I’ve taken courses on skincare and nutrition and have researched natural medicine and healthy foods. It’s fascinating how our diet affects our body’s health. There are some nutrients you can both ingest and apply topically, some that can only be ingested (or produced by the body) and some that can only be applied topically. Today we’re going to look at how our diet affects our skin, what nutrients the skin needs, what benefits they provide and what foods you can eat.
To maintain healthy skin, you need water, vitamins A, B, C and E, zinc, essential fatty acids and proteins:
Collagen cannot be applied topically as the molecules are too big to absorb through the skin. Collagen doesn’t exist in any food other than homemade bone broth and is instead produced in the body (The Best Way You Can Get More Collagen, Cleveland Clinic). As we get older our body produces less collagen. Here’s what to eat to help boost collagen production:
Zinc can be found in:
These foods contain antioxidants:
Eat many of these different foods and make your skin happy. It will reward you with beautiful, healthy looking skin!
Essential Fatty Acids and Skin Health https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/skin-health/essential-fatty-acids
The Best Way You Can Get More Collagen https://health.clevelandclinic.org/the-best-way-you-can-get-more-collagen/
Radon is a naturally occurring gas that results from uranium breaking down underground. It gives off radiation and is odourless, colourless and tasteless. Remember your table of elements? Its symbol is Rn.
It’s found in homes across Canada and gets in through cracks in foundation walls, floor drains, or anywhere the house contacts the soil.
It’s the second highest cause of lung cancer behind smoking and the number one cause in nonsmokers. This is especially important if you spend a lot of time in the basement, specifically in winter, as our homes are more air tight with all our windows closed.
You can buy a do-it-yourself test kit for about $30 and then ship it to a lab to analyze the results. Or you can hire a professional to test it for you (some even do free testing). You can also purchase a radon detector for about $200-300 and monitor it on an ongoing basis. See https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/radon.html for more information and links to where you can find a test kit or professional near you. Regardless of the method you choose, the test should last three months.
The Canadian guideline is 200bq/m3. If it’s over this amount, you should take steps to remediate it. This can be done by venting the gas from under the basement floor to the outside.
For a more comprehensive guide check out Radon - A Guide For Canadian Homeowners.
We all know that antioxidants are good for us but we may not understand how they work, all their benefits or where to get them. Oxidation (think rust or deterioration) is a chemical reaction that produces free radicals. Free radicals are highly reactive and unstable and can lead to damaged cells (like a rusted out car). An antioxidant is a molecule that prevents or delays cell damage (like a rust proofing sealant) AND doubles as an anti-inflammatory. Still with me?
The bad news is that free radicals can lead to premature aging, damaged cells, broken down tissue, activation of harmful and cancer causing genes and an overloaded immune system.
So what can we do to prevent our bodies from "rusting" out? We can limit or avoid free radicals. This means processed food, medication, high exposure to chemicals, stress, sun exposure and smoking.
We can also remove the free radicals from our bodies by consuming antioxidants in superfoods. This means purple, red or blue grapes, or red wine (hooray!), wild blueberries, goji berries, dark chocolate, pecans, artichokes, kidney beans, cranberries, blackberries, cilantro, tomatoes, carrots, pumpkin, kale, broccoli, squash, wild salmon and green tea. If you're doing your own seasoning, use clove, cinnamon, oregano, turmeric, cumin, parsley, basil, ginger, thyme, garlic and cayenne. Basic guidelines recommend 3-4 or more servings a day.
The benefits of consuming these foods include slower signs of aging in the skin, eyes, tissue, joints, heart and brain, glowing skin, reduced cancer risk, longer life span, protection against heart disease and stroke, reduced risk for dementia, vision loss and cataracts.
Antioxidant supplements do not provide all these benefits and none of them help you live longer. Your diet and lifestyle are the most important - don't rely on supplements. To supplement is to add extra to something.
And if that's not enough, researchers are currently finding that many health problems are linked to inflammation (heart disease, cancer, dementia, arthritis, etc). Which leads me right back to antioxidants.
So enjoy your red wine and dark chocolate (in moderation) and eat a variety of whole foods to delay the signs of aging and to reduce your cancer risk.
Loves living a healthy lifestyle and sharing what she learns along the way.