Nutrition for Dry Skin & Nails

February 11, 2018

Nutrition for Dry Skin & Nails

Are you seeing new wrinkles in your skin? Or, do you see that your fingernails are cracked and brittle? Our nutritionists explain how eating real food, in balance, can help with dry skin and cracked nails.

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CASSIE: Welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition, brought to you by Nutritional Weight & Wellness, a company providing nutrition therapy and classes for both your body and your brain. I think all of the listeners get it, that the body needs a variety of different nutrients to function well, but how many of you realize that your brain needs a lot of different nutrients each day to function well? In fact, I think of the brain as kind of a greedy organ. The brain demands a lot of nutrients because it needs to perform a lot of important functions each day. So now stop and think for a minute. Are you eating to support your brain function? Alzheimer's disease is a frightening reality. We are reaching epidemic proportions in this country of Alzheimer's disease, so now more than ever eating to support your brain should be considered a necessity, not just another option. So I'm sure a lot of the listeners are thinking at this point that the show is going to be all about brain health and maintaining a good memory.  It's actually not. I just wanted to give that bit of information as sort of a little public service announcement. The brain and the memory have kind of been on my mind lately I think because just a week and a half ago, I think it was now, I taught a great class for a great lunch and learn corporate class for one of our clients in St Paul. It was called Building a Better Brain and boy we hit the nail on the head with that topic. It was a packed the house, so I do think Alzheimer's disease is top of mind with a lot of people and it's important to eat in order to support your brain function.

Today's show though on the other hand, is a bit of a lighter topic and it's an important topic this time of year. Today's show is about nutrition remedies for skin and nail health, but I promise that later in the show we’ll share two or three key nutrients that your brain needs for a good working memory.  So stay tuned for that. But for now, let's get on to our main topic, skin and nails, and let's start with the skin. You know when it comes to skin health, this time of year, sometimes my hands, my face will get a little dry and the first place my mind goes is, OK, what can I do different nutritionally? What can I eat to remedy this dry skin? Or how about this question I get asked this one a lot from clients, what can I do so that I don't get wrinkles? Here's another one. What can I do to avoid getting adult acne? Or what can I do to avoid rosacea? We are going to explore solutions to all of these questions and we're also going to talk about what to do in order to have strong healthy nails. I'm Cassie Weness, registered and licensed dietitian and joining me today as my co-host is JoAnn Ridout.  Welcome, JoAnn.

JOANN:  Thank you. Good morning. I'm also a registered and licensed dietitian and a common question I hear during our Menopause Survival Seminar is, what can I do about my dry skin? Or women will say, I look in the mirror every day and see more wrinkles. Those wrinkle creams just aren't helping, so what can I do?

CASSIE: Another question that I just thought of, my aunt asked me this the other day. She said, you know, my nails used to be beautiful and strong, and now look at them. They're cracking, they're chipping. I'm sure you've had that question in clinical practice too, so a lot of times people want to know what vitamin can I take to help my nails grow and be strong and healthy. These are all great questions and we have some solutions. What do you say? We start with the skin health first.

JOANN: That's right. That's a great place to start. So Cassie, you and I both went to dietitian school. Low fat was all the rage during those years, and remember we knew how many fat grams were in every food we ate, our goal was to eat low low fat, which was, I don't know, 20 to 30 fat grams or less per day. Listeners, do you remember those days? Well, guess what? In order for our skin to stay supple and healthy it needs healthy fat. Fat actually hydrates the skin and keeps it looking youthful.

CASSIE: Right. So if you want to avoid having dry skin, what we recommend at Nutritional Weight & Wellness is to eat a variety of good healthy fats every day. So we're talking about things like butter, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, avocados, even heavy cream, and we recommend that you eat a tablespoon of one of these fats at every meal and a tablespoon at every snack.  Now, for the long-time listeners that know, we are always advocating the magic number three, which means you want to eat protein, carb, fat, those three things every three hours. That means by the end of the day, you should be eating about seven tablespoons of good, healthy fat, and that's what you want. That is so hydrating and nourishing for your skin.

JOANN: And that sounds very good, doesn't it? Sounds yummy to add that butter and cream. So would you be willing to add that much good dietary fat to your daily eating plan to have healthy skin? I really want you to think about that. Or do you still have that old thinking and fear that if you eat fat, you will gain weight and get fat? I still have women with that concern coming into the office. We say it over and over in our Nutrition 4 Weight Loss classes that it is the sugar and the bad fats such as soybean oil, cottonseed oil, corn oil, and canola oil.  Those are the bad fats that put weight on us. But the good fat like butter helps you lose weight. Unfortunately for some people it's difficult to let go of those old wrong messages.

