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Signs that your eating habits need to change

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Poor skin

The skin is the largest organ of the body and it offers much needed visual insight into what is going on with the body’s health.



For those who suffer with acne, eczema, psoriasis, dry skin or premature ageing, these are all signs that their diet might not be optimal. 

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‘In particular, acne, eczema and other inflammatory skin conditions have been associated with an imbalance of gut bacteria leading to “leaky gut”,’ they said.

What is leaky gut? 

Leaky gut, also known as increased intestinal permeability, is a digestive condition in which bacteria and toxins are able to ‘leak’ through the intestinal wall.

‘A variety of nutrients, derived from eating a balanced whole foods diet are important for skin health.’

It is important that people have a diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids from oily fish and flax seeds, along with vitamins A, E, C and zinc.

Changing one’s diet can drastically improve the skin but this can take three months or more so people need to be patient with dietary changes.

Low energy

Although carbohydrates and fats are primary fuels for making energy, the health expert said micronutrients such as magnesium, B vitamins, iron, copper and sulphur are also an important part of the process.

Unfortunately diets that aren’t rich in these often lead to low energy levels. 

Anaemia, which is caused by a deficiency in iron, B12 or folate (B9), can also cause tiredness, as can poor thyroid function, which relies on nutrients such as iodine and selenium. 

‘Many people are also self-sabotaging their energy levels by relying on stimulants such as caffeine and sugar to get them through the day,’ they said.

 ‘However, this can have a negative impact on sleep and blood sugar balance, leading to peaks and troughs in energy throughout the day.

‘Switching to complex carbs and ensuring good quality protein each time you eat to stabilise blood sugars and reducing caffeine is therefore recommended.’

Fat accumulation around the middle

Everyone’s body is different and due to genetics people store fat in different areas.

According to the health expert storage of fat around the stomach (known as visceral adipose tissue) has been consistently shown to be a risk factor for cardiovascular and metabolic diseases and other health issues.

‘The most likely cause for VAT is a diet high in sugar and refined carbohydrates, with excessive stomach fat being a tell-tale sign of insulin resistance, where the body becomes less able to utilise glucose for energy production and so instead stores it as fat,’ they said.

‘If you tend to have an apple body shape, then changing your diet and engaging in regular physical exercise is particularly important.’ 

Digestive Issues

The health expert said some of the most obvious signs someone’s diet needs changing is when they’re faced with digestive issues such as constipation, diarrhoea and bloating, which indicate the gut isn’t happy.

Eliminating processed foods and switching to a whole foods diet is likely to improve many people’s digestion due to the increase in fibre from fruit and vegetables.

Others may need to remove foods such as gluten, wheat or dairy from their diet for a period of time.

Improving the balance of bacteria in the gut by eating fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir and live yoghurt can benefit digestive conditions.

Alternatively people can take a live bacteria supplement, such as Lepicol ($17/£13), a three in one combination of gentle psyllium husk fibre which contributes to the maintenance of normal bowel transit.

Low mood and anxiety

Mental health is a complex issue that often involves a variety of factors but diet and lifestyle choices are being shown to play an important role.

‘Nutritional psychiatry is increasingly being used alongside conventional therapies for conditions such as anxiety and depression,’ they said.

‘A Mediterranean style diet, high in colourful fruit and vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and olive oil, with moderate amounts of fish and seafood, has been shown to be particularly effective.’

Poor Immunity

The health expert explained that recurring infections, such as colds, UTIs, thrush and fungal nail infections, are a sign that the body isn’t getting enough nutrients.

This is a sign that the immune system isn’t receiving enough support from the diet and that people need to increase their intake of zinc, selenium, iron, copper, vitamins A, C, E, and B6 and folate.

‘Focus on getting lots of colourful fruit and vegetables and good quality protein such as organic meat, fish, eggs, beans, nuts and legumes as these provide the building blocks and co-factors for immune cells,’ they said.

It’s also best to steer clear of processed foods, simple sugars and refined carbohydrates, known to feed unwanted bacteria and yeast in the gut.

Instead include prebiotic foods such as slightly under-ripe bananas, Jerusalem artichokes, leeks, onions, garlic, oats and asparagus.

Hormonal issues

Diets high in sugars and refined carbs are likely to exacerbate hormonal issues such as period pain, menopause, endometriosis and fertility troubles.

‘Supporting healthy blood sugar balance is therefore a crucial step in regulating hormones, as is working on body composition to reduce excess fat cells, which produce their own oestrogens,’ they said.

They recommend increasing the intake of nutrients to help support healthy oestrogen detoxification.

This can be done by eating folate from leafy green vegetables and glucosinolates from broccoli, cauliflower, kale and Brussels sprouts.

‘Dietary phytoestrogens found in flaxseeds, traditionally fermented soybean products and legumes can also be particularly useful for modulating oestrogen levels,’ they said.

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Food & Cuisine

UN FAO: Food prices jump in January.

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Food prices rose in January, and has become stronger for vegetable oils and sugar, the United Nations food agency said on Thursday.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation’s food price index, which measures monthly changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat and sugar, averaged 164.8 points last month against 161.8 in December.

In spite of the rise, the index was still 2.2 per cent below its January 2018 level.



The FAO dairy price index jumped 7.2 per cent from December’s value, ending seven months of declines.

FAO said limited export supplies from Europe, caused by strong internal demand, was the main driving force behind the increase.

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FAO’s vegetable oil price index rose 4.3 per cent from the previous month, while its sugar index rose 1.3 per cent and its cereal index made marginal gains on December.

The meat price index was largely unchanged.

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FAO lifted its latest world cereal production forecast for 2018 to 2.611 billion tonnes, slightly higher than the December reading, reflecting upward revisions for maize, wheat and rice.

“Much of the projected growth is associated with expected increases in Europe, where beneficial weather has so far shored up yield prospects while also sowings are forecast to expand, largely driven by attractive prices,” FAO said.

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Food & Cuisine

Cells that could prevent obesity, diabetes, hypertension found by American scientists.

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An American scientists has discovered a group of cells in the small intestine that slows down metabolism and increase fat accumulation.

The study published on Wednesday in the journal Nature  may lend a clue to prevent and treat obesity, diabetes and hypertension.



Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital in the US found that mice lacking those cells called intraepithelial T lymphocytes or natural IELs could burn fat and sugar without gaining weight.

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When those cells are present, they suppress a hormone that speeds up metabolism and conserves more energy it gets from food.

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Such a mechanism used to be an evolutionary advantage when food was scarce in ancient time, but “with the food so abundant,this energy-saving mechanism can backfire and lead to unhealthy outcomes,” said the paper’s lead researcher Filip Swirski from Massachusetts General Hospital.

Swirski’s study can eventually contribute to cardiovascular disease and other metabolic ailments.

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