Health & Beauty - All in Your Hands

 

 

Health & Beauty - All in Your Hands

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Explanation

What is beauty?  Is it the emaciated model strutting down the catwalk?  The muscle-bound man flexing for the passing females, perhaps?  Or the young woman who's overly made-up face testifies to the falsehood that beauty can be obtained from a jar?

The adage "Beauty is more than just skin deep" is, in fact, more than just an old saying;  it's truth.

Beauty cannot be obtained simply by slapping on colors and textures to the skin.  It is a reflection of health.  And not just the health of the body, but of the mind and spirit, as well.  In short, beauty is a reflection of total inner health. 

Keeping up a positive attitude, helping others, and spreading joy has its own rewards.  One of those is the beauty reflected in the countenance of such persons.  But these qualities don't always come naturally, and must be worked at.  Looking and feeling beautiful go hand in hand.  Sometimes, in order to feel more beautiful, one needs to look more beautiful.  Yet some people  are unable to look more beautiful until they feel more beautiful.  This can be a real "catch 22" for some.

There is, however, a way to encourage inner beauty to the surface.  True beauty comes from inner nourishment.  A positive attitude and helping others nourishes the spirit.  Education and higher learning nourishes the mind.  And natural foods, herbs, and supplements nourish the body.  In fact, there are a wide variety of nutrients that can bring out that inner beauty we all have, and make it shine like a beacon for all to enjoy.

B's Are For Beauty

Many of the B vitamins are required by the nails, skin, and hair for optimum strength, elasticity, and sheen.  For instance riboflavin, or B2, is involved with an enzyme called glutathione reductase, which helps maintain glutathione, a key protector against free-radical damage.  In addition, B2 itself has antioxidant properties.  Free radicals are one of the most damaging compounds known to the body, including the skin.  Free radicals can eat away the elasticity of the skin and hair, encouraging wrinkles and dull, lackluster hair.  Stimulates health and growth of hair, nails, skin cells. Helps eyes by bringing oxygen to body tissues. Can help eliminate
dandruff. May aid in preventing hair loss.
Thiamine, or B1, is also needed for the maintenance of healthy skin. Vitamin B1- a protein builder that helps give hair shine, volume and good texture. Enhances circulation to bring nutrients to the scalp and nails. Vitamin B3 - Niacin
  Supports healthy hair, nail and skin by aiding in digestion and improving circulation. 

Pyridoxine, or B6, is one of the most essential vitamins in the body.  It is a coenzyme which participates in over sixty enzymatic reactions involved in the metabolism of amino acids (the building blocks of protein) and of essential fatty acids.  Therefore, this vitamin is required for the proper growth and maintenance of nearly all bodily functions.  A deficiency of B6 results in an extraordinary array of symptoms, the most frequently diagnosed and well-recognized occurring in the skin and nervous system.  The changes in the skin and mucous membranes are similar to those caused by other members of the water-soluble B-complex family.  These include seborrheic dermatitis (most often around the nose, eyes, eyebrows and mouth), acne, cheilosis, and stomatitis (tiny sores and cracks in and around the mouth), and glossitis (inflamed tongue). Pyridoxine supports the growth of red blood cells that are important for healthy hair, scalp,
and nail maintenance. Helps prevent dandruff. May aid in preventing hair loss.

Folic acid is another B vitamin member that is essential to healthy skin, hair, and nails.  As it is needed for the production of RNA and DNA, folic acid is vital to healthy cell division and replication.  This attribute makes it essential for tissues that grow or regenerate rapidly, such as skin, hair, and nails, to name a few. May aid in preventing hair loss. With Pantothenic
acid, may delay graying of hair.

Biotin is another B vitamin that is heavily involved with the manufacture and utilization of amino acids and fats.  Dubbed "the hair vitamin," laboratory studies have shown that a deficiency in biotin causes hair loss in rats, and that supplementation of this vitamin can promote hair growth.  Oddly enough, biotin has also been used to successfully manage excessive and stubborn cowlicks in children.

Hair is not the only beneficiary to biotin supplementation; another sign of biotin deficiency is dry, scaly skin and brittle nails.  In fact, recent studies have examined biotin's role as a preventive and therapeutic agent for brittle nails.  Early research demonstrated that adding biotin to the diets of horses and pigs resulted in an increase in the strength and hardness of their hooves.  However, a recent human study conducted by researcher L.G. Hochman and published in Cutis showed that biotin supplementation can produce a 25 percent increase in the thickness of the nail plate in human patients diagnosed with brittle nails of unknown cause, and up to 91 percent of patients given biotin (at a dose of 2,500 micrograms per day) experience unequivocal improvement.

Seborrheic dermatitis is a skin condition, otherwise known as cradle cap, that typically occurs in infancy.  It is characterized by scaly bumps which merge to form large plaques or patches.  According to a study conducted by A. Nisenson and published in the Journal of Pediatrics, this common skin disorder can be corrected through biotin supplementation, either by giving biotin to a mother if she is breast-feeding her baby, or directly to the infant if she is not.

