Top 3 Ways to Stop Hair Loss

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The Ultimate Hair Loss Guide

Even if you have thick hair, you might notice it looking thinner as you get older. Plump your mane with these easy tips!  And yes, they do work!

Disclaimer:  Statements and opinions expressed in this article are true.  Skip reading this article at your own risk.  The content will particularly benefit ageing humans, new mothers, and those who skimp on nutrition.

By: Vivien Veil

We know that our skin will undoubtedly change with the decades.  Nevertheless, who knew that the clock ticks away at our hair the same way?  Many people believe that thick and healthy hair creates beauty, yet, thinning hair is enormously widespread.  A UK study by Dr Kurt Wolff in 2013 reported that 78 percent of women worry about losing their hair, a number far greater than men.  Plus, in a UK survey of general practitioners, 64 percent said they had observed more female patients with hair loss since 2008. 

While baldness is less common in women, their tresses can begin to thin and look lacklustre.  In fact, a third of women from the age of 40 experience hair loss at some point in their lives.  Unfortunately, this brutal trend is not just hitting the age 40 gals.  More and more youngsters are complaining of hair loss – some even in their early 20’s!  And while we all love quick fixes, hair loss cannot be treated instantaneously as skin issues can – with fancy creams and trips to the beauty salon.

We pay more attention to our skin, and yet, when it comes to our hair, we feel that washing it is enough.  How many of us are bombarded with toners, moisturisers, serums, and sun protectors when we open our bathroom cupboards?  Yes, many of us are suffering from product overkill, and while we are giving our skin a lot of attention – we are neglecting and destroying our hair.

Outside and internal sources of stress attack us every day.  These pests disturb everything related to hair – from its condition, feel, and vitality to its shedding cycle.  We need to put on our armour and fight them back!  How do they assault us?  Well, these invasions include stress, toxicity, trauma, smoking, pharmaceutical drugs, pollution, lousy nutrition, the dreaded ageing process, and the use of chemical laden hair care products.  Even giving birth can trigger hair loss, but calling that a pest is equivalent to the unpardonable sin.  Here is a friendly reminder:  Shun hair care products that contain petroleum, sulfates, silicones, and parabens if you want to keep your hair.

Male or female –  hair loss can be a traumatic experience.  However, it could be a sign that your body lacks the vitamins and minerals necessary for healthy hair growth.  Remember that we remove strands by showering, blow-drying, and hair brushing – all of that is completely normal. 

“Your hair changes every seven years,” points out hair restoration guru Lucinda Ellery.  “There are 150,000 to 200,000 hairs on our heads; we actually shed 100 a day, 36,000 in a year on average.  By the time you are 30 there will be a significant change in your hair, but not one you may have clicked into mentally.  By the time you are 37-40, there is a marked change.  This is when people panic – it is a natural cycle of ageing.”

But instead of panicking at your tresses on the floor or brush, take a good look at what you are putting in your mouth and how you are living your life.  Doing so can lead you to the culprit(s).

My Brush with Hair Loss (Yes, Pun Intended)

I never tormented myself with the thought of losing hair until it occurred after my first ever juice fast (or feast – however you like to call it) in 2008.  Seeing copious amounts of hair on my pillow and clogging the shower drain became the norm back then.  A hairdresser in the lovely city of Cape Town spotted my thinning locks and recommended I try some popular hair loss “fighter” brand.

She certainly freaked me out.  At the time, I thought female hair loss only happened to menopausal women.  I later found out that my hair loss stemmed from giving up the birth control pill, anaemia, nixing dairy, and my juice fast.  The last two were due to my body ridding itself of toxic waste.  I used to be a walking TOXIN!

Thankfully, my hair grew back three months later and believe it or not – it actually grew back healthier, thicker, and more lustrous.

Now get rid of all distractions.  Grab your favourite drink and get comfortable.  You will need all of your concentration if you want to possess healthy and voluminous hair.  Here are my 3 tips to get the mane of your dreams (or at least make the one you have 10x better).

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Follow this “Plant Food Pyramid” to thoroughly cleanse your body of a lifetime of toxicity. I am not saying to give up animal products forever, but simply try eating this way for a short while to give your body the detoxification it desperately craves. Photo Credit: Raw Food Chef Matthew Kenney

Tip One:  Fight Falling Locks with Nutrition

Hair shows the state of a person’s health, and rotten eating habits and stress induce hair loss.  “Poor hair growth and hair loss can be caused by vitamin and mineral deficiencies,” asserts Maryon Stewart, founder of the Natural Health Advisory Board. “Hair will reflect the health of the body 2-6 months previously,” she says.  Those with eating disorders repeatedly undergo hair loss.  So, if you badly want to look like Skeletor (if you don’t know who that is – please by all means – Go Google him), your hair will suffer.  I do not know about you, but I prefer having healthy hair than starving myself to death.

Healthy hair marks a sign of good health.  Fortunately, hair renewal can occur as soon as the deficiency is fixed.  Nutritionist Angela Dowden says, “Any improvements you make to your diet now will not be reflected in the health of your hair for at least 3 months.”  Patience is a virtue will have to be your new mantra.

It is important to keep a nutritious diet for well-nourished, gorgeous hair.  I cannot stress that enough.  Find out how to feast your way to tempting tresses below.

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1.  Protein

Protein plays a crucial role for healthy hair.  The protein “keratin” makes up 85 percent of our hair.  Keratin helps make hair strong, flexible, thick, and elastic.  Lack of protein or low quality protein can create weak and fragile hair – eventually leading to hair loss.  According to Harvard University, the majority of Americans eat enough protein; however, any deficiency means they are not absorbing the protein well enough.

Many uninformed people still carry preconceived notions that animal products are the only methods of obtaining protein.  They think all vegans and vegetarians are protein-deficient.  I have been asked many times, “Vivien, where do you get your protein from?” As the good ole English would say, “Bless them.”

Vegans get their protein from a variety of foods – the trick is eating enough plant-based protein sources.  Plus, I bet you did not know that fruit also contains protein.  In general, it is impossible to be deficient in protein unless of course you are on a crash diet or anorexic.

The USDA recommends that women eat about 46 grams of protein daily whereas men should eat about 56 grams a day.  Common sense tells us that athletes, pregnant ladies, and breastfeeding mums need more.

