Tuesday, 16 January 2018

The Surprising Habit that May Be Wrecking Your Skin

You may want to think twice before you sit down with a late-night bowl of popcorn, chips or a chocolate bar. Late-night eating may be wreaking havoc on more than just your waistline. This seemingly innocuous habit may be having detrimental effects on your skin as well.
And, there’s more. In a new study researchers found that late-night eating not only damages your skin, they even discovered it can have a profound effect on your genetics. Now, I read a lot of studies every day so I’m rarely surprised about the results, but this one was so exciting that I was nearly jumping out of my seat in my eagerness to share the findings with you.
The study published in the medical journal Cell Reports found that late-night snacking makes our skin more vulnerable to UV damage from the sun or tanning beds. They found that late-night snacking can throw off our skin’s natural circadian rhythms, which are the rhythms that regulate our bodies’ functions on a daily basis. Yes, our skin has circadian rhythms, which may surprise you. 
The researchers also found that food intake actually has an impact on the many genes in the skin and how they express themselves. You read that right: your food choices and even the timing of these choices can determine whether genes in your skin turn on or off. We tend to think of our genes as fixed with little input from us. After all, we inherited them from our parents, didn’t we? While this is true, it isn’t the whole story. What we eat and when we eat can actually determine whether genes in our skin turn on or off.
Genes can be activated like on-off switches in our bodies. The field of nutrigenomics (the study of how genes are affected by our food choices) has shown us that we do not have to be prisoners of our genes, waiting for disease-promoting genes to become activated like ticking time bombs inside us. This new study shows that we have even more power over our genes than previously believed.
So, what does this mean to you and how can you benefit from the research? The study found that late-night snacking adversely affects the skin’s sensitivity to UV-B light, making us more vulnerable to skin damage from the sun or tanning beds. By eating earlier in the day we can reverse (at least partially) our skin’s sensitivity to sunlight and help reduce the likelihood of skin damage from the sun and the skin cancer that can be linked to it.
In doing so, we may help to prevent genes for skin cancer from turning on, and that could help us in preventing skin cancer in our lifetime. Of course, there are other risk factors for skin cancer like not exposing ourselves to excessive amounts of sunlight, not smoking and staying active. But it’s good to know that by not eating for a few hours before bed we’re giving our genes a helping hand toward keeping us healthy.
So what do you do when the late-night munchies strike? Here are a few suggestions to help kick the habit:
-Drink a glass of water when you feel hungry in the evening. Often, we mistake thirst for hunger.
-Eat a piece of fruit which digests quickly and offers plentiful amounts of beneficial nutrients instead of heavy desserts or other unhealthy sweets.
-Instead of chips or popcorn, eat some naturally-fermented sauerkraut or pickles. The probiotics will help ensure the rapid digestion of these foods.
-If you simply must have a snack, cut down on the portion size and work from there until you have stopped eating for at least a few hours before bed.

6 Nutrient Deficiencies That Show On Your Face

Eating too much processed foods and not enough plant-based foods can make you nutrient deficient, no matter how much you eat. It’s even possible to miss out on certain vitamins and minerals even when you eat a balanced diet.
It’s important to get regular blood tests to see if your body lacks certain nutrients. In the meantime, use the mirror to identify any nutrient deficiencies you may have.
You see, when your body lack certain nutrients, changes occur on your face. Look out for nutrient deficiency signs the next time you look into the mirror.

1. Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Vitamin B12 deficiency is common among vegans since it’s usually found in animal foods. According to Medline Plus, lack of this nutrient can cause pale skin.
Other symptoms to look out for include fatigue, loss of appetite, shortness of breath and diarrhea.
If you want to treat vitamin B12 deficiency, eat more fish, lean meat, cheese, yogurt and fortified cereal. If you’re vegan, take vitamin B12 supplements. 

