How to Get Glowing Skin from the Inside Out

Beautiful, healthy, glowing skin – is there anyone who doesn’t want that? A balanced complexion isn’t just beautiful, it can also signify the state of your health, youthfulness, even your happiness or stress level. Of course, these messages are happening on a subconscious level, but they are so pervasively accepted, that taking care of your skin is a drive that’s become a billion dollar industry – all working from the outside in, and not always working well at all.

Achieving truly healthy skin isn’t as simple as buying fancy creams and committing to invasive procedures. In fact, the key to getting what you want on the outside isn’t on the outside at all! Getting the healthy happy skin you’ve always wanted starts by focusing on the inside out!

Our skin is our largest organ and its health is endangered all the time. Between exposure to the elements, stress, pollution, poor nutrition, and of course, natural aging, our skin is constantly fighting for its health.

So how can we maintain healthy, glowing skin when the odds are stacked against us?

By giving our skin the attention and care it so rightly deserves.

Reduce inflammatory foods

Inflammation isn’t just the root of disease, it can also be the root of many skin ailments including acne, eczema, psoriasis, and more. Just as reducing inflammatory foods can positively affect your other systems, the effect of reducing inflammatory foods can be read on the surface of your skin! Try removing common inflammatory foods for at least 4 weeks to start to see an improvement in your skin’s health.

 

Remove these Inflammatory Foods

Eat these Foods that Fight Inflammation

Gluten

Wheat products

Dairy (particularly cow’s milk and cheeses)

Refined sugar

Processed foods and beverages

‘Junk’ food

‘Fast’ food

Dark, leafy greens

Tomatoes

Berries

Fatty fish

Olive, avocado, and coconut oil

Green Tea

Water

Probiotics

Increase your water intake

We know that water is essential to helping our bodies function best, but did you know that it is the best way to ensure that nutrients are delivered effectively, and toxins are flushed out? Especially if you’re experiencing skin conditions, it’s important to make sure that you’re helping your body to rid itself of toxic residues and components that could be causing these symptoms.

Make sure you’re getting enough hydration every day by eating and drinking adequate amounts (remember there’s water present in everything you eat and drink, especially if you’re juicing or consuming lots of fruit and veggies) and drink water whenever you feel a thirst coming on. In spite of the classic “8, 8-ounce glasses” per day advice, there’s really no magic amount of water everyone needs to consume per day to stay hydrated. But, new research suggests that women could safely consume a total of approximately 2.7 litres (91 ounces) of water from all beverages and foods each day and that men could safely drink about 3.7 litres (125 ounces) daily.

Facial Acupuncture

If you thought acupuncture was only for the body, think again! Facial acupuncture works with the meridians to release congestion in the skin and increase circulation and collagen production. Incredibly, facial acupuncture can also help to relax fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes and forehead, tighten sagging skin, and can even out paleness and redness. Sometimes known as ‘cosmetic acupuncture,’ it’s a fantastic alternative to the common injectables that have become so popular in anti-aging.

Collagen

Most of us are deficient in collagen! Daily collagen consumption will help to maintain internal collagen levels. Try bone broth soup made with high collagen base like chicken feet, or some collagen powder in your smoothie!

Hyaluronic Acid

As much as we can influence our skin health from the inside out, you can – and you should – also take care of your largest organ from the outside in. That way you can meet in the middle, so to speak. Hyaluronic acid is an incredible hydrophilic (water-loving) chemical that is found naturally in our bodies, particularly in our eyes and joints. It’s moisturizing, hydrating properties are why it’s so often used to treat arthritis, cataracts, and even dry eyes. Because of this, hyaluronic acid is also an amazing ingredient for healthy, supple skin. Here’s why:

As we age, our skin’s ability to preserve moisture slows down, and we start to lose firmness, elasticity, and fullness. Hyaluronic acid has an incredible ability to replenish the moisture we lose, helping skin to look and feel softer, smoother, and glowy because of is super hydration effects. Being one of the most studied and proven skin care ingredients, you can find many topical skin care products and anti-aging treatments that feature hyaluronic acid. Along with wearing a suitable SPF, topical hyaluronic acid is a fantastic way to heal your skin from the outside in while you increase your glowing health from the inside out.

