The research is pretty unequivocal: eating a plant-based, whole food diet is overall one of the healthiest strategies. But there are many ways to implement this into one’s diet. For some people, this looks like a Mediterranean Diet. Paleo is another common choice. Others opt for a vegetarian or even vegan diet. And many people will thrive on their chosen version.
But did you know your genes play a large role in what foods best support your health, and if you don’t choose accordingly the best intentions can actually harm you? Fortunately, there is an easy way to solve this problem: know your genes.
Some nutritional issues are not specific to a vegan diet, such as needing a special form of folate called methylfolate; this can happen with any diet because of a person’s genetic makeup. But other nutritional issues are very specific to vegan diet-gene mismatches.
Each of these can be prevented by including additional foods that meet these needs, or by choosing specific supplements to fill the gaps. Knowing a person’s unique DNA blueprint enables informed choices to help each person support their unique biochemistry, and their health, based on their genes.
Nutrition & the Skin:
Choosing the Path of a Certified Nutritionist
By: Mary Nielsen
Although we’ve intuitively known this, there is now mounting scientific research that the relationship between a person’s overall health and what their skin reveals is strongly connected. For the skin to function optimally, it needs the right nutrients. There are vitamins, minerals, amino acids, proteins and more that specifically nourish the skin and regulate the release of hormones and enzymes that optimize its functions. And, all of this is tied to how our individualized DNA affects skin aging, moisture levels, UV reactions, and collagen production, for example.
There is a protein growth hormone called Brain-Derived-Neurotrophic Factor, or BDNF, that functions in the process of learning new information and memory. Some brain disorders, like depression and Alzheimer’s Disease, have been linked to low levels of BDNF. Curcumin is the active ingredient in the spice turmeric. Multiple studies have shown that supplemental curcumin increases levels of BDNF which could lead to potential in treating these disorders.
I’m a late bloomer and an early adapter. That’s why I’ve decided to add to my skillset and become a certified nutritionist. I was in my 40’s when I decided to chuck the nursing career and attend esthetics school. Despite an initial substantial income loss, following my heart and my gut is a decision I have never regretted. I was in my 50’s when I decided to jump into the deep end of the entrepreneur pool. My successful medspa transitioned into owning an esthetics school and empowering others to success in their career passions. And, now in my mid-60’s, I’ve enrolled in an online college program that will guide me to a stronger understanding of nutrition, hormones and DNA. And I plan to build that knowledge into a stronger esthetics program because I believe that an understanding of the connectedness of our skin to every other function in our body is the future of professional skincare.
So, I am confident that getting certified in nutrition is going to create a stronger esthetics program. Skincare professionals need to have a knowledge of nutrition and I want to create a protocol for a skincare consultation that includes probing deeper into our clients’ genetics and diets and creating individualized treatment plans based on that data. I don’t believe esthetics education is about beauty. Its about health. Nutrition plays a significant role in homeostasis in our bodies. When our bodies are out of balance, it is evident in the skin. The truth is that we are what we eat!
1 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29996790/#:~:text=therapy%20for%20rosacea.- ,H.,in%20the%20development%20of%20rosacea.