So what constitutes Clear Skin healthy foods specifically?
1. Protein Rich Diets:
There are many sources of both Omnivore and Special diet suited protein sources.
Why are Proteins so integral to Clear Skin and Beauty?
The type you consume may have an effect on your skin complexion.
There are also different approaches to a balanced diet that have gained momentum and public recognition: These Diet Plans can now be called ‘Clear Skin Planned Foods’.
Paleolithic Diets: The ancient Hunter-Gatherer type of diet ideology characterized by the absence of cereal grains, dairy and industrialized foods and a protein rich meal trend. Examples include : Buddha bowls without grains or substitutes to cereal grains ( In a broad sense).
- Ketogenic diets.
- Special diets
- Vegetarian Diets
- Vegan Diets
Formulation of a Contemporary Diet Based Upon Paleolithic Food Groups:
The original Paleolithic Hunter-Gatherer Diets, have demonstrated that animal foods contributed slightly more than half (55-65%) of the daily energy, whereas plant foods would have made up the remainder (35-45%) of the average daily caloric intake (L. Cordain, MD,PhD, 2002). The chart was created by me with references to study and Journals. This is reflected in the chart below.
Although it is no longer possible or practical for contemporary men and women in western, industrialized countries to adopt and follow the exact dietary patterns of humans living during the Paleolithic, it is certainly possible to emulate the essential characteristics of historically studied hunter-gatherer diets with common foods and food groups available in all supermarkets. That is why it is now referred to as the ‘Modern Paleolithic Diet’.
The table above enlists the basic structure of the original ‘Palelothic’ Diet, however in considering the method they are made available, the delivery systems and new substitutes in consideration of diet specifications and ethical beliefs, the new term was coined by experts as the ‘Modern Paleolithic Diet’.
Let us explore the ‘Paleo’ Diet, known as the Paleolithic Hunter-gatherer type of diet: A modern outlook to a Prehistoric solution.
A solution to clear skin in no time!
This lifestyle has gained a lot of public traction and acclaim equally, widely known as the ‘Paleo Diet’, founded by the Father of the Paleo diet himself, Dr. Lauren Cordain MD, PHD.
The requirements of this lifestyle choice, is the omission of cereal grains, dairy and curbing the intake of Westernized and Industrialized Foods in a broad definition.
A 2015 Study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, analyzed the association between the ‘Paleo Diet’ to it’s expression in Metabolic disease and the disease process’.
To be taken into context in this article; is the applicability to relate, the profound effect on this diet has in general metabolic processes, which have a significant expression of skin beauty, complexion, inflammatory processes, the ability to heal and regenerate or be immune to ‘Epidemic Acne’.
This study led by Melnik and associates, established a definite association between a ‘Paleolithic diet’ to its profound and transient effect on metabolic syndrome, and it’s related chronic disease processes in the body. The reason it is short-lived is the individual compliance factor to continue the diet.
Metabolic diseases being mostly hyper inflammatory and hormonal ( Endocrine) processes, can significantly affect beauty of the skin and it’s complexion, texture, integrity and color, as a myriad of it’s far-reaching consequences.
Consequently, Metabolic diseases can exacerbate acne lesions and induce hormonal changes in that individual.
However, unless it establishes solid plausibility, the study needs to undergo further scrutiny through investigations.
Reflecting on the Paleolithic Diet:
The only point of conflict is the omission of whole grains or to adopt a grain free (cereal grain free) approach according to the paleo diet, as it forms a food group in the broader concept of a balanced diet and necessary for attaining clear skin complexion.
You cannot omit certain macro nutrients based on a study, as the association of food to acne still deserves further investigation.
By selectively omitting cereal grains and dairy, you are cutting yourself short of Vitamins of the B complex group, trace elements, vitamin A, D, E, K and calcium.
You can reduce the intake, substitute with barley, quinoa oats or ethnic sources of deriving B complex vitamins. Of utmost importance in skin complexion and beauty, is Folic Acid . This is complemented synergistically by the entire Vitamin B complex group.
It is in the best interest of your skin health , to have days when you choose specific meal plans and substitute protein sources in a cyclic fashion, not relegating yourself to one category routinely.
Also, it is wise to stay away from ‘processed and industrialized proteins’.
Although cans are quite acceptable, according to the latest 2015 Guidelines by The U. S department Health and Human Services, as a personal choice I usually find it an indulgence to shop for fresh produce and groceries.
As a note, Cans at best, should be kept for days you really can’t cook and are exhausted. I believe even then a bowl of fresh fruit and yogurt with honey (not if you are vegan though)would be a treat.