Eat These Protein Rich Foods
  • Nutritional Yeast – 2 tablespoons contain 9 grams of protein.  That is more than 1 large egg (6 grams).  It is an excellent source of vitamin B12, iron, selenium, zinc, folic acid, 18 amino acids, and is loaded with fibre.
  • Lentils – 1 cup of lentils packs 18 grams of protein.  That is about the same as a 3-ounce (85 grams) steak!  Lentils are also loaded with iron – making lentils a “hair growth” winner!  I now see why mother dearest forced us to eat them.  Thanks, mama!
  • Almonds – A handful contains 6-8 grams of protein.  I like spreading almond butter on romaine lettuce (contains protein, too) and celery.  Word of advice:  It is a good idea to soak your almonds or any other nut. Why? It removes their enzyme inhibitors – making them easier to digest. Say sayonara to bloating and gas!  You will need to let them soak in a bowl of water for 12 hours.
  • Spirulina – Holds a whopping 65-71 percent protein!  Take that Cows!  Beef only has 22 percent.  Spirulina also contains amino acids and minerals, which will help you feel and look your best.  Yeah, it does not taste phenomenal, but there are ways to mask the taste – just put 2 tablespoons of spirulina powder into your banana and date smoothie.
  • Hemp –  3 tablespoons of hulled hemp seeds gives you 10 grams of protein.  It also contains essential amino acids, which will give body builders and athletes more muscle.  The fatty acids in hemp will boost your immune system, too.  So give hemp a go!
  • Chia Seeds – Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia!  Chia seeds take in 4 grams of protein per ounce.  Yes, it is not as much as spirulina, but chia seeds contain other goodies.  One – they will help you go number two.  Two – they contain 18 percent of your daily calcium requirement.  That is 5 times the calcium of milk.  Three – It has 3 times more iron than spinach.  Lastly – it includes omega-3 and omega-6 essential acids, which are great for your hair.  How to eat this ancient superfood?  Well, you can add some into your water.  Just let them sit in water for 15 minutes before drinking.  I simply stir in 2 tablespoons of chia seeds, juice of one lemon, and a bit of maple syrup into a 500ml (17 ounce) glass of pure water (fluoride-free please).
  • Tempeh – A 1/2 cup of this bad boy makes up 15 grams of protein.  The better cousin of Mr Tofu – this fermented protein prince is actually much healthier than super processed tofu.  I would actually stay away from tofu, but that is another article.  According to Dr Mercola, eating tempeh will help give you a better memory, so make sure to give this to your parents and grandparents if you want them to recognise their grandkids.
  • Quinoa – 1 cup (185 grams) of cooked quinoa has 8.14 grams of protein.  Plus, it contains 9 of the essential amino acids that are vital to our health – a rarity in the plant kingdom!  This South American gem is also high in magnesium, iron, copper, and vitamin B2.  Can I eat it uncooked?  Yes, just soak 1-cup of quinoa in water for 40 minutes or more (it all depends on how crunchy you want it).  Afterwards, empty the water.  Take the quinoa and mix it with some spinach, shredded carrot, and some chopped broccoli.  Top with some lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, and fresh cilantro (coriander).  Voila!  You have a delicious sprouted quinoa feast!  You can also check out my awesome cooked quinoa recipe here.
  • Peas –  Each 1/2 cup contains 3.5 grams of protein.  Peas also contain B vitamins, iron, potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, and vitamin K.
  • Sunwarrior Protein Powder – This is my all-time favourite protein powder.  It is GMO free, vegan, gluten-free, organic, and dairy free.  At 85 percent protein, it is the best raw protein powder on the market.  One look at its amino acid profile, and you will be sold.
nutritional yeast

This my dear reader is nutritional yeast. Make sure this superfood is always sitting nicely in your kitchen cupboard.

2.  B Vitamins

Munching on vitamin B foods reduces your chances of hair loss.  You can expect to lose your hair if you turn away these members of the B-Complex family.  So, instead of snubbing them – invite B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12 over for all meals.

Research done by Harvard University suggests that biotin is one of the most vital nutrients for maintaining hair strength, texture, and function.  While we can obtain vitamin B from food, those suffering from hair loss should consider taking supplements – especially if it has to do with a vitamin deficiency.

A B12 deficiency can trigger hair loss in women and vegans.  If this sounds like you, make sure to eat enough high quality B12 foods, such as mackerel, sardines, organic beef, raw (unprocessed) milk, and free-range organic eggs.  For vegans – well, plant foods do not contain vitamin B12 except when contaminated by manure fertilised soil, but that is another story.  In a nutshell, vegans tend to get their B12 from fortified foods or vitamins.  You can also pull a Madonna – and get B12 injected into your derriere.

My favourite vitamin B food is nutritional yeast.  It tastes a bit like cheese, but it is completely dairy-free.  Blend nutritional yeast and pine nuts in a food processor and scatter them on top of brown rice pasta.  You can even mix it with popcorn.  Try preparing a super “hair booster” salad with it.  Remove the kale stems, chop the kale, and top kale leaves with broccoli sprouts, 1/2 avocado, lemon juice, Himalayan sea salt, and 4 tablespoons of nutritional yeast.  Mix well and enjoy!

Eat These B Vitamin Rich Foods

B1 (Thiamine)

  • Vegetables – Spirulina
  • Fruit – Tomatoes, watermelon, and papaya
  • Nuts and Seeds – Pistachios, Brazil nuts, pecans, cashews, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds
  • Beans and Pulses – Green peas, edamame, navy beans, and black beans
  • Grains and Starches – Brown rice and butternut squash
  • Animal Flesh – Mackerel and salmon
  • Condiment – Nutritional yeast

B2 (Riboflavin)

  • Vegetables – Broccoli, spinach, parsley, mushrooms, and spirulina
  • Fruit – Papaya, avocados, and zucchini (courgette)
  • Nuts and Seeds – Almonds and sesame seeds
  • Beans and Pulses – Green peas and tempeh
  • Animal Flesh – Mackerel and salmon
  • Dairy – Sheep’s yogurt, goat’s cheese, raw (unprocessed) milk, and free-range organic eggs
  • Condiments – Maple syrup and nutritional yeast

B3 (Niacin)

  • Vegetables – Broccoli, Portobello mushrooms, and asparagus
  • Fruit – Avocados, papaya, nectarines, and mangoes
  • Nuts and Seeds – Sunflower seeds and sesame seeds
  • Beans and Pulses – Green peas and lentils
  • Grains – Brown rice
  • Animal Flesh – Mackerel, salmon, and sardines
  • Condiment – Nutritional yeast

B5 (Pantothenic Acid)

  • Vegetables – Broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, and kale
  • Fruit – Avocados
  • Nuts and Seeds – Cashews, hazelnuts, pecans, and sunflower seeds
  • Beans and Pulses – Chickpeas, green peas, and lentils
  • Grains and Starches – Buckwheat, oat groats, wild rice, and sweet potatoes
  • Animal Flesh – Salmon and trout
  • Dairy – Free-range organic eggs and sheep’s yogurt

B6 (Pyridoxine)

