The Acne/Nut Connection

Have you got Acne and do you eat lots of Nuts?

Recently I’ve had a bit of an acne flare up and I couldn’t understand why.  Alcohol went from my life on the 2nd of January, I eat healthily, exercise, drink lots of water…everything we are supposed to do.  Could it be a detox effect from giving up alcohol? (I didn’t think I really drank that much and always had alcohol free days!).  My gut instinct told me it had to be more than that, so I started to do a bit if digging on the internet.  Here’s what I found;

In a Nutshell

Firstly, I’ll be clear in saying nuts do not ’cause’ acne, but if you are someone who already has acne they could be aggravating it.  Nuts contain both Omega-6 essential fatty acids as well as Omega-3 EFA’s.  For optimal health we need both these EFA’s in the correct ratio.  Most nuts are higher in Omega-6’s than Omega-3’s.  We tend to get plenty of Omega-6’s but are usually lacking in Omega-3’s.  When you eat lots of nuts you are only increasing this imbalance.

The chart below details the ratio of omega 3:6 in a selection of nuts and seeds

 

Why does an imbalance in the Omega-3:6 ratio aggravate acne?

By now we all know that acne is an inflammatory condition.  To quote Chris Kresser;

“-In plain English, what this means is that the more omega-3 fat you eat, the less omega-6 will be available to the tissues to produce inflammation. Omega-6 is pro-inflammatory, while omega-3 is neutral. A diet with a lot of omega-6 and not much omega-3 will increase inflammation. A diet of a lot of omega-3 and not much omega-6 will reduce inflammation.-”

The best ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 for optimum health is 2:1 or 1:1 – studies in America have shown that the average diet is closer to a 1:15 to 1:32 ratio!  I’m sure this is probably true of the average British person too!

It’s also really important to check your consumption of oils.  When eating a lot of packaged foods such as cakes, biscuits and ready meals you can be sure you’re Omega’s will be heavily weighing towards too much 6.  Another reason to cut the packet food when you have acne – and actually just for your health’s sake even if you have clear skin!

The chart below for the ratio of Omega 3:6 in some commonly consumed oils

The Hormone Connection

Omega-3 and Omega-6 are essential fatty acids – meaning we cannot make them on our own and they must be obtained from our diet.  Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) are two critical omega-3’s.  They are the building blocks for hormones that control immune function, blood clotting and cell growth as well as components of cell membranes.  

The body also constructs hormones from Omega-6’s EFA’s, but these tend to increase inflammation – such as in an immune response for blood clotting and cell proliferation etc. Since Omega-3 EFA’s do the opposite it’s important they are in balance.

I have kept this post fairly simple because there’s plenty more information on the internet on this subject (see links below). 

My stand point is as someone who’s constantly trying to manage her acne prone skin.  My experiment with giving up nuts is only on it’s 3rd day as I write this post.  So far, even after just a few days of going ‘nut free’ I can say there is an improvement in my skin – it definitely feels calmer and is less spotty.  This is not to say I will, or you have to give up nuts forever!  Perhaps once my skin is in better condition a few nuts can sneak back in.  This situation has made me aware of how important it is to consume more Omega-3 whilst keeping Omega’6’s in check.

Stay tuned for my next post when I will share something else in the fight against acne!  This is something I had not heard of in all my years of ‘Acne’ – but it seems to be doing wonders for many people!

 

References and further reading on the connection between Acne and the Omega-3:6 ratio

http://howtoclearyouracne.com/can-eating-nuts-cause-acne-almonds-cashews-walnuts-peanuts-are-hurting-my-skin/

https://chriskresser.com/how-too-much-omega-6-and-not-enough-omega-3-is-making-us-sick/

http://purelytwins.com/2012/01/16/right-ratio-of-omega-3-can-clear-acne/

https://www.drweil.com/vitamins-supplements-herbs/vitamins/balancing-omega-3-and-omega-6/

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Podcasts and Products for Women and Fat Loss

ATP Science, my new favourite Podcasts and Products! 

There’s so much misinformation around these days with regards to health, diet and fitness so when I came across ATP Science I realised I’d found a very trusted source.  Their products are also fantastic and the stack above is a good one for women with fat loss goals in mind.  However, we are all different so its a good idea to check what’s right for you.  Below are just some of my favourites;

ATP Science Episode 33 – Secret Women’s Business

ATP Science Episode 2 – Estrogen

ATP Science Episode 95 – T432 Prod-cast

ATP Science Episode 93 – Brain & Gut  Hormone tips for Fat Loss

ATP Science Episode 21 – Transdermal Delivery Systems

ATP Science Episode 102 – Functional Foods for Fat Loss

In case you are wondering who the hell ATP Science are, I have taken the piece below from their website explaining all about them.

