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Inner Glow

Dr Vivian Oputa

Peanuts, Milk, Egg yolks and Cauliflower. Other foods good for your nails include Chicken, Lean red meat, Cheese, Olive Oil, Oranges and Crab.

A diet rich in Calcium will keep Bones Healthy and Strong. Milk and dairy products are rich in calcium. Other foods to help keep your bones strong include Dark green cabbage, Nuts, Sunflower seeds and Pumpkin seeds. Women are prone to osteoporosis (diminished bone mass) later in life so need to make a greater effort to consume calcium rich foods or supplements. Vitamin D is important for Calcium absorption.

Destructive Foods

There are some foods that are harmful to body function and skin health. The most destructive of these changes is the skins inflammatory response in response to foods with a high glycaemic index (rapidly convert to glucose). These foods include refined sugar, pasta, pastry, potatoes, sweets, cornflakes and juices.  Sugar is bad for just about every system in the body and is responsible for inflammation, blemishes, oedema related puffiness, under-eye circles, wrinkles, sagging skin, brown spots and accelerated aging. Sugar also causes glycation which is an ugly protein breakdown throughout the body including the skin. Hydrogenated fats also known as trans-fatty acids are added to fast food and processed food. They destroy cells by releasing free radicals.

Smoking is bad for the skin as free radicals reduce the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood and Nicotine inhibits the absorption of Vitamin C which is essential for collagen production. Smokers usually have lines around their lips from repeated puckering when inhaling and in addition, the rate at which the skin sags and wrinkles by the break down of collagen and elastin is accelerated by this habit.

Water in addition to being good for the skin is probably the most important catalyst for losing weight and keeping the extra weight off. Water does this by naturally suppressing the appetite and it helps the body metabolise fat. An increase in water intake has been shown to reduce fat deposits and vice-versa. When water is not optimally consumed, the Kidneys cannot function properly. As a result, some of their workload is transferred to the Liver. This extra load on the liver prevents the liver from fully performing its primary function of metabolising stored fat into usable energy for the body. As a result, more fat is stored in the body and weight is gained.

Drinking enough water is the best treatment for fluid retention as paradoxical as this may sound. When water intake is inadequate, the body sees this as a threat and retains fluid in response. This shows up as swollen hands, feet and legs. Diuretics offer temporary relief as the body will immediately retain fluid at the first opportunity to replace lost water. Consuming excess salt may also contribute to fluid retention. The more salt you eat, the more water your body retains to dilute the salt concentration. Drinking lots of water helps rid the body of excess salt. As the water is forced through the kidneys, excess salt is removed with it.

Water helps rid the body of waste by flushing out toxins and relieving constipation. Toxins may show up as breakouts on the skin’s surface. A good water balance helps the body function optimally as a whole. Drinking at least 8 glasses of water is recommended and this does not include coffee, tea, beverages or alcohol (caffeine and alcohol act as diuretics). An extra glass of water for every 10kg of excess weight is recommended for optimal hydration. Exercise improves circulation, which increases oxygen and nutrient delivery to the skin and expels toxins.

Getting the right amount of nutrients daily may be difficult so it is recommended that Vitamins, Minerals and Nutritional Supplements are taken. You should clean out your pantry and dispose of all forms of processed and empty foods. Good food is good for you!


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