Eat Your Way To Healthier Skin
Without doubt, diet will play an enormous role in whether you are healthy on the inside and the outside. The skin is the largest organ of the body and will reflect the health of the body. Nutrients are essential to replenish cells and maintain good tissue integrity. A good healthy skin diet will include antioxidants, vitamin and mineral rich foods such as fresh vegetables, fruits and proteins.
The diet should be low of processed and sugar rich foods. Replace gluten foods with nourishing foods such as a green salad. When we fill up on the typical gluten containing foods such breads, pastries,pies, cakes or biscuits, we are going to eat less of the nutrient dense foods such as fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. There are numerous reasons to keep the amount of gluten in the diet low. In evolutionary terms, it is a relatively new food. Some research will tell you that around 67% of people have a problem with gluten. This is aside from those people diagnoses with celiac disease who have tested positive to IgA antibodies.
Gluten is a problem for many reasons including;
- the fact that it is nutrient poor, calorie rich and breaks down to sugar;
- it can block the absorption of zinc – the most important nutrient for wound healing;
- it is a sticky substance that adheres to the walls of the cells;
- it is linked to damage to the wall of the small intestine. If gluten is eaten more than twice a week it is difficult for the integrity of the small intestine wall to repair itself;
- gluten is high on the “allergy” list of foods in people with dermatitis;
- gluten is a problem for around 40% of people with psoriasis.
Closely related to gluten problems is the intake of excess ‘junk food’. Most junk food comes with gluten containing foods such as bread rolls. Obesity and type 2 diabetes are at record levels which is largely due to dietary changes. Skin problems related to excess weight and diabetes include leg ulcers, aconthosis nigricans. Decrease sugar containing food and drinks. If you are drinking soda, soft drinks or juice, you probably have a high intake of sugar. Instead replace these drinks with immune boosting coconut water, filtered water or herb teas. Do not replace sugar containing drinks with Sugar Free Options – these are often sweetened with fructose or artificial sweeteners which come with a whole list of problems!
Increase your intake of;
- fermented dairy foods such as yoghurt and kefir
- green leafy vegetables – they are high in phytonutrients
- zinc rich foods such as oysters, beef, lamb,lean pork shoulder, chicken, pumpkin seeds, cashews, mung beans, mushrooms & spinach;
- antioxidant rich drinks such as green tea, brewed coffee and red wine;
- healthy sugar replacements such as stevie (if you can stand the taste), xylitol or trehalose;
- eat immune enhancing coconut and coconut milk (use in your curries);
- eat lots of turmeric, garlic and onion (unless you have a problem with sulfur) that are high in allicin which has antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and antiprotozoal activity;
- foods high in Omega 3. Western diets are high in Omega 6 and this imbalance of raised 6:3 is proinflammatory. Eat more omega 3 rich foods such as walnuts, salmon, sardines, prawns or shrimps, soy beans, tofu, brussels sprouts, cauliflower and pumpkin.
- Flax seed is also high in omega 3’s however only 10% of people are able to convert it to EPA/DHA;
Adequate water is of course necessary to hydrate the body and flush out toxins. Try to drink only filtered water. One of the main reasons why we have excess copper is the copper that comes from water pipes. This is especially important in Australia and New Zealand where we have zinc deficiency. When excess copper it causes an imbalance of the zinc to copper ratio which is highly linked to skin problems.