Want your skin to glow – look to your diet
While New Year is the traditional time for giving up habits and setting goals, I decided to start early and once again gave up my daily coffee. This has been an ongoing issue for me for many reasons. Firstly I have a dairy intolerance so after 10 years of drinking milky lattes, I finally gave up dairy and my hormonal breakouts magically cleared up (my recent icecream indulgence has seen new breakouts so I have backed off again). This saw me drinking soy lattes for all of one week until I declared that there was nothing so disgusting that soy milk – for me anyway. So to black coffee and my addiction switched from mid strength lattes to super strength long black coffee with sugar. I found myself needing my daily cup and getting irritable if I didn’t have it. Sometimes I didn’t even want coffee at all but drank it anyway. Finally one day recently when I found myself forcing down a coffee I didn’t want out of habit, I decided to give it a miss entirely – well for a while at least.
So I did for exactly 4 brain-fog filled days. On day 5 my brain felt so foggy, I had not one but two mega strength coffees and drove home from the coffee shop with hands shaking and vision blurring. Not only was my heart racing but much to my dismay my skin went all blotchy. From a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective this is due to the heating effect of coffee and if heat builds up in the body (from too many coffees) or isn’t eliminated effectively (poor digestion) it held in the body and can result in red, blotchy skin. Other foods that have this effect include alcohol, spicy foods and hot drinks. This is one of the reasons that those with rosacea tend to react to these foods so badly. This is not to say that coffee is bad, just that for most people having it in moderation is a good idea and for those with rosacea or those adversely affected by “heating” foods, going without it better.
And so for the sake of my skin, which is a refection of my inner health, I have come to the point now that I can have coffee occasionally rather than every day. When I do have it I REALLY enjoy it, when I don’t I don’t miss it too much! Black and herbal teas are a thirst quenching replacement.
What we eat can certainly have an effect on the appearance of our skin. In my case firstly dairy and then “heating” foods or drinks. However, knowing what affects your skin in these ways can be the hardest thing to work out. A full elimination diet is a comprehensive way of finding out which foods affect you and how but can take a long time and are often quite difficult to sustain. You can shortcut this process. If you suspect you may be reacting to a particular food, it is worth testing your theory by taking the food group out of your diet completely for at least 3 days. Then test yourself by having a serve of the food and noting how you feel. Any number of symptoms may arise including: digestive issues, mood swings, irritability, energy drops, headaches and many more. A good rule of thumb is that if you feel rotten after eating the food it is worth minimising its inclusion in your everyday diet.
Are there any experiences that you have had with diet and skin issues. Please share them and what you did about it with our readers as it may be the very thing that helps someone else.