There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding around fruit and whether or not it is healthy for you. The post-Atkins era has left the general public with the feeling that fruit may not be that great or that it's important not to indulge because fruit has sugar. But here's the real low-down on our naturally sweet friends:
• Sugar itself is not bad for you, but excess blood sugar is. Glucose is a form of sugar that our cells actually use for energy. We cannot live without it. It is essential, and your body can make it from nearly anything - carbs, fats, other forms of sugar, etc. So the concept of sugar in and of itself is not a bad thing.
What isn't good though are abnormal fluctuations in our blood sugar. When sugar is consumed, it is released into the bloodstream to be delivered to cells and used as fuel. Fruit, being rich in fiber, allows for healthier digestion and time-released amounts of sugar (fructose) into the blood stream. Since fiber is a component here, blood sugar does not spike while eating fruit.
Added sugars on the other hand inundate our bloodstream, causing stress on our pancreas and inflammation in the body. And inflammation is a big, big problem when it comes to our skin. In fact, acne, rosacea, psoriasis, hives, eczema, and dermatitis are all categorized as inflammatory skin conditions - it's right there in the title! Steering clear of all added, processed sugars is essential for combating these skin disorders.
• Fruit supports a strong, healthy immune system. Vitamin C is an incredibly crucial nutrient in supporting a healthy immune system. And a healthy immune system equals less inflammation and a decrease in dreaded skin disorder symptoms. The more vitamin C we eat, the less red our skin will be and the faster the healing time for lesions or inflammation that has already formed. And the food most naturally high in this skin healthy nutrient? You guessed it - fruit. The best part is that you cannot overdo it when it comes to vitamin C intake. This is a water-soluble vitamin so whatever your body doesn't need it is able to get rid of, meaning no risk of toxicity. So grab those bananas and eat your heart out!
• Fruit is high in antioxidants. Free radicals cause the breakdown of collagen and elastin (the proteins within your skin that keep it plump and firm). Consuming fruit increases the amount of antioxidants in your body, which work to neutralize these free radicals and promote healthy, youthful skin. Not only that, but more antioxidants means a more naturally healthy glow. So feel good about investing in some berries instead of a bronzer!
Not only that, but fruit is often times high in other vitamins crucial to skin health that often times aren't found in everyday processed foods. Nutrients like vitamin A support healthy skin turnover and repair, or vitamin E which supports healing and fights sun damage.
The effects of eating fruit for your skin are endless, making this food group one of the best answers out there when dealing with an inflammatory skin condition. The best ways to incorporate these beauties is in the morning on an empty stomach. Eat as much fruit as your heart desires and snack as well throughout the day. Green smoothies (sample recipe) are also a great option for something quick and easy on the go.