Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Benefits of Maca

From Peru, this is one of the adaptogen family of herbs, which work to balance your body. This makes it particularly good in conjunction with the reproductive hormones as it won’t raise levels that don’t need alteration. It’s also anti-inflammatory. In studies, maca has been linked with favorable estrogen and testosterone levels, thus preserving your youthful hormones, and is shown to help tackle symptoms of menopause caused by hormonal fluctuation. There’s not a set dose for maca- how much you use depends on your weight, age and how your body reacts to it. Start with 3g daily of powder, adding a little more if you don’t get effects. The maximum dose consumed should be 9g daily. #AskDrNigma

Friday, March 10, 2017

Know your Dairy

Most of us just think about milk, but it’s also yogurt, hard cheese, soft cheese, cottage cheese, crème fraîche, butter, ice cream and Quark. Plus a myriad of processed food items contain dairy products- anything with a creamy taste will have some level of dairy within it, but surprisingly so can foods such as bread, cereal and processed meats. Protein shakes also commonly include whey or casein.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Smoking and Premature Aging

This is one of the primary ways to trigger premature aging in skin. In fact, it’s my experience that the average smoker can look up to 10 years older than a non-smoker, and studies have shown that if one twin smokes and the other doesn’t, the damage is so obvious that 57 percent of plastic surgeons can spot a smoking twin from a picture of their face. I can do exactly the same thing- smokers have more bags under their eyes, more wrinkles, particularly around their lips, and less firm skin, particularly around the jawline, than non-smokers. Smoking also causes free radical damage and triggers the release of a protein called MMP-1, both of which directly attack collagen and elastin levels- and it also directly triggers inflammation. Every time smoke enters your lungs, it irritates the delicate cells within them; those cells see this irritation as an attack and, as with so many other factors that I’ve talked about here, that irritation triggers an inflammatory response. If you do smoke, quitting is one of the most important things you can do for your health and looks.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

The Skin and Extrinsic Aging

The skin is made up of three main layers, each of which has a different role in keeping it healthy and youthful. In young, healthy skin, all of these functions behave optimally, but as we age, things start to slow or change, altering the way skin acts and looks. This triggers the natural development of signs of aging, such as lines, wrinkles, pigmentation, dull, rough skin, and a mottled or uneven skin tone. This natural body slowdown is known as intrinsic aging, and it happens to everyone. It begins internally in our 20s, starts to show externally for the first time in our 30s or 40s, and nothing in our beauty arsenal so far can stop it completely- although you can slow and reverse it a little. That might sound like very bad news, but it’s not- because intrinsic aging alone actually accounts for very little of the aging we see on our skin.

What ages us is exposure to external factors, such as sunlight, pollution, poor diet and inadequate hydration. This is called extrinsic aging and it’s the main reason most of us age. Even though they occur internally in the body, all the reactions triggered by poor gut health, excessive inflammation or hormonal changes that I discuss throughout my book are also classified as extrinsic aging. When it comes to aging prematurely, extrinsic aging is what you need to prevent and fight against.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Traditional Chinese Medicine: The Nose

If you have lots of blackheads, you probably also have poor digestion - and specifically may be affected by low stomach acid levels. If your nose is red or has lots of broken capillaries, this can be caused by drinking too many hot drinks, eating excessively spicy food or consuming too much alcohol. All of these cause the capillaries to dilate, and if this happens too frequently, they can remain enlarged.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Antioxidants to Eat: Power-Packed Berries

Berries are one of the best fruits to eat as their slight natural bitterness means they have a lower GI than many fruits. Many people reach for blueberries for anti ageing, but red berries contain a magic ingredient called ellagic acid, a polyphenol that’s been shown to counteract the damage UV light does to skin, triggering wrinkle formation. It actually stops the release of collagen-destroying MMP (matrix metalloproteinase) that normally occurs when UV hits the skin.

Monday, February 6, 2017

What is Rosacea?

I’ve already mentioned this a few times, but it’s a condition you may not have heard of- or may be a little confused by. Rosacea is a skin condition characterized by redness or flushing of the facial skin. It’s often accompanied by blemishes, which is why it used to be called acne rosacea, but it’s not the same as acne itself. Rosacea can also make the face feel hot or sting. The exact cause has not been determined, but in my experience it’s definitely linked to food intolerances, and imbalanced gut bacteria, which leads to high levels of inflammation and leaky gut. Attacks can be triggered by factors including alcohol consumption, spicy foods, sunlight and hot drinks. In my experience, healing the gut can play a huge role in reducing the look of rosacea and the number of flare-ups patients experience.