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One of the necessary attributes of working in the beauty and wellness industry is the need to have the physical energy and positive mental outlook in order to help clients that come in to re-balance, amend and rejuvenate themselves.

One of the harder attributes is to consistently project a healthy outward appearance in order to walk the walk, so to speak.

Several years ago I was diagnosed  with Dairy and Gluten intolerance. There’s differing viewpoints on whether the intolerance of gluten can be reversed so for now it looks to be a life long change. I’m unable now to eat anything containing gluten (wheat, barley, rye) and also lactose dairy which basically cut out 90% of my food intake. It has been a phenomenal learning curve for me considering my  pre-diagnosis diet consisted mainly of gluten, sugar, caffeine and cigarettes. My hair and nails were snapping off and had stopped growing (Vitamin B and Iron deficiency), my eyes and skin were extremely dry with common breakouts and I looked pallid. If the gastric and gastrointestinal, anemia and malnutrition wouldn’t sway me into a healthier lifestyle my vanity certainly would !

As much as we don’t like to admit, our physical appearance is the mask we present to the world. Our physical body reflects what is going on internally. Following a gluten and lactose free diet has been trying to say the least. What does one eat when you have to remove bread from your diet. Whoever would have thought that re-learning to eat fruit and vegetables would be such a life changing event. It really has been a complete re-learning of food but more so the re-structuring of my thoughts and bad habits in dealing with food.

It amazing to me that common skin conditions such as acne, eczema, cracking in the corners of the mouth, dryness and flaking can all be managed by diet and supplements. Health and Wellness really has come on in leaps and bounds since I was a child and just had antibiotics thrown at me for any ailment.

My initial concern was to rectify fatigue, regain a positive outlook and just enjoy life again without needing five double espresso’s a day. After months of following the plan my energy levels are gradually increasing, memory is returning (thankfully). Added appearance benefits have been the improvement in my hair, it’s started to grow again, my skin is retaining moisture better and is glowing again and my eyes are clearer.

It’s been a tall order and I’m sure things will fluctuate as I learn a new way of eating and taking care of the body but it has been a fantastic practical lesson to learn and build on especially when you feel the difference in quality of life.I do still have the odd gluten binge, I guess it’s just impossible to imagine living in world free of almond croissants and thick white crusty bread

Effects on the Skin and Hair through Vitamin Deficiency

  • Vitamin A: lack of Vitamin A causes dry, flaky skin because one of it’s functions is to regulate the size and function of the sebaceous glands

Source of Vitamin A: Spinach, cabbage, carrots, eggs, fish-liver oils, butter.

  • Vitamin B: lack of one or more from this group results in redness, tenderness and cracks at the corner of the mouth and tiny lines in the skin around the mouth. It also interferes with the transportation of oxygen to the cells and the efficiency of waste removal.

Source of Vitamin B: Raw fruits & vegetables, whole grains, liver, milk, wheat germ

  • Vitamin C: lack of Vitamin C causes the collagen fibers to break down & show signs of early wrinkling. It also causes the tiny capillaries that supply nutrients to the skin to become fragile.

Source of Vitamin C: Citrus fruits, tomatoes, raw green vegetables, potatoes, spinach, broccoli, strawberries.

  • Vitamin E: is essential to the health of the skin and deficiency causes dry, rough and tired looking skin and allows easy free-radical damage.

Source of Vitamin E Wheat-germ, seeds, green leafy vegetables, whole grains.

The secret to beautiful skin and hair is through health and nutrition
The secret to beautiful skin and hair is through health and nutrition

Effects on the skin through Mineral Deficiency

  • Zinc: skin wrinkles sags and stretch marks form more easily. In more severe cases, skin healing slows down.

Source of Zinc: Seafood, meat, liver, nuts, whole-grains, oysters, cheese.

  • Sulphur: the hair and nails will become weaker and the skin will scale as keratin in the hair, nails & skin are usually rich in sulphur.

Source of Sulphur: Fish, eggs, cabbage, onions, lean beef, dried beans.

  • Selenium: this mineral is important in maintaining tissue elasticity. A deficiency contributes to premature ageing of the skin.

Source of Selenium: Wholemeal bread, cheddar cheese, shrimps, crab & garlic.

  • Silicon: lack of silicon causes slackening of the skin, weak nails & dull hair.

Source of Silicon: Brazil nuts, shellfish, avocado, apples, honey.


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