CASSIE: It is. And those old wrong messages were drilled into our heads for over a decade. So it is hard to get rid of them, but low fat doesn't do anything for your skin health and it certainly doesn't do anything good for your overall health either. So next, I think we want to get into just a little bit of biochemistry, looking at the fats and skin health, and I know some listeners love the biochemistry of it all and some get scared at that word chemistry. Don't turn the dial if that word chemistry scares you because we're going to explain this in a way that you will understand. JoAnn and I really want you to leave this discussion saying, OK, I get it now.  I need saturated fat like butter and cream or bacon fat even to hydrate my skin and calm down my wrinkles. And I'm sure that's a new thought for many, that eating butter can help keep wrinkles away and all this talk of butter and cream makes me think of my grandma. My grandma was born on a farm and then she married her husband who was a farmer so all of her life on a farm and she ate eggs and butter. She made cream of vegetable soup with real heavy whipping cream. Her pie crusts, oh, they were delicious, and they were made with lard. She never used crisco.  It was so good. And my grandma was, is, healthy today and has hydrated skin and her brain. That's what I want to say is that her brain is as sharp as a tack and I think those healthy fats have something to do with that too.  She is, like I said, still alive today. Brain as sharp as ever, and she doesn't have dry skin, so I really think there is something to all this saturated fat talk.

JOANN: That's right. And I bet your grandmother wasn't overweight either.

CASSIE: No. No, because fat does not make you fat.

JOANN: Exactly. Exactly. So the human body contains almost 40 trillion cells. Each cell is surrounded by a membrane that protects the interior of the cell from the exterior environment. So think of our skin cells and think of that environment that our skin cells are exposed to daily. We are exposed to toxins and chemicals, that harsh Minnesota winter weather. This cell membrane protects the inner part of the cell from the toxins, while at the same time allowing oxygen and carbon dioxide to go in and out, just like breathing.

CASSIE: Good analogy, so that cell membrane is so important to keep strong and I think the next part here that we're going to talk about is really important for today's discussion.  Each cell membrane, whether we're talking about our skin cells, or our lung cells, or our heart cells, each cell membrane contains about 1 trillion fat molecules in that cell membrane. And here's the kicker of it all, at least half of these fat molecules need to be saturated fatty acids for that cell membrane to be healthy and functioning properly. Each cell membrane needs half of it to be made up of saturated fat or it's not going to function well, and that could result in dry skin. That could result in wrinkles or even other skin problems like acne and rosacea.

JOANN: That's right. So you've just learned that half of each cell membrane must be composed of saturated fat to work properly. So if you have dry skin, wrinkles or adult acne, now that's often referred to as rosacea, doesn't it make sense that half of the fat you eat should be saturated fat to help replenish those cells?  It should be butter, coconut oil, cream, or lard. So just try eating three tablespoons of saturated fat every day and watch your dry skin disappear.

CASSIE: You know and three tablespoons a day, that's easy for you and I, JoAnn, because it's delicious.

JOANN: We're used to it and it's good.

CASSIE: It is so good. But I just want to give, before we have to go to break, I want to give a quick example to the listeners. An example of a day in the life, let's say of me and three tablespoons of saturated fat. So my morning cup of coffee, I always start with a small morning cup of coffee and I put one tablespoon of heavy whipping cream in my coffee. It is a treat that I look forward to. At dinnertime I often roast my vegetables that I'm going to feed to my family and that I'm going to eat and I roast them in coconut oil. And then one of the many bedtime snacks that I enjoy is a half of a cup of frozen blueberries with a tablespoon or two of coconut milk, you know the kind from the can, on the top. It's delicious. It's delicious, and that's an easy way to get your saturated fat in. We're going to take a quick commercial break. If you're just joining us, you're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition, brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. Before we go to break, I want to let all of the females listening know that if you're struggling with perimenopause or menopause symptoms, we have a great seminar for you. It's called the Menopause Survival Seminar and it's going to be presented on Saturday, February 17 at our Maple Grove location. Come with questions and you will go home with solutions. Dar, the owner of Nutritional Weight and Wellness along with Kris and JoAnn will be teaching this seminar. And JoAnn, I've, I've heard you teach before you and the girls do a really good job of taking the mystery out of menopause with some pretty simple, yet very effective ways to manage your symptoms. So if you can relate to hot flashes, insomnia, if you're having some memory problems or irritability, this class is for you and we will even give you some healthy snacks and a delicious lunch while you're at our office.  I say make it a girls outing. Bring a friend or a sister. It's a lot of information so it's great to have another set of ears listening with you. If you want to sign up, you can call the office at 651-699-3438 or you can go online to weightandwellness.com. We'll be right back.

