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How does your diet affect your skin?

Published On: Oct 17 2011 08:15:12 AM CDT
Updated On: Jun 02 2010 01:26:41 AM CDT
standing on scale

Laura Spencer,, Contributing writer

Can what you eat make a difference in your skin's health?

Medical evidence indicates that diet does affect your skin. A diet lacking proper fluids can leave the skin weak and fragile; a poor diet on the whole can degrade your skin even more.

And diseases such as diabetes can discolor skin or make it thicker.

Even without complications, eating some foods is linked to poor skin. MayoClinic.com says that a diet high in meat and full-fat milk can be related to wrinkles.

Effects Of A Good Diet

Eating a healthy diet can lead to healthy skin, according to HealthCentral.com.

For example, the vitamin E in almonds and sunflower seeds supports the cells that protect the skin. The vitamin C in fruits, peppers and other vegetables contributes to the skin's production of collagen.

Zinc and iron in meats and vitamin-enhanced cereals, meanwhile, help with cell production and oxygenation. And the vitamin A in certain vegetables keeps the skin smooth and protects it from the sun.

Researchers have also found that whole grains can reduce acne. The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and nuts can lead to fewer wrinkles, and the flavonols in dark chocolate lessen the skin's sensitivity to the sun.

Fluids Help Skin

An article at Health.Yahoo.com explains the impact of getting enough water. Water is critical for the proper functioning of our bodies. Every single cell needs water to work correctly, and that includes skin cells. Water keeps your skin hydrated and helps to remove toxins.

According to MayoClinic.com, the amount of water that a person needs varies by individual and is affected by other factors such as climate and the amount of exercise that an individual gets. General dietary recommendations suggest that men drink about 3 liters of liquids a day and women drink about 2.2 liters daily.

It is important to remember that most diet-related skin conditions can be prevented or alleviated by following a healthy diet rich in the right nutrients, and by making sure you get enough water.