As the saying goes, “beauty comes from within”. Just as your face can betray your emotions, your skin can betray your inner health. Poor skin condition is often the body’s method of communicating that deeper internal problems may exist. Dry flaky skin may indicate that you don’t have enough oils in your diet or are not drinking enough water. Spotty skin may indicate that the liver is under pressure. So to achieve beautiful skin we have to treat from the inside out!
Proper nourishment for the skin is vital. Junk foods need to be curtailed. Wholesome nutrient rich foods such as fresh fruit and vegetables, wholegrains, nuts and seeds are important. Skin boosting nutrients include essential fatty acids, Vitamin A, B vitamins, Zinc, Selenium and Vitamin E. Zinc is a particularly potent antioxidant for the skin but it also helps with wound healing and laying down collagen. Zinc deficiency has been shown to exacerbate eczema and acne conditions so supplementing with Zinc would be recommended in such cases. Vitamin A, often taken as Beta Carotene supports healthy skin renewal, provides antioxidant protection against UV rays and regulates skin pigmentation.
Incorporate some flax seed oil into the diet and drinking about 1½ litres of water per day should make a significant difference. Skin gets thirsty too! You may also benefit from taking some Silica, which provides the skin with the building blocks it needs to repair damage and renew skin cells. Silica needs to be taken for several months to achieve firm and smooth skin.
The Digestive system and skin tend to be very closely connected. If you tend to suffer from sluggish bowels on a regular basis, it may well be affecting the condition of your skin. If wastes are not eliminated efficiently, they accumulate within the bloodstream and are re-cycled in the liver. If you feel that your liver is a bit sluggish and overloaded, you may benefit from taking a combination of Milk Thistle and Dandelion which will gently aid the elimination of toxins from the liver and help to regenerate liver cells.
Much of your sleep pattern is dependant on your adrenal glands – they act as your ‘body clock’ regulating how you feel when you wake and how well you switch off at night.
During stressful times, these glands are under pressure and as a result your body clock can be out of sync (think of how exhausted you feel when you are stressed, and how hard it is to wake up in the morning). To support these glands take a good B complex daily, and higher doses during periods of stress. Eventually, you should be able to rely on the quantities of the B vitamins available in a good quality multivitamin (ideally 50mg of all the B complex) to combat the effects of daily stress on the body. Licorice is also a useful herb in terms of Adrenal support.
Sleep is key for repair in the body – and essential for your health. Valerian has been used for a long time as it helps to get you into the deep sleep that is required for healing. A combination that also provides Avena Sativa (that’s oats to you and me) is even more beneficial as oats are great for relaxing the nervous system.
Tryptophan, an amino acid is a precursor of the sleep-inducing substances serotonin and melatonin. This means tryptophan is the raw material that the brain uses to build these relaxing neurotransmitters. Natural sources include poultry, milk and milky products, pumpkin seeds. Eating carbohydrates with tryptophan-containing foods makes this calming amino acid more available to the brain. Tryptophan is also available as a supplement.
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