JOANN: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Cassie and I are talking everything, skin and nails today. Skin is the largest organ in our bodies and it is also an indicator of our overall health and well-being. Very interesting to know that even our digestive system is linked to the health of our skin.  Oftentimes, poor gut health equals poor skin health. That good bacteria called probiotics can help the gut eliminate toxins and free radicals that can damage skin and cause early signs of aging. A simple solution to support our intestinal health and healthy skin is to take our probiotic Bifido Balance every morning and evening. Bifido Balance also helps to reduce cravings for sugar and processed carbs, which is an added bonus for many of our clients, so it's a win win.

CASSIE: It really is, and I strongly feel that taking Bifido Balance a couple of times every day during the throes of a terrible cold and flu season, like we're in right now is a must. A good probiotic like Bifido Balance can increase the strength of your immune system. In fact, I was just reading research last night showing that regular use of probiotics in school age children made colds less frequent and when the colds did hit, they were shorter in duration and the kids missed fewer school days. And this is something I swear by and certainly put into practice in our household.  My two children and I each take a half a teaspoon of the Bifido Powder before school each morning, so we just mix it in an ounce or two of water and then we take another half teaspoon mixed in water when the kids get home from school.

JOANN: Yup. Good practice.

CASSIE: So we were talking about saturated fat and the importance of that saturated fat, at least three tablespoons a day, right? There's more to this story about the importance of saturated fat for healthy cell membranes that I find really intriguing. So here goes, some of the most sensitive cell membranes that actually require saturated fat to work properly are the tissues of the lungs. This cell membrane, as you know JoAnn, is referred to as lung surfactant. It's, it's kind of a soap like substance that allows the passage of air in and out of the lungs, so oxygen goes in and carbon dioxide comes out.  Saturated fats are essential for this lung function to work at its best. Now on the other hand, if you're eating too many trans fats, and we'll talk about where you find them in just a minute, if you're not aware, but if you're eating too many trans fats, those bad fats, then that's what becomes part of that cell membrane in the lungs and everywhere else, and the lungs suffer. The lungs tend to shut down when they get trans fats incorporated in the cell membrane, or at least partially shut down. Bottom line trans fats interfere with lung function.

JOANN: They do. So speaking of those lungs, here's a question for you. Do you think that this low fat eating and our fear of saturated fats could be one of the causes of such an epidemic explosion of those asthma related diseases in children today? And adults.

CASSIE: And adults. Boy, there's some good food for thought. Or could it be all of the bad fats and the trans fats? I mean, I think of what a very standard diet for a kid in this country is and I think fast food, frozen pizza, you don't know the number of kids that have told me that they love Hot Pockets and it just breaks my heart. The potato chips, you know, this is all the typical standard American diet. And you know, when we look at all of the research and combine that with what we know from our clinical experience, it sure appears that the kids who drink whole milk, the kids who eat whip cream on their fruit, not cool whip but real whipped cream. The kids who eat butter and not margarine spreads. They are the ones that experience less asthma versus the kids who drink skim milk and eat margarine. And this just brings a vision into my head of all of the low fat chocolate milk being served in schools today.  Our kids are drinking this low fat chocolate milk. So not only do we remove the healthy fat, but we add in either sugar or high fructose corn syrup to sweeten it, neither one of these things is good for the lungs or any other part of that child's health. I think it's really sad.

JOANN: Yeah, I agree. It's very sad. So now we are going to get back to talking about our skin. And for women, dry skin and dry tissue may lead us to feel like we're drying up. That dry skin, that dry hair, dry nails, those dry rough cuticles, incontinence and wrinkles. We talk about all these things at the Menopause Seminar by the way. Um, but one thing I wanted to throw in here too is we have not talked about water. We've been talking about hydration from fat, but hydration from both fat and water is so important for our skin. I talked to so many women who are only drinking three to four cups of water each day. Yesterday in fact, I talked to two people that were kind of in that range of low water intake. Just struggling to get it in.

