Healthy Digestion, Healthy You

28 Jun

​Posted by Susan Bowerman, M.S., RD, CSSD, CSOWM, FAND – Director, Worldwide Nutrition Education and Training  0 Comment


1Share

Fermented foods are important for digestive health.

To keep your digestive system running smoothly, focus on fiber, fluids and regular exercise.

If more people really thought about how much their digestive systems do for them every day, they might be more inclined to take better care of their digestive health. Your digestive system has a huge job – it breaks down the foods that you eat in order to make nutrients and energy available to the body, and it is responsible for steering unwanted waste out of the body, too. On top of that, your digestive tract is a key player in immunity – the cells lining your digestive tract help protect your body against bacterial and viral invaders that could make you sick.

And, your brain and your digestive tract are in constant communication with one another. An incredible amount of information travels between your gut and your brain – so much so, that the nervous system that resides in your digestive tract is often called the body’s “second brain”. This system alerts the “first brain” if you’ve eaten something you shouldn’t have, and also keeps tabs on your hunger level and your mood.

And yet, many people abuse their digestive system – by filling it with highly processed foods, or eating too much, or eating too fast – and pay little attention to it until something goes wrong.

Key Components to Digestive Health

In the most general sense, what you eat and the way you live your life influences the health of your digestive system. A nutrient-rich, balanced diet helps to nourish all of your body’s cells, including those in your digestive tract. Fiber, fluids and regular exercise all help to keep you regular, and taking care of your “second brain” by keeping your stress levels in check can also help to promote digestive health.

Fiber and Fluids Support Digestive Health

Perhaps one of the most important dietary components for digestive health is adequate dietary fiber.

Most people think of fiber as the substance that helps to keep the digestive process moving. And certain fibers do just that. But not all fibers function exactly the same way, which is why we often talk about two types of fiber – insoluble and soluble fiber – both of which contribute to digestive health, but in different ways.

Insoluble fiber – sometimes called “roughage” – isn’t broken down by the body but it absorbs water, which adds bulk. This type of fiber – found in vegetables, bran and most whole grains – helps to speed the passage of waste through your digestive system, which helps keep you regular.

Soluble fiber– found in foods like apples, oranges, oats, barley and beans – thickens and swells up when it comes in contact with liquid. So, when you eat these foods, they swell up in the watery environment of your stomach and help to fill you up. But another important feature of soluble fiber is that it functions as a prebiotic – which means that it encourages the growth of the good bacteria in your digestive tract.

Your digestive system houses tens of trillions of microorganisms – made up of thousands of species – taken together, this bacterial colony is sometimes called the “gut microbiome”.

These bacteria help your body extract nutrients from your food, they help with the production of certain vitamins, and they protect the health of the digestive tract by keeping out dangerous foreign invaders. But this mini ecosystem residing in your gut appears to do even more – there is evidence that your gut microbiome may also influence your body weight, memory and mood, too. So, it’s important to provide these bacteria with their preferred source of fuel – in the form of soluble fiber.

You can also introduce beneficial bacteria into your system directly – in the form of probiotics found in certain foods. Fermented foods such as yogurt and kefir, pickles and sauerkraut, miso paste and olives are all natural sources of beneficial bacteria.

Since soluble fibers dissolve in water – and insoluble fibers trap it – it should come as no surprise that adequate fluids are important in keeping your digestive system running smoothly. But you also need water to produce saliva and digestive juices, and to transport nutrients to your cells, so taking in adequate fluids every day is vitally important to your digestive health.

Exercise and Stress Reduction Support Digestive Health

Regular exercise also supports digestive health in a couple of ways. As your muscles contract and your breath deepens during activity, the natural contractions of your intestinal muscles are stimulated, too, which helps to move food through your system. Exercise is also a well-known stress reducer, so it can help reduce digestive upsets that can occur in response to negative emotions.

The connection between your brain and your “second brain” in your digestive tract is something you’ve probably experienced in the form of a “gut reaction”. When stress or anxiety strikes, your brain sends a signal to your gut – and the next thing you know you’ve got a churning stomach.

The signals travel in the other direction, too – from gut to brain. When something in your digestive system isn’t quite right, an alert is sent to your brain, often before you even notice anything is wrong. Either way, this brain-gut connection suggests that keeping your digestive system in tip-top shape is vital to your sense of well-being.

The diet and lifestyle steps you take to keep yourself healthy are the same ones that promote digestive health, too. A diet that includes plenty of fiber from colorful fruits and vegetables and whole grains, adequate hydration, and regular exercise are all key factors. And take time to
enjoy your meals – you’ll be more relaxed, and less likely to overeat, too.

