Thursday October 8, 2015
Scarring is an important part of the healing process, but no one really wants a scar to last. Sometimes scars are out of your control, but there are things you can do to give your skin the best chance of healing fully.
One way to help your skin heal fully, completely, and smoothly is to ensure your body has the building blocks of healthy skin on hand. Skin-building takes a lot of micronutrients, which many people are deficient in.
Here’s how your diet impacts scarring, and how you can find good sources of the micronutrients that will help your skin heal like new.
How and Why Scars Form
Scars form when a wound penetrates below the skin’s first layer (the epidermis) and damages the second layer (the dermis). To repair the damage, your skin generates fibrous collagen tissue to fill the wound and pull skin together.
This layer forms in order to prevent further damage to the wound, and to protect it from viruses and bacteria, which can cause you to lose more tissue.
As the wound continues to heal, the collagen skin patch diminishes and is replaced by skin tissue slightly lighter than your other skin. This kind of scar is the least visible, and the most likely to fade over time. If the skin produces too much collagen, you end up with a raised or discolored scar.
Scarring depends on a lot of factors, including the size, depth, and location of the wound, as well as the age, genetics, and skin characteristics of the injured person. But our diets also have an impact. If the building blocks of healthy skin are abundant, it’s much easier for a wound to heal fully and with the minimum amount of scarring.
Micronutrients, Macro Benefits
Your body needs a wide variety of nutrients to operate correctly. You know about the three macronutrients: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, but you might be less clear on micronutrients.
Micronutrients are the nutrients that your body needs just tiny amounts of to thrive. You only need a little bit of each micronutrient, but being deficient can have serious consequences. Deficiencies can cause stunted growth, weakened immune response, and problems with tissue development—including skin tissue.
Micronutrients and Scar Healing
Vitamins and minerals are the two kinds of micronutrients, and your body needs a wide variety of both to build healthy skin. Especially after an injury, your body relies on you to provide it with the building blocks it needs to smoothly and quickly heal a wound.
In particular, formation of new skin requires:
- Vitamins A and C
- Essential fatty acids
- Varied phytonutrients
In general, you can get these by eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. But the Western diet is notoriously low in fruits and vegetables, and we tend not to eat as much variety as we should.
Food Sources of Skin-Healing Micronutrients
- Blueberries and strawberries
- Kale, spinach, and other leafy greens
- Carrots and bell peppers
- Dark chocolate
- Flax seeds
- Noni fruit
Noni: Skin Protector and Healer
Of all of these foods, noni has by far the highest density of essential micronutrients to help your skin rebuild. It’s a tremendous source of antioxidant vitamins, surpassing blueberries, pomegranate, and even acai berries in potency. Noni is also a good source of a wide variety of minerals and phytonutrients.
The result is that noni is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent with antimicrobial powers, which provides the skin with everything it needs to heal. Noni fruit even stimulates and regulates collagen production, to help scars form and fade quickly.
Where to Get Noni Fruit
Most of the foods you need to give your skin the best chance at healing can be found in the grocery store, with the exception of noni fruit. This delicate tropical fruit can’t be shipped to your local market because it starts fermenting as soon as it’s picked.
Noni juice, a common “solution” to this problem, deliberately completes the fermentation process to create a stable product that can be shipped. The problem is, fermentation destroys the beneficial compounds in noni fruit, which make it so good for your skin.
On our organic family farm, we’ve found a better way to send the power of noni worldwide. We do the opposite of making juice: we make Noni Fruit Leather which is the raw unfermented pulp of noni where the 165 beneficial compounds are found. Removing the water from noni stops the fermentation process, and creates a product that can be shipped, and which lasts for years outside the refrigerator. Published research has shown Noni Fruit Leather to be 14x more potent than noni juice because of the process.
How to Use Hawaiian Organic Noni to Prevent and Heal Scars
Noni can be used in two different ways to heal wounds that are likely to scar.
First, noni fruit leather can be eaten as a raw food supplement. All those beneficial compounds are digested and used by your body to help form new skin, in addition to more additional benefits than can possibly be listed. This is healing from the inside out.
We also offer a topical noni treatment made from our noni fruit leather, which can be applied directly to the healing scar. A major benefit is pain relief, due to the phytonutrient scopoletin found in noni. The micronutrient anthraquinone helps keep infectious bacteria such as staphylococcus aureus, E. coli, and more at bay. This is healing from the outside in.
Other Ways to Minimize Scarring
- Clean the wound thoroughly. Dirt, bacteria, fungi, and viruses can infect the wound and destroy more skin tissue. That means a bigger scar.
- For minor wounds, cover the wound with a bandage while it’s bleeding, but then make sure to let the wound be exposed to air to help it heal more quickly. For more major injuries, stitches can dramatically reduce scarring.
- Don’t smoke! Smoking reduces blood flow through the body, which means a healing injury has less oxygen available to it. That increases the likelihood of the wound healing poorly and leaving a scar.
- Try not to move the injured area too much while it’s healing, especially if the wound is on or near a joint. Stretching healing skin can result in a more prominent scar.
- Shield your injury from the sun to protect the delicate new cells from UV rays that can cause discoloration and more prominent scarring.
Have you used noni to help a scar heal? Let us know in the comments!