CASSIE: Yes. I think a lot of people are only drinking three to four cups and not even realizing because who's stopping to count their cups of water?

JOANN: Exactly, and they might be drinking coffee or tea throughout the day, but that doesn't help the water count. We need 8 to 10 glasses of water a day or half our body weight. So figure out your body weight, divide by two and that many ounces is how many ounces of water we need to keep our skin healthy, but also stay hydrated.

CASSIE: Just yeah, for overall health and when I am drinking my 8 to 10 glasses of water a day, I have great energy.  So another reason to get that water in. But JoAnn, I'm glad you mentioned that because water is so important. So I want to challenge the listeners to count up how much water. You know, take a day, take a day and track yourself because it's very likely that you're not getting those 8 to 10 glasses that JoAnn is recommending. I want to come back and talk more about the cell membrane and the saturated fat in it and get back onto that topic for a little bit, but first we're going to take a commercial break. If you're just tuning in, you're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition, brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. Before we hand it over to commercial, I'd like to remind our listeners that February is Heart Health Month. Now, I think it goes without saying that the nutritionists and dietitians at Nutritional Weight and Wellness all love to teach about real food and how it can support your heart health.  So during this month of February, we are offering our Preventing Heart Disease class. First of all, at our St Paul Location on Wednesday, February 21, and we're also offering our Preventing Heart Disease class at our Wayzata location on Saturday, February 24. I'm sure many listeners are aware that heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States, so this is an important class for you to take and we're really excited to be able to offer it at half price. We're doing this half price deal because we want to fill those seats because it is great information, so half price means $12.50 and for that you are going to learn so many preventative measures that you can start applying immediately and I encourage you to call soon because at that price our classrooms will fill up fast. You can call us today at 651-699-3438 or you can sign up online at weightandwellness.com.  You really don't want to miss this class.

JOANN: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Next week you'll surely want to tune in, Dar and Lea are talking about How Safe Is Your Tap Water to Drink with our special guest, Richard Grassie from Richard's Water.

Right now, during cold and flu season, many of us are adding extra vitamin C to support our immune system, but did you know that diets high in vitamin C are also associated with better skin appearance and less wrinkling? High levels of vitamin C have been correlated with the decrease in dry skin and vitamin C also supports wound healing. We have a great vitamin C product from Ortho Molecular called C-Flav and another one from Metagenics called Ultra Potent-C. Both are great for the immune system and for skin health.

CASSIE: They really are. Yes, and I noticed that if I'm taking more vitamin C, my skin, especially in my face just appears brighter and just healthier looking.  So we were talking still about fat and how it hydrates skin, when we last went to break. This is such important information, so I just want to repeat, 50 percent of each of our cell membranes need saturated fat to function well and to keep our skin hydrated. So I want everybody to take a minute and really think now how are you going to make this change? What is it going to look like in your day to day eating? Do you still have a margarine or fake butter spread in the refrigerator? Maybe it's time to throw that out and switched to real butter. If you're still using skim milk or low fat milk in your coffee, it's time to switch to full fat whipping cream. Or if you're still eating that light yogurt, stop buying that and go for a full fat plain yogurt.  We need plenty of these healthy fats for healthy skin.

JOANN: I think that sounds great. Adding butter and cream is so good. So give it a try for six weeks and ask yourself, does my skin look better? Are my nails stronger? Are my dry eyes feeling better? It's basically a test or trial period for six weeks. You can determine the results. You can still eat olive oil, nuts and avocados, we know these are healthy fats too, but you need at least three tablespoons of a saturated fat and the next time you see your esthetician, you can say, my skin is not as dry as a month ago. All I changed is that I'm eating butter and cream. Isn't that amazing?

