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No-Nonsense Nutrition Report: Diet and Beautiful Skin

My Blessed and Valued Subscriber:

beautiful skin The skin is the largest organ of the body. Your skin helps regulate body temperature and acts as a filter, keeping harmful substances out and preventing infections, makes vitamin D from sunshine, and prevents dehydration. 

Your skin is in a constant state of growth, with old cells dying as new cells are forming. It's affected by every aspect of your life, from what you eat to where you live. Keeping your skin healthy is important for more than just cosmetic reasons. 

Healthy skin fights signs of aging better, heals faster and prevents potential disease better than unhealthy skin. Changes to the skin can signal a deeper problem. Rashes, hives, and itching may signal an allergic reaction, a bacterial skin infection, a viral infection, or an autoimmune disease. Therefore, keeping your skin healthy begins from the inside out. 

Specific Conditions: 

I will touch on the most common conditions that affect the skin. 

Beauty and Aging: We all want to look our best and put our best face forward every day of our lives! We all want skin that’s smooth, clear, firm and vibrant. Wrinkles develop and we all get them if we live long enough. However, if you are dehydrated, your skin is as well. Wrinkles as well as uneven patches seem to develop more easily in dehydrated skin.
 
As we age, the outer layer of our skin thins and loses elasticity. As this happens, our skin tends to show more signs of aging and acquires more wrinkles. Production of natural collagen, one of the most abundant proteins in the body, declines with age. It makes up a large part of our skin, hair and nails. Stress, poor diet, gut health imbalances can also decrease the body’s ability to make it. 

Using topical products containing collagen is not nearly as effective as consuming collagen internally. You can get collagen in capsules, as a powder you can add to food and drinks and in bone broth. A study conducted last year found that women who took collagen hydrolysate regularly for 8 weeks saw a 20% reduction in wrinkles! Eating fresh, organic vegetables and grass fed, wild caught and pasture raised animal products adds to the foundation of health and healthy skin.  

Acne: This is one of the most common skin problems for which people seek the advice of a dermatologist, and one of the most frequently misunderstood and mistreated conditions. Dermatologists usually begin by prescribing topical treatments to reduce production of oil and kill bacteria. 

If the acne persists or worsens, you may then be prescribed oral antibiotics. Unfortunately killing off bad bacteria this way also harms and disrupts the good bacteria and can result in yeast infections and cause creation of resistant bacteria. If the acne is severe and these things don’t work an oral medication like Accutane would be the next line of defense. This drug is no longer on the market, but other forms are still used and there are very serious side effects connected to these drugs. Often women are prescribed specific birth control pills to control pre-menstrual acne flare ups. 

A high carb diet and dairy cause inflammation and are the first things you should seek to eliminate from your diet in order to clear your skin. Additionally dairy, particularly if not grass-fed or organic, is full of hormones, which raises insulin levels. Of course, packaged, processed, junk foods high in sugar and toxic oils should also be avoided. 

Grain-based carbohydrates and dairy both raise your insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), which can lead to the release of increased male hormones, such as testosterone. This causes your pores to secrete more sebum, the oily substance that traps the bacteria that fuels acne on your skin. Begin reducing sugary carbs like bagels, bread, cookies and muffins. Replace them with whole foods like grass fed meat, organic vegetables and high-quality fats. Good fats like avocados and avocado oil, olives and olive oil, coconut oil and grass fed butter reduce inflammation so don’t be afraid they will aggravate your skin. 

Reduce your consumption of corn, oats, rice, wheat, pasta and potatoes. As with keeping your skin looking young, drinking adequate water and staying well hydrated is also very important. 

Eczema: The number of eczema cases in the Unites States has nearly tripled in the past 30 years. It usually develops before the age of 5 years old when a child’s gut and immune system are most vulnerable. Eczema is a recurring skin disorder. Flare-ups look like dry, red patches of skin that crust, flake, and can develop into oozing blisters. 

Eczema literally means “the itch that rashes,” meaning, there’s really no rash until you start scratching the itchy area and it is often triggered by food allergies. If you have eczema some of the most common allergenic foods that may cause a flare up are milk, eggs, soy, gluten, nuts, fish and shellfish. Fish like wild caught salmon and sardines that are high in omega 3's are calming and anti-inflammatory and should be part of your diet. 