9 Steps to Achieve the Natural Beauty Look

03 Jun

Posted by Jacquie Carter  0 Comment


1Share

Go barefaced for beauty.

Mastering the natural beauty look is about using makeup sparingly and strategically, so that your natural skin and best features come forward.

Some of today’s most gorgeous celebrities are frequently caught on camera with little or no makeup—and they don’t care. These “barefaced beauties” have decided to emphasize clean, fresh skin and have adopted a natural beauty approach when it comes to cosmetics. It’s no coincidence that for the last few years runway models have been appearing deliberately barefaced. It’s a trend that’s here to stay. The latest look shows models with beautifully enhanced brows and an ethereal glow, but they’re certainly anything but plain. Ladies, wouldn’t we all love to capture that beauty that doesn’t seem to come from a bottle?

If you want to go for a natural look, start by taking a good look at yourself in the mirror. Take careful stock of your features. Think about the final look you want to achieve. Natural beauty techniques can highlight the areas you like and downplay the areas you don’t. It’s all about allowing your natural complexion to shine through.

Here are some ways you can achieve a luminous natural look.

Start with a clean pallet.

The first step towards a natural look is to start with a fresh, clean face. Choose a facial cleanser that is best for your skin type. Wash thoroughly using warm water. Pat your face dry with a clean towel and make sure you have removed all traces of makeup. Even the slightest makeup residue, especially around the eyes, can drag your look down. So if you need to use makeup remover please do.

Exfoliate and Moisturize

A good exfoliation is another sure-fire way to get started. By removing any excess dry skin from the surface your skin will not only have a more youthful glow but, your skin care products will be able to penetrate better as well. And, best of all makeup will go on smoother and look fresher throughout the day. When skin isn’t moisturized it looks dull and drab. Be sure to use a daytime moisturizer with SPF to keep skin hydrated and protected during the day and a rich replenishing night cream for bedtime.

Go light with coverage

Less is always more when you are capitalizing on your natural beauty. For a super sheer look, skip the foundation and opt for a tinted moisturizer. Use your fingertips to apply in small areas, starting with the center of the face and working your way to the edges. If you want to stick to solid or liquid foundation, apply it with a brush, stroking from the center of the face outwards and blending well.

Bronzer and blush

Use a bronzer and/or blush to emphasize features. Bronzers provide a warm sun-kissed tone to skin. They’re a great way to create a natural glow. You can either dust bronzer along the T-Zone and cheekbones, or you can add it to your entire face. Apply bronzer lightly to the areas that are most frequently in the sun’s glow, such as the bridge of your nose, cheeks and forehead. Bronzer can replace a blush, or you can apply a very fine layer of blush over the bronzer. The most important thing to remember with bronzers is that less is more.

Illuminators

Illuminators or highlighters contain reflective ingredients, such as mica or other minerals, to catch the light. Apply with a large Kabuki or stippling brush. Start with a very small amount and increase as needed. If you want to find your best features to highlight, step into the natural light to see what parts of your face capture the light. Maybe it’s your cheekbones, bridge of your nose or chin. Focus on those areas. I always add a little highlight to my cupids bow.

Concealer

First, make sure your concealer matches your skin color. You may need a lighter shade for underneath the eyes, or use a concealer with blue undertones. It’s important to only . dab concealer on blemishes, spots and red areas, not around, to prevent a halo effect. Gently blend to achieve the natural look. Some people find fingertips work as well as a concealer brush when applying.

Eye makeup

Use eyeliner and mascara lightly. Bold liquid eyeliner does not belong in the natural beauty regimen. Instead, use an eye pencil in a velvety brown and do what’s called tight lining: apply your line directly in between your eyelashes and on the underside edge. Use a brush to gently lift your lid and draw the pencil across the underside edge. Remember my favorite tip: curl your lashes with an eyelash curler, and then apply mascara.

Eyebrows

Pay careful attention to your eyebrows. First, get them in shape and clean up stray hairs. Using a soft eyebrow powder and small brush, carefully fill in the bare spots with subtle color that matches the natural color of your brows. Finish with a brush-on gel to keep your brows perfect all day long.

Lips

Avoid shiny gloss and chalky lipsticks. Instead, use a neutral or sheer gloss and skip the lip liner. Apply a lipstick that’s a few shades darker than your natural lip shade. Wait a few minutes then wipe it off. It leaves a bit of stain behind that really looks like your bare lips, only better. My favorite tip is to find a shade of lipstick that is the same color as my tongue. Sounds crazy but it looks totally natural with a bit of a punch.