  • Vegetables – Kale
  • Fruit – Dried prunes, raisins, bananas, plantains, and durian
  • Nuts and Seeds – Sunflower seeds, pistachios, and walnuts
  • Beans and Pulses – Lima beans
  • Grains and Starches – Buckwheat, brown rice, and sweet potatoes
  • Animal Flesh – Venison and salmon
  • Condiments – Nutritional yeast and molasses

B7 (Biotin)

  • Vegetables – Swiss chard, cauliflower, romaine lettuce, and carrots
  • Fruit – Bananas, avocados, berries, watermelon, grapefruit, and cucumbers
  • Nuts and Seeds – Almonds, walnuts, and sunflower seeds
  • Starch – Sweet potatoes
  • Animal Flesh – Salmon and raw (unprocessed) milk
  • Condiments – Molasses

B9 (Folic Acid)

  • Vegetables – Spinach, collard greens, mustard greens, romaine lettuce, asparagus, broccoli, okra, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, beetroot, carrots, and celery
  • Fruit – Papaya, oranges, grapefruit, berries, and avocados
  • Nuts and Seeds – Sunflower seeds and almonds
  • Beans and Pulses – Lentils, chickpeas, black beans, adzuki beans, green peas, and green beans
  • Grains and Starches – Flaxseeds and butternut squash
  • Condiments – Nutritional yeast

B12 (Cobalamin)

  • Vegetables – Seaweed and spirulina
  • Beans and Pulses – Fermented soy
  • Animal Flesh – Mackerel, sardines, salmon, organic beef, organic liver, and organic lamb
  • Dairy – Raw (unprocessed) milk and free-range organic milk
  • Condiments – Nutritional yeast

I recommend vegans and vegetarians take a good quality B12 supplement – as the effects of B12 deficiency can be irreversible.  B12 plant sources do not function the same way as animal products.  According to Chris Kresser, a practitioner of integrative medicine, “It is crucial for those that abstain from animal products to understand that there are no plant sources of B12 and that all vegans and most vegetarians should supplement.  This is especially important for vegetarian and vegan children or pregnant women whose need for B12 is even greater than adults.”

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3.  Essential Fatty Acids

Include essential fatty acids into your diet for bountiful hair.  We need them to grow hair, and sadly, our bodies cannot produce fatty acids.  We must obtain the two main essential fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6, through the foods we eat – especially if we want thick hair.

“About 3 percent of the hair shaft is made up of omega-3 fatty acids,” says New York nutritionist Lisa Drayer, MA, RD, and author of The Beauty Diet.  The cell membranes in our scalp and the natural oils that keep our scalp and hair hydrated all contain omega-3s.

People on low fat diets are especially at risk of losing their hair.  A deficiency causes dehydration to your scalp and skin.  Our scalp demands that we feed it omega-3s and omega-6s, which we can get from both plant and animal sources.  Word of adviceeat more omega-3s than heavily processed omega-6s as eating too much omega-6 “damaged” fat (corn oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, cottonseed oil, soybean oil, margarine, and any hydrogenated fats) sets the stage for horrendous health problems, e.g. depression, Alzheimer’s, and even cancer!  So where do we find these treasures?

Eat These Essential Fatty Acid Foods

Omega-3 Foods
  • Vegetables – Kale, romaine lettuce, spinach, and brussel sprouts
  • Fruit – Berries and avocados
  • Nuts and Seeds – Chia seeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and hemp seeds
  • Beans and Pulses – Navy beans, kidney beans, and edamame
  • Grains and Starches – Flaxseeds, wild rice, and butternut squash
  • Animal Flesh – Salmon, mackerel, salmon, sardines, and organic beef
  • Dairy – Raw (unprocessed) milk
Omega-6 Foods
  • Fruit – Avocados
  • Dairy – Grass-fed organic butter
  • Oils – Extra-virgin olive oil and coconut oil
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Papaya

4.  Vitamin A (and Beta-Carotene)

Hair growth relies heavily on vitamin A.  Vitamin A helps purify your liver and blood – allowing the nutrients to quickly reach your scalp and hair.  This antioxidant-rich vitamin can then do its job of lubricating your scalp with sebum and preventing your hair from drying out and becoming brittle.  You can thank sebum, your hair’s natural conditioner, for that!

Vitamin A also assists in strengthening and thickening your hair, but remember that too much vitamin A can cause hair loss.  Ingesting really high levels of vitamin A-containing supplements or medications will cause that unwanted effect.  However, hair will grow back again once the vitamin A overload ceases.

Eat These Vitamin A Rich Foods
  • Vegetables – Carrots, kale, romaine lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, asparagus, leeks, brussel sprouts, parsley, broccoli, rosemary, fennel, thyme, dill, and cilantro (coriander)
  • Fruit – Apricots, cantaloupe, sweet red pepper, mangoes, oranges, papaya, tomatoes, grapefruit, cucumbers, and watermelon
  • Beans and Pulses – Green peas and green beans
  • Starches – Sweet potatoes and butternut squash
  • Animal Flesh – Mackerel, salmon, and sardines
  • Dairy – Raw (unprocessed) milk and free-range organic eggs

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5.  Vitamin D

Avoiding the sun as if it were “an intense water fast” is not a good idea.  Acting like a vampire could cost you your hair.  Low levels of vitamin D and iron leads to hair loss.  Hair loss investigators at Cairo University unearthed a big discovery – vitamin D and iron deficient women suffered hair loss.  And it got worse as their levels dropped.

“This is the first time vitamin D’s possible role in hair loss has been highlighted,” explains Rania Mounier Abdel Hay, MD, a dermatologist at Cairo University.  “It might regulate the expression of genes that promote normal hair follicle growth.”  Vitamin D stimulates the hair follicle and is in charge of activating cells within the hair shaft.

According to Dr Mercola, a popular osteopathic physician, “An estimated 85 percent of Americans are vitamin D deficient, and many scientists and researchers consider this an unrecognised global epidemic.”  I can only imagine what the figures are in the UK.  So, go get yourself some of God’s “sunshine vitamin” or risk losing your mane.

Sunbathing the Right Way

Every once in a while, try getting some sun without sunscreen.  Dr Mercola advises to expose as much of your body as possible to sunlight until your skin turns the lightest shade of pink.  You never want to burn.

Caucasians usually need about 20 minutes of sunlight for vitamin D production.  Darker skinned people need to stay in the sun longer – about one to two hours.  “The optimal time to be in the sun for vitamin D production is near to solar noon as possible.  That would be between roughly 10:00am and 2:00pm,” says Dr Mercola.  And FYI:  Trying to catch sun through a window will not work.

You can also resort to UV-emitting lamps, especially during the winter months.  “These are similar to tanning beds, but smaller.  The lamp is only about 24-inches by about 16-inches,” says Michael F Hollick, MD, a professor of medicine, sociology, and biophysics at Boston University Medical Center.