Colon Hydrotherapy

The colon, or large intestine, is an involuntary muscle that is approximately as long as a person is tall. Its main functions are to finish absorption of nutrients, eliminate waste, conserve water, fight infections and, with healthy intestinal flora, synthesize essential nutrients such as vitamin K and B12. One can say that health and sickness both have their roots in the colon.  Colon hydrotherapy when performed by your naturopathic doctor (and yes, our naturopathic doctor has been doing colonics for over 20 years) or by a properly trained therapist can help maintain healthy and vibrant skin and hair.  It’s a safe, gentle and effective way to cleanse and detoxify your body. Please see the colon hydrotherapy tab on the main page for more information.

Skin Care

While it’s important to have a good skincare regime, it’s also important to know what’s in the products you put on your face. Seek out quality ingredients that will enhance your health and not add a toxic burden to your system. There are lots of good natural care products for your skin, please choose wisely. Now that you’re ready to take care of your largest organ from the inside out and the outside in, there’s one more thing – and that’s enjoying the self-care process of maintaining beautiful, healthy skin! After all, skin care should be pampering as well as effective.

Looking for personalized assistance in maintaining healthy skin, hair or a general detoxification cleanse? Do you want to experience facial acupuncture or colon hydrotherapy? We can help you navigate this and provide you with a fully customized plan to better your health. To book your appointment with one of our naturopathic doctors, registered acupuncturist, certified colon hydrotherapist or nutritionist please call us at 416-234-1888 or email us at wellnessreception@sympatico.ca

To your good health,

Wellness Institute

Do you have a Leaky Gut?

If you’ve been searching for the root of on-going health issues that just won’t go away, the kind where your doctor – and maybe even your second and third doctor – have tried everything in their arsenals but have come up with only prescriptions that ease symptoms but don’t solve the underlying problem, it’s easy to feel discouraged.

However, if you’ve been keeping up with some of our previous articles, you’ve started to realize just how important our digestive system and gut health are to our overall health. In fact, you might be wondering if the root cause of the ‘mysterious illnesses’ from which you or your family have been suffering could actually reside in the gut – and you could very well be right.

From hormone regulation to immunity to enzyme production that keeps the rest of our body in tip-top shape, we keep learning more about how critical gut health is to maintaining overall vitality. One condition we are starting to learn more about, and see a prevalence of, is Leaky Gut Syndrome.

Leaky Gut is a condition that is linked to dozens of illnesses. Because Western medicine hasn’t yet learned enough about the gut to fully understand the immense and overarching influence it has on overall health, there are no conventionally recognized methods of diagnosing and treating Leaky Gut syndrome. Understandably, doctors try to resolve the more commonly recognized associated issues a sufferer might be experiencing (see below), without actually addressing Leaky Gut itself. Unfortunately, that often creates a ‘chicken and egg’ scenario, in which doctors treat complaints, but without knowing which illness is the root cause and which is the symptom.

Do you wonder if Leaky Gut might be affecting you? Or whether you should be concerned?

Leaky Gut is often called a ‘phenomenon’ because it covers issues that stem from immunity, gut function, and the effect of modern diets and lifestyles on both of these systems.

In fact, in Canada alone, more than 20 million people suffer from digestive disorders – and that doesn’t cover half of the symptoms associated with Leaky Gut! Because of this, it’s important to understand the broad-reaching effects that the Standard American Diet, chronically high-stress levels, toxin overload, and even bacterial imbalances can have on gut function – and that managing these four elements are the basis of healing your gut. 

So what symptoms are associated with Leaky Gut?

  • Consistent gastro issues like bloating, gas, cramps
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • New food sensitivities
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Thyroid conditions
  • Inflammatory skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis

While symptoms of Leaky Gut are broad and varied, they all have a common theme: that they occur from malfunctions of intestinal ‘tight junctions’ (TJs) in the small intestine.

