How Nutrition Affects the Skin and How Much Protein Do you, Need?

The advent of the new year is an excellent time to find answers to essential questions, such as what foods are the most beneficial for the skin and what should be excluded from the diet. 

Nutritionist beauty journalist Natasha Bogdankevich studied the topic.

A balanced healthy diet has a positive effect on the skin. 

“Dermatological diseases cannot be cured by diet alone, but I often see positive changes in the skin condition with nutrition correction,” says Natalya Nazarova, dermatologist, cosmetologist, trichologist at the Remedy Lab clinic. – As a rule, I ask you to exclude fast food and carbonated drinks, minimize spicy and salty foods, replace chocolate with bitter and consume it in small quantities. 

In a word – to observe the principle of moderation in nutrition. Well, the more healthy food you put on your plate, the less room there is for unhealthy food.

How Much Protein Do You Need?

The most important thing for the health and youth of the skin is what it consists of. Collagen is the main structural protein of the skin, which is responsible for its elasticity. 

Keratin is a protein in the epidermis. Melanin is the protein responsible for skin pigment. We need enough resources to build them. And all these proteins are synthesized in our body from the amino acids we get from protein foods.

That’s why the first rule for beautiful skin is to include protein foods in every meal. They should be 15-20% of the total calorie intake per day on average. 

This can be calculated as at least 1 g of protein per 1 kg of weight (if there is no intense training). For example, 150 g of cottage cheese is 25 g of protein.

If for some reason, you cannot get enough protein from your diet (for example, with a plant-based diet), you may need supplements. Before you start taking amino acids or collagen, be sure to consult your doctor.

What are the harmful excess of sweets and dry heat treatment of products?

Both increase the amount of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) in the body. 

These are substances formed as a result of the reaction of sugar with proteins and fats. 

There is ongoing research on the role of these substances in the ageing process in general. 

For the skin, this manifests itself, in particular, in a loss of elasticity. What can we do with nutrition to slow down this process?

First, control your intake of added sugar. It is beneficial for both overall health and weight maintenance and prolonging the youthfulness of the skin. 

Excess glucose leads to excessive hardening of collagen fibres. The current recommendation is to limit simple carbohydrates (pastries, jam, honey and sweets) to 10% of the total calorie intake. In practice, for the average man and woman, this is 25 and 36 grams of added sugar per day, respectively. 

For example, a glass (200 ml) of sweet soda contains 20 g of sugar. And in a tablespoon of ketchup – 5 g.

Secondly, advanced glycation end products can be supplied directly with food and not formed in the body. And most of all, they are in products subjected to dry heat treatment: grilling, frying, baking. Moreover, the main accused here are animal products with a high content of fats and proteins. Minimize black crust formation.

And third, we can tackle AGEs with antioxidant-rich foods. They help remove harmful substances from the body before they have time to spoil everything. 

These are our favourite health agents: vegetables, fruits, berries, whole grains, and legumes. Suppose you stick to the standard healthy eating recommendations of 500g of fruits and vegetables per day and at least 1 serving of whole grains. 

In that case, you have every chance of neutralizing the harmful effects of advanced glycation end products.

Cosmetics that stimulate collagen production occupy a unique niche in anti-ageing products. Helping the skin to synthesize collagen increase its elasticity from the inside.

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