Friday - - HEALTH -

Our faces say so much more than we re­alise – they’re not only a way of show­ing our emo­tions, they also carry clues about the state of our health. Holis­tic ex­perts say those lit­tle lines, the odd colours, the blem­ishes and changes in skin tex­ture that ap­pear from time to time all point to­wards cer­tain con­di­tions.

“The face can be a win­dow to our health,” says Mary-Lou Har­ris, nat­u­ral well-be­ing prac­ti­tioner and se­nior nu­tri­tion­ist at the New You Boot Camps in Europe. “What’s go­ing on in the body is shown in the face, whether that’s some­thing as ob­vi­ous as pain, or some­thing much more sub­tle such as di­ges­tion trou­ble or a con­gested liver.

“If there is a prob­lem area within the body, maybe an area that’s un­der stress, or isn’t work­ing at its op­ti­mum, we can see it in the face. Once the is­sue has been sorted out, the cor­re­spond­ing area in the face of­ten re­verts to how it used to be.”


What to look for A light grey shadow run­ning from the in­side cor­ner of the eye down the cheek­bone, at a 45-de­gree an­gle, in­di­cates con­ges­tion in the liver.

“This may be caused by too much caf­feine in the form of tea and cof­fee,” says Mary-Lou. “Or it may be down to the med­i­ca­tion you’re tak­ing. The liver col­lects all the rubbish in your body and takes it away, so if it isn’t work­ing at its best, your body won’t be get­ting rid of tox­ins as well as it could.”

Symp­toms If you have a con­gested liver, you may get headaches over the fore­head or you may feel nau­seous, es­pe­cially af­ter eat­ing greasy, fatty foods. A pain be­tween the shoul­der blades is a typ­i­cal liver back­ache.

What to do Eat turmeric! “Turmeric is one of the few plant foods that sup­ports the liver, as it helps to clear the rubbish away faster,” says MaryLou. “It can be liq­uidised in shakes, mixed into an egg dish or used in cur­ries, soups and sauces.

“You can also use tumeric to a make a drink that tastes like chai tea, by putting a quar­ter of a tea­spoon each of turmeric, gin­ger and cin­na­mon into a cup of boil­ing wa­ter.”

Gar­lic, red onions, beet­root and as­para­gus are also good foods to help fight against liver prob­lems.


What to look for A puffy jaw­line and eye­brows that thin on the outer edge are signs that the thy­roid isn’t func­tion­ing well. “The thy­roid con­trols all the body’s func­tions, so keep­ing it in good form is vi­tal,” says Mary-Lou.

“One of the most ob­vi­ous signs of thy­roid dis­ease is a goitre – a swelling near the oe­soph­a­gus. This may be ob­vi­ous or it may be a swollen, raised, rounded area.”

Symp­toms An un­der­ac­tive thy­roid can ef­fect your en­ergy lev­els and make you feel cold all the time. “Be­cause you feel the cold, you start grow­ing hair around your up­per lip and chin to keep you warm,” says Mary-Lou.

“Con­sti­pa­tion is also a symp­tom. Women who mis­carry in the first trimester of their preg­nancy some­times find their thy­roid is un­der­ac­tive.”

What to do Sea­weed is high in min­er­als and io­dine, and io­dine is needed for the con­ver­sion of the thy­roid hor­mone T4 into ac­tive T3. The se­le­nium found in nuts and seeds is ben­e­fi­cial for the thy­roid be­cause it sup­ports the con­ver­sion of hor­mones.

Pumpkin seeds are rec­om­mended be­cause they are a re­lax­ant, and oily fish is also ben­e­fi­cial be­cause of its omega 3, which is anti-in­flam­ma­tory.


What to look for Spots or blem­ishes at the cor­ners of your mouth could in­di­cate prob­lems with the colon or large in­tes­tine.

“It’s a myth that you must eat a lot of fi­bre if you’re suf­fer­ing from di­ges­tion prob­lems,” says Mary-Lou. “A high-fi­bre diet can cause pan­cre­ati­tis,

which is an in­flamed pan­creas. This can be very painful and in some cases, life-threat­en­ing.

“Fi­bre also feeds bac­te­ria, whether it is good or bad bac­te­ria. If our stores of good bac­te­ria are low when we’ve been stressed or on an­tibi­otics, then the ex­tra fi­bre we eat will feed the bad bac­te­ria, caus­ing us more prob­lems.” Symp­toms Con­sti­pa­tion, di­ar­rhoea, bloat­ing or ir­ri­ta­ble bowel syn­drome all in­di­cate a weak large in­tes­tine.

What to do “Eat yo­gurt, which sup­ports the gut, and good-qual­ity fi­bre like cour­gettes, toma­toes, av­o­ca­dos, brown rice and oats,” ad­vises Mary-Lou.


What to look for The chin re­flects how well our kid­neys are work­ing, so red­ness, blem­ishes or spots in this area might in­di­cate a re­nal weak­ness.

“The kid­neys are our body’s fil­ters, so when we take in too many tox­ins from caf­feine and junk food, the kid­neys take a hit,” says Mary-Lou. “Am­mo­nia is pro­duced when protein is bro­ken down, so a high-protein diet like the Atkins Diet may be harm­ful to the kid­neys.”

Symp­toms Kid­ney prob­lems show up as back­ache and night sweats.

What to do Keep your sys­tem clean by drink­ing plenty of wa­ter and eat­ing foods such as green leafy veg­eta­bles and fresh cran­ber­ries, which are high in an­tiox­i­dants.

“These an­tiox­i­dants slow down cell-dam­ag­ing free rad­i­cals in the body, which means the kid­neys don’t have to work as hard,” Mary-Lou says.


What to look for The end of your nose re­flects your heart health, so look for red­ness, spots and in­flam­ma­tion.

“If your nose is red for any rea­son other than you’ve just had a cold, it might be worth hav­ing your blood pres­sure and choles­terol checked,” says Mary-Lou.

Symp­toms Feel­ing tired all the time or be­ing breath­less with­out ex­ert­ing yourself may well be caused by stress or a panic at­tack, but they may also in­di­cate your heart is at risk.

What to do The co-en­zyme Q10 is es­sen­tial for heart health and this can be found in or­gan meats such as liver, kid­ney and heart, as well as beef, soy oil, sar­dines, mack­erel and peanuts. The omega 3s found in oily fish such as sar­dines, her­ring, kip­pers and wild sal­mon are ex­cel­lent for the heart. Mag­ne­sium acts as a re­lax­ant, so snack on some pumpkin seeds to help keep your heart healthy.

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