Tight Junctions have one, very important job: to act as a barrier that selectively allows some particles – like vital nutrients – to pass through the intestines to the bloodstream and to make sure that other disease-causing particles – called xenobiotics – do not. Think about TJ’s as preventing holes in the intestine so there is no leaking of bad particles into your bloodstream!

When the TJs are in optimal condition, you and your gut can be in optimal health! When they are malfunctioning, creating intestinal hyper permeability (holes), your body will respond with acute inflammation. If left untreated, this acute inflammation becomes chronic inflammation – the underlying cause of the majority of disease.   

Diseases that have been associated with intestinal hyper permeability are many, some of the most recognized include:

  • Bowel issues including gastric ulcers, infectious diarrhea, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and diseases like Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis
  • Celiac disease and other allergies
  • Acute inflammation conditions
  • Arthritis and chronic inflammatory conditions
  • Obesity and related metabolic diseases like fatty liver, Type II diabetes, and heart disease
  • Autoimmune disease including lupus, multiple sclerosis, and Type I diabetes
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome

While the concept of ‘intestinal permeability’ has been a conversation in the medical world for over 100 years, the symptoms of Leaky Gut are not unique to the syndrome and are shared with many other possible causes. So, many people’s symptoms go untreated by conventional doctors for months or even years. It’s understandably frustrating and disheartening when doctors are unable to help – both from their perspective as well as from the sufferer!

That’s why working with an integrative health team – one that partners your Western GP or gastroenterologist with complementary practitioners – can be the most valuable step in taking the time and effort to properly investigate your symptoms.

Whether you suffer from Leaky Gut or want to protect yourself and your family from the possibility of it, you can get started by working on the four most important factors that contribute to Leaky Gut:

Remove inflammatory foods and gut-damaging toxins

Common culprits of inflammation and toxins include grains, gluten, sugar, antibiotics, conventional cow dairy, GMOs, pesticides, and processed foods. Start by eliminating these from your diet and see how much relief you feel.

Add gut-healing foods

We’ve talked about prebiotics and probiotics before, but adding other nourishing foods like bone broth, simply steamed vegetables, fermented foods, raw cultured dairy, hormone-free and antibiotic-free animal products, and healthy fats.

Reduce stress

We can’t stress this enough! We live with so many competing priorities that we often don’t detect how stress is affecting us until it’s too late. Take time to turn off your brain, and tune into yourself with quiet time, sunny vitamin D filled walks, meditation, or yoga. 

Add gut-supporting supplements

Your naturopathic doctor is the best person to consult on the type and amount of supplements that would be best for you. Ask them about L-glutamine, probiotics, digestive enzymes, and plant-derived mineral supplements, all of which can contribute to establishing and maintaining a happy gut!

Looking for personalized assistance in maintaining healthy intestines or a healthy gut? We can help you navigate this and provide you with a fully customized plan to better your health.To book your appointment with one of our naturopathic doctors or nutritionist please call us at 416-234-1888 or email us at wellnessreception@sympatico.ca

To your good health,

Wellness Institute

Kick Start Your Metabolism

 

Now that we’re through December and heavy, holiday foods have left us feeling bloated and sluggish, it’s time to figure out how to get back in the swing of things. And, if you’ve set New Year’s Intentions that include healthier eating and activity, then starting with a kick start to your metabolism can help make the difference to living your intentions well. These are some of our favourite ways to get your metabolism back into gear:

Stay Satiated

Even if you’re trying to lose a few extra pounds that appeared over the holidays, staying fairly full is key to your success in managing your metabolism and your weight. Eat slowly, until you’re about 90% full, and then stop. This will allow you to determine if you really do need more sustenance or if you’re just eating out of habit. Even if you’re aiming to reduce your caloric intake, starving will only make your metabolism slower as it tries to store the limited energy its being provided – and that’s the opposite of our goal.

