You’re not alone, the beauty industry made $426 billion last year, 27 percent of which was spent solely on skin care (that’s $115 billion just on lotion!). We’re desperate for clear, younger looking skin, but we’re looking in the wrong place.
It’s time to look deep inside…inside your fridge that is. These six foods might not be derailing your weight loss efforts, but they may just be destroying your skin.
All it takes is 2 or 3 cups of coffee a day to stimulate your pituitary gland, which in turn causes an adrenocortical response; ie. the production of cortisol. Not only is cortisol, otherwise known as the “stress hormone,” famous for its proclivity for packing on pounds around the midsection, but it also accelerates the aging process by thinning out your skin. Instead, shed belly flab—rapidly—with one of the 4 Teas That Melt Fat!
Shellfish like shrimp and lobster are loaded with iodine. Sure, you need a little bit of iodine in your diet to keep your thyroid singing and ward off those pesky goiters, but too much iodine can cause breakouts. Limit your seafood consumption to a couple of times a week and your skin should be in the clear. (And if you're still eating tilapia, you need to kick that habit to the curb for other reasons.)
Yellow, Blue, and Red may add a beautiful hue to your food, but they’re anything but healthy. Artificial colorings, mostly made in laboratories, can create inflammation in the body. That inflammation that can manifest on your skin as breakouts, premature aging, or even hives in the form of an allergic reaction.
You may have looked gorg at the bar last Friday, but by Saturday morning you were looking a little worse for wear. Alcohol is dehydrating, which is great for skinny jeans, but bad for crow’s feat. When your skin is dehydrated it makes fine lines and wrinkles look more pronounced.
Put down the Sour Patch Kids. Too much sugar (and high carbohydrate foods that break down into sugar) can lead to decreased collagen and elastin. The result: your will become less elastic, leading to premature sagging. Remember that yogurts are packed with sugar. Blast fat and enjoy a creamy treat by choosing one of the Best Yogurts for Weight Loss
In 2005, The Harvard Nurse’s Study found a connection between skim milk and acne. While there are hormones in all cow's milk that may trigger breakouts, the study found that skim milk drinkers suffer most from unsightly blemishes—possibly because there are higher amount of bioavailable hormones in skim that haven’t been absorbed by fat. Those hormones can stimulate our Sebaceous glands, moving our oil production into high gear.
If you're looking for more beauty secrets, try adding these Eat This, Not That!-recommended foods to your daily diet plan.
STOP THE GREY!
Beauty Food Fix #1: Shiitake Mushrooms
Grey hair is beautiful when it’s age-appropriate, but unfair for folks who start to salt-and-pepper before they’ve finished life’s main course. One cause of early greying: a lack of copper. A study in the journal Biological Trace Elemental Research found premature-graying individuals had significantly lower copper levels than a control group. Your body requires copper to produce pigment for your skin and hair, and shiitake mushrooms are one of the best dietary sources. Just a half cup provides 71 percent of your recommended daily intake of copper—and for only 40 calories! If you're not a fan of mushrooms, then make these 6 nuts part of your diet.
REGAIN YOUR GLOW!
Beauty Food Fix #2: Sweet Potatoes
A study in the Journal Evolution and Human Behaviour showed eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables gives a healthier, and more attractive, golden glow than the sun. Researchers found people who ate more portions of red and orange fruits and vegetables per day had a more sun-kissed complexion than those who didn’t consume as much—the result of disease-fighting compounds called carotenoids that give those plants their colors. And no, you won’t look like an Oompa Loompa. In fact, given the choice between a real suntan and a glow caused by diet, study participants preferred the carotenoid complexion. Few foods are as rich in the beauty stuff than sweet potatoes; just half a medium potato with the skin provides 200 percent of your daily recommended intake. Add more sweet potatoes to your diet with the 10 best recipes for weight loss.
WHITEN YOUR TEETH!
Beauty Food Fix #3: Cheddar Cheese
Good news, politicians: Cheesy smiles may be good for you. One study in the journal General Dentistry of people who didn't brush their teeth for 48 hours (don’t try that at home),found snacking on cheddar cheese raised their mouths' pH to freshly-brushed levels. (Like cavities, discoloration is increased when you have an acidic environment in your mouth.) Plus, compounds in the cheese that adhere to tooth enamel, like a white strip, help to fend off acid. Speaking of morning rituals, don’t miss our science-backed 8 Ways to Lose Weight Before Noon.
ERASE DARK CIRCLES!
Beauty Food Fix #4: Spa Water
Puffy, dark circles under the eyes may indicate you had too much fun the night before, but it can also indicate another more common, less exciting issue: dehydration. Salty foods, alcohol, exercise, hot weather and just plain not drinking enough water can create inflammation, which results in the Rocket Raccoon complexion. Start replenishing your body right away: Cut up some citrus fruits (rind included) and soak them in a pitcher of ice water. Now drink copiously. The citrus not only improves flavor, but the rinds contain a powerful anti-inflammatory compound called de-limonene, which helps the liver flush toxins from the body, according to the World Health Organization. In fact, we found the 14 best detox waters that banish bloat.
GET STRONG, SHINY NAILS!
Beauty Food Fix #5: Lean Beef
Weekly manicures can keep your nails in tip-top shape, but so can Sunday's top round roast dinner. Researches say a diet rich in protein, iron and zinc are the key to long, strong, beautiful nails. And you’ll get a healthy serving of all three nutrients from a small portion of lean red meat. A recent study in the Journal of The European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology that looked at nail growth over the past 70 years found that dietary protein was the difference between spurts and lags in nail growth. It’s perhaps no wonder, considering nails are made from protein—keratin, specifically. Nail it with a small 3-4 ounce portion of top round or sirloin, which are the leanest cuts of red meat, one to two times a week. Find out the 5 best cuts of beef for weight loss.
THICKEN YOUR LOCKS
Beauty Food Fix #6: Almond butter
No, you don’t rub it into your scalp like Rogaine. But almond butter is one food that contains a wide variety of nutrients—including protein, healthy fats, and certain vitamins—that have all been linked to hair health. It’s the vitamin E content in the nuts that researchers say is particularly good for keeping your locks thick and lustrous. One eight-month trial found men who supplemented daily with vitamin E saw an increase in hair growth by as much as 42 percent. Just a tablespoon of almonds provides nearly two thirds of your RDA for fat-soluble vitamin E. Discover the 20 full-fat foods that can help you stay skinny.
REVERSE SUN DAMAGE
Beauty Food Fix #7: Tomatoes
New research has found that the reason melanoma rates are so low in regions like the Mediterranean—where going topless on the beach is all part of the summertime fun—has to do with the Mediterranean diet. Foods high in antioxidants, particularly deeply colored fruits and vegetables, can help fight the oxidizing effect of UV rays. One study in the British Journal of Dermatology found participants who ate five tablespoons of tomato paste (a highly concentrated form of fresh tomatoes) daily showed 33 percent more protection against sunburn than a control group. And tomatoes work double duty to boost beauty: While the carotenoids and antioxidants help the body fight off oxidation that ages skin cells, they also boost pro-collagen—a molecule that gives skin its taught, youthful structure. Tomatoes are also one of the 8 foods you should eat every day.