Healthy Inside and Out
Congratulations to all who have committed to following Dr. Fuhrman’s Holiday Challenge! We tend to think of giving tangible gifts and purchasing presents for others this time of year, but if you have been sticking to the pledge to eat only healthful foods and avoid junk foods, you have been granting yourself the greatest gift of all: the gift of health. That is something to be proud of. The gift of health will stay with you for the rest of your life, a life that will be set free from the waves of chronic diseases and health problems that beset most Americans.
Most whom embark on Dr. Fuhrman’s Holiday Challenge probably do not contemplate how eating heaping salads, hearty vegetable and bean dishes, and other satisfying natural plant foods effects our skin. Hence, this post is a reminder that following this powerfully disease preventative and figure slimming lifestyle enhances the beauty and clarity of our skin as well.
In a blog post I wrote last year, I explained the science behind how food is an enormous contributor to whether or not we will attain healthy, blemish free complexions. Here I will summarize that article as a reminder of why politely declining that homemade, yet sugar loaded cookie your co-worker urges you to sample or resisting the saturated fat laden eggnog at a holiday party will result in gorgeous skin and prepare you for any spontaneous holiday picture taking that comes your way.
The beauty of our skin is remarkably influenced by the amount of hormones circulating inside of our bodies. Insulin, in particular, is associated with the health of our skin. Insulin is most commonly known as the hormone for regulating blood sugar and is associated with diabetes, yet it also happens to increase oils that appear on the surface of our skin. Insulin levels fluctuate based on what we eat, and these fluctuations can affect other hormones such as testosterone that also promote acne and dull skin.
Processed foods made with white flour and sugar lead to blood sugar spikes, causing insulin levels to go into the dreaded “pimple-producing zone”. Sugar and processed foods are awful for our skin!
Dairy products are just as noxious skin foes as processed foods and sugar. Research conducted at Harvard University School of Public Health showed that milk contains bioactive molecules that act on the glands where blackheads are formed. William Danby MD, a dermatologist at Dartmouth, noted in an editorial accompanying this study that 70 to 90 percent of all milk comes from pregnant cows and that the milk contains hormones such as progesterone, testosterone precursors and insulin-like growth factor releasing hormones, all linked to acne. High levels of these hormones are linked to breast cancer and prostate cancer so avoiding foods that lead to breakouts and dull skin also helps us prevent these cancers.
The foods you should eat for radiant skin? Green vegetables, fruit, beans, nuts, seeds, avocadoes, starchy vegetables, and whole grains- all of the foods that are associated with longevity, disease prevention and succeeding on Dr. Fuhrman’s Holiday Challenge. These foods are loaded with thousands of potent phytochemicals like carotenoids and lycopene, substances that help our skin repair damage and remove and detoxify waste products and toxic compounds. Skin damage occurs due to exposure to free radicals, which results in oxidative damage to our cells. By eating plenty of antioxidant loaded fruits and vegetables, our body becomes equipped with tiny chemical warriors that continuously fight free radical damage. The result is glowing, healthy looking skin. Now that is something worth being jolly about.
Cheers to good health and I wish you much success and joy into the New Year!
The image at the top of the post is Talia a few years ago. The second picture is Talia with her mother, Lisa Fuhrman, taken this past Thanksgiving.