  Pantothenic acid is yet another water-soluble B vitamin involved with the metabolism of fats and proteins, among other nutrients.  Called the "vitamin of youth and beauty," its reputation as a nutrient for hair, nails, and skin is legendary.  While pantothenic deficiencies are extremely rare, clinically-induced deficiencies brought on fatigue, burning feet, and headache.  Laboratory-induced pantothenic deficiencies resulted in the graying and loss of hair in rats.  An interesting trial conducted years ago on laboratory mice showed that those in the pantothenic-supplemented group lived 18 to 20 percent longer than unsupplemented control mice.  This well-planned study sparked renewed interest in the vitamin, and speculations on its youth-preserving abilities were rampant.  However, more studies  are needed to confirm these preliminary findings - particularly human trials.  Pantothenic Acid helps producefull, healthy hair and stronger nails by stimulating vitamin utilization and releasing energy from food. With Folic acid, it can help to restore your hair's natural color and may aid in preventing hair loss.

Preservational Powers Of EFA's

Until recently, fat phobias and the resultant barrage of lowfat and nonfat food products made the idea of purposefully consuming fats seem ludicrous, and the decline in American health was a mean reflection of this vain pursuit.  But in this growing age of information, the importance of essential fatty acids has finally been realized, and Americans are now enjoying the health benefits of this new-found knowledge.

Essential fatty acids (EFA's) offer a broad range of protection to the body, including the skin, hair, and. nails.  Over the past decade, the importance of essential fatty acids have been pushed to the forefront of health supplement industry.  The main focus of their importance has been their immune-boosting, anti-cancer, and heart-protective properties.  But often overlooked is their effect on the external tissues, such as skin and hair.

Free-flowing, EFA-containing oils - such as flaxseed oil, borage oil, evening     primrose oil, and fish oil - are essential for healthy skin.  Omega 3's make skin soft and velvety.  The skin can suffer from a wide variety of very common disorders which affect the way we are perceived.  Acne, skin rashes, allergic bumps, eczema, dry, flaky skin, and greasy skin are often just reflections of what kind of diet we are maintaining.  Adding essential fatty acids to the diet can make a world of difference in our appearance.  This reflection influences not only how others perceive us, but often how we perceive ourselves!

Beautiful skin requires essential fatty acids.  When properly nourished with EFA's, the skin becomes smoother, feels much softer, exhibits fewer of the above-mentioned conditions, and actually becomes less susceptible to infection.   It also ages considerably more slowly and remains wrinkle-free longer.  In fact, in the presence of essential fatty acids the skin becomes downright radiant.  Hair, too, benefits from these lipids, taking on a healthy sheen becoming more silken to the touch.

Other Nutrients, Other Factors

  Vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta carotene are the "three musketeers" that continuously come to the aid of beauty by battling and quenching free radicals before they can harm precious and vulnerable skin.  Fat-soluble beta carotene, for example,  migrates to the skin, where it offers not only protection from free radicals from within, but from without, as well.  It enables the skin to increase its exposure time to the sun before burning. But for some people with very sensitive skin can case sun burn. Likewise, vitamin E helps prevent free radicals generated by UV rays in the skin from doing their damage.  Vitamin C, in turn, recharges vitamins E and carotene, and also prevents skin damage due to UV-generated free radicals. Vitamin C supports hair and
nail growth by improving circulation. Useful as treating dandruff. May aid in preventing hair loss.

Zinc and Selenium are two minerals that are also essential to beautiful skin, hair, and nails.  Selenium has been called one of the most critical anti-aging nutrients on the planet.  It is a superior antioxidant and free radical neutralizer.  Zinc, an antioxidant in its own right, is also an integral part of enzyme function and tissue repair.  Chromium is a mineral that is necessary for impaired glucose tolerance, elevated blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, promotion of weight loss, acne, stimulates enzymes in metabolism of energy, healthy blood circulatory system, synthesis of fatty acids, cholesterol and protein. Helps to reduce skin inflammation and improve glucose tolerance. Some studies indicate that glucose tolerance can be impaired in some people suffering from acne. Also helps to reduce infections of the skin

In addition to adding specific supplements to the diet, there are other factors one should consider when seeking radiant skin.  A diet of whole foods is, of course, a must.  One cannot attain radiant health on processed foods, no matter how many supplements one adds to the diet.  Next, don't be afraid to work at looking good - literally.  Sweating is one of the best known paths to beautiful skin.  Remember, the epidermis is the largest organ of the body.  Sweating rids the body of toxins that otherwise cannot be eliminated.  A good exercise program may just be what your skin is craving to break free of its lackluster bonds.  Lastly, drink lots of water.  Research has shown that a dry mouth is not a reliable indicator that dehydration is occurring.  Not only does drinking a minimum of six to eight  8-ounce glasses of water every day act as preventive and therapeutic agent in numerous disorders, but the skin is the most immediately obvious benefactor of this consumption.  You will be absolutely amazed at the difference in your skin if you drink this amount of  water every single day.  Not only will fine lines fade, but skin will feel velvety smooth.

 

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