March is nutrition month in Canada, so to get you in the spirit of embracing your inner foodie, we’re discussing the most common three skin conditions associated with nutritional deficiency. This quick guide will help you identify the symptoms and adjust your diet to pave your way to better skin.
Nutritionally speaking, there are three main contributors to acne outbreaks.
The first one is over consumption of cow’s milk. Because it spikes blood sugar, it increases inflammation and that leads to pimples. It also increases insulin levels, which encourage the production of skin oils, a major contributor to acne. A lot of the milk sold commercially is produced by pregnant cows, thus containing even more hormones that can throw your own system out of balance. Also, if you are in a country that allows growth hormones, remnants of these can encourage the overgrowth of skin cells, blocking pores in the process.
The second one is no big shock for most folks. Sugar is a major culprit. Now, don’t get upset too quickly. You aren’t going to break out from head to toe from eating that cookie you have in your hand as you read this. However, if you regularly consume a lot of sugar, especially in a short period of time, you are spiking your blood sugar levels. This is a driving force in break outs.
Finally, there are high-glycemic foods. Much like sugar, foods that break down quickly in the body can trigger an insulin spike and raise blood sugar levels. Foods like white bread, so processed breakfast cereals, white rice, pretzels, and potato chips can cause the same type breakouts as if you’d sat down and eaten a bowl of sugar.
Let’s talk about vitamin deficiency and skin. The key to controlling psoriasis is to eat foods high in Vitamin D and Omega 3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to decrease inflammation, and psoriasis is a disease of inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids also seem to have a positive impact on the body’s immune system. While the jury is still out on just how effective they are in treatment, studies show that they can play a key role in reducing outbreaks.
On the other hand, there is no doubt that vitamin D plays a prime role in prevention and treatment. It is the main active ingredient in several topical prescription medications. Psoriasis increases the growth of the skin’s cells. Vitamin D can change the way cells grow and may slow their growth.
Of course, the best way to ensure you are getting enough vitamin D is through diet, as too much can cause your calcium level to soar, putting you at risk of goat and other problems. Focus on eating enough of the following foods: Cod liver oil, salmon, mackerel, tuna fish (in water), orange juice (fortified with vitamin D), eggs (vitamin D is found in the yolk), swiss cheese and fortified cereals.
There is little worse than painful, dry, cracked skin. It’s when no amount of moisturizer alleviates the insatiable itch or the embarrassment of having less-than-perfect skin that desperation sets in.
The secret is to avoid foods high in histamine. Foods high in histamines can cause allergic reactions and inflammation that fuel psoriasis. The list of food that help to decrease flare ups and promote skin repair include: Bananas (histamine-lowering nutrients, magnesium and vitamin C); beef or chicken broth (skin-repairing amino acid glycine); potatoes (potassium, vitamin C, alkalines); green onions (anti-inflammatory quercetin and source of vitamin K for healthy skin.
While eating or not eating certain foods is not 100% effective in preventing any of these skin problems, your diet can greatly affect the number and severity of outbreaks. Give some adjustments to your eating plan a chance and see how it works out for you.
Annu is best known for her authentic, non-judgmental teaching style and compassion centered self-love practices. She is instrumental in weaving ancient wisdom teachings of yoga into a modern day practice aimed at serving people at all levels. Annu is dynamic in teaching Vinyasa, Hatha, Yin, Power Yoga and Meditation. She is committed to finding key approaches to encourage the growth of the physical and spiritual self; helping others inspire thoughts into action in creating a life you deserve.
Laura is Greeniche’s in-house nutritionist, a yoga and Pilates instructor, and is also an international health and wellness ambassador.Discover Laura
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