December is a great time to give thanks for your body’s biggest organ - your skin! Skin protects us against harmful bacteria, it regulates body temperature, and it sends our brain information gathered from the stimulation of touch, pressure, pain, heat, and cold. Your skin also says a lot about your health, and what we see on the surface of our skin can often be an indicator of what is going on inside of our bodies. For example, during menopause, the same hormonal changes that are responsible for symptoms like hot flashes, weight gain and insomnia, are also responsible for changes in the skin. Since estrogen plays a huge role in how our body produces skin-smoothing collagen and oils, a decline in estrogen can cause the skin to lose its resiliency and lead to wrinkles and dry skin. However, a diet rich in smart fats, like omega 3’s, provide dry skin with nourishing oils to help it stay hydrated.
For men or women suffering from dry skin, a great source of omega 3’s is a quality, vegetarian source DHA supplement like Udo’s DHA Oil Blend.For those who have yet to enter menopause, eating a low fat, high fiber diet could be the key to warding off the symptoms and protecting the skin from such dramatic changes in estrogen levels when that time comes. According to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, “animal-based meals affect hormone levels rapidly and strongly, and undoubtedly contribute to the menopausal problems that are common in Western countries.” But don’t lose interest yet guys - men and women can both benefit from the detoxifying, skin strengthening effects of a plant-based diet. A diet high in fruits and vegetables is rich in powerful antioxidants like vitamins C and E that neutralize free radicals, build collagen and help protect the skin from wrinkles and damage. Plus, fiber from fruit, vegetables and whole grains helps to flush out toxins and gives the skin a more radiant glow! One study published by the American Institute of Nutrition found that red meat consumption could be responsible for inflammation in the body that can lead to a break down in collagen and elastin – two of the skin’s most important factors for maintaining a youthful appearance! Other research shows a direct connection between the consumption between the consumption of animal proteins and acne! (Dairy is also linked to acne due to the high levels of hormones found in milk produced by pregnant cows.) In addition, refined sugar and salt can deplete your body’s collagen production and cause dehydration, leading to premature aging and dry skin. Don't forget that many soaps contain chemicals and artificial fragrances that can also deplete moisture and irritate the skin, so it's important to use a high quality, moisturizing cleanser with the nourishing properties of all natural ingredients such as Hallelujah Acres Dry Skin Relief Soap. Most importantly, when you make your health a priority and begin to replace toxic foods with the hydrating, vitamin rich properties of fresh fruits and vegetables, your complexion will benefit and your body will thank you!
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