CASSIE: Truly, we have given the listeners a fairly easy and certainly delicious improvement that they can make to their diet to improve the health of their skin and that is, like you said, JoAnn, eat butter, eat cream, eat coconut oil every day, but that's certainly not a magic bullet. There are some other changes you need to implement to hydrate your skin and stave off wrinkles. One of those is to give up or at least cut way back on the amount of sugar or sugary foods that you're eating. And yes, we know we say it on every show, don't we? We say it on every show, cut out the sugar, but you know what? We say it on every show because it's so important for every aspect of your health and because everybody out there needs to be reminded because they fall back into those old habits. So time to cut out the sugar and you know what? It's not just us at Nutritional Weight and Wellness saying this. I have some information, some results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, and this survey looked at over 4,000 women. So this was a large survey, they were middle aged women and they found that those women who avoided a high carbohydrate diet and instead ate a lot of foods that contain vitamin C like strawberries and spinach, oranges, tomatoes, and they also added nuts and seeds, these women had fewer wrinkles, less dry skin, and less thinning of their skin. So foods with vitamin C and foods containing healthy fats are a great wrinkle cure plan. The vitamin C helps boost collagen production and the healthy fats hydrate the skin.

JOANN: That's right. So if you're living on a high sugar diet, some people still hang on to those favorite foods, the bagels and the muffins, maybe pasta, coffee mochas. You want to reconsider that because research has found that too much sugar in the diet makes the collagen in your skin become stiff and inflexible. That is part of the cause of wrinkles and your skin doesn't look healthy anymore. We need that healthy collagen for our skin. Also, we need for our joints, for tendons, for our ligaments, so don't damage your collagen with sugar.

CASSIE: If that's not motivation, I don't know what is, right? You know that cutting out the sugar can help to stave off wrinkles, I think it's worth cutting off the sugar. Yes. You know, as I was researching for the show this past week, I pulled a book off the shelf that's called The Wrinkle Cure. Some of you may have heard of this, The Wrinkle Cure by Dr. Nicholas Perricone and in this book to prevent wrinkles, Dr. Perricone recommends eating a low sugar diet. Now, if you happen to have the book handy, he doesn't necessarily call it low sugar, he calls it a low-glycemic index diet, which if you're familiar with glycemic index, a low-glycemic index diet is basically a low sugar diet. Dr. Perricone and also recommends a nutrient rich eating plan and he steers his readers towards real food, not processed food, and that's what we do at Nutritional Weight and Wellness. The Weight and Wellness way of eating is and always has been a low sugar nutrient rich eating plan consisting of real food. It works.

JOANN: It does work. Yes it does. And we all eat that way, right?

CASSIE: Yes. And it is delicious and once you start eating this way, those fake processed foods do not taste good anymore.

JOANN: And they don't even appeal to you. Our skin is the largest organ in our body and it accounts for about 16 percent of our total body weight. It covers about 20 square feet of surface area. That's amazing when you think about our skin being that large.

CASSIE: It truly is. It is amazing. And like all other organs of our body, the skin requires nutrients from the foods that we're eating. So certainly it needs sufficient vitamins and minerals to stay healthy if you have really rough dry skin or if you have skin that you feel like it's prematurely aging, this could be a body sign of a vitamin A deficiency. So you might be thinking now, OK, so what are some good food sources of vitamin A? Well, how many of you remember, maybe your mom did this? Maybe you remember stories about your grandma doing this. Giving cod liver oil every day? I remember stories, my mom talks about how grandma would line them up in the fall and the winter especially and they had to take a teaspoon of cod liver oil and my mom would go hide in the cupboard or in the closet because it tasted really bad. It's come a long way. It's deodorized now it's flavored. It's come a long way. It's much better, much better, but you know what? Kudos to my grandma and all those other ladies out there who did that because vitamin A is so nutritious and that, excuse me, cod liver oil is so nutritious and it's a great source of vitamin A. So it's great for skin health.

JOANN: That's right. At Nutritional Weight and Wellness, we recommend one to two teaspoons of cod liver oil daily for healthy skin. You don't want too much vitamin A but one to two teaspoons of cod liver oil daily is one of the best sources and they now have cod liver oil available, like Cassie said, with a more subtle flavor, a nice taste of lemon, much easier to take than I'm sure it was a few years ago. Also I learned at a conference recently that it cod liver oil also helps us absorb vitamin D, which we'll be talking about later. So that's another benefit of cod liver oil.

CASSIE: Yes. I always have cod liver oil in my fridge. I think I took two teaspoonfuls this morning and it does taste good. It tastes like a lemon drop. You know there have been several cases reported of people with severe acne having low levels of vitamin A in their blood. Now I don't know if this is still the standard treatment, but back when I was a teenager, a standard treatment for severe acne was Accutane and I was actually put on that a couple of different times. Accutane, I didn't know this back then but now I know, Accutane is actually a synthetic form of vitamin A. And I can tell you while you're on it, it works. Once you go off it, it stops working. The bad thing about Accutane is it has a lot of nasty side effects. You can get joint pain, you can experience hair loss, low energy, depression and I am still struggling decades later with digestive problems from that Accutane, which is another side effect. Guess what? Plain old cod liver oil has vitamin A and it's found to be just as effective for treating that acne, but no side effects.

