If you’re shopping at your local health food store or pharmacy, you’ll definitely notice many new and unique products that contain activated charcoal. From lemonade and toothpaste to supplements, water filters, and face masks, this ingredient is the hot trend of the year.
Charcoal products used both externally for the skin and teeth or internally such as powders or capsules are usually made of activated carbon which is produced from carbonaceous source materials such as bamboo, coconut husk, willow, peat, and other wood.
When used to detox the body and skin, activated charcoal works by trapping toxins and chemicals in its millions of tiny pores, gently removing them from our system. Charcoal is often used in hospitals and emergency rooms to thoroughly help detoxify and cleanse people who have overdosed on drugs or poison. In fact, it draws out up to 2000 times it’s weight in toxins.
Another cosmetic feature of charcoal is its ability to whiten the teeth when used during brushing. Although messy, this technique works wonderfully well to remove stains from coffee, tea, red wine, and more. Because charcoal is 100% alkaline, it may also help to offset some of the acidity that leads to cavities, bad breath, and gum disease.
Charcoal is known to help alleviate gas, bloating and digestive disorders, and may lower harmful cholesterol, increase the function of the liver, kidneys, and adrenal glands, and it could even prevent hangovers. Topical products assist with blackheads, clogged pores, acne, body odor, and other skin irritation and rashes.
Look for organic skincare and toothpaste containing charcoal along with supplements or powders that can be added to your daily smoothie or juice.
When taken internally, it’s best to start slowly and build up from there. Consume charcoal two hours before or after eating a meal or taking your supplements and medications as it may interfere with nutrient absorption.
Minor side effects may occur such as constipation or black stool but overall, it is well tolerated. Always, check with your doctor before starting a new supplement or health regimen.
Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness, and Lifestyle Coach Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com
He is the Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!
Summer is here and who doesn’t want more beautiful, vibrant skin just just in time for the beach or your upcoming pool parties? Here are 5 foods/herbs that will help give you that youthful, healthy glow from the inside out and the outside in. You’ll also receive numerous other health benefits!
- KRILL OIL – Krill are tiny crustaceans that live deep in the ocean. The ones from the Antarctic are best because they are mostly free of toxins and chemicals. They are packed with a powerful antioxidant called Astaxanthin which helps to lower your risk of sunburn and works to reduce sun and age spots. Krill also has loads of Omega 3 oils which reduce inflammation and soothe fine lines, wrinkles, and puffiness. Take 1000mg of Krill oil capsules everyday, eat sardines, wild-caught salmon, and flax and chia seeds.
- COCONUT OIL – Coconut is everywhere and for good reason. It is one of the worlds most potent superfoods! It contains Vitamin E and Essential Fatty Acids which literally soothe your skin from the inside out. Coconut also has anti-fungal effects so it may soothe skin rashes including psoriasis and excema. Use Coconut Oil topically as a moisturizer and put 2-3 Tbsp in your smoothie, with your eggs, or spread it on toast instead of butter.
- ASHWAGANDA & TURMERIC – These two herbs have been used for thousands of years in the Indian Ayurvedic tradition. They are known to reduce inflammation in the body which helps reduce fine lines, wrinkles, and puffiness. They also reduce stress and lead to a deeper, more restful sleep. We all know how much better we look after a great night’s sleep right? Topically they can both be used as a facial mask along with raw honey, and coconut oil to help alleviate acne and rosacea. Take 1-3 grams per day in capsule form.
- KOMBUCHA TEA – Why not sip on iced Kombucha Tea this summer instead of regular? This fermented tea is a powerful probiotic which helps to bring back important healthy bacteria to our gut. Our gut is our second brain and everything that goes on there including our skin’s condition, starts with our gut. Kombucha reduces inflammation which helps with more beautiful skin and will lower the risk of rashes and other imperfections.
- BRAZIL NUTS – All nuts and seeds are great for our skin but Brazil nuts are packed with the antioxidant mineral called Selenium which fights free radical damage and may lower the risk of sunburn. Brazil Nuts also contain Essential Fatty Acids which literally moisturize our skin from the inside out. One handful of Brazil Nuts gives us 10x our daily allowance of Selenium.
Did you realize that we actually have two brains? Our gut is often referred to as our second brain because everything that happens in our body begins and ends in our stomach. The majority of Americans are moving through life with an unhealthy digestive system thus making them more prone to a myriad of possible diseases and health challenges.
There are numerous reasons why our stomachs are off balance with prescription drugs and antibiotics being number one. Stress also plays a huge factor in lowering digestive health, as does overconsumption of sugar and alcohol.
Some signs that you may have an unhealthy gut are skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, rosacea or acne, anxiety and/or depression, lack of energy, bloating, gas, diarrhea or constipation, acid reflux and heartburn, and arthritis or inflammation of the joints.
When I work with clients we look at what they’re doing to promote a healthy gut and then get down to some serious business of improving their system even more by using the following life-changing suggestions:
Fermented Foods – Kimchi, kefir, sauerkraut, and kombucha tea are just some of the fermented foods which offer an incredible amount of gut-healthy bacteria. Make it a goal to consume some fermented products daily to optimize the healthy flora in your stomach.
Probiotic – More important than a multivitamin is a probiotic. Choose a probiotic supplement with at least 30 billion live cultures and commit to taking it daily indefinitely. Within a short period of time you’ll begin to see the positive benefits of this live product going to work! If you’ve recently consumed a round of antibiotics, it can take up to 6 months to regain your healthy stomach flora.
Sugar and Alcohol – Sugar, alcohol, and refined carbohydrates like processed foods can feed unhealthy gut yeast that attacks our systems. Often a short detox is required to get things under control and regain balance. Eliminating sugar, alcohol, and processed foods and sometimes even fruit and dairy products while consuming fermented foods and a probiotic supplement will re-boot your system and get you back to feeling great.
Meditation – Stress actually affects our entire body including our immune system and digestive health. Taking time each day to meditate will benefit your overall health in ways that you can’t even imagine. Take a class in transcendental meditation or join a meditation group near you. Also create time each morning for quiet reflection to de-stress and reconnect with your spirit.
When we begin to truly understand that our gut is like the operating system for our entire body, we start to make it a priority. If you aren’t feeling your best, work on regaining a healthy gut and you may just realize where the problems have been all along.
Jay Bradley is an anti-aging, wellness & lifestyle expert living in Los Angeles http://jaybradleylifestyle.com
He is the author of LIVE LOOK FEEL The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!