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Oil pulling health beauty regime teeth oral health paleo natural primal-min

Do you do this health & beauty ritual?

The ancient concept of Oil Pulling is enjoying somewhat of a renaissance in the modern health movement. The concept is a simple enough; you use a high quality, plant based oil (i.e. coconut oil) as a ‘mouthwash’ for between 15 and 20 minutes. But are there more benefits to this tradition than you might expect?

The practice of Oil Pulling originated in India thousands of years ago. It is mentioned in ancient Ayurvedic texts, first referred to as Kavala Gandoosha or Kavala Graha. It is used mainly for improving oral health; it has been proven to cut through plaque and toxins in the mouth very effectively. It is also a natural teeth whitener, and has a profound impact on halitosis – whilst more serious conditions such as mouth ulcers, bleeding gums and even gingivitis have been treated using Oil Pulling.

However, research a little further, and you will find that Oil Pulling can be used as a detoxifier not just for the mouth, but for the whole body. Oil Pulling has been shown to benefit troublesome skin conditions, such as eczema and acne, as well as hormonal imbalances – particularly those associated with the thyroid gland. Look a little further again, and you’ll find people who have used Oil Pulling to treat bacterial infections, breathing difficulties and to improve their kidney function. The practice is now attracting plenty of attention, especially from Holistic Practitioners, due to the wide range of conditions it has been shown to improve.

Oil pulling health beauty regime teeth oral health paleo natural primal-min

How to Oil Pull

If you’re interested in trying out Oil Pulling for yourself, it’s a very simple (albeit relatively time consuming) practice to follow. Select a high quality, cold pressed oil; extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil and sesame oil are all great choices, but personally, I opt for melted coconut oil. Its antimicrobial powers are already proven, there’s always some in my cupboard, and I love the taste!

Take 1 – 2 tbsp of the oil in your mouth, and swish for 20 minutes. According to research, this time period is crucial. Any shorter, and there is not adequate time to break down the toxins and bacteria. Any longer, and these toxins may be reabsorbed into the body. 20 minutes may seem like a fairly long time, but it goes pretty quickly if you incorporate it with other tasks, such as a leisurely morning walk. Just try not to bump into anyone who wants to chat along the way! Once the 20 minutes are up, rinse well with warm water before brushing as normal.

Ideally, this process should be repeated at least three times per week for best results. Due to the powerful detoxing effects oil pulling has on the body, some people have reported symptoms of a detox reaction during their first few days of Oil Pulling. These symptoms are pretty rare however, and don’t seem to reach any further than sinus problems (such as congestion) and minor headaches.

I’d love to hear your opinions on Oil Pulling. Have you tried it? Have you had any success? Let me know below!

Paleo Diet Primal Better Skin Care Acne Eczema Spots Breakouts-min

Paleo for Better Skin

I’ve read about so many people going onto a paleo diet and noticing significant improvements in their skin. With a few tweaks, eating this way seems to have helped a lot of people suffering from acne, eczema, spots, redness, blemishes and breakouts.

Paleo Diet Primal Better Skin Care Acne Eczema Spots Breakouts-min

What causes skin problems?

It seems that a lot of issues are down to inflammation. Of course, grains are inflammatory, so removing them from the diet – and being very strict and vigilant, especially where gluten is concerned, will make a big difference.
Gut health and permeability also appear to be significant factors in skin. Heal your gut – and heal your complexion.
Hormones are another big factor. Eating foods like soy can interfere with hormones – so obviously following a paleo protocol (and ditching those legumes) will mitigate this issue.

Natural skin care

The chemicals in many of the commercial products are frightening. Lots of people on the paleo community swear by coconut oil.

Eat more fat

Getting over fear of fat seems to have helped many people with their skin issues. Try to get more fat in your diet – from good Paleo sources, of course.

Gelatin

Another paleo skin cure seems to be bone broth. Regularly consuming a high quality home made bone broth could be what is standing between you and beautiful blemish free, glowing, skin!
Liz Wolfe has produced a natural, paleo skin care guide, called “The Skintervention Guide“, so if you’re still have problems with your complexion – and want to find a natural solutions, you can check it out here.

