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What Your Skin Tells About Your Digestive Health

What Your Skin Tells About Your Digestive Health

Physical beauty is an inside out process. In order to truly be beautiful and to shine, you must possess internal qualities that manifest themselves outwardly. The same is true concerning the quality and health of our skin. Beautiful skin begins on the inside.

In an article published on the BBC website Good Food, Nutrition therapist Ian Marber explains the digestion to skin correlation, by saying that some of our most common skin problems are directly attributed to our diet. As a matter of fact, skin problems are a great indicator of and gives insight into your overall digestive health. Researchers as far back as 1930 suspected a link between digestive and skin health, and modern research has definitively confirmed that there is, indeed, an important connection. And to put it quite frankly;

“If you want to heal your skin, you must heal your gut.” ~Chris Kresser, M.S., L.Ac

4 Common digestive health related skin problems and solutions

1. Dry Skin

Dry skin can be attributed to dehydration but is also associated with a low-fat diet. Relieving dry skin may not be the first thing we think about when planning our meals, but just like the rest of our bodies, our skin needs certain nutrients to help heal and repair itself and keep itself in optimal condition. Healthy foods can not only keep you hydrated, but they can work on a cellular level to keep your skin smooth and supple. According to skincare experts, eating foods high in salt content or preservatives will produce skin is that is not only puffy, but also skin that is noticeably dry.

Solution:

Experts recommend eating foods that hydrate the skin and that contain good-for-you fats like Omega 3 fatty acids. Foods such as:

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  • Water. The Number one thing you can do to keep your skin hydrated is drink a lot of water.
  • Fatty fish such as salmon, herring, tuna, and trout contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which help retain moisture and strengthen your skin’s barrier.
  • Nuts are rich in vitamin E, which has long been touted as a skincare savior. Vitamin E protects the skin from oxidative cell damage, and like omega-3 fatty acids, it adds an extra layer of protection from damage from external sources such as UV rays.
  • Avocados are a great source of vitamins C, E, and monounsaturated fats, which aid in moisture retention.
  • Orange and yellow vegetables contain beta-carotene, which is notoriously great for skin. It’s an antioxidant, which help fight dry skin and protect the skin from harmful sun rays and environmental damage. Most of these veggies also contain vitamins A and C, which help repair body tissues and produce collagen.

2. Acne

Our digestive system is the main place where we absorb beauty nutrients from our foods, as well as the main place where we dispel toxins through elimination. If our digestive health isn’t optimal, breakouts, eczema, redness and dull skin can result. When the digestive system struggles to eliminate toxins effectively, it will partner up with other organs and eliminate toxins that way. Since your skin is your body’s largest organ, it’s no surprise that acne, and other skin problems crop up when something’s off internally.

Solution: 

To counteract acne, eliminate foods that contain high amounts of processed sugar, dairy, glueten and soy from your diet for at least three weeks. Experts believe that just eliminating these items from your diet will eliminate break outs and allow your skin to recover.

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They also suggest eating foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins C and E, and foods with a high water content.

3. Psoriasis

Psoriasis manifests as red, itchy, skin patches with silvery scales, most commonly on the elbows and knees. The patches are caused by rapid growth and proliferation of cells in the outer skin layers. Sufferers find outbreaks occur most often when they feel rundown. Sunburn, alcohol, smoking, obesity and stress also provoke outbreaks along with trigger foods, which can be identified using an exclusion diet ( always consult your physician before cutting out food groups).

Solution: 

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A diet that includes essential fatty acids (EFAs) from fish oil or cold-pressed nut and seed oils are important to preventing break outs. Your diet should also be low in saturated fat and include anti-inflammatory herbs such as turmeric, red pepper, ginger, cumin, fennel, rosemary and garlic.

4. Eczema

Eczema is a skin condition that usually begins as itchy, patchy redness, often on the hands but it can appear anywhere on the the body. This ailment is most common in children but many adults develop it as well. Although there are many triggers, one of the most common is food sensitivities.

Solution: 

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The most common trigger foods are milk, eggs, fish, cheese, nuts and food additives. Understanding and eliminating the particular foods in your diet that are causing the flare ups is key. Eczema is easier prevented than treated, however when flare ups do occur, foods loaded with omega-3 fats, zinc and vitamin E may help reduce symptoms.

Understanding your unique digestive health needs is the key to beautiful skin. The next time someone tells you that beauty is only skin deep–let them know that beauty is much deeper than that. It’s in your gut..

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Denise Hill

Denise shares about psychology and communication tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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