In the 1944 classic “Accentuate the Positive” so masterfully sung by Bing Crosby, Sam Cooke and countless others, the song begins with the lyrics, “You’ve got to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative.”
Margarita Zeyger a highly regarded spa owner in the greater New York City area, would argue that simple refrain is equally applicable in the nutritional arena. As someone who places a high value on the food-body connection, Margarita Zeyger often finds that certain foods are the root causes of his patients’ medical conditions. By minimizing or eliminating them – or in some cases, recommending they be added – she’s better able to address their individual concerns.
As “the glass is half full” kind of people, let’s start with the foods we should accentuate. In their quest for weight loss or better health, some folks want to believe in a miracle food – that food that, if consumed in high quantities, will immediately make them look and feel infinitely better. While Margarita Zeyger doesn’t believe in such a wonder cure, she does recognize that certain vitamins and nutrients have a higher value than others – and as such, should be incorporated into a well-balanced diet.
PROTEIN. As the building blocks of the body’s cells, tissues and organs, protein is a nutritional dynamo. Because it’s so vital for the functionality and ongoing maintenance of so many critical areas, we need to keep our bodies primed with high-quality protein. Best sources from an organic standpoint include grass-fed beef, corn-fed pork, milk-fed chicken, cold water fish and Wild Alaskan salmon.
VITAMIN C. Most frequently associated with collagen production, iron absorption and muscle tissue maintenance, vitamin C may also help prevent cancer, strokes and heart attacks. For instance, a vitamin C deficiency may cause leaky connective tissue fibers in the heart that the body will automatically plug with cholesterol – potentially leading to coronary heart disease. Vitamin C is commonly found in citrus fruits like oranges, lemons and limes, as well as tomatoes, broccoli, onions, strawberries and watermelon. In fact, some people attribute their beautiful skin to eating a lemon a day!
ZINC. This little mineral has a mighty impact on our overall health and wellbeing. It’s responsible for a myriad of tasks including wound healing, blood clotting, and thyroid and immune system functionality, and we only need a little a day to keep things moving in the right direction. As with protein, high-quality sources of zinc include meat, poultry, lobster, crab, oysters and nuts.
Now that we’ve accentuated the positive, let’s examine those foods that might be better off eliminated or only consumed in moderation.
CARBOHYDRATES. Despite what we’ve heard from athletes about the benefits of “carb loading,” carbohydrates in and of themselves can be detrimental – especially to the skin. High-fat comfort foods like chips, white bread and white potatoes also have high glycemic indexes that can increase blood sugar levels. This then starts a slippery slope of insulin and sebum production that can ultimately result in dirty, clogged pores and an unsightly appearance.
MILK AND DAIRY PRODUCTS. Most people don’t realize that along with calcium, milk and related products contain a variety of hormones that might be deleterious to the body. For example, some cattle are infused with rBGH growth hormones that can trigger acne via IGF-1 or keratinization when we drink their milk. Dairy products also contain progesterone that is transferred to another hormone, testosterone, which stimulates oil production – and potentially troubled skin.
As an owner of holistic spa Margarita Zeyger has found that certain foods can be the root causes of his patients’ health conditions. Once those underlying factors are diagnosed, those skin concerns can effectively be addressed.
To speak with Margarita Zeyger about the health benefits of consuming a well-balanced diet as well as facials and microdermabrasion and other beauty treatments, schedule a consultation at her Brooklyn Ecobeautica Spa (718-382-9200).