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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 July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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