Vitamin D supplements can also help you get your daily dose, but no pill, lamp, or tanning bed will ever replace the real thing.  Remember that.

Eat These Vitamin D Rich Foods
  • Vegetable – Mushrooms
  • Fruit – Oranges
  • Animal Flesh and Oils- Raw fish (sushi), mackerel, salmon, oysters, sardines, and cod liver oil
  • Dairy – Free-range organic eggs

6.  Iron

Anaemia or low iron levels can cause hair loss.  Most of the time it happens to women after childbirth, athletes, vegetarians, vegans, and in women who experience heavy periods.  Even people who participate in medical trials may develop anaemia.

Iron deficiency is very common in the world.  “Up to 60 percent of women have low iron and it is often undiagnosed,” states Lorna Vanderhaeghe, a health journalist and author.

Therefore, if you find yourself lacking energy, looking like a vampire, having raccoon eyes, and shedding hair like a Persian cat – it may be time to see a doctor for some blood tests.  Hair follicles contain a protein called “ferritin” – this protein requires iron for hair growth.  It helps produce hair cells, which guard against hair thinning.  Without ferritin, non-pigmented fine hairs will develop.

Vegetarians and vegans should always eat vitamin C rich foods when taking iron.  This enables the absorption of non-heme iron, which is iron from non-animal sources, e.g. beans.

Eat These Iron Rich Foods
  • Heme Iron – Organic beef, oysters, turkey, organic chicken, and organic lamb
  • Non-Heme – Sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, almonds, pistachios, cashews, macadamia nuts, lentils, chickpeas, black beans, oatmeal, buckwheat, spinach, Swiss chard, kale, thyme, parsley, spirulina, kelp, nori, chlorella, quinoa, butternut squash, molasses, raisins, tempeh, artichokes, prunes, and pears
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Zinc infused protein bar – loaded with pumpkin seeds and quinoa

7.  Zinc 

Do you want healthy hair?  Then you better get enough zinc.  Insufficient zinc levels invite hair loss and premature greying.  Two studies published in the Journal of Nutrition and the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that roughly two billion people worldwide are zinc deficient.  Now that is a lot of people!

However, zinc deficiency is a rarity in North America.  Although, vegetarians and vegans are the ones who need to worry about zinc as this almighty mineral is naturally found in animal products.

Eat These Zinc Rich Foods

  • Vegetables –  Spinach, asparagus, mushrooms, broccoli, parsley, and sea vegetables
  • Nuts and Seeds –  Sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, and cashews
  • Beans and Pulses –  Lentils, chickpeas, tempeh, and green peas
  • Grains –  Brown rice and quinoa
  • Animal Flesh –  Organic beef, organic lamb, and turkey
  • Dairy –  Raw (unprocessed) milk and goat’s cheese

*Remember that soaking your seeds and beans facilitates zinc absorption.

8.  Water

Dehydration can make your skin and hair look unflattering.  Water triggers hair growth and makes your hair look full of life.  On the other hand, toxicity makes your body too acidic.  An overly acidic body can lead to hair loss, and H2O flushes those crazy “acid” critters out of your physique.

Allowing all of those poisons to float around in your system is not a good idea, so try and drink at least two litres of water per day.  And please, I repeat, stay away from fluoridated water.

How To Get Enough Hydration

While it is important to drink a lot of water, you can also hydrate with fruits and vegetables.  Try quenching your thirst with these massively hydrating foods – all of which contain at least 90 percent water.

  • Vegetables – Cucumbers, lettuce, celery, radishes, green peppers, cauliflower, spinach, broccoli, and baby carrots
  • Fruit – Tomatoes, watermelon, star fruit, strawberries, grapefruit, and cantaloupe

9.  Vitamin C 

One of vitamin C’s major tasks involves producing and sustaining healthy collagen – the tissue within hair follicles.  One of the ways this antioxidant-rich vitamin prevents hair loss is by producing sebum.  This oily substance keeps your hair from breaking off.  Plus, vitamin C boosts iron levels, which is key in thwarting off hair loss.

Eat These Vitamin C Rich Foods
  • Vegetables – Bell peppers, kale, turnip greens, Swiss chard, spinach, brussel sprouts, red cabbage, green peas, parsley, asparagus, carrots, basil, garlic, dill, sea vegetables, romaine lettuce, beets, cucumber, cilantro (coriander), and thyme
  • Fruit – Guavas, kiwis, berries, oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruits, tomatoes, papaya, pineapples, cantaloupe, avocados, watermelon, bananas, apples, plums, cranberries, and apricots
  • Starches – Sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and pumpkin
magnesium foods

Tasty magnesium rich foods. Note: Pepitas is another name for pumpkin seeds.

10.  Magnesium

Magnesium insufficiency disturbs hair growth and prompts hair loss in both men and women.  Hair follicles depend upon this essential nutrient to create strong hair strands.  However, research from the Medical University of South Carolina unveils that almost 70 percent of American adults do not receive enough of this important nutrient.

“Foods rich with magnesium will alleviate this problem and help with hair growth,” points out hair restoration expert Lucinda Ellery.

Eat These Magnesium Rich Foods
  • Vegetables – Spinach, Swiss chard, turnip greens, bok choy, basil, romaine lettuce, broccoli, and kale
  • Fruit – Avocados, bananas, figs, apricots, cantaloupe, tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries, papayas, dates, watermelon, and raisins
  • Nuts and Seeds – Pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, Brazil nuts, almonds, cashews, pine nuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, and walnuts
  • Beans and Pulses – Lentils, white beans, black-eye peas, kidney beans, chickpeas, black beans, green peas, pinto beans, and tempeh
  • Grains – Brown rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, wild rice, rye, flaxseeds, and oats
  • Animal Flesh – Mackerel
  • Dairy – Goat’s cheese, sheep’s yogurt, raw (unprocessed) milk, and mozzarella

Foods That Encourage Hair Loss

Adding wholesome, nutritious foods to your diet will dramatically improve your hair – BUT only if you get rid of the other garbage that is adding toxins to your blood supply.  Those waste products clog your capillaries – making it difficult for your blood to reach your precious hair follicles.

While specific factors, such as hormones, stress, smoking, childbirth, surgery, pharmaceutical drugs, illegal drugs, and serious illness can cause hair loss – eating rubbish only exacerbates the hair loss debacle.  According to hair expert Diana Dudas, a brutal diet laden with processed foods, caffeine, and alcohol will aggravate hair loss.  These types of clogging foods and beverages include:

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My Recommended “Hair Growth” Smoothie

Drinking my Save Your Hair Smoothie is an excellent way to gather large amounts of greens into your diet.  It sure beats chewing all of those vegetables!  Contrary to juices, smoothies contain the entire fruit or vegetable – giving you the fibre you need to be regular.  Furthermore, blending prevents blood sugar spikes.  Plus, smoothies are more filling.  

