Reprised Issue for the Women's Health Digest
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.
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.