What kind of Protein Rich foods are we looking to buy?
- Omnivore Diet : Are open to both Non Vegetarian and Vegetarian sources such as meat both red and white including kidney, liver, legumes (beans and peas), Lentils, fresh Green leafy Vegetables, abundant fruits and fresh produce, oats, barley, quinoa.
- Vegetarian: A diet usually opting for lentils, legumes and to a certain extent depending on classification can include either fish or eggs but definitely never any white or red meat.
- Protein smoothies are pure magic! I have seen instant results in better hair and nails with hastened healing of skin wounds. Not to mention, it is a perfect ingredient to carry fruits and vegetables, nuts, few seeds, essential fatty acids or other nutrients. Always follow instructions given on the protein substitute packages to assess how many scoops are permissible for adults only, unless otherwise stated or permitted.
This calculation is dependent on your body mass index and should be treated with seriously.
In abundance, it can result in high osmotic tension and the kidneys cannot perform, rather it may lead to kidney (Renal over load/ hypertension) failure.
This topic is diverse itself and I don’t want to digress further, our focus is to evaluate daily choices in our diet and ‘food patterns’ to attain clear skin. It also requires Physician supervision, diet counseling and follow up.
- Vegan: Legumes which include beans and pea protein, Hydrolyzed and fermented soy or temp eh as it is called, quinoa, barley, semolina and legumes (beans and peas). Also, vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower and those with a complex starch ingredient are sources of protein in vegan and vegetarian based diets.
Below is an ‘Ideal’ High Protein oriented ‘Modern Paleolithic’ planned food scheme. Feel free to mix and match, substitute and re-create within these categories. You will see visible clear skin complexion in 72+hours. The results are indeed fast and personally, I have experienced this..
Industrialized foods are stay away choices for me, as the vehicle in many of them is a fructose corn syrup either low or high density. However, fructose-corn syrup comprises foods that have shown to elevate glycaemic load, in turn initiating a cascade of insulin stimulating metabolic and hormonal processes.
This has shown to be positively linked to aggravation of acne and the creation of new acne lesions, according to numerous studies.
Do implement substitutions that yield you a fine balance of the recommendations and ways listed forth and earlier.
This way you get variety, taste and come to enjoy each category of food that is both nutritious and results in clear skin complexion.
Have fun in the kitchen and enjoy the process ! Try out different, preferentially ‘Fresh’ produce and groceries.
Enjoy the process of Grocery Shopping and it is in your hands to select wisely.
What if I were to Tell you Certain proteins and the way you consume them are going to change your complexion?
It is imperative to know what proteins to opt for, whilst choosing proteins as a food for clear skin. Not every protein class suits the bill.
Are you surprised? What about so many resources stating it is the top food choice for clear skin and thereof beauty? It is but there are certain conditions to its benefits and diet criteria.
I say this with conviction, that a recent study by Melnik and associates in 2012, have targeted specific hormonal markers/ referred to as endocrinological studies into the western diet predominantly.
This study by states that a pattern of high calorie intake, high fat and meat intake also increased consumption of insulin and Immunoglobulin F-1(antibody) elevating dairy proteins are direct contributors to the pathogenesis (disease progression) of ‘Epidemic Acne.’
According to many scientific papers submitted by Melnik and associates, have held the ‘Western diet’, accountable to ‘Epidemic Acne’ and a trigger for hormonal dis-regulation in Acne sufferers, also a marker for more serious medical chronic illnesses underlying us.
The marker specifically targeted Leucine, a protein recurring in the structure of meat and dairy or most animal products.
Leucine stimulates and mediates indirectly Androgen hormone directed sebaceous follicle to over stimulate and produce sebum, which in turn can cause acne.
The bottom line here is modifying intake and not entirely abolishing intake. This depends on your body mass index. It is highly personalized and not the cookie cutter recommendations.
The following recommendations have been suggested by this study, Reducing Total energy intake of:
1. Hyperglycemia Carbohydrates
2. Insulino-tropic dairy products
3. Leucine Rich meat and dairy proteins
4. Reduction of fast food meal options
5. Industrialized foods-boxes, cans cartons etc.
6. Increase the consumption of Fruits and Vegetables
7. Have days when you are purely vegetarian, vegan and or paleolithic in approach.
It goes without saying the vital role of the Dermatologist, who has a strong ‘ethical’ responsibility to young or old acne patients, to modify dietary habits and patterns.
