Do you need to detox?
2 October 2016
There are many detox programs around offering quick results with the use of expensive teas and powders, but is it really necessary?
The short answer is no.
You may be tempted to try a detox program if you have been overdoing the junk food, caffeine or alcohol. Poor diet and lifestyle choices can leave you feeling sluggish and wreak havoc on your skin.
A quick fix detox program might look like the easy answer. Juices, teas and powders offering to enhance detoxification, clear your skin and have you radiating health in just a few weeks can be pretty tempting. But they are often expensive and can sometimes even do you harm.
The body is exposed to toxins everyday in the form of pollution, plastics, chemicals, cosmetics, pesticides and toxic deposits in food; and generally our bodies do a pretty good job of dealing with them. The liver, kidneys and gut are designed to neutralise and eliminate toxins but if you've been burdening your body with too much bad stuff it might be time to give it some love.
6 ways that you can help your body detoxify
1. Get enough sleep
While you are busy dreaming your body is hard at work. Sleep gives your metabolic system the chance to work in peace, digesting, eliminating and renewing. Around 8 hours is the time your body needs to get the job done and if you aren't getting that amount you might be feeling the effects.
2. Drink plenty of water
Adequate amounts of water support removal of toxins via the kidneys. Aim for at least 1 litre each day but don't overdo it. Too much water can reduce the level of sodium in the blood which can be dangerous. In this case you can have too much of a good thing. 1-2 litres is optimal.
3. Cut down on sugar
You have probably heard that alcohol is bad for your liver but did you know that sugar has a similar effect. Your liver is the big Kahuna when it comes to detoxification and sugar and alcohol can give it a really hard time. Support your liver health by reducing your intake.
4. Increase fruit and veg
Im a big fan of the idea of “crowding out”, filling up on loads of good stuff so theres no room left for the bad. Fruit and veg provide most of the nutrients needed to support the process of detoxification. Consuming plenty of these will not only ensure your body has what it needs to work properly but will also leave less space for toxic junk food!
Now we aren't just talking about a gentle wander around the block, no we are talking about exercise that makes you sweat. The skin is one of the pathways of elimination and is covered in tiny glands that release sweat. Sweat contains particles that need to be removed from your body. An hour a day of sweaty exercise is an awesome way to reduce your toxic load
6. Increase fibre
Ok its time to talk about poo. Your bowels are another big player in the detoxification process and if you aren't getting adequate fibre then they can become sluggish. One to two bowel movements a day (thats one poo a day) are needed to clean out your digestive pipes and remove toxins. Fresh fruit and veg, chia seeds, flax seeds and legumes are all great sources of detoxifying fibre.
Jane (Arayu Nutritionist & Naturopath)
The dirt on clean skin
19 August 2016
The skin is our largest organ and the fact that what we put on our skin is absorbed into our bodies is undeniable.
Many of the ingredients in popular cosmetics and skin care products include chemicals that are known to be harmful or have not been properly tested. Its hard to know which is worse, knowing what the risks are or having no idea about just how dangerous these chemicals are in the long term. A quick scan of the ingredients in a handful of well known acne treatments in the supermarket included some pretty frightening chemicals including parabens, triclosan and fragrance.
So what exactly are you putting on your skin?
Fragrance - Who knows whats in this one. Companies can choose from hundreds of potentially toxic chemicals that help a scent stick to your skin and last longer. These companies don't have to reveal which of these chemicals are actually in the product you purchase. So while your smelling lovely it may be because you have just applied an endocrine disruptor such as phthalate.
Parabens - Butylparaben, ethylparaben and any other name ending in paraben are commonly used as preservatives in cosmetic and skin care products. These ones are also potential endocrine disruptors and have been linked to fertility issues in males. Many companies are now going paraben free but what are they replacing it with?
Triclosan - This antibacterial and anti fungal agent has it all, potential endocrine disruptor, may contribute to antibiotic resistance, potentially toxic to reproduction and also the chance of impaired muscle function.
While the long term effects of many of the chemicals contained in beauty and skin care products are poorly understood others are very definitely linked to serious diseases. We are exposed to toxic substances every day, most of which we cant control. You can control what you put on your skin and you should consider a more natural alternative when making your choice.
The low down on endocrine disruptors. Our endocrine system is a complex system involved in just about every function in our bodies including growth, development, sleep, mood, reproduction and metabolism. An endocrine disruptor is a chemical that mimics the bodies natural hormones and have been associated with metabolism issues, cancer, reproductive issues,and many other serious conditions.
Jane (Arayu Nutritionist & Naturopath)
14 July 2016
The research is in and the findings are definite that stress is bad for your skin. Stress is a driver of inflammation and inflammation is a driver of acne. Its simple, stress levels go up and your acne gets worse.
What exactly is stress?
You have probably heard of “Fight or Flight”, the survival mechanism that protects us from imminent danger. It was meant to save us from life threatening events like coming face to face with a tiger. When you experience a stressor your nervous system produces stress hormones which cause a number of physiological changes like an increase in your heart rate, muscle tension, accelerated breathing and sweating. These reactions are all designed to help us flee from the tiger.
