COLLAGEN – The gut and skin wonder nutrient

Collagen

The collagen market has hit the health and wellness industry by storm. Everyone wants a piece of the beauty pie. Claims of increasing skin elasticity, firming up sagging skin, healing damaged skin and on a less vein level, supporting joints and healing the gut have people scrambling at local health food stores, pharmacies and beauty houses for all things collagen. Now I have suggested here that the vanity side of things might be completely separate from the gut, but in reality, the gut and skin are very closely connected.

We all begin life as just one lonely little cell, in the comfy and warm womb of our mothers. From here, we very rapidly divide into many cells and develop until we become a fully grown baby. As we continue this growth some of our original cells and remain linked together. Our gut, skin and brain are connected closely by our original tissues.

This has led research to identify a clear link between the gut, skin and associated skin conditions.

Did you know the skin is our body’s largest organ?

As a structural organ, the skin plays a very important part in maintaining a healthy body from:

  • UV damage (from the sun)
  • Dietary and environmental factors that cause free radical damage
  • Environmental pollutants
  • Physical stress placed on the skin

Other factors may affect the health of our skin including:

  • Hormone imbalances
  • A poor diet
  • Alcohol
  • Dehydration
  • The dysfunction of other organs such as the liver and gut

So, what about collagen then?

Collagen is found naturally in the structural makeup of our skin. It plays a large role in skin elasticity, ensuring that our skin does not sag and wrinkle, which is why the beauty industry has made a fortune out of topical collagen products. Collagen is also found in the gut lining playing a similar healing and protective role, but on a deeper level that we cannot see. Although, those with gut problems such as leaky gut will soon discover the benefits after taking collagen supplements or increasing collagen naturally with food.

PLUS Vitamin C

Collagen is heavily reliant on the incredibly famous antioxidant known as Vitamin C for production in the body. Including several sources of Vitamin C rich foods in the diet daily can boost your chances of producing enough collagen to achieve that beautiful, firm glow you have been searching for, as well as do some fabulous healing work in the gut. Because both organs are so connected and so vital to overall health, it is important to work on both the skin and gut.

Here are some vitamin C rich food sources:

  • Broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower
  • Capsicums
  • Chillis
  • Leafy greens (spinach, cabbage, kale etc.)
  • Sweet potatoes, pumpkins
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Papaya
  • Watermelon
  • All berries
  • Thyme
  • Parsley
  • Lemons, oranges, grapefruit

Sources of Collagen

  • Fish
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Lean beef
  • Citrus fruits
  • Egg white
  • Garlic
  • Berries
  • Cashews
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Soy products
  • Tomatoes
  • Capsicum

The road to healthy skin

The diet plays a key role in the health of our skin. The skin relies on essential nutrients to preserve its integrity and elasticity. Eating nutrient-rich foods often can ensure we are getting the variety of nutrients require for that all-important glow and youthfulness.

Enjoy Your Fruit & Veggies Plentifully

Fruit and vegetables are a given, we all know it, but we sometimes need to be reminded of this in these times of fast food and time-poor lifestyles. The antioxidants and phytochemicals (plant chemicals and nutrients) found in our fruits and vegetables help to maintain skin elasticity and integrity below the surface of the skin, as well as what we can see in the mirror. Fruit and vegetables also offer the gut the nutrients it requires to produce collagen and stressless hormones.

Eat Seasonally

Eating seasonally increases the nutritional profile of fruits and vegetables meaning you will get the most out of them!

Healthy Fats

Healthy fats are important in helping to build cell membranes and hydrate and plump the skin. Omega-3, omega-6 and monounsaturated fatty acids are the best of the fats.

Sources of healthy fats include:

  • Avocado
  • Nut butters
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Eggs
  • Oily fish (salmon, tuna, cod, sardines)
  • Olive oil
  • Olives

Stay Moist During Winter – Eczema and Dermatitis

eczema

Winter presents many with dry, itchy, inflamed, scaly eczema and dermatitis that can cause much embarrassment and irritation to suffers. It may be visible as a small pink patch or it may cover a large area and look very nasty!

