If there was one way to tell the quality of your diet, your stress levels or the quality of your lifestyle, it would be your skin. As the largest organ, it’s affected by all of your systems within your body and can be the first sign that something isn’t quite right. Your skin is like a map to your health, you just need to know how to read it…
6 common skin problems and how they’re related to your diet
1. Breakouts along the jawline
Below the chin and along the jawline is one of the most common places for women to break out. This indicates there are some hormonal issues going on, but surprisingly it has more to do with testosterone than estrogen. When breakouts occur in this area it’s usually a sign that your testosterone levels are higher than normal, a change that can occur from an increase in stress, more frequent alcohol consumption or poor food choices.
Both women and men who experience this issue should speak to their doctor about treatments they can use to reduce the symptoms of this hormonal imbalance or ways they can combat the issue altogether. It goes without saying a proper diet, regular exercise and plenty of sleep can all help this imbalance.
2. Breakouts on the forehead
Small bumps along the hairline or breakouts in the middle of your forehead usually means you need to look at your digestive system. This particular skin problem can indicate an overgrowth of bad bacteria or that the entire system is struggling to cope with the food you’re consuming.
Your first step should be to look at your diet – are you giving your body plenty of fresh, high-quality foods or are you filling it with easy, fast and simple options? Focus on structuring your diet on high-quality proteins, rich leafy greens, complex carbohydrates and essential fatty acids help maintain a healthy gut and smooth skin. Next, get yourself some pro-biotics (try to get dairy free as dairy can often be an underlying skin irritant) and take them once in the morning and once in the evening with food.
If you’re looking for a topical application, some sources have found a noticeable improvement in their skin by applying the probiotic in paste form directly to the skin. Break open one capsule and mix with water until you have a smooth paste. Apply, let sit for 15 minutes on your skin and then wash off with a warm towel.
3. Dark circles around the eyes
So you’re getting your 8 hours in and clocking off at a reasonable hour, but you’re still sporting some pretty serious under eye bags…Turns out you should probably start looking at what’s on your plate than what’s on your pillow. Under eye bags can be a clear sign of a nutritional deficiency somewhere such as calcium, iron, Vitamin B or Vitamin C can all with each causing a different effect on the colour and depth of your eye bags.
Instead of trying to fix this through multivitamins, look to increase your consumption of foods rich in all of the above such as dark green vegetables, red meat, coconut oil and avocados.
4. Tight or dull looking skin
Whether it’s to improve your mood, control your appetite, increase your focus or improve your skin, staying well hydrated has countless benefits to your entire body.
Increasing the amount of water consumed throughout the day is a simple way to improve the overall brightness, tone and plumpness of your skin.
Quick tip: Add a tiny pinch of Himalayan rock salt to your bottle of water to increase the water absorption and reduce water retention around the body.
5. Those annoying little bumps on your arms
Although your face is one of the first places to look if there are imbalances in your body, you should be aware of other areas of your body as signs of good health. For example, over 50% – 80% of adolescents and 40% of adults suffer from Keratosis Pilaris – those tiny annoying bumps that you find on the back of your arms, on your legs and sometimes on your face.
The cause? Surprisingly, studies have found that people who have this issue also can have major deficiencies in Vitamin A and essential fatty acids. Increasing the amount of omega-3s in your diet as well as vitamin A can be as easy as upping your cold-water-fish, nuts and seed intake.
Eczema is a tough skin condition to work with because between sufferers, almost every case is slightly different. One thing that most eczema sufferers have in common is that they’re unknowingly allergic to something in their diet.
Whether this is dairy, gluten, wheat, processed sugars or nuts, often a trial-and-error-diet can pinpoint exactly what’s causing the problem. This means cutting out large food groups for a number of weeks and monitoring the severity and frequency of the condition. Visit your doctor for an allergy test of some common allergens and get educated about your body and its sensitivities!
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