Signs You Might Have A Nutrient Deficiency

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We all know the saying ‘you are what you eat’, but did you know that what your appearance on the outside can be a reflection of what you are specifically missing on the inside?

Our skin, eyes, hair and nails are always telling us something. When they are clear, strong, healthy and glowing, we know that they are receiving everything they need to be at their optimum health. When they are not, however, as is often the case, we can actually read the signs to find out exactly what nutrients our bodies are crying out for.

We’ve listed some of the most common deficiencies and how they might be spotted from the outside.

Vitamin A:

The average woman ought to be receiving around 2,333 UI per of vitamin A.

Those not receiving their necessary quota might experience dry eyes, dry and scaly skin and brittle hair.

Make sure you include lots of carrots, sweet potato and tuna in your diet as it will help boost your immune system and assist in healing by encouraging the production of new cells!

Vitamin C:

You should be trying to get about 85g to reach the recommended amount of vitamin C each day.

Common signs that you aren’t receiving the necessary amount include bleeding gums and nosebleeds, red eyes/burst blood vessels, acne and easily bruising.

You should be receiving enough vitamin C in your diet by consuming foods like citrus fruits, strawberries and red capsicum.

Protein:

A women should receive about 46g of protein per day.

A lack of it will result in hair loss/thinning and sore or deteriorating muscles.

As long as you’re consuming the adequate amount of quality meat, eggs and things such as Greek yoghurt, you shouldn’t find it difficult to reach your quota.

Iron:

It’s recommended to receive about 18mg of iron per day.

A deficiency will result in the skin looking pallid and washed-out. Nails become brittle, and a person is likely to feel frequently lethargic.

You can up your iron intake by ensuring there is plenty of fish, nuts and leafy greens such as spinach in your diet.

Nutrients are such a vital component to your inner and outer health. Unless you are consuming the appropriate amount of each, your body cannot function at full capacity.

Read more about the importance of nutrients over calories here and make sure you are eating the right foods in the right way.

 

Image Credit: Nourish by Lorna Jane

Skincare During Pregnancy

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We are constantly told about how important is it to be aware of what we put into our bodies when pregnant. What is less frequently discussed is the importance of understanding what we put onto our bodies as well.

Whatever is applied, rubbed, massaged or left to sink into our skin may have the ability to penetrate the deeper layers and enter our blood stream. This means any chemicals or ingredients within our skin and body care might end up going straight to the baby.

While there are many, many products out there that are safe to use, it is helpful to be aware a few particular components that crop up frequently in our skincare products. The following are ingredients that should be used with caution when pregnant.

Retinoids:

These are often found within anti-ageing products as they stimulate new cell production. The use of oral retinoids, however, have been linked to birth defects. While there is no sufficient clinical testing to say that topical retinoids can do the same, doctors exercise extreme caution with women who are pregnant. Any products that list the likes of ‘retinol’, ‘retinoic acid’, ‘retinyl’, ‘differin’ or ‘tazorac’ contain retinoids and should be avoided until after breast-feeding.

Essential oils:

While they can seem fine to use as ‘all natural’ products, some essential oils can be harmful to a growing foetus. Unless you have been giving a recommendation from your doctor, you should step away from essential oils, being a potent version of their original sources. Oils such as jasmine and rosemary oils, for example, have been linked to triggering early contractions. It’s best to do your research, but your doctor should give you the final word on whether a particular oil is safe for you to use.

BHAs:

Beta hydroxy acids (or BHAs) are definitely having a moment in the skincare world with their ability to promote cell turnover and exfoliate the skin without need for scrubbing. However, they should be used with caution when pregnant. While they can take different forms, salicylic acid is perhaps the most common BHA found in skincare. Much like retinoids, BHAs in their oral form have been linked to birth defects in developing children. For this reason, it is also recommended to avoid topical application as well.

Alpha hydroxyl acids, such as glycolic acid and lactic acid, are considered safe to use at this time.

Soy:

While it may seem like a natural alternative in skincare, in some situations soy can actually worsen a condition. Particular when dealing with melasma (also known as the ‘pregnancy mask’), soy can exacerbate the pigmentation and make it more obvious.

As always, consulting your doctor is always the safest method to ensure you are putting the best things into and into your body. If you are concerned with a particular issue that has developed during pregnancy – many women experience hormonal acne, dryness, oiliness and/or melasma – you could also consider seeking advice from a dermatologist.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Woundcare

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Image Credit: Doctors Best-WC

The development of a scar has a lot to do with the way it is handled and cared for during the days of its healing process.

Our skin goes through three stages of reparation before a scar is formed.

First, the wound is inflamed, red and sensitive/sore to touch. It can be quite tender during this stage as the scab begins to form.

Second stage is when new tissue begins to develop underneath the scab on the surface.

The third and final stage is the skin rebuilding the inner and outer layers.

Everything that you do during these three stages affects the way in which, and extent to which, a scar will form.

 

Allow it to breathe:

In order to heal, a wound needs to be able to breathe. Keeping it enclosed in bandages is not always the best idea. Furthermore, some creams and oils, including vitamin E products, can clog the area and impede the healing process.

A light bandage is all that is necessary and should not block the wound from air.

 

Avoid water:

Exposing a scab to water for any prolonged period of time allows it to go soggy. This soften of the scab interrupts to formation of new tissue. Keep wounds away from water or getting wet as much as possible.

 

Keep it hydrated:

If your wound is dry or itchy, apply a very lightweight layer of moisturiser or serum. Those which are packed with anti-oxidants are best as they also speed up the healing process.