JOANN: That's right. My daughter actually uses cod liver oil for her skin, found it very helpful. She also was on Accutane.

CASSIE: Yeah, it was, it was what the doctors told you to take if you came in with a complaint of acne. So, um, do you think we should go to our final break?

JOANN:  I think we need to go to our next break.

CASSIE: Our next break. Boy, this hour is flying by us. You're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. Before we pause for commercial though, we need to fulfill that promise that I gave at the top of the hour when I said, we would share two or three nutrients that we recommend for good brain support. Now, my first recommendation would be omega-3 fish oil. And because omega-3's are also great for heart health, and February is Heart Health Month, we're running a sale during this month of February. Our Nutrikey Omega-3 1000 is 15% off the regular price.  So I suggest you buy a few bottles, stock up while it's on sale, and if you are needing it for brain support, we recommend taking three to four soft gels every day. I know some of you know this, 60 percent of your brain is made up of omega three fatty acids, so it's really important to be feeding your brain what it needs. Now, the second nutrient I would recommend is magnesium glycinate and I always suggest that people take this at bedtime for a couple of reasons. Yeah, I always suggest bedtime and I take mine at bedtime, one because magnesium and all of the minerals really are better absorbed in the evening hours, but also because magnesium can help you to get a better night's sleep and sleep allows your brain to detoxify. Everything is so intertwined, isn't it? So if you get a good night's sleep and your brain can detoxify then, the next day you're going to feel better and have clearer thinking.  And magnesium glycinate helps to relax your muscles and that then allows your body to get into that deep stage of sleep where you will sleep all through the night. And stay with us, we'll be right back in a moment.

JOANN: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Finally, all the holiday parties are over, so now you can focus and take Nutrition 4 Weight Loss. Concentrate on you and your health. Some people like to take this 12 class series in person. Some people like to take it online. Whatever works best for you works best for us. You can do your appointments in person, by phone, or via skype. Whatever is most beneficial for you.

CASSIE: Because you get, you get two 1 hour counseling sessions with the class. 

JOANN: It's great. Nutrition 4 Weight Loss is not a diet. It's well-thought out, researched way of eating that is designed to keep you healthy while you lose one to one and a half pounds of body fat per week. So check it out online weightandwellness.com or call us at 651-699-3438. You can get your questions answered.  So we've been talking about skin.

CASSIE: Yes. And we still have more to tell.

JOANN: We still have a lot more to talk about. And um, we've been talking about cod liver oil. Our skin also needs a few other nutrients, about 400 IU or international units of vitamin E and 2000 to 5,000 IU of vitamin D every day. So in addition to food sources of saturated fat, our skin needs, omega-3 fish oil to reduce inflammation. And for skin health, my all time favorite is omega-6 GLA that is in the form of borage oil or evening primrose oil for very dry skin or dry eyes. I just have a little thing to add here and that is the first time I heard of GLA, gamma linolenic acid, I was training with Dar and she was talking about the bumpy skin on the back of the arms and the dry cracked heels and a light bulb went off for me. I was like, oh my gosh, I've had those bumpy skin dry spots on the back of my arms since I was a little kid. I remember that as a little kid and I now I have the solution and I don't have that problem anymore.

CASSIE: Isn't it amazing? Our body talks to us.

JOANN:  It does. So in addition to these nutrients, I suggest cooking with butter and coconut oil. Then add the one who wanted two teaspoons of cod liver oil and two to four soft gels of omega-3 fish oil plus three or four soft gels of GLA. I actually use six in the winter because my skin is so dry, plus 400 international units of vitamin E, also sufficient vitamin D. They all work together to make a remarkable difference in just three months. Saturated fat and essential fatty acids are vital to your skin health.