So how did ATP Science come into existence?

“On a cold winters day in 2010 a Graphic artist, Scientist and Businessman walk into a coffee shop and were never the same again.

Toni and Jeff, sat under gas lit heater, cupping a mug-o-chino waiting for this legendary “rock star formulator” to arrive. The guy sounded like a super nerd, formulating for the who’s who of supplement companies, a brilliant naturopath and all round amazing talent. Expecting to see a balding glass-wearing super geek with a massive cranium – both Jeff and Toni were taken aback when Matt entered the shop.  Looking more like a front row forward, tall and heavy set with long curly hair – he could not have looked further from what they had envisioned.  “Gday, Im Matt” he said sticking out his hand, his broad “ocker Aussie” accent more reminiscent of Steve Irwin the crocodile hunter than any nerd.

But like most things in life the diamonds are sometimes in the rough. Jeff and Toni were soon to discover this scientist was exactly what they had been looking for; brilliant, honest and uncompromising (and as he would say “devilishly handsome”). For Matt, Jeff and Toni were just the business people he had wished to meet and somewhat of a rarity – they were honest. One thing was for sure – nothing was going to be the same after that day and very soon after they met Jeff, Toni and Matt founded Advanced Technology and Pharmacology Science now known as ATP Science (which is way easier to say AND write) and set about with a simple idea – to change the world and make people better one person at a time.

directors

What is different about ATP Science?

ATP Science is not only on a different page than other health companies – we are in a different book!

Our moto is results not excuses – and we live by that rule for everything we do. We believe that in order to help people achieve whatever their health goals are we have to produce great products and back it up with great information in a way that people can understand and implement.

We believe we create “best in class” or unique products that no company in their right mind would create because to quote a venture capitalist we once spoke to “educating the market is business suicide”. Well – we did it. And yeah at first we were laughed at (and nearly went broke)…then we were ridiculed, then debated about and called “abstract” scientists and idiots and then finally (and this is when we knew we were making a dent in the market) other companies started copying us – and poorly mind you. You see we don’t use google keyword searches or marketing focus groups to create our products. We look at problems and then look at the means to solve that problem, without looking at what other people are doing. Doing this has led to 3 global patents in product category’s we believe are unique – a totally new class of product entirely – because we aren’t sheep – we don’t play follow the leader! We are a unicorn that makes its own path and helps people to get the results they deserve.

Some unique things we have done to create change in the supplement industry is educate people through our health podcast (The ATP Project) which is ranked consistently in the top ten in the world on iTunes.”

 

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Maximise your Calorie Burn and get Slimmer Legs with Zaggora Leggings

I’ve been wearing my Zaggora leggings every time I workout since around September 2016.  To my mind that’s long enough to know if they work or not. The result? My legs have definitely become leaner since wearing them. I’ve also dropped a few lbs on the scale – you know, those stubborn ones that like to cling on!

For those of you not familiar with these leggings, it’s kind of like wearing a wetsuit.  As soon as they go on you begin to feel warm and it’s not long before your legs begin to sweat.  Try wearing them for a HIIT workout and you will be positively dripping!  Fortunately I do my workouts at home, so I’m not too concerned about my appearance and sweat issues.  If you’re wearing them to the gym, my advice would be to wear black – they won’t show up the sweat patches in all the wrong places!  Definitely worth giving these leggings a go to maximise your calorie burn!

Wearing my blue Zaggora leggings post workout with Boris and George

These are my favourite Zaggora’s – they have the roll down Lycra waistband

 

 

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Gluten Free Granola Recipe

This Granola recipe is super easy and way cheaper than a shop bought version.  It’s nice and crunchy, plus it’s refined sugar and gluten free.  It’s my re-hashed version of the BBC’s ‘Good for you Granola’.  Following a recipe is not my forte, I always have to make it my own in some way!  I make it for Jezzy because he loves it (he hates me calling him Jezzy! haha!).  If you are watching your carbs perhaps it’s best to eat after a workout, but if not then munch away!

Take me to the  Gluten Free Granola Recipe→

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Paleo Beef Taco’s

Yummy Paleo Beef Taco’s With Homemade Taco Seasoning

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I’m sorry about the photo but I tucked in before I remembered to take a picture!  It was so delicious I thought I really ought to share this – plus it’s a quick and easy weekday recipe.

You can load up with homemade guacamole, cheese and sour cream if you desire and do not have allergies or intolerances.  I on the other hand cannot tolerate dairy, so instead of sour cream I used koko dairy free coconut yogurt.