For a reason God created fruits and vegetables in their whole state – and why try and improve on what God created.

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Tip Two:  Heavy Metal Detox

One of the greatest health dangers involves pernicious heavy metals – a topic rarely discussed in mainstream wellness circles. We are hounded daily with all types of lethal heavy metals – usually from the most unoffending sources, e.g. cosmetics, cookware, air, and seafood.  Continual exposure to even tiny levels of cadmium, mercury, lead, aluminium, and other heavy metals can add up over time – causing hair loss and other unwanted side effects.

These poisons negatively affect your hormones and deprive your body of vital nutrients.  Worst of all, they can kill hair follicles – resulting in thinning and damaged hair.  Heavy metals pile up in the bones, liver, organs, and joints.  However, only “extreme” heavy metal poisoning shows up in blood tests.

Sadly, there is no way to completely avoid heavy metal exposure.  They are unstoppable, so fighting them is pointless.  You can, however, prevent the number of times you get attacked by these crazy invaders.

Do not worry though.  There is a light at the end of that clogged up shower drain.  A good detox plan can assist you in flushing out all of those brutal metals.

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Chemtrails are not a conspiracy anymore.

Keep Your Eyes on These “Metal Heads”

  1. BariumBarium damages the brain, kidneys, liver, and heart.  According to The London Centre of Trichology, “A build up in the system of the toxic mineral barium can adversely affect hair growth.”  Chemtrails, a part of the geoengineering programme, emit barium on a regular basis. Just look up at the sky next time it is a clear day.  And for the record, chemtrails and contrails are two different things.
  2. ArsenicThe gut, lungs, and various body organs absorb arsenic.  This negatively affects metabolism and DNA repair.  According to Genova Diagnostics, exposure to arsenic can generate “hair loss” and a whole range of unfavourable side effects.  Arsenic can be found in medicines, pesticides, mussels, oysters, shrimp, and soil.
  3. CadmiumCadmium invades the gastrointestinal system, liver, kidneys, placenta, lungs,brain, bones, central nervous system, and reproductive organs.  It basically penetrates your whole body!  Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine states that without intervention – the biological shelf life of cadmium exceeds 20 years!  Plus, severe cadmium exposure stimulates hair loss.  Cadmium hides in cigarette smoke, instant coffee, marijuana, processed meat, refined grains, oysters, tuna fish, canned foods, and soft drinks.
  4. MercuryMercury raids the kidneys, brain, lungs, skin, liver, and gastrointestinal tract.  It enters the body via the lungs, food, water, and by direct physical contact.  This toxic metal impairs copper metabolism and induces hair loss.  Mercury is found in air conditioner filters, baby powder, dental amalgams, vaccines, cosmetics, laxatives, chlorine, medications, tuna fish, swordfish, and soft contact lenses.
  5. AluminiumAluminium sneaks into the brain, lungs, liver, thyroid, and bones.  Aluminium enters humans through the food supply, water, and the air we breathe.  According to Dr Paul C Eck, “Nearly 80 percent of those tested for metal toxicity reveal excessively high hair aluminium levels.”  Your brain and lungs reveal considerable aluminium accumulation with age.  “Aluminium is responsible for hair loss in both males and females,” says Dr Michael Biamonte.  You can find aluminium in animal feed, aspirin, baking powder, cigarette filters, cookware, deodorants, pharmaceuticals, chemtrails, dental amalgams, nasal spray, pesticides, vaccines, tobacco smoke, and tap water.

Three Ways to Expunge Heavy Metals

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1.  Far-Infrared Saunas

Far-infrared saunas help flush out heavy metals found in our body.  Unlike traditional saunas, infrared heat triggers the release of waste from the subcutaneous fat just underneath the skin.  In her book, Detoxify or Die, Dr Sherry Rogers states that it also allows the body to slowly remove toxins from organs and connective tissues, which make their way to the fat tissue beneath the skin – to then be flushed out through sweating.

Dr A J Adams of the International Institute of Holistic Healing, writes in a report that traditional saunas expel up to 97 percent water – while the sweat from an infrared sauna emits only 80 to 85 percent water.  The rest of the 15 to 20 percent contained heavy metals, sodium, ammonia, fat-soluble toxins, and sulphuric acid.  Plus, listen up gout sufferers – it also releases gout’s best friend – uric acid.  All of these toxins compromise our organs, especially the liver and kidneys.

Far-infrared saunas speed up the detoxification process by heating your tissues several inches deep – purging the toxins that are making us sick and unhealthy.  According to the medical director of the Hippocrates Health Institute, Dr Brian Clement, “Infrared saunas help release every toxic contamination you have in your body; most notably mercury and lead.”

As an added bonus, you can burn as many as 300 to 600 calories during one 30-minute session.  I always leave the sauna feeling like a new woman.  Remember to consume adequate electrolyte and mineral replacements to prevent dehydration and mineral loss.  I recommend drinking coconut water during and after a session.

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Do not confuse this with parsley. This, my friend, is your new best friend. Meet Magical Cilantro.

2.  Coriander (Cilantro) and Chlorella

These two miraculous superfoods are heavy metals worst nightmare.  They bind with heavy metals and yank mercury, cadmium, lead, and other chemicals right out of your body.  “Initial studies indicate that fresh cilantro may be extremely effective in flushing heavy metals out of the blood,” states Robert C Atkins, MD. “Taking 400mg of cilantro daily can pretty much clean out heavy metals out of the body in just two weeks.”

Kale, watercress, wheatgrass, sea vegetables, and spirulina are also awesome detoxifiers and can remove heavy metals.  One of my favourite things to eat is my “Die Heavy Metals Die” recipe.  I created this magical recipe when my hair started dropping on the floor.  I add one bunch of fresh cilantro, 1-tablespoon chlorella powder, 2-3 tablespoons of hummus, 1-2 garlic cloves, and 1-2 avocados in a high-speed processor.  After pureeing, I add some “already soaked” pine nuts, Himalayan sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, some lime juice, and sprinkle nutritional yeast on top.  You can mix this with some brown rice pasta, a large salad, or spread it on rice cakes.

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3.  Iodine

Another way to rid your body of heavy metals is by eating iodine rich foods.  Your thyroid needs iodine to function properly.  Since our bodies do not store iodine, we must consume it regularly.  Eating foods containing iodine will make sure your thyroid is able to manage metabolism and detoxification.  Some foods that contain iodine are:  sea vegetables (see above image), cranberries, sheep’s yogurt, navy beans, organic strawberries, Himalayan sea salt, watercress, sunflower seeds, raw (unprocessed) milk, and free-range organic eggs.

