23rd October 2017 by Jess
Before spending your hard earned cash on expensive skin and hair care products, try some of these tips from our nutritionist.
Before you start getting fake nails and hair extensions, my recommendation would be to explore more of an inside-out approach, and see if we can restore any nutritional or biochemical imbalances. This will have a far-reaching positive impact, and not only address thinning hair, or broken skin, but also help to make you healthier, which could add quality years onto your life.
The health of your body is influenced by tons of factors like genetic makeup, environment (humidity or dryness, etc), nutrition, beliefs and biochemistry.
Your body communicates via signs and symptoms, so when you have dull hair, thinning nails and broken skin, it’s trying to tell you something.
Your body has a hierarchy of needs, and when you're going through a stressful period, with stress hormones through the roof, energy is given priority to our vital functions such as our heart health, brain and other vital organs.
Non-vital processes such as nail strength, hair, brow, and eyelash lush factor are not deemed as important, so they're put on the back burner and nutrients are channelled away from these processes. The bottom line? Stress has a huge impact on our physical appearance.
Great food, nutrients in abundance, hydration, digestion, sex hormone balance, liver, healthy thyroid and kidney function, and stress at low levels.
When our body has all these factors in balance, and nutrition optimised, the body can work as it should and the raw materials are in place for nails, skin and hair to be strong, with a radiant glow.
The main culprits for dry skin are not getting enough healthy fats, suffering poor digestion or choosing the wrong skin-care product. With lowering temperatures in the winter, this tends to be more of a common issue.
Greasy skin or a greasy scalp tends to be a sign that your sex hormones are out of whack. If your skin is particularly greasy leading up to your time of the month, this can be another indicator of out of balance sex hormones.
On the other end of the spectrum we can have a dry or flaky scalp. Again, this can happen for a number of reasons. Gut dysbiosis could be one of the reasons. This is when your gut environment is out of balance with some less-than-friendly bacterial species living in your large intestine, often due to high levels of sugar in the diet and not enough fibrous and prebiotic foods (such as green leafy vegetables, leeks, onions, and oats).
Alternatively it could be due to a vitamin A or essential fatty acid deficiency. If you believe that for you it is more likely to be your gut health, trial eating zero refined sugar for four weeks, keeping your carbohydrates from whole food sources such as root vegetables.
Four weeks should be long enough to see a noticeable improvement. Amp up the greens and the whole food fat in your diet as well.
Nutrients for skin: vitamin C, A, riboflavin (B5) and zinc all contribute towards healthy skin.
It’s normal to lose hair (just not large amounts), but if you’re noticing that you are losing more hair than usual then it will reflect an internal process that needs support.
Some areas worth seeking the guidance of a health professional about are thyroid health, adrenal function, iron and vitamin D status and sex hormone balance.
Split ends are perfectly natural, but are made more common by bleaching or using heating appliances. To protect your ends from splitting, there are a few habits you can adopt:
If thinning eyebrows is coupled with low energy, anxiety or low mood, this is almost always a sign that the thyroid needs some tlc. Again, seek the help of a health professional.
Nutrients for hair: Zinc, copper and selenium all contribute towards healthy hair.
pure pecans, brazil nuts, raw almonds and redskin peanuts
chilli and lime cashews, raw almonds, blanched peanuts
dried-not-fried beetroot crisps, pure sunflower seeds and jalapeno chickpeas
mini cocoa cookies, Belgian white chocolate, raw sunflower seeds and cocoa fudge
poppyseed & onion sesame sticks, roasted pumpkin seeds and cheese flavoured cashews
Belgian dark chocolate, orange infused raisins and roasted hazelnuts
cheese flavoured cashews, cheddar cheese bruschetta and baked herb bites
pan roasted cashews with sour cream & onion seasoning and crunchy garlic crostini
chopped dates, pumpkin seeds and raw walnuts
spicy chickpeas, edamame beans and black pepper cashews
white chocolate buttons, blanched almonds, whole hazelnuts and raspberry fruit strings
dark chocolate buttons, Chilean flame raisins, dried sour cherries and raw pecan nuts
roasted hazelnuts, chewy dried cranberries, jumbo flame raisins and redskin peanuts
pecan nuts, Belgian milk chocolate and salted caramel buttons, pumpkin seeds and amaretti drops
Cornish vanilla fudge, Belgian milk chocolate, chewy cranberries, blanched almonds
tangy dried sour cherries, soft dried pear and crunchy walnuts
milk chocolate coated honeycomb pieces, raisins and raw almonds
baobab & raspberry coconut clusters, pure pumpkin seeds and soft apple pieces
superfruit pieces of real orange juice & cacao nibs, with raw almonds and chopped dates
mini Belgian milk chocolate drops, raw coconut flakes and juicy dried cranberries
raspberry fruit strings, raspberry cranberries, almond slivers and vanilla sponge drops
sun-dried pistachios, toasted with an authentic southern-style BBQ seasoning
hickory smoked almonds, rosemary crostini, roasted pumpkin seeds and mini basil breadsticks
milk chocolate coated coffee beans, raw walnuts, Chilean flame raisins and sponge drops
our classic rustic rolled oat flapjack with warming apple and cinnamon
rustic rolled oat flapjacks with honeycomb and chocolate drizzle
rustic rolled oat flapjacks, infused with orange, drizzled with chocolate
our delicious oaty flapjacks with raspberry and strawberry infused cranberries
roasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds with soy sauce
carrot & orange chews, raw walnuts, cinnamon sultanas, yoghurt coated sunflower seeds
black pepper cashews, black pepper almonds, roasted unsalted cashews and redskin peanuts
Going in with a multi-pronged, holistic strategy when it comes to addressing any concern is recommended. By all means ‘fix’ the concern externally if you can, but it’s also important to address the route cause behind these symptoms as your body uses these symptoms as a way of communicating potential imbalances which if left unaddressed, could lead to other health or beauty concerns.
By Jess, graze nutritionist.
Our nutritionist extraordinaire, Jess trained at the Institute for Optimum Nutrition and is a registered practitioner with the British Association for Applied Nutrition & Nutritional Therapy. She's the creator of our health badges, to help you choose the snacks and boxes that are right for you. Check out everything from Jess on our blog, with recipes and tricks to help you keep making better choices, or go to Jess's blog at jessipes.co.uk for even more.
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