Our skin is naturally designed to fight infection and environmental stresses and its ability to do so is affected by its pH level. The pH level of the skin refers to how acidic or alkaline it is. On a scale of 1-14, with 1 being the most acidic to 14 being the most alkaline, 7 is considered a neutral reading for your skin's pH. Our skin has a thin, protective layer on its surface, referred to as the acid mantle. This acid mantle is made up of sebum (free fatty acids) excreted from the skin's sebaceous glands, which mixes with lactic and amino acids from sweat to create the skin's pH, which ideally should be slightly acidic - at about 5.5.
Following is a list of some dietary and supplement options for clients and their physicians to consider.
Avocados. Loaded with glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that can attack free radicals, avocados have more potassium than bananas.
Berries. Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and goji berries are all loaded with vitamins and minerals. The plant compounds, anthocyanins, which are found in berries, may protect against cancer, and the ellagic acid found in raspberries and strawberries has been shown to slow tumor growth.2
Brightly colored fruits and vegetables. These are loaded with nutrients and fiber, and stimulate immune-fighting cells to further protect the body from cancer. Studies exist that support the idea that people who have fought breast cancer by consuming a diet rich in cartenoid foods live longer than those who consumed fewer of these types of foods.2 Oranges, lemons, grapefruits and limes offer vitamin C, which helps protect against estrogen-type breast tumors. These fruits contain limonene, which stimulates cancer-killing immunity cells.2
Dark green vegetables. Kale, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, asparagus and spinach all contribute to reducing free-radical damage and carcinogens.2
Gamma fats. Found in walnuts and sesame oil, gamma fats are instrumental as a source of vitamin E. Studies reveal that vitamin E may be able to kill existing tumor cells without harming the healthy cells.3
Garlic. Immune-boosting compounds from garlic support the fighter cells found in the stomach, because garlic has an antibacterial effect on Helicobacter pylori, which is also found in the stomach, where it is known to promote cancer. Onions, chives and shallots all contribute to regulating blood-sugar levels. By controlling sugar levels, clients can further support reducing the growth of cancer cells.2
Green tea. Not only is green tea a metabolism-booster, its polyphenol content also may help prevent cancer cells from dividing.2 When these molecules are abundant, there is support to block the inflammation necessary for tumor growth.
Omega-3 fatty acids. Found in fatty fish, such as salmon and tuna, as well as in flax seeds, omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and fight against heart disease. Consuming them more than twice per week may result in a reduction of the risk of cancer.2
Tomatoes. Tomatoes contain lycopene, which supports the body by attacking free radicals that damage cells.2Watermelon, carrots and red peppers also contain lycopene.
Turmeric. A powerful anticancer spice with one of the highest anti-inflammatory effects, turmeric can be added to food. It’s part of the ginger family and is found in curry. Turmeric is best when added to a meal during the last stages of cooking, and is better when consumed via food instead of as a supplement. Absorption during the digestive process is more of a challenge in supplement form.2
Vitamin D. One of the most interesting connections in recent years is the importance of vitamin D in the fight against cancer, as well as other health issues, including seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Ten to 15 minutes of sun exposure helps to stimulate vitamin D levels in the body. For this to occur in an ideal fashion, people should not wear sunglasses and should expose only a small amount of skin.