We all want smooth glowing skin, whatever our age. What you eat has a major impact on the state of the largest and fastest growing organ of our body (skin!). Why not begin day with a nutrient dense, skin loving breakfast and set yourself up for success. Lets have a look at the major macros and the role they play in the health of our skin. (or you can click here to get your copy of our 7 Day Skin Loving Breakfast Recipe Book)
Your muscles, hair, nails, skin and eyes are made of protein. The building blocks of protein are amino acids. There are 22 different amino acids, eight of them are essential (meaning we cannot build proteins without these eight essential ones. Your body cannot make the essential amino acids so we have to consume them via our diet.
These are the essential amino acids:
Animal proteins all contain every single one of these essential amino acids, so they're called complete proteins.( meat, fish, poultry, eggs, milk, all dairy including cheese). If you're an ovo-lacto-vegetarian (only eggs or dairy products), you can get complete proteins when you eat the eggs or dairy products.
Plant proteins are a little different. Each plant has a different amino acid profile. For example, grains and cereals are extremely low in lysine but high in tryptophan, methionine and cystine. S If you only eat grains and cereals, you won't reach your recommended intake of lysine.
However, legumes such as peanuts, peas, dry beans, and lentils contain a lot of lysine. As long as you eat some grains and some legumes, you'll get some of each essential amino acid.
When we eat protein, our digestive processes break it down into these amino acids, which pass into the blood and are carried throughout the body. Your cells can then select the amino acids they need for the construction of new body tissue, antibodies, hormones, enzymes, and blood cells. Getting some protein at each meal can help with blood sugar management, metabolism and weight loss. This is because protein helps you feel fuller longer and uses up a lot of calories to absorb and metabolise it.
Essential fattys acids (EFA's) are necessary for us to stay healthy and maintain the integrity of our skin. We are unable to naturally produce these fats so must, again, consume them in our diet.
The EFA's include:
all of which are found in cold-pressed oils, seeds, cold-water fish, and other sources.
If you suffer from either dryness, flaking, scaling, cracking and peeling, dullness, dandruff, inflammation or redness, increased breakouts, Increased flare-ups of psoriasis, rosacea, and eczema sagging and bagging or premature aging, you may be deficient on all or some of these EFA's.
EFA's keep cell membranes intact and functioning properly. This helps skin hold onto nutrients and moisture, while flushing out waste products. They reduces acne breakouts by balancing hydration in the skin. Without enough EFAs in the diet, the skin turns dry, prompting it to produce more oil to compensate, which can result in more acne. Reduces inflammation, which can decrease flare-ups of psoriasis and other skin conditions. It is possible that EFA's can reduce the risk of skin cancer, by reducing the inflammation caused by UV rays.
List of omega-6 fatty acids (moderation)
-Evening primrose oil
-Organic Free Range Chicken and other poultry meat
-Grass fed Red Meat
List of omega-3 fatty acids - (consume most of)
-Fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and mackerel, tuna (be wary of the mercury content), anchovies, and black cod
-Dark green leafy veggies, like kale, spinach, and collards
(some of these foods appear on both lists as they contain both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids)
Refined carbs are simply sugars in disguise and include pure sugar, flour, refined cereal products, white potatoes, and fruit juice. They are the prime suspects in many of the common diseases we see tody, including acne.
All starches are turned into sugar as soon as it hits your bloodstream. Eating a diet high in refined carbohydrates can set you up for insulin resistance - which can lead to Type II diabetes.
"After a meal laden with refined carbohydrates, the body’s blood-sugar levels soar, and the pancreas sprays insulin into the bloodstream to help cells convert the food’s energy (glucose) into fuel. But the body often miscalculates and releases too much insulin because (again) evolution hasn’t kept pace with the modern diet. “If you eat four slices of White Bread, that’s the food-density equivalent of one of your ancestors killing and eating an entire elk out on the savanna,” says Henry Lodge, MD, coauthor of Younger Next Year: Live Strong, Fit, and Sexy — Until You’re 80 and Beyond (Workman Publishing, 2007). “Your body reacts with a massive surge of chemicals to digest all the stuff it thinks you just ate.”
As a result of too much insulin, blood-sugar levels drop, and 30 minutes later you’re hungry again, he says. “The body wasn’t designed for this yo-yo effect. All it can do is break apart in bits and pieces, which is exactly what happens.” The technical term for this effect is insulin resistance, a precursor to such age-related diseases as type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and heart disease.
High insulin levels increase risk of acne because they:
Promote inflammation. via glycation and oxidation. Glycation essentially, the idea that glucose (from carbohydrates and sugars) that you digest may attach to proteins such as collagen in your body and form new molecules called advanced glycation end products, or AGEs. These AGEs allegedly degrade collagen and elastin, causing them to harden and lose elasticity in the same way rust weakens and degrades metal. It's important to know that so far the only testing done on glycation and the skin has been in vitro (in a Petri dish in a laboratory). Glycation, which occurs when insulin doesn't metabolise sugars properly, destroys the collagen in blood vessels (collagen is a structural protein found all over the body, not just in the skin) and ultimately causes it to become brittle and form plaque.
Cause overgrowth and accumulation of skin cells. Insulin is a growth hormone, so one of its most important jobs is to stimulate cell growth and reproduction.
Raise androgen levels. Androgens are the so-called “male hormones”, such as DHEA (dehydroepiandosterone) and testosterone. Androgens are naturally present in males and females (but normally at much lower levels in women than in men). Androgens stimulate sebum production, so if you eat too many fast carbs, your androgen levels may run too high, which can put your oil glands into overdrive.
Instead stick to complex carbohydrates, such as legumes, vegetables and 100 percent whole grains. Because the outer layers of the grain are left intact, whole grains take longer for the body to digest, and the sugar is released in a slow, steady stream.
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