Human skin, measuring approximately 2 square meters, originates from the ectoderm tissue, which also forms our brain.
Human skin includes two essential layers, the epidermis (the upper layer) and the dermis. The health of these layers depends on the synergy between them and the nutrients we consume. Interestingly, our bodies house around 2 kg of bacteria and fungi that thrive on the food we eat, making prebiotics crucial for nourishing the healthy microorganisms in our intestines.
The state of our skin is deeply connected to our gut health, often referred to as our “second brain.” The quality and composition of our diet significantly impact our intestines’ ability to synthesize essential proteins, important vitamins, and regulate immune activity, preventing intestinal inflammation. Processed foods, high in preservatives, can trigger acne breakouts by causing the bacteria residing in our sebaceous glands to ferment, leading to clogged pores and increased inflammation.
Regular consumption of fast food, particularly items deep-fried in oil, can contribute to excessive facial and scalp oiliness, resulting in seborrhea. This condition sets off a chain reaction of redness, irritation, and scaling around the eyebrows, nose, and chin.
The protein gluten, commonly found in grains such as wheat, barley, and rye, is responsible for the elastic texture of dough. For individuals with sensitivities like celiac disease or gluten intolerance, it can lead to absorption issues, abdominal pain, itching, skin rashes, and the exacerbation of autoimmune disorders such as thyroid problems, vitiligo, and psoriasis.
The influence of food
Certain foods can affect the color and smell of our skin due to a substance called beta keratin. Overindulging in “orange” foods like carrots, pumpkin, or sweet potatoes can cause a noticeable change in skin color. Delightful condiments like amba, although well-loved, have the potential to alter our secretions, resulting in sweat exhibiting an orange hue.
Spicy foods, when consumed in excess, can cause blood vessels to dilate, leading to increased facial sweating, scalp discomfort, and a sensation of burning. They may also induce excessive stomach acid secretion, causing heartburn.
While sugar is an essential source of energy for our body, excessive consumption can lead to inflammation, weight gain, insulin resistance, and an increased risk of heart disease. Moderation is key to prevent these adverse effects.
Salty foods play a vital role in maintaining the electrical activity of cells, but excessive salt intake can lead to fluid retention, blood vessel dilation, and tissue swelling, compromising normal bodily functions.
Fats are essential for the proper functioning of our cells, including brain cells. However, excessive fat consumption can lead to liver damage, thickening of blood vessels, and an increased risk of heart disease.
Excessive alcohol consumption can cause blood vessels to dilate, leading to damage throughout the body. While moderate alcohol consumption is generally considered safe, excessive intake can have severe consequences.
Caffeine, known for its stimulant properties, can have positive effects in moderate doses. However, excessive caffeine consumption can disrupt sleep and induce anxiety.
Our skin renews itself monthly, with the basal layer cyclically rebuilding from basal cells to the shedding cells on the surface. From the age of 20, we lose 1% of collagen annually and, by the age of 30, approximately a teaspoon of fat. To maintain skin quality and health, a holistic approach is crucial, combining lifestyle choices, modern medicine, understanding of genetic processes, a balanced diet, proper skincare, and cognitive-enhancing activities. These practices promote both longevity and the maintenance of healthy skin.
Nutrition and food are interconnected but differ in their ultimate goals. Nutrition satisfies our body’s biochemistry, while food represents love and passion. The impact of eating goes beyond physical health; it also influences our mood and mental well-being. Vitamins play a vital role in cellular activity, building cells, regulating bodily processes, and catalyzing biochemical reactions.
To optimize skin health, it is essential to avoid processed foods containing saturated fats, gluten, and preservatives, as they can be detrimental to the body and skin.
While genetics contribute to only 7% of our overall well-being, epigenetics encompass the remaining 93%, highlighting how lifestyle factors such as nutrition, joy, physical activity, sun protection, skincare routines, and aesthetic treatments profoundly shape the quality and health of our skin.