Again, reducing intake of sugary foods and a lot of carbs which turn to sugar in the system and raise insulin levels resulting in inflammation is highly recommended. Eliminating nightshades like potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers and eggplant is also helpful as they can be triggers for flare ups as well. 

Including probiotics and naturally fermented and cultured foods including sauerkraut, kimchi, kombuch, kefir and plain yogurt can restore the microbial ecosystems of the body. 

Psoriasis: Psoriasis is a chronic disease of your immune system. It presents as a skin condition affecting up to 7.5 million Americans, where reddened rashes or plaques, which are very itchy and sometimes painful and covered in silvery scales can appear on the skin of the scalp, back of the wrists, elbows, knees, buttocks, ankles and sites of repeated trauma. There is a family history in 50% of cases. Some individuals also go on to experience associated arthritis (psoriatic arthritis), which can cause debilitating joint damage. 

Psoriasis is caused by a buildup of skin cells that have replicated too rapidly. The rate at which skin cells divide in psoriasis is roughly 1000 faster than normal skin cells, which is simply too fast for the cells to shed, so they accumulate, resulting in the silvery, scales characteristic of psoriasis. 

Incomplete digestion increases levels of undigested protein in the bowel and creates compounds called polyamines, which contribute to the excessive formation of skin cells. Taking protein digesting enzymes to ensure proper protein digestion may be helpful. 

Higher than normal toxicity from gut bacteria have been found in people with psoriasis. These toxins increase skin cell build up. Increasing dietary fiber, including probiotics and naturally fermented foods and healthy fats that promote gut health is recommended. 

People with psoriasis often have a far higher production of inflammatory compounds called leukotrienes, which are produced from arachadonic acid. Increasing intake of foods high in anti-inflammatory omega 3 fats as well as including quercetin, vitamin E, garlic, onions has been shown to be very effective. 

As with eczema, food allergies may be a trigger, the most common one being gluten. 

It is imperative that you have your vitamin D levels tested and maintain levels in the therapeutic range of 50-70 ng/ml year-round as vitamin D is a potent immune modulator, making it very important for the prevention of autoimmune diseases. Safe exposure to sunlight is the best way to do this but you can certainly supplement as well.

Secrets, Tips and Products:

drinking water womanImproving your diet is the most effective and important step you can take to improve the health of your skin. 

Just a word on collagen and gelatin since you may see both. Collagen is the basic form of the protein as it is found in the body, and gelatin is produced when collagen is boiled or otherwise heated. The two have very similar compositions and are almost interchangeable. 

Basically collagen powder is Hydrolyzed gelatin. The proteins are broken down into their individual peptide chains, which typically makes them easier to digest. It is tasteless and also mixes easily into most hot and cold drinks and foods. I use a collagen powder in my morning tea and I always add a scoop into my hot chocolate when I have it.  

Gelatin coats the digestive tract and is often used in cooking when you want to create a gel. When you make bone broth you’ll see it creates a gel because the collagen in the bones is heated and cooked. I used gelatin to help heal my stomach when I suspected leaky gut and was getting stomach aches periodically. Both collagen and gelatin are quite healing. Just be sure the collagen or gelatin you use are sourced from pasture-raised and grass-fed animals. 

The health and quality of your skin is strongly linked to the health of your gut. Therefore taking a high quality probiotic to ensure optimal digestive health is recommended. Eating naturally fermented and cultured foods is also a great way to increase intake of probiotics.  

Good fats in the form of Omega 3s are also recommended and one of the best sources is krill oil.   

Because wheat products in general and gluten in particular are so inflammatory, eliminating them from your diet can make a huge difference.  

Reducing stress and finding effective ways to deal with it like Christian EFT and improving the quality of your sleep are also important for reducing inflammation and keeping your skin glowing and healthy.  

NO-NONSENSE NUTRITION NUGGET: Every minute, your skin sheds 30,000 dead cells. Your skin can release up to 3 gallons of sweat in hot weather. Every 28 days your skin completely renews itself. This is why it is important to properly nourish it from the inside out.
Until next week, I wish you overflowing, abundant health, peace and joy and I call you BLESSED (empowered to prosper and succeed). 

Ann 

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Your fork is the most powerful tool you have to transform your health. 

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Every time you eat is an opportunity to nourish your body. 

As always, all information offered in these reports is provided for informational purposes only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being. 

“You can trace every sickness, every disease and every ailment to a nutritional deficiency.” Dr. Linus Pauling



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