I always make my own guacamole and you can find the recipe here

Take me to the Beef Taco’s Recipe→

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Cheesy Cauliflower Egg Muffins

cauliflower-cheesy-egg-muffins

If you love cauliflower and cheese, then this one’s is for you.  What’s great about this recipe is it’s soooo simple and pretty quick to knock up.  I actually prefer this to regular egg muffins because the cauliflower makes them a little more filling – they’re also handy as a grab and go breakfast!

If you are intolerant to cheese you could try adding some nutritional yeast flakes for that ‘cheesy taste’.  I buy mine on Amazon here.  Feel free to play around with the recipe by adding other ingredients you think would go well, like onions, tomatoes and ham for example, plus some fresh herbs.  I can never follow a recipe completely by the book.  Jezzy Wezzy jokes with me about that.  Mostly it works, but occasionally I have a disaster!

Take me to the recipe →

 

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Low Carb Chicken Parmesan Casserole

 

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This is one of my favourite recipes from www.zuzkalight.com

She uses spaghetti squash in the recipe, something I couldn’t find in the supermarket.  However, by chance I was passing by a local green grocers and I spotted one in a box of mixed squash.  If you are not familiar with spaghetti squash see the picture below.

spegetti-squash

Cooking instructions for the squash: cut in half lengthways, scoop out the seeds.  Brush the flesh of the squash with a little olive oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper.  Place flat side down on a non-stick baking tray and cook for 35-45 minutes on 190°C

Take me to the recipe →

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Roasted Red Pepper & Super Seed Stir Fry (Vegetarian)

roasted-red-pepper-and-super-seed-stir-fry

This is one of those recipes where you grab bits and pieces that are always in the cupboard or fridge and ‘make something up’.  I usually keep some Merchant Gourmet quinoa or seed mix packets in stock for emergencies – I’ve pretty much always got some veg I can throw in to make a quick, filling meal for myself and Mr Jezzy Wezzy!

You can eat this warm or cool, with salad or use to stuff courgettes, peppers or squashes…I think it wold go well with any of them.

Take me to the recipe →

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Beat the Winter Bugs with Thieves Oil

thieves-oil-graphic

Thieves oil is one of those blends I feel everyone should know about.  It has so many uses and is a good natural alternative to chemical based products.  Thieves oil dates back to the 15th Century (1413) when the whole Europe was engulfed by the Bubonic Plague or Black Death.  A small group of thieves seemed immune to the disease.  They would enter the homes of Black Plague victims and steal jewellery and money, with no fear of touching the infected bodies.  The Thieves came from a long lineage of apothecaries and had knowledge of how to use oils medicinally and prophylactically against disease.  The oil blend  they rubbed all over their bodies protected them from this deadly disease.

 

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Thieves oil is a potent blend of essential oils which really does work!  The image above shows a petri dish filled with with E.coli bacteria.  In the middle is filter paper soaked with Young Living Thieves oil.  As you can see, the E.coli didn’t stand a chance!

How to use Thieves Oil

NOTE: Always test essential oil on the soft part of your inner arm to check for any reactions.  Not everyone can tolerate essential oils.  When applying  directly to the skin, dilute in a little carrier oil.   If you are pregnant or breast feeding, consult with a qualified therapist before using essential oils.

  • Germs – Diffuse to kill airborne bacteria, germs and mould
  • Colds and Flu – Diffuse, apply to the soles of feet or take internally to help relieve cold and flu symptoms by placing a few drops in a capsule and swallowing with water
  • Toothache – Apply directly to the gums to numb toothache or gums
  • Headache – Place a drop on your thumb and press to the roof of your mouth for headache relief
  • Sore Throat – Add a couple of drops to a cup of hot water to create a thieves tea, drink or gargle this mixture to help sooth the sore throat
  • Bee & Wasp Stings – Apply to bee and wasp stings to neutralise toxins and stop pain
  • Airborne germs – Diffuse 6-8 drops of Thieves oil to eliminate airborne bacteria
  • Aches & Pains – Rub 2 -4 drops of Thieves oil in 1 tbsp. of carrier oil (olive/sweet almond/jojoba oil) on aches and pains
  • Plant and flower insect repellent – Mix 4 drops in 4 oz water to spray on plants and flowers

Thieves Spray Recipe

2oz Dark glass bottle

1 tsp Organic witch hazel

10-15 Drops of thieves oil

Almost 2 oz of distilled water

Use this spray to kill airborne germs and as a hand sanitiser.  I’m going to take mine into the supermarket and spray the trolley handle – I’m sure that’s where I picked my last cold up from!!

Further reading:

Essential Oils for Healing and Staying well

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