According to the study by Melnik and associates in 2012, A potent marker of future disease prevalence, a compound known as ‘mammalian Target of Rapamycin Complex-1( mTORC-1), is a ‘nutrient sensitive enzyme(a kinase)’, indicative of chronic inflammatory, metabolic and hormonal diseases. It is present in our cellular mechanisms and very strongly expressed in the cited ‘Western diet’.
It can also give us a clue to the inflammatory processes underlying and accompanying acne vulgaris, the culprit for flawed or blemished skin.
Leucine and mTORC-1 are nutritional sensitivity markers in our cellular mechanisms, and indicate hyper-inflammatory chronic processes , especially brought about our foods.
Numerous studies demonstrate a linear correlation and causation model for increased sebum production to foods high in dietary fats and carbohydrates. Increased Sebum is also a hyper-inflammatory hormone mediated response which are manifested as ‘Comedones’, acne, ‘pimples’ or ‘zits’ as they are commonly referred to.
There are certain islands in the Pacific, whose diet is far more balanced and inclusive of all the listed nutrients, predominantly high in essential long chain fatty acids and more balanced than the ‘Western diet’.
It also states that a ‘Western diet’ is highly industrialized and predominantly lacks Alpha Linoleic acid ( ALA’s) especially omega-3 fatty acids, on the contrary is higher in dietary fat and carbohydrate.
It is worth considering that Geography, land topography and climate have a profound effect on foods that earn you clear complexion. Resources are dictated by this triad of factors and as a result cuisines and meals differ to varying degrees.
By adopting the above modifications and changing ‘eating patterns’, the Dermatologist is ensuring a higher quality of life and low morbidity of his patients, not only against ‘epidemic acne’ but to shield them from related mTORC-1 linked chronic disease going ahead in the future.
WOW that was something alright! It really does go to show that you can Eat foods for clear skin and regulate your diet to achieve this. However, it is in your best interests to achieve equilibrium and lean towards fresh produce wherever possible and do it yourself cook at home as opposed to eating out. You will see noticeable results in a very short time frame.
I have a habit of making green juices every week and keeping it in a jug or vial, I not only have better noticeable complexion in the past week but I lost considerable weight by practicing this. It is especially refreshing after a bath and while you get ready for anything.
Another suggestion I have for you is to watch on Netflix, documentaries related to food, especially the critically acclaimed documentary, “Fat, sick and nearly dead’ alongside ‘Forks over knives’, ‘Foods Inc.’ and ‘Rotten’ on your add to playlist options. Then come here and comment below on your observations and understanding. Let us discuss that as well.
Moving on to the next few Macro and Micro-Nutrients listed in:28 Unexpected ways Foods for Clear Skin gives you Better Hair! Part 1
A variety of enriched grains as shown by data collected by the National Health and Nutritional Examination the latest survey, indicate that consumption of whole grains as a part of your carbohydrate is rich in trace nutrients.
These are often referred to as ‘Shortfall nutrients’ by the guidelines but are indeed trace metals which are vital for your cell health and its reactions (bio-chemically nutritive in essence).
These trace minerals are:
- Folate/ Folic acid: Water soluble vitamin B9. Folic Acid or chemically known as 5’-methyl-tetra-hydro-folate.
- Iron (available iron for absorption or conversion)
- Non-mineral nutrient: Dietary fiber.
A 2015-2020 Dietary Guideline for Americans (ref: 2015-2020 DGA) recommends an approach to increase or choose whole grains over enriched refined grains.
In essence, choose slightly darker breads such as rye and seeded whole grain bread over white breads. You can identify them by their chalky pale appearance.
My personal advice:
- Look and compare the packets of bread and evaluate serving size
- Calorie per serving size
- Fiber and
- Protein quotients of the breads in question.
I am not stating that the source of whole grains come solely from bread and there are many ways whole grains are delivered today or ethnically as well.
For Special diets:
such as Gluten free diets and Paleo Diets, Whole Grains can be substituted for Gluten free oats, barley, quinoa and rye. Gluten is formed during manipulation of bread as part of industry.
According to a study by Fric and associates in 2011, Oats in a gluten free diet are prominent sources of nutrition and as a whole grain alternative in patients with celiac disease who are known to be on these ‘special Gluten-Free diets’.
However, owing to the possible contamination that may occur in the manufacturing process of oats, further study and assays (experiments with procedure and guidelines established) have to be continued further.
‘Avenin’, as you may associate the brand name Aveeno with, is a predominant component in oats, but may give those with celiac disease, inflammatory symptoms, and may not be well tolerated even as a wheat or gluten free substitutes.
So why do I mention this? Because bodily Inflammatory reactions and underlying health has direct influence on how clear your skin will result. It can be averted with care and precaution, also coordinated effort with your physician.
