Detox diets are intended to cleanse the body of toxins and waste products that accumulate from the air we breathe, the chemicals we use and the foods we eat. Many detox diets will help you lose weight as a result of calorie and food restrictions, but should not be conducted long-term without supervision to avoid adverse health risks. Detox diets may also help improve the health and appearance of your skin. The benefits of detoxing are not scientifically proven, and eating a well-balanced diet with regular exercise is the ideal method to achieve health benefits. Consult with a physician prior to making any dietary changes that could impact your health.
Water should be the primary beverage of choice in a healthy skin detox diet as it helps flush toxins from the body. This clear fluid is calorie-free, has no fat and no added sugars that can contribute to weight gain and poor digestion. Water helps push waste materials and undigested foods through the digestive tract for elimination. Although Fitness Magazine.com cites registered dietician Amy Jamieson-Petonic as saying that water does not directly impact the skin's appearance, the elimination of toxins through digestion helps prevent and relieve constipation and bloating that causes a puffy and pale skin appearance. Aim for two extra glasses of water a day for at least 8 to 10 cups total or more depending on your individual needs.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables should form the foundation of a healthy detox diet for the skin. Most produce is low in calories, has little to no fat and no added sugars. Furthermore they are a source of essential vitamins and minerals that are needed for normal body processes, hormonal balance and the prevention and protection of diseases. The carotenoid pigments found in fruits and vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes, oranges, squash and dark, leafy greens are rich in antioxidants that destroy free radicals, which may affect the skin as well as lead to disease. Include a variety of fruits and vegetables into your daily diet plan with each meal.
Healthy fats should be included on a detox diet to improve skin. Healthy fats are needed in the body for normal body functions, hormonal balance and vitamin absorption. MedlinePlus cites that fat maintains healthy hair and skin which benefits from the absorption of essential vitamins such as A, D, E and K. Unhealthy fats such as saturated and trans fats should be avoided as they contribute to the risk of heart disease, stroke and obesity. Include healthier unsaturated and omega-3 fatty acids with your detox diet in moderation to avoid excess caloric or fat intakes that lead to weight gain. Healthy food sources for a detox diet include olive oil drizzled over a vegetable salad, nuts and seeds for snacking or a small serving of roasted salmon served with dinner.
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Although dietary choices may affect the quality of our skin's health and appearance, MedlinePlus cites that there is limited evidence that foods increase skin conditions such as acne and pimples on the skin. Other factors to consider that can cause acne or skin breakouts include hormonal changes, allergies or use of reactive skin products. To avoid or prevent breakouts, wash your face gently on a consistent basis, use sun protection and keep your hands away from your face as they carry a lot of germs. Avoiding stressful situations can decrease the risk of making skin conditions worse and preventing clear-ups.
- Linus Pauling Institute: Carotenoids
- Medline Plus: Acne
- "The Beauty Detox Solution"; Kimberly Snyder, C.N.S.; 2011
- Mail Online: Greens To Be Gorgeous: Why Eating Your Five Fruits and Vegetables a Day Makes You Sexy
Jennifer Andrews specializes in writing about health, wellness and nutrition. Andrews has a Master of Science in physical therapy from the University of Alberta as well as a bachelor's degree in kinesiology. She teaches yoga and pilates and is a recent graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.