Our Skin Is a reflection of what is going on internally. If we are feeding our bodies with all the right nutrients it needs then it will function optimally. When the body is out of balance we can start to see changes in our skin. Our skin tells us a story that can be read by observing the picture it presents to us. This can be seen in the form of, redness, ance, bumps, flaking, swelling, lines, wrinkles.
The 3 major contributors of skin disharmony are gluten, dairy and sugar.
Gluten is a protein found in grains such as wheat, barley and rye. Gluten may increase inflammation in the body as our immune system sees gluten as a component of bacteria and will attack in the form of inflammation around it. This inflammation can then be presented on the surface of our skin in the form of redness, swollen skin and breakouts.
Wheat is a form of carbohydrate and once metabolised in the body it may increase your blood glucose levels and trigger the release of insulin and insulin like growth factors known as IGF1. IGF1 stimulates the growth hormone testosterone speeding up the cells activity, signalling the cells to produce more oil and cells to shed faster . in the case of acne the problem with the increase of oil and cell turnover is the oil produced is also quite sticky so it binds to the shedding skin cells and blocks the skin. Resulting in breakouts on the surface of the skin.
Eating too much processed Sugar can lead to inflammation in the body. Over time this can present on our skin as redness, breakouts and ageing skin. Glycation is a skin condition that occurs when there is high sugar levels in the blood for as significant period of time . The sugar molecules attach to the collagen fibres and hardens them leading to a cross wrinkling appearance on the skin.
Processed sugar fuels the bad bacteria in our gut and will in turn send out the wrong messages to our bodies system again leading to undesirable outcomes in the skin. Many low fat foods will contain high sugar content as a replacement for the fat being taken out.
Its important to note that there are good sources of dairy that contribute to a healthy system such as Greek yoghurt and some cheeses, these sources are a form of probiotic which introduces good gut bacteria into the body to help maintain a healthy internal eco system.
However dairy for some people can be a trigger for exacerbating inflammation and breakouts especially in an acne prone skin. Milk contains a protein called IGF1. IGF1 may increase the secretion of the hormone testosterone. Testosterone is responsible for increasing the production of sebum in the skin. Sebum is responsible for carrying dead skin cells from the pore to the surface of the skin. In an acne skin the cells processes are already sped up by increased hormonal activity. Then this added increase again can exacerbate the problem by having an overload of sebum the follicles can become clogged as the sebum is also more sticky and it grabs at the dead skin cells
So how can we help our bodies natural processes to restore balance to our skin?
Increase water and good fats to the diet. Skin cells without enough water and without enough good fats are like dried up sultanas.
Reduce trigger foods that may be contributing to the skin condition. Its important to note we don’t necessarily need to eliminate certain foods all together. If we eliminate food sources all together then our bodies could be missing out on vital sources of essential components for our bodies . Its about finding healthy alternatives and a good variety of whole foods that give the body what it needs. Increasing good fats in our diet that produce good quality oil for our skin cells