You may experience eczema due to a family history, food intolerance or allergy to a contact irritant. Which ever it is, eczema is never a nice experience. It may also come and go at different times in your life.

What are the symptoms associated with Eczema and Dermatitis?

Itchiness

The problem faced with itchiness is infection. Scratching at the skin leaves the body vulnerable to bacterial or fungal infiltration. Scratching may also promote bleeding.

Redness

The result of inflammatory processes, redness can draw heat to the area and create an unsavoury appearance.

Dryness

Excessively dry skin or sebum can create a crusty appearance that may be prone to flaking, feeling or scabbing at times.

Ooziness

If the condition is particularly significant the skin may ooze fluids that may possess bacteria.

Soreness

Occasionally eczema and dermatitis can be painful and debilitating due to inflammation, infection and scratching.

Common areas affected by Eczema and Dermatitis

Inside the elbows

Behind the ears

Behind the knees

On the hands and feet

What are some of the causes of Eczema and Dermatitis?

Family history

There is a strong link between family history and the two conditions. It is always a good idea to know the medical history of your family where possible.

A process of elimination and detoxification

Because the skin is one of the major detoxing organs your body may be telling you that it needs to detox something that is causing it harm. Supporting the health and function of your digestive system, liver, lungs and kidneys can go a long way to reducing or eliminating eczema and dermatitis.

Stress-less

Stress and anxiety strain the body which can present on the skin

An imbalance of gut microbes (healthy v unhealthy gut bacteria)

Important to skin health is a happy gut. They seem so far from being connected in health but believe me, they are! When your gut is out of wack so is your skin and that may present as eczema, dermatitis, acne or fungal infections.

Intolerances

Food sensitivities have also been linked to the presentation of eczema and dermatitis.  Common culprits which may or may not be relevant to you include:

  • Dairy
  • Gluten and wheat
  • Salicylate containing foods
  • Eggs
  • Peanuts
  • Artificial additives in food
  • Yeast

Work with your nutrition professional to develop an elimination diet to identify your culprit.

Contact with your nemesis

Contact dermatitis is often isolated to one area, where an irritant has come into contact with the skin. It usually presents as a red, sometimes raised rash.

Some of the common offenders include:

  • Latex
  • Detergents
  • Jewellery that contain nickel
  • Fragrances
  • Dust
  • Plants

What can you do to reduce your dreaded eczema?

The condition may very well appear on the skin, however, it is just as important to treat from the inside. It may also be partly related to family history BUT this DOES NOT mean you are destined to have the condition, nor does it have to be so violent. Focus on identifying dietary triggers (if any) and support your detoxing organs such as the liver, kidneys, digestive tract and lungs. Tropical applications may be applied in conjunction with internal treatments.

What can you do with your diet?

Remove food sensitivities

Obviously avoiding dietary sensitivities and intolerances is an important step, however, it is extremely important to take due diligence in eliminating foods by ensuring they are indeed the offending party. You don’t want to end up for deficiencies which may also cause skin complaints.

Eliminate sugary foods

The inflammed appearance of the eczema should subside with the elimination of sugary foods and your detoxing organs will love you for taking this simple step (or not so simple for some).

Alcohol is not your friend

Alcohol is another inflammatory promoting and drying feature in many peoples diet. It often contains its own sugars and is a toxin, diuretic and immune suppressant.

Do you suffer from Candida?

Related greatly to the bacterial imbalance, Candida albicans can be associated with those who suffer from eczema and dermatitis.

Flush it out!

H20 (water) is your friend in eczema and dermatitis outbreaks. Not only does it help to hydrate the skin but it flushes out waste product and supports detoxification processes.

Find your love of fish!

Particularly the fatty kind. Omega 3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory and support healthy sebum. Don’t like fish? That’s okay, get your healthy fats from chia seeds, flaxseeds, hemp seeds (or oils), nuts, seeds, avocados and olive oils.

