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You Are What You Eat

By: Howard Murad, MD
Posted: August 26, 2009, from the September 2009 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

page 5 of 8

Whole grains. Whole grains (four to eight servings daily) should be the next level up in the pitcher. A serving would be one slice of whole grain bread or 1⁄3 cup of cooked brown rice. Avoid refined grains and carbohydrates. Whole grains are a source of magnesium and selenium. Magnesium is a mineral used in building bones and releasing energy from muscles. Selenium protects cells from oxidation, and it is also important for a healthy immune system.

Proteins. Proteins (four to six servings daily) should be the third level up inside the pitcher, and this includes fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, white-meat chicken, eggs, soy foods, fat-free and low-fat dairy products, and beans. This should also provide most of the body’s amino acids. Avoid high saturated-fat meat products and whole-fat dairy foods. A serving would be one medium egg or three ounces of fish. Amino acids give the body all the raw materials it needs to build collagen and elastin, the two substances necessary for keeping the dermis and blood vessels firm, strong and smooth.

Healthy fats. Healthy fats should be limited to just three to four servings a day and are next up within the pitcher. One serving would be a teaspoon of olive oil or alternatively six almonds. Healthy fats are unsaturated, such as omega-3, -6 and -9 fatty acids, which are found in flaxseed oil, extra virgin olive oil, canola oil, natural-style nut butters, cold-water fish and nuts.

Supplements and water. Near the top of the pitcher is space for supplements and water to address any dietary deficiencies.

Bridging the nutritional gap

Most people do not even realize that the skin symptoms they see in the mirror and the fatigue they feel are the result of nutrient deficiencies. The precise amounts of nutrients that each person’s body needs to close the gap between what’s consumed and what’s missed can’t be known, but it is known that certain dietary nutrients can counteract inflammation, stress and neutralize free radicals. It’s important to remember that before there was medicine, there was food.