Monday, 25 November 2019 20:04

The Foundations of Nutritional Health and their Relationship to Skin

Written by   Cassandra Lanning, LME, NTP, The Renegade Esthetician

Internal skin care, like topical skin care, should be addressed methodically, not haphazardly. Everything that happens, happens for a reason, and skin care professionals need to find the reason that these things are happening. They have to think logically and linearly, rather than randomly, to get to the root cause of dysfunction.


Internal health, like topical health, has dysfunctions that have a root cause in a specific location and cascade in a domino effect, resulting in the presentation seen or felt. But where to begin to find that root cause?


It all starts with what an individual puts into their mouth, their state of being at the time of eating, how well they did or did not chew, and their ability to break it down and absorb it.


Humans have five foundations of nutritional health and each is affected by what was mentioned above. The five foundations of nutritional health are digestion, blood sugar regulation, mineral balance, essential fatty acids, and hydration.


What an individual eats affects blood sugar regulation, mineral balance, essential fatty acids, and hydration. Their state of being at the time affects their digestion, mineral balance, and essential fatty acids. Chewing or not chewing food affects their digestion, mineral balance, and essential fatty acids. Their ability to break down and absorb what they have eaten affects their digestion, blood sugar regulation, mineral balance, and essential fatty acids.


This article will look at some of the basics of each foundation, what makes each function, and what makes each dysfunction.



The absolute most important aspect of digestion is also the most overlooked and dismissed, and that is the state of being at the time of eating. In order for the digestive process to even begin, one must be in a parasympathetic state, or a state of rest and digest. In today’s world, most people are in a chronic sympathetic state, or fight or flight state, so most people are not digesting their food properly. Chronic stress inhibits stomach acid production, which inhibits breakdown and absorption of nutrients.


Not chewing food thoroughly affects the ability to absorb nutrients, because with a stomach low in acid from a chronic sympathetic state, there will be an impaired ability to break foods down further, so when food is eventually released into the small intestine where absorption takes place, the food molecules will not be small enough to be absorbed.



Sugar is everywhere, in everything, in many different forms. Sugar in all its forms is inflammatory. People today are eating masses of inflammatory foods containing sugars of all kinds.


High blood sugar puts a strain on the pancreas, adrenals, and liver. High blood sugar can also have an affect on hormone balance. Sugar causes cross linking, which causes proteins to stick together. This happens in every organ of the body.



Today’s produce has fewer minerals than produce in the past. The majority of today’s processed foods contain soy, which contains phytates, which bind to minerals in the body and make them unusable, specifically to zinc, which is necessary for digestion and wound healing.


Additionally, people do not drink mineral water, or water from the earth, anymore, so they are further depleting themselves of necessary minerals.


Enzymes in the body and skin require minerals to function and cells need enzymes to function. Muscles also need minerals to function. Every system in the body has a mineral requirement and, when deficient, cannot function properly.



With fat-free diets still as popular as ever, it is no wonder that people are still overweight and are unable to stick to the unnatural, fat-free diet. Fat tastes good. Fat is also filling and keeps individuals satiated for longer, so they end up eating less but stay full longer. Fat is also the majority component of every single phospholipid molecule in every single cell membrane of all 30 trillion cells of the body. The brain is nearly 60% fat.


The subject of fat is complex. There are saturated fats and unsaturated fats (oils), and both are needed, even though saturated fats have been unjustly shunned. Additionally, people have been led to believe that polyunsaturated, industrially processed, seed oils should be their fat of choice, when these are the most rancid and inflammatory oils that one can eat, with the exception of omega-3 fish oils (not plant omega-3). Bottom line? The body is made of 15% fat and needs fat to be healthy.



Water is the most common nutritional deficiency in the United States. Approximately 75% of the United States population is chronically dehydrated. Water makes up 60% of the mass of the human body, with two-thirds of that being intracellular (inside the cell, as cytosol), and one-third being extracellular (outside the cell). Of the one-third extracellular fluid, 80% is interstitial, which is used in the exchange of water among body fluid compartments. The other 20% is plasma. Water is necessary to make blood, sweat, tears, urine, lymph, and fuel for enzyme function, along with minerals.


Most people in the United States are drinking soda as their method of hydration; however, many sodas contain caffeine, which is a diuretic and actually depletes more water, so people become dehydrated from drinking caffeinated beverages.


The five foundations of nutritional health have a profound effect on the human body. Each one also has effects within the others. So, where to begin when looking for the root cause of a skin condition?


In many cases, what is being eaten can be the root cause of a skin condition. A good example is how true genetic acne is exacerbated by eating dairy or iodine.


And, what happens when eating under stressful conditions? Digestion is not initiated and food sits in the stomach, causing reflux and eventually inflammation. This lack of initiated digestion leads to an impaired ability to absorb nutrients.


Is the client chewing their food? Or are they wolfing down their food on the run? Large particles of unchewed food become inflammatory factors when coupled with low stomach acid and impaired digestion.


Everything in the body is dependent on the ability to digest the food eaten. So, always encourage clients to eat in a relaxed state to initiate digestion. This is where it all begins.


Next, take into consideration the sugar content of the foods clients are eating. This is another big contributor to inflammation.


Is the client taking omega-3 to counteract the inflammation and build permeable cell membranes, and eating saturated fats to build strong cell membranes?


And, finally how much water is the client drinking? Are they drinking mineral water? Are they drinking too much caffeine?


These are the places to look for the root cause. Food consumption and digestion are always the first place to look when one has established that the condition is an internal nutritional health issue.

Want to read more?

Subscribe to our "Pro Membership" to continue reading this article.

Login to post comments

December 2021

Wellness Blogs

Brands of the Month

  • DMK Skin Revision Center
  • Alexandria Professional
  • Celluma by Biophotas, Inc