli. Rich in vitamins A, C, and E, this high-nutrient orange vegetable is a fantastic addition to your meal rotation for its blood pressure-lowering, immune system-boosting properties.
Bonus: pumpkin seeds can boost HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol). They also contain magnesium and tryptophan, which can help facilitate restorative sleep.
That cranberry sauce shouldn't be an afterthought – cranberries contain phytonutrients that boast significant anti-inflammatory benefits. These nutrients help keep acne breakouts at bay too!
Factors That Affect Skin Health
Unfortunately, many of our favorite holiday foods are less-than-great for our health. You can adversely impact the health of your skin by consuming high-fat foods, processed food, and high-sugar drinks. It has been shown that eating too many processed foods containing refined sugars, carbohydrates, and unhealthy fats can trigger hormonal fluctuations that cause acne and inflammation of the skin, which contribute to the aging process.
Although eating the right foods can mitigate many common skin issues, there are other elements that impair skin quality.
- Oxidative stress: An overabundance of free radicals harms your cells by causing a phenomenon called oxidative stress. This reaction contributes to the outward signs of skin aging: skin discoloration, loss of elasticity, and the development of lines and wrinkles. Smoking, stress, sun exposure, and consuming alcohol all contribute to the excessive development of free radicals.
- Inflammation: Skin damage can be caused by inflammation in the body. Lack of restorative sleep, stress, and a sedentary lifestyle can increase the inflammatory response, leading to rashes, hives, skin dryness, and chronic health conditions.
- Poor hydration: Dry skin occurs when your cells are dehydrated; the outermost skin cells shrink in size, lose elasticity, and alter the texture of your skin. While drinking sufficient water is important, dry skin tends to be exacerbated by lifestyle and environmental factors. These factors include dry weather, excessive sun exposure, harsh soaps, smoking, and heavy alcohol consumption.
If you want to look your absolute best this holiday season, there are numerous rejuvenating procedures that can restore your gorgeous glow.
- Wrinkle Reduction: If you have deep lines or wrinkles, you can significantly diminish their appearance via injectable treatments like Botox and dermal fillers. We also offer radiofrequency-based treatments that accelerate cellular turnover and collagen production, leaving skin smoother and firmer.
- Acne Control: Acne struggles can be demoralizing. If you want to get rid of pimples and blackheads, we offer prescription retinoids, oral or topical medications, chemical peels, and laser therapies that can yield dramatic improvement.
Skin-friendly lifestyle changes
If you have skin concerns, see a dermatologist before taking corrective measures. However, there are steps you can take to improve the appearance and texture of your skin.
Stay hydrated, wear sunscreen, reduce alcohol consumption, and stop smoking. Limiting alcohol consumption means you aren't exposed to as high a volume of free radicals, so your skin is less likely to suffer from oxidative stress. If your skin is dehydrated, increasing your water consumption could help, but ambient moisture -- from a humidifier or even house plants -- could also be beneficial.
If your complexion isn't what you'd like it to be, please don't hesitate to schedule a consultation with a qualified dermatology provider at a clinic near you. Please visit our information page
to find a convenient location.