How Do You Treat Your Skin?
By Dr. Jason A. Peñaranda,
Medical Associate, Aegle Wellness Center
Your skin is your first line of defense against harmful substances in the environment. It is your largest organ. An average adult’s skin has a total area of approximately 20 square feet—that’s almost big enough to cover a single-size bed!
Image Credit: WebMD
Because of its function, it’s exposed to a lot of noxious substances and is susceptible to injury. Studies have shown that nutritional deficiencies contribute to many skin disorders, which makes certain nutrients essential to the proper maintenance and function of skin cells and tissues.
Food and Immunity
The role of food becomes more complex as we learn about its importance not only in sustaining the skin, but also how it affects immune mechanisms that greatly influence skin conditions. We call this immunonutrition—the ability of specific nutrients to influence our immune system, and whether they work to modulate, promote, or suppress.
The appropriate nutrients can modulate inflammation. Foods that upset the immune response will eventually trigger skin diseases like non-specific allergies. On the other hand, foods that regulate the immune response will keep the skin healthy and optimize its functions.
What should you avoid?
The food groups that can cause unwanted immune reactions include processed carbs and sugars such as white bread and pastries. Because of the high glycemic index of these foods, they trigger a sugar rush beyond what the liver can handle. The excess sugar ends up in skin tissues and causes inflammation. Chronic exposure leads to more lasting skin diseases.
Other foods that can potentially affect our immune response include dairy, gluten, fresh produce with pesticide residues, and fish and meat that contain heavy metals.
What can you indulge in?
Foods that are supportive of skin health include those rich in antioxidants, arginine, glutamine, branched chain amino acids, omega‐3 fatty acids, and nucleotides. These include fresh fruits, salmon, nuts, broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, dark leafy greens, and herbal teas. There is an ongoing debate about the benefits to skin of dark chocolate and wine, but recent studies seem to be in favor of them.And of course, keeping yourself well-hydrated also works wonders—remember that our bodies are made up of around 70% water by volume.
How can Aegle help you protect your skin?
You can protect your skin from within by getting the right nutritional requirements,such as antioxidants and other substances that promote tissue repair. With Aegle’s customized supplements, we provide a convenient and practical way to make up for any nutrient deficienciesin your diet.
Always remember that natural sunscreens work best as a physical barrier on the skin instead of chemical protection. This summer, don’t forget to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays byusinga natural, broad-spectrum sunscreen such as Heliocare Gel Ultra SPF 90—a water-resistant sunscreen that leaves no whitening effect upon application, and is available at Aegle Wellness Center.
Drinking adequate water throughout the day will keep your skin hydrated, fresh, and protected. Take note that your water intake depends on the following factors: size and weight, activity level, andwhere you live; but in general, ½ to 1 ounce of water for each pound you weigh is the recommended consumption. Try to drink more water this summer to prevent dehydration.
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Pursuing integrative medicine right after graduating from medical school, Dr. Peñaranda braved the turbulent waters of clinical practice as a pioneer of this once obscure specialty. Specializing in electronic medical education, he is known for writing many of the materials on advancing lifestyle and functional medicine, maximizing the reach of digital networks and social media. He established authority in wellness advocacies and lifestyle articles among his colleagues—a skill he uses in educating his patients in achieving their health goals.
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