Nowadays we don't meet many tigers but we do experience pretty stressful lives. Homework, exams, work, relationships and money are all stressors that we deal with everyday. We live in a fast paced world where the expectation to achieve is high, where we are constantly connected and relaxation is becoming ever harder to experience.
Managing your stress
Stressors are a reality. Unless you are going to drop out and live in a teepee in the bush then you are going to be faced with stressful events everyday. Learning to manage your stress is important and there are lots of ways to do this, heres a few tips to help you chill out.
1. Move it
Regular exercise is an awesome stress buster. Any form of exercise will increase endorphins, the feel good neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) that improve mood. Endorphins give us that “high” feeling, put a smile on your face and reduce the negative effects of stress.
Exercising also helps you to switch off from your worries as you focus on your bodies movement. Exercise is like meditation in motion. While your minds attention is on your body, stressful thoughts are forgotten. Its a chance to switch off, some time out from worry.
2. Get some Bs
Now that we know that stress is controlled by the nervous system its important to ensure that you are providing yours with the nutrients it needs and one of the most important of these is B vitamins.
While there are many supplements available to top up your Bs food is always the best and most easily absorbed source. Great sources of B vitamins include green leafy veg, nuts, eggs, beef, chicken and fish.
3. Switch off
Research shows that most teenagers are accessing social media more than five times per day and that depression and anxiety are real issues among users. There is a constant pressure to present yourself in the best light and because this relates to your reputation and self-esteem it can really mess with your mental health. In fact, a recent study found that one in three people surveyed felt worse after spending time on Facebook.
There is no denying that social media is a big part of our lives and that its here to stay but if its taking over your life maybe you need to set some limits. By being constantly “connected” we are missing out on being “disconnected”, on having time out, time to just be. The constant demands of keeping up with social media can increase your stress levels so take the leap and disconnect from time to time.
4. Bust out some tunes
Researchers have found that making music reduces stress by reversing the stress response. Studies have shown that just one hour a week of singing, strumming or tapping can reduce stress levels in just six weeks. You don't have to be good at it you just need to enjoy it, in fact taking it too seriously wont work. Its about creativity and fun and can be a great way to step out of the daily grind. So next time you hear your favourite tune turn up the volume, sing it loud and bust some stress!
Jane (Arayu Nutritionist & Naturopath)
The Sweet Stuff
8 July 2016
Sugar ... people are quitting it and making movies about it. Its being linked with obesity, chronic disease and mental health. We are programmed to love it, it tastes awesome, but how does it affect your skin?
There are now a number of studies clearly showing that sugar is not good for your skin. A 2007 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed a big improvement in acne when participants switched to a low glycemic (low sugar) diet. While a 2009 review found that regular consumption of foods containing high amounts of sugar increased acne. There is now a clear link between excess sugar intake and acne.
How sugar affects your skin
It seems that high glycemic foods (the sweet, sugary, processed ones) can raise androgens, the hormones that increase sebum production (the oily stuff secreted by your skin). Excess sebum = pimples!
But it tastes so good…
We are genetically programmed to love it in order to survive. Back in caveman days sugar rich foods such as honey were an important energy source. However, unlike today, these high energy foods were pretty rare.
Today we are consuming way too much of it. The World Health Organisation recommends that the average person consume no more than 12 teaspoons of sugar from their entire intake of food and drinks each day. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics the average Australian is chowing down a whopping 30 teaspoons of sugar a day - more than double!
The good and the bad
Not all sugar is bad. Whole foods such as fruit and veg contain sugar. But these foods also contain important fibre and nutrients. These foods are the ‘complete package’, they are good for your skin and most people should eat more of them.
It is the refined sugar that is added to processed foods that its the culprit. You probably know the obvious sources such as soft drink, lollies and cakes. But sugar is hidden in many foods that you might not know about such as sauces, cereal, bread, yoghurt and “healthy” snacks.
How to become a sugar detective
So now you are convinced and want to cut down sugar and improve your skin.
Sugar has many disguises and can be hard to spot.
Read the label and look for the following terms for hidden sugar - cane sugar, molasses, agave nectar, brown sugar, evaporated cane juice, caramel, corn syrup, sucrose, fruit juice, glucose, maple syrup, rice syrup, honey, demerara, maltodextrin, diatase, maltose, organic raw sugar, sorghum syrup, cane juice crystals, fruit juice concentrate, malt syrup, muscovado, icing sugar, ethyl maltol, high fructose corn syrup, dextran, barley malt, confectioners sugar, diastatic malt, crystalline fructose…really? Yes really! Ridiculous isn't it! Swap processed breakfast cereals for porridge or chia pudding - recipes on the blog. Sweeten with fresh fruit such as berries and banana.
Swap “health bars” for fresh fruit and nuts - most commercial bars can contain as much as 20-40% sugar
Rehydrate after workouts with good old H2O and give those sports drinks a big miss. Standard sports drinks contain around 5 teaspoons of sugar in every bottle.
Reducing your sugar intake can be hard but the rewards are worth it. A low glycemic diet will help you on your path to clear skin. Achieve freedom from acne with a healthy diet and lifestyle combined with the Arayu + Skin Serum.
Arayu + Skin Serum effectively treats and prevents acne. Freedom from acne 100% naturally!