Unfortunately, iodine deficiency can result in poor hair growth.  Farmers observed the importance of iodine levels in the coats of their herds of sheep.  The iodine-poor soils meant their sheep were severely iodine-deficient.  “These sheep, consequently, produced the least amount (and poorest quality) of wool.  It stands to reason that human beings are just as effected by iodine-poor soil and plants as animals are,” asserts Dr Edward F Group, DC, ND, and founder of Global Healing Center.  “And hair loss may be related to this decline.”

A 2001 study published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology, and Leprology described how patients of alopecia (hair loss) experienced hair re-growth after supplementing with iodine.

An added bonus of iodine intake is how great it flushes heavy metals from the body.  “Iodine boosts the excretion of mercury, lead, cadmium, and aluminium,” states Dr Kenezy Gyula Korhaz.  Iodine also helps release bromide and fluoride – thus decreasing their iodine inhibiting effects.  Modern life has compromised our thyroid and iodine levels, especially with fluoride and bromide running rampant in our food supply.

Where can you find bromide?  Bromide can be found in a few forms.  Firstly, pesticides contain methyl bromide.  Strawberries are heavily sprayed with this pesticide, so always eat organic strawberries.  Next, brominated vegetable oil (BVO) is located in many popular beverages.  Lastly, some commercial bakeries use a dough conditioner called potassium bromate.  You can also find bromide in your car upholstery, floor, plastics, Mountain Dew, Gatorade, Fresca, nasal sprays, and carpet.

Where can you find fluoride?  Fluoride can be detected in fluoridated drinking water, toothpaste, mouthwashes, dental floss, processed foods and beverages, mechanically de-boned meats, infant formula, canned fish, Teflon pans, beer, wine, sodas, teas, cigarettes, and some antidepressants.

According to the World Health Organisation, iodine deficiency is a public health concern in 54 countries.  UNICEF declared that iodine deficiency is the most avoidable cause of stunted physical and intellectual development.

Anyone hoping to undergo a heavy metal detox plan should take an iodine supplement.  Nascent iodine is the best form to take because it is quickly usable to the body.  This means that most of the iodine will go straight to your thyroid.  This essential supplement also dumps radiation stored in the thyroid gland, so I highly recommend you get your hands on this potent elixir – especially if your hair thinning is caused by heavy metal toxicity.

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Tip Three:  Liver Detox

Your liver is the biggest internal organ, and did you know it is the only organ that can regenerate itself?  Look at it as your body’s laboratory – where it handles toxins, fats, and hormones.  The liver works harder than you can imagine – performing more than 500 important bodily functions!  For example, it combats infections, defeats toxins, controls blood sugar, burns fat, and bile transports the garbage away from the liver, helping it to detoxify the blood.

What is bile?  Bile is a yellowish-green liquid produced by your liver and stored in the gallbladder.  It assists in digesting last night’s meal.  Bile is released into the small intestine, where it helps with the digestion of fats.  “Bile is composed of cholesterol, water, pigments, lecithin, and salts (electrolytes), including calcium,” says Rupa Seetharamaiah, MD at Baptist Health South Florida.

Sadly, the typical modern lifestyle puts a lot of strain on our liver.  How many of us stress out about things?  Well, stress negatively impacts the liver.  Not to mention having to inhale second-hand smoke from annoying smokers.

What if your liver is in the pits?  A run-down liver hinders the movement of bile, resulting in faulty toxic elimination.  An improved liver will allow it to process fats, toxins, and hormones better.  The quick expulsion of waste means your body will have the time to handle less important tasks, such as growing healthy hair – instead of focusing all of its attention on poison removal.

Your body will work really well, and you will look and feel healthier.  Your hair will look radiantly healthy, and your cleaner blood will then improve circulation – allowing for the nutrients from your “new and improved diet” to actually reach your scalp.

Liver Destroyers

  • Excess alcohol consumption
  • Smoking (do us all a favour and QUIT!)
  • Pharmaceutical and over the counter drugs
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • Pesticides
  • Processed food
  • Illegal drugs
  • Laziness and lack of exercise
  • Refined sugars and artificial sweeteners
  • Fried foods (put that KFC down!)
  • Dehydration and lack of drinking water
  • Lack of raw healthy foods in your diet

*What have we learned?  You will ruin your liver if you follow a crap “lack of nutrition” diet.

Love My Liver Tips

  1. Start your day with my Save Your Hair Smoothie, and end your day with my Save Your Liver Juice. 
  2. Drink lemon water first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.  The lemon juice dissolves the mucus in your body and supports the liver.
  3. Cut out or seriously reduce your caffeine intake – BUT if you must drink your coffee, at least read my article on how to drink it the right way.
  4. Try and do a 1-3 day juice and smoothie fast or a 3-day raw food “only” diet as both are effective at reducing the body’s toxic overload.
  5. Drink at least 2 litres of pure water a day, but never with food.  Sipping on water during meals will only dilute your digestive enzymes, which help you digest food efficiently.  Shunning water can increase your risk of gallstones, which is when bile becomes too concentrated in the gallbladder.
  6. Invest in some milk thistle since it protects your liver’s cells from chemicals and alcohol.
  7. Spice your food with turmeric, an ancient Indian spice.  It possesses fantastic anti-inflammatory effects – helping your liver fight off infections and viruses.
  8. Back in the day, people treasured dandelion root for healing their sick livers.  Dandelion root improves liver function by eradicating toxins and normalising hydration and electrolyte balance.
  9. Look into Methionine, an essential amino acid that is vital for optimal liver health.  A study done on rats showed that they developed steatohepatitis (a fancy name for “fatty liver”) when fed a diet devoid of methionine.  Methionine forms part of a group known as glutathione, an antioxidant that protects the liver and other cells from destruction.  Glutathione attaches itself to toxins and flushes them out of the body.  It is found in brussel sprouts, garlic, carrots, grapefruits, avocados, asparagus, and spinach.  There is one catch though.  You must eat them RAW (uncooked).  None of the foods I just mentioned contain this potent antioxidant once cooked.  Raw Food For The Win!
  10. Get in the choline.  It helps keep your liver in tip-top shape.  Choline aids in evicting unwanted fats inside your liver.  Vegans and vegetarians need this B vitamin in their diet since animal products are the best dietary sources of choline.  You can get choline in supplement form or via foods, such as organic egg yolks, salmon, organic beef, lecithin, kale, spinach, broccoli, wheat germ, brussel sprouts, and almond butter.

The path of living a healthy lifestyle is an adventure.  I understand it can be burdensome and challenging to change your whole way of living, but you will see results with your hair and your health.  If you are a skeptic, I urge you to research everything you have just read, and gently remind yourself that your body is your temple.  Let us stop treating it like it is a rubbish bin.

