Have you ever wondered how much your diet can affect your skin? Turns out, a lot. At least, that's what research says ( 1 ). Changes in your diet affect not only your overall health, but also your skin. This is especially true for vegans. Ditching poultry and meat is certainly going to help the environment by reducing your carbon footprint, but is it really good for your skin? The answer is more complicated than a simple yes or no. That's what we'll decipher in this article.
Vegan Diet And Your Skin: Does It Improve Your Skin
What is a Vegan Diet? A vegan diet excludes all sorts of animal products, including dairy, eggs, and meat. It involves eating only plant-based food items. How does a plant-based diet help you get naturally beautiful skin? Well, when you switch to a vegan diet, you provide dense nutrients to your body.
Your skin can benefit from a plant-based diet in multiple ways:
- When you switch to a plant-based diet, you cut the amount of saturated fat you consume every day. As a result, your body's insulin function improves, and production of glucagon increases ( 2 ). This controls the sugar metabolism in your body. Imbalance in insulin levels is a major cause of increased sebum production, which clogs the skin's pores and causes acne ( 3 )
- When you switch to a plant-based diet, your intake of fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidant increases. These antioxidants prevent oxidative damage and keep you healthy ( 4 ). Additionally, an antioxidant-rich diet helps you fight the harmful free radicals that often cause premature aging. It also prevents photodamage, wrinkles, and inflammation to keep your skin healthy and glowing ( 5 )
- The antioxidants found in a vegan diet also help reduce acne and keep your skin clear. They prevent oxidative stress, reduce the formation of zits, and improve your skin's radiance ( 6 ), ( 7 )
- Collagen is the building block of your body and component that maintains your skin's elasticity. Nutritional antioxidants prevent the degradation of collagen and elastin and, as a result, prevent skin aging ( 8 )
- Did you know that you can get that pinkish glow on your face without using a blush? You can also naturally improve your complexion without using any fairness creams or bleaching agents. It's all possible with a vegan diet. I am not joking! A vegan diet increases the levels of vitamins and carotenoids in your body ( 9 ). Carotenoids can improve your complexion and improve the overall appearance of your skin 10 )
Whoa! I bet you never imagined that going vegan could improve your skin this much! Veganism has sparked a lot of debate over the past few years. As far as your skin is concerned, it's clear that there are several benefits of switching to a plant-based diet. But is it right to ditch animal products entirely? Would not that affect your skin? Let's find out
How Ditching Poultry and Meat Affects Your Skin
The answer to this question is not as simple as you think. Some animal products may be the culprits behind several skin issues while others are beneficial to your skin. We will explore both sides of this argument in this section.
An animal-based diet can be the worst food culprit for several reasons:
1. It Causes Acne
A study involving 47,355 women found a definite link between milk consumption and acne. This is because milk produced by pregnant animals (cows and goats) contains high levels of growth hormone, which causes excess oil secretion and breakouts ( 11 ). It Causes Inflammation
Consuming high-fat dairy products, pork and red meat increases inflammation in your body. It also causes insulin imbalance, which then affects your health and skin ( 12 ), ( 13 ). Increased levels of inflammation can break down the collagen in your body, joint tissues, and skin. As a result, your skin loses elasticity and youthful glow.
Additionally, in the first few weeks of quitting an animal-based diet, you may also notice an improvement in your cholesterol levels, energy levels, bowel movements, and sleep . These changes in your overall health have a positive effect on your skin as well
Quitting an animal-based diet can also negatively impact your skin. Here is how:
1. It can cause protein deficiency
Meat and poultry products contain "high quality" protein ( 14 ). It is very difficult to get enough protein from a vegan diet alone. The main sources of protein for vegans are soy, rice, beans, and veggies. Hundred grams of each (about ½ cups) of these foods contain between 5-20 grams of protein. On the flip side, 100 grams of an animal product contains 20-30 grams of protein. Less protein consumption may have a negative impact on your skin, nails, and hair and also affect your immune system
Of course, you can have a hemp protein (which is a high protein source) to bridge the gap, but overconsumption of hemp can increase the amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids in your body, which could spell danger for your immune system ( 15 ). It May Cause Vitamin Deficiency
Most of the time, people choose simple carbohydrates when on a vegan diet and forget to include enough fruits and vegetables to meet the needs of their body. This can affect the skin. Not supplying adequate vitamins and minerals (especially vitamin B12) to your skin can cause dark circles and dull skin and affect the quality of your hair and nails. Vitamin B12 deficiency can turn your skin pale and also affect the red blood cell levels
3. It can cause calcium deficiency
A study found that vegans have a high risk of bone fracture due to their low calcium intake ( 16 ). Calcium is not only crucial for your bone health, but it is also vital for your skin health. Calcium can affect the skin and skin functions such as dry skin ( 17 ).
You may be surprised to know that five out of six people who quit meat for a vegan diet return to being omnivore again! A survey done on 11,000 people found that 70% of vegans returned to animal-based diet while 80% of vegetarians did the same ( 18 )
No, we are not discouraging you if you have already make up your mind to turn vegan. We are presenting the facts that could help you make an informed decision. It may seem that a plant-based diet is not sustainable in the long run as it comes with a host of challenges. It is not impossible, but to follow such a diet, but you will need to consider your social setting, geography of the place, agricultural practices, and availability of fresh produce. What Is The Way Out
Striking The Perfect Balance
Research says that a balanced diet that contains a variety of nutrient-rich foods is always good for your health (and your skin). A diet that strikes the perfect balance between animal-based food items and vegetables reduces the risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and a host of other health and skin-related issues 14 19659006] You do not have to sacrifice your chicken nuggets for glowing skin. Instead, you can tweak your diet a bit to enjoy the best of both worlds and still have a healthy skin. Reduce your intake of processed food. Do not drink skim milk. Make sure the milk you are drinking and the meat you are eating are from grass-fed animals.
A vegan diet can be very healthy for you. However, a diet that includes seafood, poultry, and dairy products, along with whole grains and vegetables, can keep your skin healthier. But, at the end of the day, what you put on your plate is entirely your decision. Hope this article helps you gauge the effects and make a informed decision
What are your thoughts on veganism? 19659040] References
- " Diet and Dermatology … " The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology "Nutrition, US National Library of Medicine." "Changes in serum desnutrin levels … " Antioxidant activities of various fruits "International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, US National Library of Medicine
- " Systemic antioxidants and skin health Journal of Drugs in Dermatology ] Oxidants and Anti-Oxidants Status … "Annals of Clinical and Laboratory Science, US National Library of Medicine
- " "Dermato Endocrinology , US Nation "Dermato Endocrinology, US National Library of Medicine
- " "" Acta Physiologica Hungarica, <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> , "The Journal of Nutrition."
- " Saturated Fatty Acid … " The Journal of Nutrition
- " Role of poultry meat in a balanced diet … " Food and Nutrition Research, US National Library of Medicine
- " Health Effects of Vegan Diet "The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
- Role of Micronutrients in Skin Health and Function "Biomolecules and Therapeutics, US National Library of Medicine
- " "Humane Research Council
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