What Your Outsides Say About Your Insides
By Kavata Kithome
Imagine for a moment that there was a way to determine the current state of your health without having to go to the doctor. If you are like me, you probably hate needles and the poking and prodding. A way to determine the state of your health without those measures would be welcomed and appreciated.
Ever wondered what your skin, nails and hair tell you about your health and nutrition status? Read on to find out what your outward appearance says about you.
Your skin is one of your body’s major and largest organs, but you often take it for granted. The skin is engaged in a myriad of jobs to aid your body in functioning, from regulating the body’s temperature and blood pressure to the production of vitamin D.
Dry skin: A typical occurrence in older adults due to the natural decrease in sebaceous and sweat gland activity. Yet, sudden changes to dry skin or itchy patches could mean dehydration, or a lack of essential fatty acids and vitamin C.
- If your skin is dry, limit your alcohol and caffeine intake and drink a minimum of eight glasses of water and other non-caffeinated liquids.
- Also, add some polyunsaturated oils from sources such as nuts and seeds and plant-based oils such as coconut, hemp and flaxseed in your daily meals.
- For youthful skin, eat your protein to help strengthen and improve elasticity.
- Increase your vitamin C for collagen production and to prevent skin discolorations.
Your nails are skin cells that have been converted to hardened keratin. Because there are blood vessels just below the nail, your nails should be pink in color. Healthy nails are smooth and uniform in thickness.
- White spots are commonly thought to indicate a calcium deficiency or mild injuries to the nail.
- Peeling nails could mean that you wash your hands frequently or use alcohol-based sanitizers and nail polish and polish remover and are usually not indicative of sickness. But brittle nails have been seen in thyroid diseases and in rare cases can be from a selenium toxicity.
- Vertical ridges that are raided indicate an iron deficiency. Iron is crucial to the formation of red blood cells, which is vital to the body’s oxygen supply.
- Yellowish, bluish, or brownish and/or pigmented lines on nails can be a sign of a systemic disorder and should be discussed with your doctor immediately. Nails with indentations that run across the nail also need attention as they can occur due to a zinc deficiency.
For white spots and indentation, increase your calcium and zinc intake. Keep in mind that the body does not store zinc, so it is important to intake zinc daily.
Your mane is often associated with youth and vibrancy, after all, it is the “elderly” who lose their hair. Hair loss can be due to a number of reasons – hormonal changes such as menopause and childbirth, processing and blow drying, medicines and diseases like psoriasis and thyroid disease. Your mental and physical stress can also cause hair loss.
- Dietary imbalance can also affect the appearance of your hair. The coarsening of hair and excess shading can be a sign of vitamin A and protein deficiency.
While your skin, nails and hair may not explain everything that is going on with your health, changes in these three areas can indicate a deficiency in your diet or an underlying condition.
Keep yourself in optimum health by eating and drinking healthy foods and purified water. And always remember that if you nourish your body on the inside, your outside will shine!
Kavata Kithome is an advocate for living your best life, full of health and longevity. While working closely with gym owners and personal trainers, she was able to sculpt a well-rounded view of fitness and understands how to incorporate it with a healthy balanced diet. She is a regular contributor to the One More Step Lifestyle brand.
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