The wound heals best when kept moist, not wet, and dryness can lead to scarring.

 

Avoid the sun:

Sun exposure can actually worsen the scarring of a wound. Rather than clogging up the area with sunscreen though, and possibly irritating it further, it’s safer to avoid the sun as much as possible. Cover up or opt for shade to give your body the best opportunity to heal correctly.

 

Do not pick:

No matter how irritated, itchy or just plain tempting it might seem, if you meddle with or alter a scab, you are severely impairing a wound’s healing process. Furthermore, it can worsen any scarring that might have occurred in the first place. Allow the scab to form and leave it to fall off on its own accord; that is the sign of a wound healing in completion.

 

What Are White-tanning Beds & Are They Safe?

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While we’ve all heard of tanning beds, there is a growing trend stemming from Korea that is a little more unusual. It’s been dubbed ‘white-tanning’ – the name itself is a little contradictory. Names aside though, we thought we’d better look further into the concept as the Korean skincare market is getting global attention for good reason!

White-tanning beds consist of standing/laying in a contraption that looks much the same as a normal tanning bed. Unlike regular tanning beds, though, which use UV rays to stimulate melanin production resulting in a tan, white-tanning utilises infrared rays which are not harmful.

Let’s get one thing straight; there is no tanning involved in the process. In fact, the recipient doesn’t really have their skin considerably lightened either. What it is most beneficial for is its ability to even skin tone.

There is a science behind it – the technology was actually developed by NASA as a way to treat injuries in space. Infrared rays, with a long wavelength, are able to penetrate deeply into the skin (up to 2-3 inches). When absorbed, the light energy of the ray is transformed into heat energy. This process’ effects trigger healing processes within the body.

For this reason, the same technology is also used by doctors, chiropractors and physical therapists to treat pain, muscle stiffness and ligament injuries, as infrared rays are capable of speeding up the healing process.

Infrared can work to boost collagen and elastin production by stimulating fibroblasts. This promises more benefits than just fixing uneven skin tone. The treatment can work on fine lines and wrinkles, acne and more on a full body scale, rather than focusing only on the face, as other available light therapies can do.

The procedure generally lasts for roughly 10 minutes and is not painful. The recipient will need to undergo around 5 sessions before collagen is stimulated and 10 sessions before they start seeing the results.

While it’s consider quite safe (our body emits its own amount of infrared radiation naturally), there are some instances where clients should exercise caution before proceeding with treatment. There is little evidence gathered around its effects on pregnancy. It’s also important to be wary if you have a cancerous lesion. On these occasions, it’s essential to use the treatment on your physician’s advice alone.

Some may experience pain (a burning sensation) if they have tattoos or very dark skin as the energy is transformed into heat and the pigment of the dye or your skin literally heats up.

On the whole though, white-tanning is considered a very effective and beneficial treatment to the whole body.

Have you heard about this new trend in skin therapy?

How To Beat Cold & Flu Season

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This week marks the beginning of Winter and now is the best time to be thinking about busting out the big guns against cold and flu season!

We’re talking about all the ways to help prevent and treat the symptoms of a cold or flu.

Rest:

One thing that is incredibly important when you have a cold is to give your body the adequate amount of rest it needs to repair itself. Your body simply doesn’t have the same amount of resilience that it has when it’s at its healthiest, so pushing yourself harder is actually detrimental to your own health. Look after yourself and take the necessary time out to recuperate.

Break a sweat:

Did you know that sweating is one of your body’s methods to rid itself of toxins?

By aiding your body and raising your body temperature so it breaks a sweat, you can help it to detoxify. While light exercise might help this, you can also treat yourself to the ultimate herbal sweat! You begin by adding around 10 drops of essential oils (try Lavender, or Eucalyptus) on a damp cloth and place it in your shower so that the water can hit it as it runs. Then turn on the hot water (no need for cold) and allow it to run with the bathroom door shut so that the room builds up steam. Seat yourself in the room to raise your temperature (being careful not to go too far!) so that your body begins to break a sweat. The process can be sped up by also drinking a ginger tea.

Hydrate:

A cold or flu can really take a toll on your body’s vital hydration levels. While you should be drinking around 8 glasses of water a day, it’s even more important to keep those levels up when you are unwell. Avoid caffeinated drinks as they can have the opposite effect. Also, drinking hot drinks such as herbal tea or lemon and honey in hot water can work to break up mucus in the throat and nasal area.

Be aware of what you touch:

Your phone, money, travel card and the like all hold an astonishing amount of germs. You are constantly handling them when you’re out and about so be aware of what can be transferred onto them and then to your hands. Be conscious of what touches your face – both your hands and your phone are frequently there which makes it very easy for bacteria to transfer to you.

Get in the habit of sanitising your hands, wash them before eating and avoid touching your face too much!

Fortify your body with the right foods:

You can give your body the best tools to protect itself by keeping a diet of nutrient and vitamin rich, wholesome foods. Leafy greens, sweet potato, red capsicum, strawberries, garlic, tomatoes and citruses such as orange and lemon are packed full of vitamins that boost the immunity and help to fight bacteria and viruses. Be sure to incorporate omega-3 fatty acids such as fish and good oils, as well as protein like chicken and eggs to keep your body running smoothly and at optimum capacity.

Some foods, on the other hand, are actually detrimental to protecting against and fighting off cold and flu. Things such as some dairy, processed foods such as sugar and white bread, as well as soft drinks can all work in suppressing the immune system, effectively giving the virus free rein to run amok through your body!