Love,

Vivien xoxo

Additional Sources:

Acta Pharmacologica et Toxicologica, Volume 59, Supplement VII, 1986. First Conference on Metabolism of Trace Elements Related to Human Diseases, Norway, June 10-13, 1985.

Adams, A J, International Institute of Holistic Healing: What is Far Infrared Therapy and How Does it Work Toward the Body? Web.2014

Bernard, S. Autism: A novel form  of mercury poisoning. Medical Hypothesis. 2001:56 (4): 462-471.

Breiner, Mark A., and Robert C. Atkins.  Whole Body Dentistry. Quantum Health Press, LLC. 1999. Print.

Carlson, K J, Eisentat, S A, Ziporyn. The Harvard Guide to Women’s Health. T Harvard U Press. Cambridge MA, 1996.

Garner, Ron. Conscious Health. 2nd ed. Namaste Publishing. 2008. Print.

Geoengineering Watch: Neurologist Warns of Aluminum in Chemtrails. Web. 2014.

Golan, R. Optimal Wellness. Ballantine Books. 1995.

Goyer, R and Mehlman, M., Toxicology of Trace Elements. Hempishere Publishing Co., Washington. 1977.

Hodsman, Sherrard, Alfrey et al. Endocrine. Metab. 1982; 54:539-45.

Jenkins, D. Toxic Trace Metals in Mammalian Hair and Nails. National Institute of Scientific Research, U.S. Dept. of Commerce, EPA. Government Printing Office. 1979.

Marks, J G, Principles of Dermatology. Lookingbill DP. WB Saunders Co. Philadelphia. 1993.

Moritz, Andrea.  Timeless Secrets of Health and Rejuvenation.  Ener-chi.  2007. Print.

Rogers, M.D., Sherry A. Detoxify Or Die. Sarasota, FL. Sand Key Company, Inc. pages  199-200; 206-13. 2002.

Schenck, Susan E.  The Live Food Factor.  2nd ed. Awakenings Publications. 2009. Print.

Wakefield, A J, Ashwood P, Limb K, Anthony A. The significance of ileo-colonic lymphoid nodular hyperplasia in children with autistic spectrum disorder. Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2005 Aug; 17 (8): 827-36.

 

 

 

 
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My Number One Beauty Secret

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Colonic Hydrotherapy by Vivien Veil

By: Vivien Veil

Want to know a beauty secret that will shave years off your age?  This procedure is nothing new among the elite and celebrity kingdoms.  With people like the late Princess Diana, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Aniston, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, and Taylor Swift touting the effects of colon hydrotherapy, you’d be silly not to try it out.  Plus, the word on the political street is that Barack Obama even received a treatment.

I must warn you though – a colonic isn’t exactly glamorous, so this topic may repel some of you.  However, I urge you to read on.  And no, this isn’t some quack fad.  Honest.  People ask me all the time, “What is the beauty tip you swear by?”  I tell them up front, “Colonic Hydrotherapy! It’s made my life 100% healthier and happier.”

A colonic doesn’t induce relaxation like a facial or massage, and you may encounter some mild discomfort, but afterwards you’ll feel like a million bucks.  You’ll be as light as a feather, and did I mention you’ll walk out with a flatter belly?

A model friend introduced me to colonics back in 2007 – so I can confidently say that I absolutely endorse the gravity centered colonic, which is the only kind of unit I recommend.  I dabbled with the libbe colonic years ago, and it was unquestionably a waste of time and money.  A brutal colonic method to say the least.  So, please – always choose the gravity.

“All right already… What the heck is a colonic?”

A gravity colonic uses a thin tube to inject water into your rectum.  The water then flushes waste matter that’s been dislodged inside your colon for months – sometimes even years!   Believe it or not – not everything you ingest comes out of your body.  Pork ribs, pancakes, burgers, and other junk food love camping out in your colon.  Worst of all, they’re annoying guests who never leave.  That’s why you need to kick them out with a hose.  Did you know an overstuffed colon causes people to think they’re just fat?  Guess again!  It’s not always fat, my friends.

“Why do you get colonics?”

Three Words:  Beat the Bloat.  I suffered from irregularity issues and wasn’t going to the toilet every single day.  That coupled with bloating meant I was a “crappy” girl, and that in turn made me uncomfortable and irritable.  I thank my old SAD (Standard American Diet) lifestyle for that.  Some days I couldn’t even button up my jeans – that was when I yelled, “Enough is enough!”

Yes, this isn’t a classy topic, but I don’t care.  I’m here to save colons.  Anyway, after completely modifying my eating habits, I started experiencing some pretty rough detox symptoms.  That’s when the colonics helped the most.  They enabled me to transition to healthier wholesome foods much easier.  They’re an absolute must when undergoing a detoxification program – and will take your health to the next level.

“Well, I go to the toilet every day, so I don’t need a colonic.”

Master colon therapist Gil Jacobs says it perfectly:

If you looked at the amount of food you put in your body and mashed it up in a pasta pot, you’re not getting anything near that much out.

Another way to tell the state of your bowel is very easy.  When you wake up in the morning after you go to the bathroom, suck in your midsection very deeply as you exhale.  If you have a clean intestine that’s not holding waste, your belly button should be almost kissing your spine.  The midsection should be a cavern.  It should almost look like you’re starving to death.  If you don’t get that, and all you can do is pull in a tiny bit, your intestine is full of matter and that’s not good.”

Five Benefits of Colonic Hydrotherapy

  • Destroys Constipation – Colonic irrigation strengthens the bowel and gives it energy.  Unlike laxatives, colonics don’t make your bowels lazy.
  • Enhances Digestion – Wave goodbye to irritable bowel syndrome, bloating, and gas.
  • Boosts Immune System – Some holistic practitioners profess that “all disease begins in the colon.”  Colonics also create a healthy environment for friendly bacteria to grow.  Plus, a cleaner colon guarantees you’ll absorb vitamins and minerals better.
  • More Energy and Happier Moods – Helps relief fatigue and laziness, improves mental clarity, and combats mood swings.
  • Anti-Aging and Brighter Skin – Colonics bring out clearer and glowing skin.  It also assists with eczema, psoriasis, acne and other skin disorders.

