Capt. Courtney Thornton
In a world where thousands of expensive beauty products exist, all promising youthful, vibrant and healthy skin, what should you do? Let’s start with nutrition. What you put into your body is just as important as what you put on your body.
The nutrition focus for healthy skin should be aimed at targeting excess sebum production, inflammation and hydration. Too much sebum, an oily substance produced by our skin naturally, can plug our hair follicles, causing acne. Increases in sebum production can be due to age, stress and dietary intake. Some studies have related increases in acne to increases in intake of sugar and sugary foods, white bread, potatoes and white rice. These products are also lower in nutrient content. Substitutions for these products are listed in the next section.
For inflammation, aim to consume more:
• Fruits and vegetables: Focus on citrus fruits, tomatoes, red and green peppers, kiwi fruit, vegetable oils, nuts, seeds and green leafy vegetables.
• Lean proteins, such as chicken or fish
• Low-fat or fat-free dairy products
• Whole grains such as wheat bread, brown rice and oatmeal
• Fresh herbs and spices: Try out turmeric to spice up your next meal!
Lastly, you will want to stay hydrated. On average, women need about 11.5 cups of water per day and men need about 15.5 cups of water per day. An easy way to check whether you are drinking enough water is to check the color of your urine. If your urine is pale yellow, you are hydrated. If your urine is a darker yellow color, you will need to increase your water intake.
Follow these nutrition steps to start you on your journey to healthy skin.
Capt. Courtney Thornton, a registered dietician, is the chief of outpatient nutrition at the Womack Army Medical Center Nutrition Clinic. Our team of registered dietitians is here to help meet your nutrition needs. Our services include nutrition briefings, nutrition education and counseling for weight management, performance nutrition, high cholesterol and blood pressure, diabetes, food allergies, pregnancy nutrition and more. Individual appointments are only available to Tricare beneficiaries. Call 910-907-3438 for more information.