Anti-Inflammatory Diet for Skin - Why is proper nutrition important for beautiful skin?
Many skin problems are caused by inflammatory processes. Often they even go unnoticed. They lead to oxidation damage, faster skin aging and other problems. With the right diet you can take the fuel out of inflammation. An anti-inflammatory diet can protect your skin from irritated areas. What does it involve and how do you incorporate this diet into your everyday life – including vegan? Read on!
Anti-inflammatory diet and beautiful skin
Your diet has a major influence on the appearance of your skin. It can promote the regeneration of your skin, strengthen its self-protection and even reduce inflammation. Many unpleasant skin conditions can be traced back to this, such as rosacea, psoriasis, neurodermatitis and even acne. Inflammation also accelerates skin aging. The topic is not only interesting for you when it comes to visible inflammation .
The function of inflammation
To understand how you can support your skin with an anti-inflammatory diet, you should first understand how inflammation works and what types of inflammation exist.
Inflammation is part of your body's immune response. Their purpose is to eliminate germs and poisons. Redness and warmth after injuries are typical. For example, when you cut yourself, bacteria get into the wound . The worst of it is washed out with the bleeding. The rest will be “burned” in the next healing phase. That's why inflammation is completely normal in such cases. It becomes problematic if they don't subside properly. This is often the case, for example, with inflammatory skin conditions.
Not all inflammation is as obvious as a big, red pimple. There are also silent inflammations, which are often chronic. You don't feel or see anything about them . But they are there and increase the oxidative stress in your body. So they can be the cause and fuel for some skin diseases.
💡 Tip: Silent inflammation promotes oxidative stress. We've already covered in detail how harmful free radicals are to your skin . They attack healthy cells and accelerate skin aging.
Inflammatory skin diseases
This category includes, for example, rosacea, psoriasis, neurodermatitis and acne. Red, swollen or warm areas of skin make these problems clearly visible. Certain foods and messenger substances that are triggered when they are consumed promote such chronic inflammation . Others relieve inflammation. These anti-inflammatory foods are the basis of the so-called anti-inflammatory diet, which also promotes your skin health.
Which nutrients reduce inflammation?
You may already suspect that some foods are making your skin worse. But through which one? And can you change your diet to improve your skin? Yes, with an anti-inflammatory diet for the skin you can definitely have a positive effect on healing.
A diet rich in fiber promotes healthy intestinal flora . That's important. “Good” microbes convert fiber into anti-inflammatory fatty acids. However, if the “bad” microbes predominate in the intestine, more inflammatory substances are produced.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Unsaturated fatty acids are good, we already know that. However, there are differences here. Omega-3 fatty acids have an anti-inflammatory effect 1,2 , while omega-6 fatty acids promote inflammation. It is important to ensure a good ratio of both fatty acids. Unfortunately, Omega-3 is neglected in our Western diet. Most of it is available in fish, but there are also plant-based sources.
🌱 Important for a vegan diet : Omega-3 from plant sources lack certain fatty acids that ensure beautiful skin. Your body can produce them from plant-based omega-3, but it needs a correspondingly larger amount. Our article on omega-3 fatty acids explains how you can get enough of them on a vegan diet .
Antioxidants are free radical scavengers and reduce oxidative stress , which accelerates skin aging. He has many triggers. One of them is underlying inflammation. If you consume as many antioxidants as possible, you counteract the consequences of oxidative stress.
Vitamin D and magnesium
Both nutrients are part of an anti-inflammatory diet for beautiful skin. Why do we mention them in the same breath? They work together . If there is a lack of magnesium, your organism produces less vitamin D. If there is a lack of vitamin D, your body cannot utilize magnesium properly. In short: If you lack one, you lack both.
What does an anti-inflammatory diet look like to support your skin
So much for theory. So how do you meet your need for these anti-inflammatory foods? And what should you avoid if possible?
Take a lot of this...
Fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs
Many of the vitamins and plant pigments it contains have an antioxidant effect, for example carotenoids, flavonoids or vitamins A, C and E. Berries and peppers in particular are also rich in fiber .
☝️ Tip: A tablespoon of tomato paste every day gives you an antioxidant kick. It is rich in lycopene, which is particularly important for beautiful skin.
Lentils, peas and the like are rich in fiber and protein . This is ideal for providing you with enough protein on a vegan diet. Because they are necessary for healthy cell growth, including in the skin.
whole grain products
It's better to choose whole grains than white flour. And choose oats, rye or barley rather than wheat. Background: When metabolizing easily digestible white flour, blood sugar and insulin levels rise. This promotes inflammation and also sebum production - hello, oily skin!
Nuts and seeds
They are rich in fiber and antioxidant minerals such as magnesium, selenium and zinc. Walnuts and flaxseeds are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, making them an excellent source of these important fats for vegans. Nuts and seeds are not only part of an anti-inflammatory diet that supports your skin, but are indispensable in every diet.
Healthy vegetable oils
In the past, fats were generally demonized. Today we know that a distinction must be made. Organic, cold-pressed and polyunsaturated vegetable oils are absolute power substances. When used correctly, they can inhibit inflammation in the body - keyword Omega-3. However, they are ultra sensitive and should not be heated. It's best to keep them in the fridge and pour them directly over your food.
☝️ Flaxseed oil contains the most omega-3 of all vegan foods. It should be in every kitchen. I have dedicated an entire article to linseed oil because I think it is so important. Read here how you can incorporate enough omega-3 fatty acids into your vegan diet . Tip : Add 2 tablespoons of linseed oil to your muesli first thing in the morning!
And little of it...
sugar and white flour
When easily digestible carbohydrates are used, metabolic products are created in the body that promote inflammation. Experts therefore associate excessive consumption of sugar with an increase in inflammatory diseases . Unfortunately, the Western diet overdoes it with “making your day”. If you want to limit your sugar consumption, avoid hidden sugars in drinks, ready meals and baked goods.
Hidden and heated fats
Ready meals and fast food often contain hidden fats that don't have a positive effect on your health. In addition, trans fatty acids can be formed when fats are heated. They promote inflammation and are generally very unhealthy. They are mainly found in fried foods such as fries or chips, but also in puff pastry, cookies and ready meals. But even high-quality vegetable oils can convert into trans fats when heated. They even do it particularly quickly. Therefore, generally heat fats as little as possible. And use suitable fats for frying and baking. The label will tell you what they are.
Smoking, too much alcohol – both are not good for the skin. They trigger oxidation processes that quickly make your skin look old. If you regularly consume these recreational toxins, even a strictly anti-inflammatory diet cannot protect your skin from the oxidation processes.
Who has voluntary stress? But even if you can't stop it completely, it's worth consciously incorporating relaxation phases into your daily routine. Because when you’re stressed, your body produces inflammatory cytokines . By the way, chronic stress damages your skin in many ways .
Anti-inflammatory nutrition is good for your skin
You can counteract inflammatory skin conditions through your eating and lifestyle habits. This is of course particularly acute if you suffer from problems such as psoriasis, neurodermatitis, acne or rosacea. But even if your skin isn't so obviously on fire, it's worth paying attention to an anti-inflammatory diet for the sake of your skin. Because silent, subthreshold inflammation can become a constant burden without being noticed.
Incorporating anti-inflammatory foods into your daily routine is also easier than you might think. You don't need any expensive nutritional supplements. A colorful and healthy diet is much better.