Avoid These Beauty Zapping Foods
If you are eating a diet rich in fiber and plants and all of those phytonutrients, those are going to fuel your body to make its own antioxidants.
While some foods make you look and feel better, there are many others that can do the opposite. “When we eat anything with sugar or flour, especially if we do it on a daily basis or multiple times a day, we spike our insulin, which causes us to store fat, spike our testosterone, or turn testosterone into estrogen, which can lead to weight gain and imbalances in hormones like PMS, fibroids, and endometriosis,” explains Dr. Robin Berzin of Parsley Health. “You also age faster because oxidation leads to DNA damage, meaning damage of cell walls and cellular proteins.” Thankfully, eating whole foods can actually reverse the clock. “If you are eating a diet rich in fiber and plants and all of those phytonutrients, those are going to fuel your body to make its own antioxidants,” says Dr. Berzin. “You’re going to repair damage and start looking and feeling younger, because your body will heal.” Here’s what to avoid:
Most processed foods have a ton of preserva- tives, dyes, emulsifiers, and chemicals. “All of these are toxic to the body and can disrupt our hormone system and fatty acid metabolism. Fatty acids are important to balancing skin and giving it luster,” explains Berzin. “When you eat processed foods, your body becomes overloaded trying to detoxify the chemicals in those foods. You don’t look as good, feel as good, sleep as well, or have good digestion.” Processed foods don’t have the same amount of vitamins and minerals you get from eating whole foods. When you fill up on fake foods, you’re losing the opportunity to get energy from food that truly fuels you from the inside.
The effects of too much salt can be seen almost immediately. Eat a meal that’s heavy in sodium and you’ll wake up looking puffy and swollen, especially around the eyes. And it doesn’t just affect your face: excess salt can increase water retention in the body. Fast food, processed food, and salty snacks are obvious culprits, but watch out for canned soups, salad dressings, and bread, which can also contain large amounts of salt.
When you drink sugar, you are filling up on empty calories with zero nutritional value. Soda is filled with chemicals and incredibly high amounts of sugar or chemical sugar substitutes, both of which cause insulin spikes. To stay hydrated and eliminate toxins, you need to rely on water as your primary source of hydration. When you give up soda, you may also notice clearer skin.
Whether it’s white sugar or high fructose corn syrup, sugar wreaks havoc on your body. It’s incredibly addictive and causes your blood sugar to rise, which causes a host of problems, from energy crashes to hormonal imbalances. Sugar has been linked to a range of diseases, including cancer, diabetes, and obesity. It messes with gut health and can create an overgrowth of yeast and bad bacteria. It also damages collagen and elastin, causing skin to age more rapidly. Try coconut sugar as an alternative, as it has a lower glycemic index. However, the biggest boost is to radically reduce the amount of sugar you consume.
White flour, found in most bread and baked goods, has no nutritional value and causes blood sugar to spike. If you’re trying to eat healthier or more alkaline, note that white flour is very acidic in the body. Try using oat or almond flour as alternatives.
This story is an excerpt from Beauty From the Inside Out.