2. Vitamin C deficiency

As you many know, vitamin C plays a vital role in our bodies. It strengthens the immune system, helps wounds heal and keeps the bones healthy.
According to Mayo clinic, severe vitamin C deficiency can cause bleeding gums. Now, don’t get alarmed if your gums bleed a little after brushing or flossing. You should only be worried if your gums are too sensitive. Look out for other signs of vitamin C deficiency like slow healing of wounds, dry hair and red spots on the skin.
If you have these symptoms, eat more fruits, potatoes, berries, peppers, broccoli, spinach and take vitamin C supplements. The daily recommended vitamin C intake is 75 milligrams for women and 90 milligrams for men.

3. Iodine Deficiency

Low iodine intake is known to cause puffy eyes. On the flip side, research has linked excessive iodine intake to hypothyroidism.
People who are iodine deficient also have brittle nails, dry skin and they may gain weight easily.
You can get rid of puffy eyes and all the symptoms mentioned above if you eat more cranberries, kelp, navy beans, strawberries and yogurt.

4. Omega 3 Deficiency

It’s normal for skin to become dry and patchy, especially during winter. But if your skin is drier than normal, it could mean you’re not getting enough omega 3s. Low omega 3 intake can even increase wrinkles on your face.
Omega 3 sources include fatty fish, flaxseed, chia seeds and walnuts.

5. Iron deficiency

Pale lips are one of the many symptoms of iron deficiency. Other symptoms include fatigue, frequent colds, sore lungs and sore tongue.
Riboflavin deficiency can also show on lips. It makes them sore and cracked. Luckily, you can get this nutrient from salmon, broccoli, cheese and almonds. As for iron, increase intake of legumes, nuts, spinach and iron supplements.

6. Biotin or Vitamin B7 Deficiency

Your hair says a lot about your health. Dry or thinning hair could mean your body isn’t getting enough biotin. According to a recent study, four in ten women who experienced hair loss had biotin deficiency.

You Can’t Exercise Your Way out of a Bad Diet

 The truth is, the harder you train, the better you have to eat. When you’re putting your body through its paces at the gym or racking up mileage on the road, you’re asking a lot of it. It’s going to need a serious nutrient top-up in return.
A bag of Reece’s Pieces for breakfast isn’t going to aid the recovery process. And for that matter, neither is eating a plate of cookies after dinner (even if they are vegan). Your body needs to be free from junk so it can work on digesting the good stuff you’ve eaten. 


It doesn’t matter if you’re an ultra-athlete or an aqua-aerobics enthusiast, you need to nourish your body. Choosing nutrient-rich foods over the kind of junk I was indulging in will keep the pounds off and you healthy.
Nutrient-rich foods are high in vitamins and minerals and generally lower in calories than their processed counterparts. Focus on incorporating more plant-based whole foods into your diet and eat the ‘fun stuff’ (donuts, pizza, etc.) sparingly. You only have to look to the world’s oldest people to see how well this approach works.


Weight loss is 80 percent diet and 20 percent exercise. Bah humbug, right? How cool would it be if we could eat whatever we liked and then offset the calories by going for a run. Sadly, that’s not how it works.
Holly Lofton, M.D., an assistant professor of medicine and director of the weight management program at New York University’s Langone Medical Center confirms this, “Essentially, you’d need to run seven to 10 miles a day to lose one pound a week.The average person can’t keep this up, especially without increasing their caloric intake.


Okay, so if diet plays such a big role in weight loss, do you even have to exercise at all? I mean, why not binge-watch the latest Netflix series and snack on celery sticks instead?
First, who even eats celery sticks? And second, it’s not a case of exercise or diet, the two go hand in hand. Exercise builds muscle, burns fat and improves bone density, while a healthy diet ensures you get the proper nutrients.
It does have to be all or nothing though. Aim to eat well and exercise well during the week and then take it a little easier on the weekend.
That doesn’t mean going crazy (I see you reaching for the family-size bag of Hershey’s Kisses). Indulge in a pizza or have an ice-cream, that’s what cheat days are for.
Then, when tomorrow rolls around it’s back to business as usual. You eat well, you break a sweat and you feel great. No more trying to exercise your way out of a bad diet, because we both know that doesn’t work.

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