Question: The right nutrition for healthy skin?
A simple Answer : As natural as possible, plant-based and plenty of raw vegetables
Pimpletube to Dr. Adler, how does everything I eat affect my skin?
Dr. Yael Adler: Since the outer layer of the skin, the epidermis, is completely renewed in the course of a month, it needs building material and energy for this – and this is exactly what our diet provides.
What substances does the skin need for this?
On the one hand, there are the macronutrients. These include fat, protein and carbohydrates, including sugar. A cheese sandwich, for example, is broken down in the intestine into precisely these smallest components, namely protein, fat and sugar molecules. These reach the skin via the bloodstream, where they are linked to form, among other things, connective tissue that keeps the body’s outer layer taut; or to cells of the epidermis, which protects us from all kinds of stimuli. The sebum and the so-called barrier lipids, which make our body’s surface water-repellent and keep it supple, are also made of fat.
Our diet does not usually lack sugar and fat, we usually consume too much of them.
It is not only the quantity that is important, but also the form in which we take in these macronutrients. For example, if we eat quickly digestible carbohydrates – such as those found in sweets and lemonades, white flour products and fast food – the blood sugar level rises. The body then releases insulin, which ensures that sugar is absorbed from the blood into the body cells.
And that is bad for the skin?
Yes, because insulin and the “insulin-likegrowth factor”, which increases in the body, also stimulate cell growth. The result: sebaceous glands become oversized, acne develops, increasingly also in adults. The sugar accumulates in the genetic material, proteins and fats, causes inflammation and accelerates the aging of the skin and other tissues.
So, if possible, avoid carbohydrates?
If you have skin problems, it may make sense to avoid them completely for a while or at least reduce them drastically – especially the industrially processed refined flours and sugars – and see if your skin condition improves. In other respects, too, if you want to consume carbohydrates, you should do so in moderation – and consume them primarily in their complex version, which causes the blood sugar level to rise more slowly. This applies, for example, to whole grains, jacket potatoes, vegetables and fruit.
Are there similar quality differences in fat?
So-called trans fats, which are produced when fat is industrially hardened, attack the cells, accelerate skin aging and promote acne. In this country, they occur for example in fast food and convenience food, but they also form during frying, when it smokes and vegetable oil is heated above its smoke point. In the USA, artificial trans fats are already prohibited. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, on the other hand, protect the genetic material and thus slow down skin aging. The body also needs them as a building material for new skin cells and to build up messenger substances that influence inflammation. Some of these fatty acids are essential: This means that we cannot produce them ourselves, but must absorb them with our food.