Healthy from the Inside out
What you eat when you eat how you eat all contribute to your physiology and overall health and wellness. Sure genes play a role and some can get away with more than others or so we think. Our skin is one of the indicators of our overall state of health. Sick, stressed, over medicated, fatigued or depressed can all be reflected in the overall texture and appearance of your skin. The rate at which our skin is aging is often an indicator of the aging rate of our internal organs and overall condition.
There is an emergence of a new diet every few minutes promising to be better than the last. There are breakthroughs and solutions to our aging and declining health so why are we not all healthy and embracing these new fads?
There seems to be the select few who find the perfect balance and lifestyle for their body but may or may not have the staying power.
Consumerism, convenience processed foods, new alternatives to sugars and sweeteners are branded frequently. Veganism, vegetarianism, eating raw, gluten free, sugar free are all valid and effective lifestyle choices for many people however many of us in search of answers to weight and health issues pick a style and go with it. For example eating gluten free to some may be different than for others, gluten free used to be reserved primarily for those with celiac or crohns type issues. More people are having success on gluten free diets for conditions that involve chronic inflammation like fibromyalgia. Along with this increase in consumers eating gluten free is the emergence of new gluten free products, many of which are highly processed and have many additives and preservatives. Gluten free does not mean junk free. Gluten free can be junk free and minimally processed but involves eating more fresh vegetables and fruits, nuts, seeds and legumes.
The sugar addiction is contributing to skin and body aging and we are showing few signs of slowing down our sugar consumption. The sneaky thing about sugar is it comes in many different forms from high fructose corn syrup to glucose, sucrose and many more masks. Unfortunately the mass produced sugar alternatives are not often a healthier choice. A process called glycation occurs from sugars both internally leading to chronic inflammation and the results can be seen externally on the skin. This glycation process causes across linking of proteins including those in the skin.
Juicing to smoothies to superfoods, fiber in, fiber out, chewing to digestion, fruit in am only, whey vs soy are all questions asked and the answers all vary.
Finding that balance unique to the individual is no easy task. Once you have found your groove in the nutritional frenzy then you ask the question is my lifestyle providing me with all the nutrients my body needs to function optimally. Blood work may indicate you are lacking in a particular mineral or vitamin for example B12 – problem solved buy a B12 supplement right? Wrong well half wrong what type of B12 you ask well the most bioavailable? Surely your Dr. would tell you that, frequently no is the answer.
Bioavailability is key to choosing the right supplements and vitamins but that’s not all. Do you have the right complex for your individual needs? If you are taking Magnesium do you know you need malic acid to enable your body to utilize that magnesium?
What we put in our bodies can be as complex to figure out as our body physiology but having an increased knowledge of our body’s functions and requirements makes it not feel like rocket science!
Then there is exercise we all need it it’s the way we are built to function. Sedentary lifestyles appear to be increasing not declining particularly in younger generations not enough time or inclination to get out and get moving. Exercise philosophies change frequently sometimes due to emerging science other hype. Sifting through this maze of choices can be daunting. Hours of cardio can lead to bad knees and injury. Biking can lead to tight hip flexors and many sports involve repetitive movements that require exercise to counteract and prevent repetitive strain and resulting injury.
Cross fit, increasing popularity in yoga and pilates all have a place and should be based on the desires and choices of the individual. Someone who has chronic inflammation and pushes through the pain of hours of cardio can be creating a negative response. Burst training is emerging and utilizes the theory of fight or flight the way our bodies are designed to function. Short bursts of energy followed by medium level activity and allowing plenty of time for the body to rest between sessions.
Yoga and pilates may reduce stress levels but do they allow the heart to function optimally?
All these questions and their answers will help you to find a balance that fits your body type and lifestyle.