Topical support

  • Tea tree is antibacterial and antifungal. Applying tea tree can reduce the chances of infection. CAUTION never apply tea tree to open wounds, it may also dry the skin further.  There are some wonderful tea tree based anti-septic creams and washes on the market which have a lower drying effect on the skin.
  • After tea tree is applied use a gentle lotion with aloe, jojoba or calendula. The eczema and psoriasis cream made by MooGoo is often an effective treatment. Evohe also make an Omega 3.6.9 that is exceptionally hydrating.
  • Avoid soaps. Particularly those that are fragranced and high in alcohols.
  • Take caution with clothes washing detergents and cleaning products
  • If you are exercising, be sure to shower soon after to avoid the aggravation of areas by sweat.
Supplements may be explored under the supervision of your health professional, including:
  • Probiotics to balance our gut and skin health.
  • Stress reducing supplements
  • Evening primrose oils, fish or flaxseed oils


Goss on Detox – Is it for you?

The Goss on Detox

Fatigue, Bowel Irritation, Bloating, Gas, Food Sensitives, Tummy Cramps

Bad Breath, Allergies, Abdominal Pain, Excess Fluid, Eczema, Dermatitis

Do any of these sound like you?

A detox may be your key to ridding these uncomfortable bodily ailments.

First of all.. what are toxins? 

Toxins are poisonous substances produced by almost everything we come into contact with…

The Importance of Detoxing

Our body has an amazing natural ability to process and eliminate toxins within itself. These toxins can come from a range of environmental sources, such as, breathing in chemicals, pollution, heavy metals, harmful cosmetic products, alcohol, parasites, food and medications. Toxins may also be the result of natural chemical reactions within our body- that is right, we produce our own toxic materials.

When we are exposed excessively to environmental toxins, our body struggles and is unable to keep up with the processing and eliminating. Much like when a machine is over worked, it either stops output altogether or slows down to become inefficient.

What do we do to encourage detoxification?

To counteract this breakdown, we need a steady balance of dietary:

  • antioxidants -specifically zinc, copper, vitamin C, glutathione
  • nutrients – such as amino acids, vitamins B
  • minerals magnesium and iron

These dietary inclusions with help to nurture our detoxifying organs.

The main organs of detoxification being the liver, kidneys, skin and lungs.

*note- everyone’s requirements for the mentions vitamins and minerals vary as each person is unique. If the diet holds variety and nutritional substance, additional intakes of these may not be necessary.

Other non-nutritive detoxing aids may be:

  • Intermittent fasting – fasting allows the digestive system to catch a break and work on waste elimination.
  • Exercise – sweat is not only a strategy to cool our body down but it releases toxins through our skin. Exercise also helps to circulate toxins to the appropriate organs for effective detoxification.

What could the consequences be if we don’t assist our body to detox?

Without these dietary supports we may develop consequential:

  • gastrointestinal problems
  • chronic fatigue
  • aches and pains
  • skin conditions (eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis)
  • weight gain
  • immune breakdown
  • mood disorders (depression, anxiety, irritability, rage)
  • learning and behavioural issues
  • neurodegenerative disorders
  • neurological complaints
  • poor cardiovascular health
  • fatty liver
  • hormonal dysregulation
  • fibromyalgia
  • triggering of autoimmune conditions

How do our organs detox?

Our skin sweats out toxic materials, sheds, causes other eruptions to pushes them out through pimples and acne – ever had a breakout after a big night or wondered why we sweat with fever?

Our kidneys send toxins our through our urine – this is one reason it is vital to drink plenty of water throughout the day.

The liver processes materials and excretes through the urine, skin and faeces. It is our most important organ of detoxification as almost everything we eat, drink, inhale and put on our body is sent through our liver.

Our lungs send out Co2 gases from our blood and lungs.

The digestive tract eliminates toxic foods by promoting vomiting, diarrhoea or normal bowel motions.

Because our body relies on us to get arm it with the appropriate tools for effective detoxification it is important to ensure we are consuming sufficient amounts of healthy fats, lean proteins, fruits, vegetables and fibre to enhance and optimise its detoxing functions. Some great detoxing and antioxidant foods include:

  • asparagus
  • fresh beetroot
  • granny smith apples
  • ginger
  • turmeric
  • green leafy vegetables
  • lemons, grapefruit
  • garlic
  • green tea
  • capsicum
  • cucumber
  • broccoli sprouts
  • nuts and seeds

Include these into your daily routine and watch the magic happen!