Commit to Breakfast

It’s not surprising that those who don’t eat breakfast actually tend to gain more weight over time. That’s because those who skip this meal tend to make up for it (and more) by overeating at lunch, snack times and dinner. After a good night’s rest your body is primed to accept the fuel it needs to move through the day. In fact, it needs more fuel because it’s been hours with your metabolism in resting mode! Trya breakfast that’s high in protein, and has some complex carbohydrates and a bit of fat to jumpstart your metabolism and keep you satisfied until lunch time.

Add Tea or Coffee

The antioxidants and small amounts of caffeine found in black, green, and white tea as well as coffee are beneficial to revving up your metabolism and keeping it chugging along healthily. One or two cups a day can provide the most beneficial amounts without going overboard. And, even better, adding herbal teas such as fennel, mint, or ginger tea after a meal can assist your digestion processes, helping meals to settle better and digest more easily – without added caffeine.

Up That H20

Whether via glasses of water or broth-based soups, giving your body quality fluids is essential to having a well-hydrated metabolism. Water helps keep nutrients flowing into yourcells, carries toxins out of your body, and is key to a happy digestive system. It also keeps you feeling full, and can help you burn more calories by keeping your metabolism higher over time! Moreover,the extra nutrients found in broth-based soups are ‘soup-er’ ways of digesting much needed vitamins and minerals with minimal taxing of the digestive system. And, after a season of indulgence, that’s something from which we can all benefit! 

Include Intervals

Any form of exercise can be bolstered with the addition of the short bursts of cardiovascular activity also known as ‘Interval Training’. Adding in 2-5 minute bursts of jumping jacks, skipping, or burpees seem like they’re ‘in the moment’ kick starts but they’re all great ways of building long lasting metabolism increases.

Spice Is Extra Nice

Studies show that adding spicy hot peppers or hot pepper sauces can help toincrease your metabolism! Studies are showing that the thermogenic properties of peppers and capsaicin, a compound in chiles, can temporarily increase your body temperature, helping it to burn more calories in short bursts of time. So, try adding some extra spice to those soups or other foods, and see what benefit you might derive!

Turn Down Stress

It’s been long understood that high levels of stress hormones like cortisol can result in a slowed metabolism and eventual weight gain. The opposite is also true: by turning down the stress in our lives we can help our brains, hormones, and bodies relax, a natural reboot for our metabolism.

Stimulate Your Stomach

If you consistently experience symptoms like heaviness after a meal, acid reflux, or bloating, food allergies, undigested food in stool, flatulence, or even nausea after taking supplements you might be suffering from low stomach acid which, in turn, can result in lowered metabolism. Stomach acid, or HCL (hydrochloric acid) is a core requirement to digest effectively is one of the essential building blocks to a well-functioning metabolism. Try stimulating your stomach acid with beneficial celery juice and see how much better you feel.

Excel With Enzymes

Sometimes there are particular foods that make us feel sluggish, heavy, bloated, or uncomfortable. In that case it might be time to consider digestive enzymes to help break down food to make it more digestible and the nutrients within it more absorbable. Try adding enzyme rich foods like fermented foods, papaya (which contains papain), pineapple (which contains bromelain), mango (which contains amylase), and honey (multiple enzymes). Interested in supplements instead? Look for the ones that help with your food difficulties: protease for proteins, amylase for help with carbohydrates, lipase for help digesting fats, cellulase for breaking down fiber, and maltase to help convert complex sugars from grains into glucose.

Sleep Soundly

The quality of your sleep doesn’t just affect your moods and alertness, it also has a profound effect on your metabolic state because deep REM sleep, is the body’s time for rest and repair – and that includes how the body manages stress hormones, blood sugar levels, and growth hormones – all of which play critical roles in our metabolism. We’re still learning much more about how important consistent sleep and rest are for our health, but what we do know for sure is that a sleep deprived body is slower and more lethargic which means weight management is harder. So, if you choose just one of these tips to follow, make it to get more sleep, more often, first!

Looking for personalized assistance in maintaining a healthy metabolism? We can help you navigate this and provide you with a fully customized plan to better your health.To book your appointment with one of our naturopathic doctors or nutritionist please call us at 416-234-1888 or email us at wellnessreception@sympatico.ca

To your good health,

Wellness Institute