Everyone knows the importance of maintaining a healthy diet. While food plays an important role in keeping the body functioning, there are foods that can do just the opposite. Some foods are responsible for causing an array of diseases, however, in this article, we’ll only be focusing on one: inflammation.
What is Inflammation and How Can It Affect Your Skin?
Inflammation is a physiological response in the body triggered by the immune system. When foreign substances enter the body, like pollen or a virus, our immune system triggers inflammatory processes in an attempt to eradicate threatening invaders. This type of inflammation is necessary in order to stimulate healing and keep us healthy. Ironically though, when inflammation persists over long periods of time, it can weaken the body and create ideal conditions for new diseases, especially those related to the skin.
Chronic inflammation favors the appearance of skin ailments like atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, rosacea, and acne. It can also affect skin over time, slowly deteriorating cells and causing premature aging.
Inflammatory Foods You Should Avoid or Limit
The foods you eat can drastically impact the inflammation in your body. Here are some foods you should avoid or limit the consumption of:
High sugar intake has been linked to chronic inflammation and may exacerbate symptoms of inflammatory skin conditions (like psoriasis).
Avoid refined sugars, artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup, white bread, pasta, white rice and any foods high in added sugar or flour, like cakes, pastries, donuts, fruit juices, soft drinks and so on.
Red and processed meats (i.e., sausage, bacon, smoked ham, etc.) have been associated with chronic inflammation due to its high saturated fat content.
Similar to red meat, whole milk and full fat dairy products are also high in saturated fats, which can lead to inflammatory responses, like acne and bloating.
Processed caffeinated beverages like sodas or energy drinks contain copious amounts of caffeine and sugar, which together can trigger inflammatory reactions in the body. Likewise, while naturally caffeinated drinks like coffee or tea may help reduce inflammation in some individuals, others may experience increased inflammation following its consumption; consider minimizing your intake if this applies to you.
Research shows that drinking alcohol in excess can directly cause or exacerbate several skin conditions. Dehydration and increased skin sensitivity caused by immoderate alcohol intake can lead to redness, acne, blackheads, and even more serious skin conditions like rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis.