Health-and-beauty checklist: Head, shoulders, knees and toes
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There are simple steps you can take to feel good all over. Here's the
ultimate health-and-beauty checklist to make you radiant from top to
"Acne is directly linked to the build-up of toxins in the body, which then have to be eliminated via the skin if the liver and bowel are congested," says nutritional therapist Michele Kingston. People who smoke, drink alcohol, and whose diet is high in sugar and saturated fats and low in essential nutrients (fibre and water), will lead to frequent breakouts. So eat lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and drink two litres of water daily.
There are a few things to watch for here. First, Keratosis pilaris, the rough little bumps or "chicken skin" some people get on the back on their arms, is a sign of nutrient deficiencies, particularly essential fatty acids and zinc. Eat nuts, seeds and flaxseed oil. Arthritis is also a painful problem, but the inflammation can be reduced with a diet of antioxidants such as colourful fruits and vegetables, and essential fats such as oily fish and flaxseed oil. As for your bones, cut down on fizzy drinks high in phosphoric acid that strips the calcium from them.
"Increasing your intake of protein each day, such as fish, meat, eggs, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds and dairy, will provide you with the essential building blocks for healthy hair," says Kingston. Increase your iron intake from red meats, spinach and apricots. And the rules for your face also apply to the hair on your head. Avoid sugar, alcohol, refined grains and saturated fats as they strip your body of essential nutrients resulting in lackluster hair.
Athlete's foot is caused by a fungal infection of the skin and is characterised by itchy, cracked skin between the toes and soles. Eat garlic and onions, which are anti-fungal. Applying tea tree oil will help keep the affected area dry.
A bright smile can make you feel confident, charming and photo-ready but also might add more years to your life. A recent study in the British Medical Journal showed an association between inflammation caused by dental decay and inflammatory diseases within the body, indicating that people who never or rarely brushed their teeth were 70 per cent more likely to develop cardiovascular diseases than those who brushed twice a day.
Help yourself get a flat tummy by helping your digestion. Chew your food thoroughly. Stick to one glass of fluid a meal and stay away from foods that are hard to process such as fried cheese and cooked meats. Bloating is caused by food in the intestines that has not been digested properly. As the food ferments, a gas is produced that causes pain and flatulence. "Offending foods tend to be wheat and dairy, as they are difficult to digest," says Kingston. Keep a food diary to see what affects you then cut out the suspects.
You know this already: "Smoking can cause cancer, raise blood pressure, increase your heart rate and the incidence of strokes, reduce fertility, deplete the body of essential nutrients and accelerate ageing," explains Kingston, who begs you to quit. If you gain weight doing so, control your blood sugar by eating every three to four hours and increasing protein and antioxidant intake.
Water retention is caused by an excess of salt in the body, which swells ankles and feet. Reduce your salt intake and eat more potassium.