You have to be compliant too it is not completely resting on your physician to be the magician if your compliance is missing from the equation.
Here, it is recommended to consult with your physician regarding your options. If having Clear skin is your number 1 resolution this year you have to reach out to your physician and of course Read my articles!
Vitamin A Rich Foods:
These food categories Include, but are not limited to;
Animal based: sources rich in Retinoids.
Plant based :such as carrot and orange colored vegetables and fruits rich in beta carotene, such as carrot or pumpkins as prime examples of this category.
Vitamin A has been a time tested and approved macro nutrient class in clinical use. The concentrations are very high in clinical use compared to dietary sources.
It is used under pharmaceutical therapy for acne management, and is a retinoid called Ro Accutane’ or ‘Isotane’.
Like food, it is consumed orally and had to be differentiated from popular dietary sources of Vitamin A.
Mechanism of action for Clear Skin:
These include actions such as: metabolism, activation or catalytic activation or deactivation of cells and also their timely cell death/ elimination or apoptosis as it is correctly known.
I was personally prescribed Accutane and I saw considerable resolution in my acne situation. I had very poor self-confidence which magically vanished on being compliant with prescription Retinoid therapy (Accutane/ Ro Accutane).
There are strict filtering and selection criteria and definitely is prescription only with biochemical tests warranted for its prescription.It is usually orally ingested through tablets or capsules.
However, supplements carry sufficient concentration to facilitate major improvements. There is a toxic limit and always follow directions stated on the packet do not attempt to exceed this warning.
Foods Rich in Vitamin D have a complimentary and also quite a ‘Synergistic’ role in clear skin management.
These foods regulate the growth and differentiation (essentially, it means how specialized a certain cell may grow into like a family tree branching out for cell maturation). It is INTEGRAL TO CLEAR SKIN ACQUISITION.
Sources of Vitamin D in diet include:
- Salmon fish (wild mostly not farmed) and mackerel both being oily fish, even Branzani fish.
- Mushrooms which are exposed to UV to increase their absorption. Mushrooms are also a source of vegan protein.
- Cod Liver oil which is to be taken in limited dose as it is high in retinoid, as mentioned above.
- Tuna, canned fish like sardines as well.
- Milk and dairy-yogurt, cream or ice cream. In the United States, milk is fortified with vitamin D.
- Beef or calf liver, Leg of Lamb, most sources of meat also rich protein sources and Iron rich as well.
- Egg yolks: Rich in Choline also: word of caution do keep mayonnaise consumption under wraps, it’s definitely high in saturated fatty acid cholesterol, not favorable to your hour glass figure ambitions either!
- Cheese and Dairy foods: Yogurt, Cheeses, Butter, Buttermilk, Kefir and Milk (also milk based desserts and ethnic cheeses).
- Cereals, orange juice and plant based margarine, avocado (Trans fat sources from plants): the only option listed here for vegans.
Bear with me I know it’s a Bear sized bite of information to be absorbing already.
Speaking of Bears?
Clue1: Their vision is just spot on! It’s really an accomplishment to locate moving fish given the high refractive index of water. The bears really need an accolade for this out in the wild!
Their fur is just as soft, not that I went and hugged one, I dare not!
I’m dropping these hints maybe they are obvious?
The Vitamin D analogues have protective roles in the body against certain cancers and inflammatory skin reactions, offering protection against certain diseases. This is why they are used in therapy of Psoriasis as a treatment modality of significance. This is based on their inductive and stimulative properties also their free radical anti -oxidant properties.
Vitamin E Rich Foods: Vitamin E and D Rich Foods are easily obtained through a ‘Ketogenic’ and ‘Paleolithic’ Diet plan.
The predominant isomer is alpha tocopherol found in dietary sources of vitamin E.
Delivery of vitamin E: Delivered onto skin via actions of the active sebaceous glands.
What does this mean to us?
The Mechanism of Action of vitamin E in skin integrity: Clear skin is also defined by continuous skin integrity and Vitamin E plays an integral role as an Anti-oxidant for chasing and eliminating ‘free radicals’ (unwanted chemicals which can accelerate aging).
Clear skin is defined by continuous skin integrity, uniform texture, the lack of excess pigmentation, erythema or redness, inflammation, infection or other serious skin diseases .
Vitamin E has potent Anti-oxidant properties and is often used in conjunction with essential fatty acids like linolenic acid. When the preparation, food or supplement is further complex ed, such as with Vitamin E supplements, Vitamin C, beta-carotene, co-enzyme Q10 and another substance called Vitis Vitifera, the results have been shown to cause marked skin improvement according to a study sited by Pappas A, who further cited a specific sub study in 2009.
