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Nutrient absorption & Your Skin

Inadequate nutrient absorption can affect your looks!
What is nutrient absorption?

Absorption is a process of taking up nutrients from food that has been eaten. This is mainly the duty of the gut – the intestine. When the body is lacking in the nutrients that it needs to function properly, it will begin to give preference to other organs with  neglect of the rest. The essential organs that take in nutrients are the heart, brain, liver, kidneys. The physical parts of our body that make us beautiful like the hair, nails and skin, if neglected start to look awful. So if you want to start looking externally good, all you need do is begin to make sure that your body is getting all the nutrients it needs.

Eat the right foods

There are a whole lot of foods that will boost your body nutrient intake levels. These include a variety of coloured plant foods. Fruits and vegetables, are beyond doubt the richest sources of nutrients. Other foods to make a priority are whole grains, lentils, beans, nuts, seeds, lean meats and fish, and whole food fats like organic butter, avocado, and unrefined plant oils.

How can you increase your nutrient absorption?
Two Quick Tips
  1. Chew your food very well before swallowing:

 This will help breakdown the food to allow for quick absorption. This is called mechanical breakdown of food. Once  food has been swallowed, the body can use digestive enzymes, acids and probiotics to further break it down because there are no teeth in your stomach! Large pieces of food take much longer to break down than small well-chewed pieces. We want food to be absorbed as quickly as possible to ensure that it doesn’t sit in the gut and ferment, which can then cause unpleasant gas and bloating… I guess you do not want that! 

  1. Use Lime or lemon Juice:

Since the digestion process starts in your mouth before going to the stomach, many people do not have enough acid and digestive enzymes in the stomach. These substances help to break food down into small molecules that your body can easily absorb.Many people who do not have enough stomach acid and digestive enzyme, suffer from; acid reflux, bloating, gas, and facial redness and other skin disorders.

All you need to do to remedy the low stomach acid production is to have the juice of half a lemon in a small amount of water (50-75mls) before meals. This will stimulate your stomach into making enough acid for best digestion. NB: It’s also important to limit drinks around mealtimes, as this dilutes stomach acid and can slow down digestion .

Effects of lack of digestive enzymes on your skin

A lack of digestive enzymes can reduce the amount of fat and protein that you absorb, and leave your skin appearing dry and dull. This may even be the cause behind skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. During my practice, I have seen this problem. If you have this problem it is very important to visit a qualified nutritionist or naturopath who can help you get your digestive enzymes working efficiently and resolve dry skin problems – it will make a difference to your life.

Dr Joseph Cosmos Onyisi Okonji is nutritionist and alternative health practitioner based in Johannesburg, South Africa.


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