Bacon is a super trendy (and some might even say beloved) food. Perfectly paired with breakfast, delicious crumbled on salads and sometimes sprinkled on desserts like ice cream, bacon can be a pretty versatile food.
However, a new study may have you thinking twice about adding bacon to all kinds of meals. Research has found that the nitrates, sulfites and sodium in bacon can lead to inflammation, which could harm your skin. Normally, inflammation is just another one of the body's immune responses, according to YouBeauty. However, when inflammation becomes a constant, it can wreak havoc on your skin, causing problems from rosacea to acne and wrinkles.
According to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, the average American eats 18 pounds of bacon a year, so you may very well have reason to worry. If you're thinking that just trading in the bacon for sausage will eliminate your problem, you'd be wrong. Processed meats in general have high rates of sodium and nitrates, and another study found that eating just three ounces of them a day can cause higher rates of stomach cancer. (However, another study from a university in Zurich found that consuming niacin-filled foods like bacon could actually help you live longer.) Considering all these factors, we still think it might be smart to save bacon for special occasions.
Bacon isn't the only food that's bad for skin. Bread and milk lovers may have a problem too. Both foods spike the body's insulin levels, which can cause acne. Instead, you may want to consider enjoying pomegranates, broccoli and nuts, which are all more likely to do positive things for your skin.
Watch the video above to learn more about how bacon can cause wrinkles and acne. Then, check out the slideshow below to discover what to eat to protect your skin!
Protect Your Skin With These Vitamins and Spices
What we eat can provide a helping hand to the SPF in your sunscreen. Here are some nutritional treasures that can protect skin from damage and promote a glowing, radiant complexion.
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Have you ever heard the words collagen and youthful skin in the same sentence and wondered what all the fuss was about? Collagen, found in all animals, is a protein that not only provides structural support throughout our bodies, but also aids in skin cell renewal. As we age, collagen in the skin begins to lose elasticity, which can lead to thinner, weaker skin—not something we look forward to. Diet plays a role in keeping collagen in tip-top shape, and one of the best sources of collagen-boosting foods are healthy fats called Omega-3 fatty acids.
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Omega-3s are anti-inflammatory, meaning they may help decrease inflammation that can damage proteins such as—yep, you guessed it—collagen. This may lead to enhanced collagen function, which in turn can lead to firmer, more youthful-looking skin.
Top sources of Omega-3s include salmon, sardines, tuna and trout. Aim for three ounces three times a week to do the trick. Don’t like salmon or other fish? No problem—good plant sources of Omega-3s include flaxseed, chia seed, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and canola oil.
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We know to wear sunscreen to guard against the sun’s damaging UV rays, but evidence also suggests we can protect our skin with the antioxidant vitamins A, C and E. This impressive trio has been shown to curb some of the damaging effects of free radicals—molecules that harm skin. And because vitamin C is necessary for the synthesis of collagen, researchers continue to examine its anti-aging effects.
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Get the biggest antioxidant bang for your buck with foods such as spinach, cantaloupe, red pepper and broccoli, which are good sources of both vitamins A and C. For a dose of vitamin E, go for sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, peanut butter, spinach and broccoli.
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Herbs and spices
It’s all too easy to focus on the benefits of certain foods and forget about the antioxidant powerhouses that season them. Just as certain compounds in food can reduce aging that occurs from oxidative stress, herbs and spices also have compounds that can provide that same benefit.
Cloves, commonly used in curries and pumpkin pie seasonings, contain polyphenolic compounds that have antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. In fact, one study found cloves had the highest total antioxidant capacity compared with 25 other herbs and spices. Try cloves in combination with cinnamon and dried ginger and add to oatmeal, whole grain muffins or breads and baked apples.
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Herbs and spices
Have mustard in your kitchen? You may be closer to one of the biggest anti-aging dynamos—turmeric—than you realize. A recent review of the potential skin benefits of curcumin (the active compound found in turmeric) found that it diminishes stress in skin cells, demonstrating its anti-aging capabilities. In addition, curcumin has potential anti-cancer and beneficial scar-diminishing properties.
Have fun mixing it up with these skin-protecting foods. The delicious combinations will keep your skin luminous, while boosting the health of the rest of your body!
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