CASSIE: They are. They're so important for skin health and to remedy dry eyes as you mentioned. And I don't know about you, JoAnn, but I'm hearing more and more people with dry eyes. I think this is becoming, maybe just because we're so low in healthy fats, it's becoming a real problem. But you gave some good solutions, especially with that cod liver oil and we have given a lot of great ideas for having healthy skin.  Looking at the time, I think we better move on and talk about what you can do to have strong nails that don't break, don't split, don't peel. The first thing I want to say is, without a doubt, our nails need protein, especially animal protein. And I'm sure that's a new thought for many, that if your nails are weak or breaking, it could be your body's way of telling you that you're not eating enough animal protein.

JOANN: That's right. We recommend eating two to four ounces of protein at every meal and snack, so what does that look like? I think women often skip eating protein at breakfast and maybe at snack time. Instead they grab a bagel or some fruit, but they forget the importance of protein. Eating two or three eggs at breakfast is one of the easiest ways to get protein at breakfast time. And for a mid morning snack at a scoop of whey protein or paleo protein powder to your smoothie.

CASSIE: That's a great quick snack. And for any new listeners that don't have our smoothie recipe, we have a really delicious and balanced recipe for that protein smoothie up on our website at weightandwellness.com. So you gave a breakfast idea, JoAnn, you gave a morning snack idea. Now let's talk about lunch and let me say first of all, please take time to stop and actually eat lunch.  Don't work through your lunch. Don't go running errands over your lunch hour. Stop and eat lunch. One idea I have this time of year when I woke up and the thermometer said minus two degrees, one idea is some leftover beef chili. Or another one that I love this time of year because it warms me up from the inside out, leftover chicken wild rice soup. And I, on a weekend day when I have extra time, and I know you do this to JoAnn, I will make a triple batch at least exactly of the beef chili or of the chicken wild rice soup. And then I freeze lunch size portions. So then you have those grab and goes throughout the week when it gets busy. Both of these recipes, beef chili and chicken wild rice soup are up on our website weightandwellness.com. You can print them off free of charge. So if you need a great recipe, go there. Another idea, I think I mentioned this last week as a lunch idea too, it's one of my favorites is to make a large entrée salad. So I might open up my fridge and see whatever leftover meat I have. Sometimes it's steak, sometimes it's a chicken breast. Slice that up thin, dump some mixed baby Greens. I just buy a big bag of mixed baby greens. Dump that into a bowl, put your meat on top. If you have any other veggies, maybe cherry tomatoes or sugar snap peas, put that on top too. And of course, full fat dressing. Remember you're doing this for the health of your nails. They're going to look beautiful.

JOANN:That's right for my afternoon snack, I keep it really simple in a large coffee mug, I can put in a scoop of Chocolate Mint Fruits and Greens, add a scoop of chocolate or vanilla protein powder, add eight ounces of hot water and stir until it's smooth. It is so good. You can even add heavy cream or coconut milk. And I have a healthy and tasty hot chocolate drink, which is wonderful and full of antioxidants. So good in the winter.

CASSIE: I love that line of Fruits and Greens by Nutridyn. It is delicious and there's so many different flavors. You mentioned the chocolate mint. We have the strawberry kiwi at our house right now, which my kids love and it makes them drink more water. So that really is a great line of products.

JOANN: I just want to make sure we get to our high points. Our nails need three key minerals to stay strong. We talked about protein solutions. One of them is zinc, also calcium and magnesium. So if you're deficient in zinc, your nails may be slow to grow. A good source of zinc is red meat, right?

CASSIE: A great source of zinc and a very bio-available form. You could also supplement with zinc. I would recommend somewhere between 30 to 50 milligrams. So, uh, let's see what any other high points that we wanted to mention. You know, with calcium, you have to stop and remember that 70 percent of the world's population cannot digest milk. So that's not always a great source of calcium for, for a lot of people, we recommend eating a variety of leafy green vegetables and a variety of nuts for your calcium. And it's also to them important to understand that in order to absorb that calcium, you need to have adequate vitamin D. So if you don't know your vitamin D level, I recommend that you get tested. Most people in the midwest need to supplement with vitamin D.

JOANN:  That's right. Also, and the other key mineral you hear us talking about magnesium a lot, I use mixed magnesium, but magnesium glycinate is also a great source. We recommend at least 400 milligrams each day.

CASSIE: Right. And remember, take that at bedtime, it'll help you to sleep as well. And as our show draws to a close, I just want to remind everyone that our goal at Nutritional Weight & Wellness is to help each and every person experienced better health through eating real food. Yes, we know it's a simple message, but it's a powerful message. Eating real food is life changing. Thank you for tuning in and have a healthy day.

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