Has your skin changed since you went paleo? Please share your tips in the comments below!
Vitamin B6 Pyridoxine Paleo Diet deficiency supplement symptoms sources signs-min

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) & the Paleo Diet

Who doesn’t want healthy nerve and muscle cells? Of course you do, and this is where Vitamin B6 – also known as Pyridoxine – becomes especially important. In addition to that, it plays a part in converting carbohydrates and protein into energy, together with other B-complex vitamins, and has a role in the production of insulin, both white and red blood cells, and DNA. That means it’s pretty important!

Luckily, Vitamin B6 deficiency rarely occurs, because it’s contained in many foods. But sometimes it does, usually caused by a poor absorption of nutrients that can be a result of chronic alcoholism or chronic diarrhoea.  Fatigue, anaemia, skin disorders (like eczema and seborrheic dermatitis), convulsions and seizures – these are symptoms that may point to a deficiency in Pyridoxine.

But even if there’s no full-blown deficiency, there are a number of medical conditions that may be prevented or treated with better levels of Vitamin B6, including adrenal function, asthma, kidney stones, PMS, cardiovascular problems like atherosclerosis and hypertension, nervous system issues like carpal tunnel syndrome, depression, autism and epilepsy, and skin conditions like acne and eczema. The best approach in any case is to turn to whole food sources of Vitamin B6, of which there is abundance in the Paleo Diet.

How much Vitamin B6 do you need in your diet?

The daily recommended amount of Vitamin B6 is 2mg.

Vitamin B6 Pyridoxine Paleo Diet deficiency supplement symptoms sources signs-min

Which foods can you get Pyridoxine from?

  1. Liver – Not surprisingly, the nutrient dense liver is the first on the list. While any animal liver will provide a good amount of Vitamin B6, turkey liver is the richest choice with 52% of the daily need in a 100g portion. Pate, anyone?
  2. Tuna – The best fish source for Vitamin B6, tuna provides 52% of your daily need in a 100g portion. So if liver is not your thing, but you’re focused on the consumption of Pyridoxine, a good tuna salad or tuna steak for dinner is a great choice for your health.
  3. Summer squash – Great for grilling, salads, stir-fries, and even refreshing soups – summer squash provides 12.5% of your daily need of Vitamin B6 in 1 cup when measured raw.
  4. Banana – One of the best carb sources around, the banana is also good for Vitamin B6 with 21.5% of your daily need in one fruit. Of course bananas are great to munch on just by themselves, but if you’re feeling like a treat, why not prepare a Vitamin B6-filled one-ingredient ice-cream? Just toss some frozen banana pieces into a blender and watch the magic unveil.
  5. Pistachios – For a snack full of Vitamin B6, go for a handful of pistachios. In 100g you’ll find 85% of your daily Pyridoxine need.
  6. Blackstrap molasses – if you’re looking for a healthy sweetener, blackstrap molasses provides the best mineral and vitamin content. In just one tablespoon you’ll get 7% of your daily Vitamin B6 need. The taste of blackstrap molasses might be an acquired taste for some, but if you’re fond of it and are looking for something sweet, it’s a great solution.
  7. Paprika – Sometimes all it takes is some herbs and spices to perk up the micronutrient content of your food. Paprika is a great addition when it comes to Vitamin B6 – one tablespoon packs 14% of your daily need. Great reason to browse through some Hungarian recipes – no lack of paprika there!

What else do you need to know about Vitamin B6 consumption?

When cooking Vitamin B6-rich food, it is the acidity of the food that usually determines how much of the vitamin is retained. Thus, if you’re especially concerned with the Pyridoxine content, don’t add much acidic components to your food. In addition, processing and freezing cause a loss in the vitamin content. As the Paleo diet promotes the eating of fresh unprocessed whole foods, it is a great approach to get all the vitamins you need – fresh vegetables win over canned ones any day!

So, did reading this make you think more about Vitamin B6 consumption? Do you have any recipes to share with the specific ingredients? Do share in the comments!