Clinical Nutrition for Healthy Skin: Putting In for an Outside Win“You are what you eat.” This phrase can be traced back to 1826 when French lawyer and politician, Anthelme Brillat-Savarin said, “Dis-moi ce que tu manges, je te dirai ce que tu es.” [Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are]. As it morphed into the English version (about one hundred years later coined by nutritionist and developer of the Catabolic Diet, Victor Lindlahr) it slowly became an underlying mantra for many who wanted to easily remind themselves of their good and bad food choices. However, ‘You are what you eat’ can often be summed up by a person’s calling card, their skin.

Today, our availability of such a huge variety of cleverly advertised, packaged, processed produce, meats, grains and so much more is short of overwhelming. In turn, it makes this phrase  (“You are what you eat”) pale in comparison to what people have been blinded into thinking what is and is not good for them. One of the first ‘red flags’ of poor nutritional choices is the expansion, pustulation, color, texture and overall appearance of your skin. By using clinical nutrition (under the guidance of a naturopathic doctor) you may very well be able to heal and/or rejuvenate your skin even if you think it is perfectly fine simply by changing your eating habits.

What is Clinical Nutrition?
Clinical nutrition is the proper use of specific nutritional choices to be able to achieve optimal health both internally as well as externally. Externally, it is the skin which is front and center directly in the line of defense every day. Clinical nutrition can help prevent adverse reactions to the skin as well as maintain strength, tone, elasticity and so much more. A naturopathic doctor trained in clinical nutrition will specifically assess what should and should not be ingested for your individual benefit. This assessment can include such things as a daily lifestyle report of habitual eating; personal and family medical history; laboratory testing of bodily fluids.

Interesting Skin Facts

  • The skin is the body’s largest organ stretching about 22 feet and weighing approximately 8 pounds.
  • Its 3 main jobs are to protect the body, produce vitamin D and regulate body temperature.
  • Approximately 40,000 dead skin cells shed about every minute making a person at age 70 capable of shedding about 105 pounds of skin.
  • The soles of the feet hold the thickest layers of skin and the thinnest layer is found as the eyelids.
  • It renews itself every 28 days.
  • Approximately 45 miles of nerves attach to the skin.
  • The skin emits upwards about of 3 gallons of sweat per day.

Proof is in the Pudding

Eating right for healthier skin can be chalked up to a variety of studies for various skin ailments. One skin ailment that is prominent amongst a large variety of teenagers and even some adults is acne. Even though there are still conventional health practitioners and organizations that feel diet has no baring on acne (and other skin related problems), there are many studies that beg to differ.

Many have always felt that due to factory farming practices, cow’s milk has been tainted with various factors. One is the naturally secreted hormones by the animal due to pregnancy. Also, there is the alleged pharmaceutically manipulation making the animal’s body think it is pregnant to produce more milk.  In addition, there is the over-administering of antibiotics for chronic animal illnesses.

One study conducted in 2005 by The Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, looked at the link between the high consumption of dairy and acne. Harvard researchers conducted a study of 47,355 women titled ‘High school dietary dairy intake and teenage acne’ and reported in their conclusion,

“We found a positive association with acne for intake of total milk and skim milk. We hypothesize that the association with milk may be because of the presence of hormones and bioactive molecules in milk.”

Skin Suckers
Some foods that may lead to adverse skin reactions include:

  • Salt – Increases inflammation, especially around the eyes.
  • Shellfish – Contains high amounts of iodine which is linked to acne.
  • Starch – Pasta, white flour, cakes and corn syrup are some of many processed foods or food ingredients that are responsible for increasing blood sugar which in turn can turn on sebaceous glands and over oil the skin.
  • Sugar – Another skin sin is processed and/or over-consumed sugar. Eating candy, soda, and straight sugar (in such things as beverages) can directly affect skin collagen which in turn can result in wrinkles and lines.
  • Alcohol and Caffeine – These are the simplest skin enemies in as much that they are diuretics which dehydrate the body. Dehydration means dry unhealthy skin.
  • Tobacco – This needs no explanation.

Skin Do’s and Don’t’s
Maintaining smart food choices is the pillar of clinical nutrition for skin. In addition, skin saving habits go hand-in-hand. After a detailed assessment by a naturopathic doctor you may be given some of these clinical nutrition tips and routines.

Shut Eye – Your skin will let you know when you are not getting enough sleep as it will often hang off your bones making you look worn and haggard.

Super Skin Foods – Below is a list of foods for boosting and maintaining healthy skin, recommended by Dr. Lawrence E. Gibson, professor of Dermatology at Mayo (Clinic) Medical School:

  • Carrots, apricots, and other yellow and orange fruits and vegetables – Contain beta-carotene a natural skin vitamin.
  • Watermelon – Hydrates, tones and reduces over-oil secretion.
  • Spinach and other green leafy vegetables – Contain the skin food vitamin A.
  • Beans, peas, lentils, nuts and seeds – Skin strengthening fats, antioxidants and fiber.
  • Salmon, mackerel and other fatty fish – Skin strengthening omega-3
  • Tomatoes – Vitamins A, C, K plus lycopene, a quadruple punch for skin health.

Water – San Francisco dermatologist and co-author of ‘Write Your Skin a Prescription for a Change’ comments on the importance of hydration, “It goes through the intestines, gets absorbed into your bloodstream, and is filtered by kidneys. Then it hydrates cells.”

Natural Sunscreens – An additional side benefit of these food choices is that they can actually assist in protecting your skin from sun damage. They are:

  • Blueberries
  • Apricots
  • Dark chocolate
  • Tomatoes that are stewed (cooking tomatoes releases more of the lycopene)
  • Oranges
  • Carrots
  • Watermelon
  • Orange and yellow peppers
  • Spinach

Medicinal eating for healthy skin can be just what you need to put that glow back on and that spring back in. Learn how clinical nutrition can be used as an integral, easy to incorporate tool for ongoing, vibrant skin.

At Integrative Med Solutions, we will design an acupuncture and naturopathic treatment program that works for you.  In many cases, insurance covers portions of the acupuncture treatment. Allow us to support you to achieve optimal health.  To make an appointment or find out more about how acupuncture and naturopathic medicine can benefit you, please call our office at 914.337.2980 or CLICK HERE to schedule an online appointment.

*Please CLICK HERE to see a current list of In-Network Insurance Companies for Acupuncture that we participate with as well as insurance companies that commonly have Out-of-Network benefits. Please call 914.337.2980 or securely email to verify your specific benefits. If you are emailing, please include your full name, date of birth and insurance identification card number.

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