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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

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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