Fives Tips for an Effective Colonic Session

  • Hydrate – Make sure to drink loads of water.  I’m talking about a minimum of 2 liters (about 9 cups) a day prior to your session.
  • Eat your Vegetables – Scoff down lots of salads with kale, spinach, asparagus, cucumbers, and celery.
  • Bust Out the Juicer – Drink fresh juices.  And no, V8 juice doesn’t count.  A healthy juice should include beetroot, carrot, celery, lemon and apple.
  • Sayonara to Booze – Alcohol and good colonic sessions just don’t mix. Enough said.
  • No Coffee or Sodas – Coffee dehydrates and sodas make you gassy.  Both dehydration and gas are enemies to having a great colonic, so kiss them goodbye.
  • Stay Away from Dairy, Meat, and Junk Food – All three will just make your colonic appointment more uncomfortable, and you risk a chance of not much “waste” coming out.
  • Massage your Stomach – This helps produce more regular bowel movements.  Simply massage your right side of the abdomen and work your way up clock-wise, and then across and down to the left side in small circles.
  • Headstands – As strange as this sounds, they do help!  Headstands help with digestion and also increase body heat.  The pull of gravity helps clean out the intestines by releasing congested blood in the colon.

*DISCLAIMER: If you don’t follow these tips, you may risk wasting your money because not a lot of waste will come out during your colonic session.  Do this a minimum of 5-7 days before the “BIG DAY!”

My Two Favorite Therapists

London

My favorite therapist in London is Kaori Murphy at the Hale Clinic.  She’s everything you want from a colonic therapist – friendly, professional, and knows her stuff about nutrition and health.  The thing I truly enjoy is that she massages your stomach the entire duration of the treatment, which means you’ll get more waste out.   Out of the many therapists I’ve seen (and boy have I seen many in Europe and South Africa), Kaori is one of the best!

If you plan on receiving a colonic outside London, I suggest you seek a highly qualified colonic therapist who is a registered ARCH (Association and Register of Colonic Hydrotherapists) member.

Cape Town

My other favorite therapist is Rosalba Oaten at the Colon Health Centre.  She’s based in Cape Town, South Africa and is on the money when it comes to colonics.  She’s super knowledgeable, super friendly, and super fantastic.  Just call her Super-Colonic-Woman.  She’s definitely someone to see if you ever find yourself in beautiful South Africa.

I trust those two ladies implicitly!

Vivien Veil Rating 10/10

Prices vary according to who you see in the UK, but it’s usually between £85 to £90.  To book an appointment with Kaori Murphy, visit www.haleclinic.com or contact her directly at kaori@innervitality.co.uk

To book an appointment with Rosalba Oaten, visit www.colonhealthcentre.co.za or contact her via email at rosalba@colonhealthcentre.co.za

Remember that colonics are not quick fixes – you still need to change your way of eating.

Lack of Sleep Makes you Ugly

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Lack of sleep

This is for everyone who’s ever been asked “Are you feeling okay?” after a bad night’s sleep.

A small new study in the journal Sleep shows that sleep-deprived faces look more, shall we say, weary — in the form of redder and more swollen eyes, dark under-eye circles, more wrinkles and droopier eyelids — than well-rested faces.

“Since faces contain a lot of information on which humans base their interactions with each other, how fatigued a person appears may affect how others behave toward them,” study researcher Tina Sundelin, M.Sc., a doctoral student in the department of psychology at Stockholm University in Sweden, said in a statement.  “This is relevant not only for private social interactions, but also official ones such as with health care professionals and in public safety.”

The study is based on 10 people who had photographs taken of them at 2:30 PM after eight hours of sleep and after going 31 hours without sleep.  Then, 40 study participants looked at 20 photographs and rated them based on fatigue, sadness and facial cues.

Indeed, the photos of the subjects when they were sleep-deprived depicted more dark under-eye circles, paler skin, and droopy corners of the mouth.  The study participants also said that the people who were sleep-deprived looked sadder because they looked tired.

Recently, a study commissioned by Estée Lauder showed that sleep deprivation could make your skin age faster, as well as lower its ability to recover from sun exposure, HuffPost50 reported.

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Sleep Deprivation Dangers

1. Increases Stroke Risk –  Even without the typical risk factors, like being overweight or having a family history, short sleep can catch up your risk for stroke, according to 2012 research.  Adults who regularly slept fewer than six hours a night had four times the risk of stroke symptoms, HuffPost reported.

2. Lead to Obesity – Too little sleep can spur less-than-ideal food choices, including serving yourself larger portions, and a hankering for junk food, thanks to some complicated hormonal changes that occur when you don’t get sufficient shuteye.  It seems that six hours of sleep or less bumps up production of the hunger hormone ghrelin and limits leptin, which helps you balance your food intake, according to a 2012 review of 18 studies of sleep and appetite.

3. Up Diabetes Risk – A pair of small studies from 2012 examined the link between poor sleep and insulin resistance, a telltale risk factor for diabetes.  One found that among healthy teenagers, the shortest sleepers had the highest insulin resistance, meaning the body is not using insulin effectively, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.  The second study examined fat cells, in particular, and found that cutting back on sleep increased insulin resistance in these cells, even when diet and calorie intake were restricted, Health.com reported.

4. Fuel Memory Loss – You probably know that on the days when you are most tired, you’re forgetful and unfocused — but sleep deprivation can lead to permanent cognitive issues.  The less we sleep, the less we benefit from the memory storing properties of sleep.  But additionally, a lack of sleep can cause “brain deterioration,” according to a 2013 study, which may at least in part explain memory loss in seniors.

5. Damage Bones – At least in rats, long-term sleep deprivation seems to contribute to osteoporosis, according to a 2012 study.  Researchers found changes to bone mineral density and bone marrow in the rodents when they were deprived of shuteye over a period of 72 days.

“If true in humans, and I expect that it may be, this work will have great impact on our understanding of the impact of sleep deprivation on osteoporosis and inability to repair bone damage as we age,” Steven R. Goodman, Ph.D., editor-in-chief of Experiment Biology and Medicine, said in a statement.

6. Increases Cancer Risk – A small (but growing) body of research suggest that short and poor sleep can up risk for certain types of cancer.  A 2010 study found that among 1,240 people screened for colorectal cancer, the 338 who were diagnosed were more likely to average fewer than six hours of sleep a night.  Even after controlling for more traditional risk factors, polyps were more common in people who slept less, according to the study.

Getting just six hours of sleep a night has also been linked to an increase of recurrence in breast cancer patients.  The study’s author has pointed to more and better sleep as a possible pathway of reducing risk and recurrence.

7. Hurt Your Heart – The stress and strain of too little sleep can cause the body to produce more of the chemicals and hormones that can lead to heart disease, according to 2011 research.  The study found that people who slept for six hours or less each night and have problems staying asleep had a 48% higher risk of developing or dying from heart disease.

8. Kill You – It’s not just heart problems that can lead to sleep-deprivation-related death.  In fact, short sleepers seem to die younger of any cause than people who sleep about 6.5 to 7.5 hours  a night, TIME reported.  A 2010 study examined the impact of short sleep on mortality and found that men who slept less than six hours were four times more likely to die over a 14-year period.  The study’s authors called this link “a risk that has been underestimated.”

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