Plant-Based Diet, Your Health, and Your Skin

I have written a number of times in the past in this blog about the importance of diet, exercise and lifestyle modification with respect to your health in general and your skin in particular.  I am motivated to write to you again today about this topic, as I just attended the Annual 2017 Conference of the Maine Nutrition Council, whose theme this year was “Eat for the Health of It”.

As you can tell from the catchy title, the day-long conference highlighted the role of diet and nutrition in disease prevention and wellness, not to mention management of diseases.  Saray Stancic M.D. gave the keynote address in which she told her inspiring and almost miraculous story of how she used a plant-based diet to effectively battle multiple sclerosis.

She was able to eventually stop all of her multiple medications that she took for MS and its complications.  Over a period of several years, she went from being barely able to walk without an assistance device to running a marathon.  Dr. Stancic also gave a separate lecture on managing autoimmune diseases (e.g. Type 1 diabetes, Hepatitis) with plant-based diets.

In my experience in the skin care field, I have also witnessed improvements in patient skin conditions of many types with dietary changes.  This is most notable in the treatment of acne, where the limitation of meat and especially dairy can cause dramatic changes in sebum (skin oil) production, pore size, and acute acne breakouts.

There are a number of theories of how plant-based diets affect autoimmune diseases and skin conditions.  I think the most plausible one involves the animal proteins in our diets appearing as abnormal antigens and confusing the immune system into actually attacking our own bodies.

The medical evidence about plant-based diets improving health at all levels of disease from cancer to heart disease to autoimmune diseases is fairly overwhelming.  As Dr. Stancic said, if the treatment was a drug, people would be beating down the doors to take this treatment whatever the cost.

While I know dietary habits are hard to change, progression to more plant-based and less processed foods can improve your health and energy levels while helping you to look better.  You can start with meatless Mondays or vegan before dinner and work your way up the ladder to a more healthful diet.

The only side effects to a plant-based diet are more regular bowel movements due to increased fiber intake and weight loss.  In my experience, those are side effects for which some people actually take medications.

Skip the drugs and go right to the source.  Your body and your future health and longevity will thank you for it.

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