It is used primarily, to reduce the discomfort of dry skin, peeling or desquamation and erythema(reddening) associated -with long term Isotretinoin/Ro-accutane or Isotane therapy.
Administered as treatment: A complex of Vitamin E, Zinc and lactoferrin applied twice daily as a regimen, has shown to reduce acne lesions in mild to moderate acne vulgaris, leading to clear skin.
Essential Fatty Acids: These which we essentially need from diet alone including supplements and certain Nutraceuticals but not cosmetoceuticals, and are not produced by any bodily mechanism.
Major sources of Vitamin E in Diet Include: Alpha linoleic acid (αLA) and Linoleic Acids.
Food Sources of Naturally occurring Essential Fatty Acids. An important Role in Clear Skin Goals:
- A deficiency of these fatty acids by clinical trials and extensive studies cited in medical journal volumes, have shown to cause dry, flaky, itchy and highly sensitive skin, not to mention these essential fatty acids are anti-oxidants and delay the photo aging process (anti-aging nutrient).
- There is evidence that linoleic acid is structurally present in skin as natural ceramides offering barrier protection.
- The synthetic analogues only serve to complement hydration and ‘barrier protective function’, referred to in scientific literature as ‘pseudo-ceramides’.
- A few studies were conducted with radioactively labeled linoleic acids and alpha linoleic acids in animal studies, which essentially concluded that these ‘essential fatty acids’ could be ingested through diet, survive digestion and reach the skin unaltered.
- This supports its use as dietary supplements of fatty acids.
A product that I have tried and come to accept as effective is Viviscal as it is a multivitamin and has a patented ‘amino-mar’ protein complex ed with omega-3 fatty acids. It is also a ‘Nutraceutical’.
Creams and ointments or some skin care products containing vitamins are called ‘Cosmetoceuticals’.
The basis for this incorporation according to Viviscal, was a clinical study examining, eating patterns of intuits who had a diet rich in seafood, fish and other sources of protein as well. They complex ed the two in a patented technology.
To break it down further, the primary sources through diet and supplements of fatty acids are:
• Fish oil capsules
• Nutritional yeast
- Viviscal- both omnivore and vegetarian; depending on your cultural inclinations. Patented brand
- ‘Skinade’-drinkable supplement (patented Nutraceuticals)
- Seeds, nuts and flax fiber and seeds-flax meal (vegan option)
- Sources of Alpha-lipoic Acid: A potent anti-oxidant found in yeast, Broccoli and green vegetables and potatoes. I somehow prefer the purple potatoes and red skin potatoes for taste.
- Pumpkin is another source and so are its seeds. You can make pesto easily and enjoy it over ravioli.
- N-6PUFAs: example is Linoleic acid as mentioned above. It is an n-6 fatty acid n group on position 6 of its ring structure. Sources include: nuts, liquid vegetable oils, soybean, corn oil, cottonseed oil, flax, safflower oil etc. These are also called omega-3 fatty acids.
Tracking your foods into a journey toward clear skin: Formulating goals and plans:
The latest edition of the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans is both robust and multi-faceted.
The study takes into consideration, many dimensions in its recommended guidelines, akin to a multi-disciplinary approach we take as health care professionals, in our respective fields.
The basis upon which the 2015-2020 Dietary Guideline for Americans (ref: 2015-2020 DGA) was formulated, relies heavily upon interdependent relationships between Individual nutrients, foods and food groups to their relative health outcomes.
This is mostly reflected as healthy skin which is free of disease process or indicators of underlying diseases.
It has been stressed by the guidelines that food is never consumed in ‘Isolation’. Rather, you consume a variety of foods and this can be re coined as an ‘Eating pattern’.
Do you have a fair idea or a concrete idea of your eating patterns?
To you, I ask :Write this down either here in the comments section below if you wish or privately. At this juncture, I think a food diary is a fabulous idea and if you can’t commit to this daily, the minimum would be to write it down once a month as a summary of consumption.
This is especially helpful if you are serious about any dermatology appointments, or let us not undermine how relevant it is to my field, of Dentistry.
Caries indices and many dental statistics even at the individual level, are assessed based on people’s food journals, not to mention this is ample motivation in the first place!
You are accountable to yourself and that has a major impact on your compliance.
I continue the next article with other juicy information, so stay tuned for more in: THE EVOLUTION OF CLEAR SKIN PLANNED DIETS. WHAT ARE THEY SPECIFICALLY?