There may be days when you would catch yourself staring at yourself in front of the mirror for an inordinate amount of time. Every single flaw on your face gets picked apart — from the crow’s feet, the imperfect eyebrows, to the pores that were never this large just last night. While time will always be every woman’s nemesis, there are those whose virtually poreless skin remains the envy of others. For many, it’s usually a game of genetics but part of it does come down to nutrition. Every little thing you eat will always affect the way your body functions. What sort of diet, then, helps in shrinking the size of our pores?
The Good: Our Skin Needs Collagen But Not The Way You Think
To understand the impact that nutrition has on your pores, consider the way your body works. A large majority of our skin comprises of protein, known as collagen, that vastly affects skin elasticity. As we age, our body becomes less able to efficiently produce collagen, which tends to be further compounded by poor diet. This results in decreased skin elasticity which, in turn, explains why our pores seemingly enlarge overnight.
Knowing this, you may now feel an overwhelming urge to order bottles of collagen supplements in bulk — think again. Overcoming any collagen deficit by consuming more of them appears logical but it doesn’t quite work that way. Our body doesn’t discriminate when it comes to the digestion of any protein that you eat. Every protein source, including collagen supplements, is broken down into amino acids for ease of absorption. Collagen, in fact, contains only eight out of nine essential amino acids, falling short of what your body actually needs.
Hence, instead of falling for the collagen fad, curate your diet with foods that will promote collagen production, including those rich in complete protein. Food sources that are high in silica, sulphur, and other key minerals may also further aid in the synthesis of collagen.
Food Sources That Are High In Complete Proteins
Our body needs a total of nine essential amino acids to produce proteins that form the majority of your skin, hair, muscles and internal organs. You can easily meet this need through adequate intake of complete proteins; food sources with all nine essential amino acids can adequately provide your body with them. Immediately cover all the bases by including them in your daily intake. Some excellent examples of complete proteins include red meat, eggs, soy, poultry, and even quinoa. By focusing on these, you will still be able to provide your body with all the necessary building blocks for collagen production.
A deficiency in silica in our diet also affects the size of our pores since trace amounts of it is required in collagen production. This is why you should always focus on silica-rich foods such as radish, tomatoes, romaine lettuce, and bell peppers. As our body only needs a small amount of silica in collagen production, you can save yourself some money and give these silica supplements a miss. Plus, if you take these supplements for too long, you may end up with irreversible damage to your kidneys.
Add Sulphur-Rich Food Sources To Your Diet
Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and green cabbages are perfect for ensuring sufficient intake of sulphur. Similar to silica, sulphur supports the production of collagen, improving our skin elasticity and thus, shrinking the size of our pores. Small quantities of sulphur can also play a key role in slowing down the ageing process by protecting our skin from the external environment, including the ultraviolet rays from the sun.
The Bad: Sweet, Sweet Indulgence
Some of the guiltiest pleasures in life are just about to get guiltier. For many of us, our taste buds may frequently crave junk food that are rich in simple carbohydrates and sugar. Your skin, unfortunately, will bear the brunt of it. A high-glycaemic diet may trigger a chain reaction, beginning with a spike in insulin and insulin-like growth factor. Your testosterone levels will then increase, leading to an excess in sebum, that inevitably causes clogged pores and acne.
Foods To Avoid To Minimise Clogged Pores
Some sacrifices have to be made for the sake of our skin. Try to reduce your intake of foods rich in sugar, such as candy, cereals made from refined grains as well as highly processed food. Of course, this does not necessarily mean that you should cut them out of your life altogether. Instead, just pay close attention to how much sugar you eat on a daily basis.
The Takeaway: Keep Everything In Good Moderation
With everything in life, moderation is the key to optimal health, including your skin. There is no need for a complete overhaul on your diet unless your case is an extreme one. In cases like this, do consult a nutritionist or general practitioner for more in-depth advice. For most of us, all we have to do is ensure that we do include a good variety of raw vegetables and fruits in your everyday diet. Not only will they help you maintain beautiful, radiant skin, these will also go a long way in achieving excellent overall health.