SWOLLEN, RED, and unattractive skin is a nightmare we all want to avoid. Puffiness and inflammation can cause problems for your complexion, increase aging of the skin, and promote the appearance of wrinkles. There are many foods that can trigger inflammation in your skin, but there are also many foods that fight inflammation. First, we’ll take a look at what causes puffiness and inflammation. Then we’ll discuss the foods you should skip, and those you should seek out to help your skin look beautiful.
Puffiness: The How and Why
When you glance in the mirror in the morning, is the skin below your eyes puffy? Puffy eyes are a common problem and are caused by fluid building up between your skin cells. In medical terms, the accumulation of fluid between cells is called edema. It occurs when fluid from your blood vessels is forced into your tissues.
Inflammation and burns to the skin can cause puffiness. Changes in your blood, such as low levels of protein or too much sodium, can also force fluid into your tissues. To battle puffiness with a proper diet, it’s necessary to design meals that have all of the essential amino acids so your blood can make the proteins it needs to work properly.
What Is Inflammation?
The immune system is responsible for protecting you from foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses. White blood cells are the army of the immune system. They travel to an infected area of your body and guard it against infection. To do so, they destroy infected cells and engulf viruses and bacteria. White blood cells act like a clean-up crew, vacuuming up broken components of the skin. In the process of protecting and cleaning, however, white blood cells can leak chemicals that harm healthy cells. This release of chemicals increases blood flow to the affected area, resulting in redness and swelling (inflammation).
What Triggers Inflammation?
Inflammation in the skin can be triggered by any source of damage, including sunlight, chemicals in your environment, cosmetics, and soaps. Sunlight is you skin’s number one enemy. It is the main reason that skin looks red, puffy, wrinkled, and rough and can have dark spots. Sunlight damages the skin with its ultraviolet radiation.
Sun Exposure Triggers Inflammation and Aging
Damage to the skin through sun exposure is called photoaging. Photoaging can lead to skin inflammation, cancer, wrinkles, and age spots. Sun exposure reduces the number of blood vessels in your skin. Blood vessels provide your skin with the oxygen and nutrients that it needs to repair and rebuild and look beautiful. When sun exposure reduces the number of blood vessels, the skin becomes malnourished and is unable to repair itself. This damaged skin is unhealthy and tends to get inflamed
Your Diet Can Trigger Inflammation
The sun is an external cause of inflammation, but making poor food choices can lead to inflammation as well. Junk food and foods that are high in sugar are associated with puffy, zapped-looking skin, so it’s important to avoid foods such as chocolate bars, candy, soda, fried foods, and processed foods for these reasons.
Unhealthy fats such as saturated and trans fats also make inflammation worse. Trans fats are the so-called “bad fats” added to processed foods to extend their shelf life. These fats build up and cause problems in your circulatory system. The bigger problem, however, is saturated fat, which contains arachidonic acid. Too much arachidonic acid in your diet can make inflammation worse.