January 2, 2023

Dry skin

Question:

I have incredibly dry skin. During winter and pregnancy it can feel like rough leather. I’ve been whole food plant based 5 years but cheat with dairy and sugar at special occasions. I’d love to know from terrain model how and why this happens. It seems to run in my family- diagnoses of eczema, rash, cracked heels. Genetically we transport saturated and trans fats more readily than omega 3 or 6 appropriately. The crazy part is I’ve cut those bad fats out (except a few times a year) and have never seen my skin, nails or hair be anything but dry and brittle.

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Terrain answer:

This is caused by severe chronic dehydration. Whole food plant-based is less burden than a meat and dairy-centered diet but it still included cooked foods. Cooked foods dehydrate the body because the cooking process removes water from the foods. The body needs a minimum of 80% water content in food for it to pass through the digestive tract without stealing water from the cells. When we eat cooked foods the vast majority of those foods are well under 80%. We also tend to include dry foods like bread, rice, wheat, oats, etc that require a large dose of water from our bodies to move them through our digestive tract.
On top of this, by filling up on less ideal cooked foods that means by default we are eating far less of our natural water-rich foods, so we are not replenishing our water supply. Then we are not drinking nearly enough water – someone eating cooked foods should be drinking around 2 gallons of water a day to replenish all that is lost from eating the cooked foods. A person eating fully raw should be drinking about 1 gallon per day. The vast majority of people barely get half that amount of water in a day.
Dry skin has nothing to do with fat, fat does not supply moisture. What is passed through families are the habits that cause chronic dehydration.

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