Archive | May, 2016

Zinc and your skin

17 May

zinc foods“Take some Zinc and Echinacea,” seemed to be my moms standard reply whenever I felt a cold coming on. More often than not, I didn’t listen and then spent several, miserable days trying to recover. Truth is, Zinc is great for you. In addition, it does some amazing things for your skin.

People who have immune disorders or certain types of skin disorders tend to have less zinc in their body. Is this zinc because our body naturally uses it to fight off the infections or because we naturally have less zinc in our bodies which causes the infections in the first place? No one knows, really. But, zinc plays a major role in overall health of the skin.

Zinc works to heal and rejuvenate the skin in addition to reducing harmful free radical formation by protecting the skin when it’s exposed to UV light, pollution and other aging triggers. In healthy skin, we naturally have a cell turnover process of about 21-28 days which is called apoptosis. When we have a zinc deficiency our cells don’t turn over, and instead sit on the surface and stick together. All of this causes a buildup of sebum, bacteria and blocks the pores – which causes irritation and then acne. With a healthy amount of zinc, it can reduce clogged pores in the first place.

So, how much zinc is needed to stop acne? Men are supposed to take about 11 milligrams a day which women only need 8. Some of the best natural sources for zinc include various meats, and seafood’s – such as crab, oysters, lobster, etc. Allergic to seafood and not meat eater? Good news is that you can find zinc in beans, cheese, lentils, yogurt and fortified cereals. But, to increase the absorption – you definitely would want to stick with animal based products. (And grass fed/hormone free if you can!) If you eat a high diet of legumes, nuts, or seeds you increase your Phytate consumption and therefore also reduce your absorption of zinc.

If you are unable to eliminate some of these things from your diet or add them in if you are deficient, you can always take a zinc supplement to level you out. Most of the time, simple health and skin care issues can be improved by just taking a few small steps to better nutrition.

 

 

Meet your meat

12 May

Every once in a while I get a request for a blog post that asks me to showcase a recipe that is great for your skin. This isn’t one of them. However, this post is one I have been wanting to do for a while because this food is not only is it great for your overall health, but your skin, and hair as well.

featureGrass fed beef. Now, I realize there are a lot of plant based readers out there who will not agree with this post, and that’s okay. I’m not suggesting that anyone change their diet completely based on this post, rather I am suggesting that if you are going to eat meat, that you at least make better choices.

So, why is grass fed beef so much better than regular beef? Well, for starters, watch any of the documentaries out there that show how the traditional beef industry works and what the cattle are fed. The industry thrives on feeding beef corn, but so much of todays corn and feed is genetically modified. In addition to GMO’s  traditional beef can be packed full of antibiotics, chemicals and hormones.

There are so many articles, studies, documentaries, etc that make it complicated when it comes to dietary guidelines. Let me just break down the basics here for you and keep it simple:

  • Grass fed beef has 80% less fat than grain fed beef and 30% less cholesterol. Imagine being able to keep the protein intake up, but the fat content down.
  • It has balanced Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids. Omega acids aid in the prevention and treatment of inflammatory disease and autoimmune disorders.
  • It is a great source of conjugated linoleic acid. 3 times the amount in traditional beef. What is this? It’s an acid that reduces the risk of cancer, obesity, and a number of immune disorders.
  • It is full of beta carotene. This helps with vision, immune disorders, and osteoarthritis.
  • It contains 400% more Vitamins A and E which helps your vision, and stimulates white blood cells.
  • Grass fed beef also creates happier animals, supports sustainable farming practices and local farms.

Grass-Fed-Beef

Due to the high demand of healthier foods, there has thankfully been a rise in the amount of grass fed beef now carried at local stores. What used to only be available a Farmers markets or local meat shops is now available at chain grocery stores. Sure, the cost of the meat is a little more expensive, but it’s a step toward being healthier. Spending a little more time and money on your health now as a preventative measure sure beats forking over a ton of money for health issues later. Some of those issues can definitely be chalked up to hereditary factors, but with the rise of so many unexplained diseases that aren’t passed down, it may  be better to just help the odds of being healthier, longer by eating as clean as you can.