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How Does Diet Affect Your Physical Appearance?

By Barbara Sorensen

The consequences of what you put into your body eventually breaks through to the outside and affects your physical appearance. The most obvious physical factors are weight and skin. These are the aspects that are noticed first. If you are eating predominantly fast food on a regular basis, you will put on weight. Likewise, your skin will probably reflect the amount of grease and saturated fats you have been consuming. The key to looking well is eating well.

Types

Foods that are good for body weight seem to be equally good for skin appearance. Foods that help your skin look fresh and healthy include carrots, apricots, yellow and orange fruits and vegetables, blueberries, spinach, tomatoes, beans, peas and lentils, fish, nuts, and a variety of green, leafy vegetables, according to MayoClinic.com.

Misconceptions

It's important to note there usually isn’t just one particular food that will make your skin look bad, unless you have an allergy to it. But consumption of foods high in sugar, salt and fat can exacerbate already irritated skin. Eating a healthy diet will boost your immune system, which in turn will enable your body to fight infections that may or may not affect your skin.

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Significance

Drinking plenty of water is one easy way to ward off many illnesses, flush your system and keep your skin looking fresh and healthy. Since so many men and women exercise strenuously, it's critical they keep themselves hydrated. Four to five pints of water a day is a good rule of thumb. Plain water is recommended, although you can supplement with delicately infused water. Drinks to avoid are those that dehydrate you, like coffee, tea and soda pop, most of which contain caffeine.

Warning

When discussing diet and appearance, it's necessary to consider the issue of body image, especially the body image teenage girls often have of themselves. It's true our country has a problem with obesity and overeating. But it's equally true teenage girls suffer from poor body image, which can result in anorexia and bulimia. Advertising pummels young women with unnatural weight images, while at the same time encouraging them to eat fast food. A sensible diet to achieve a sensible appearance is often overlooked. No matter what you eat, you can’t change your natural body type. Healthy bodies come in all shapes and sizes.

Solution

To help young men and women develop a practical body image, Brown University’s Student Health Services suggests they spend time with friends who have a healthy relationship with food, activity and their bodies. A diet can either help or hinder physical appearance, depending on how you use it. Being sensible with diet means eating fresh, whole foods that are low in sugar, salt, and fat and drinking plenty of water.

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