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Pregnancy – Stretch Marks

“Our skin is designed to be flexible. Well-nourished, healthy skin has the ability to snap back like a rubber band. However, when it isn’t in optimal condition, rapid stretching can result in tearing at the dermis layer” – Harmala Francois.

This topic is perhaps a bit on the sensitive side for most pregnant women. It is part of the pregnancy and we just have to accept it (or act to prevent/minimise it). Some women are lucky and don’t get any, some are less and no matter what they do, they still get them. At the end it comes down to your skin type.

Perhaps I am one of the lucky ones, but I didn’t want to take the chance. Being self-conscious of my body image I always took good care of my skin. I did a little research what is available on the market and what is THE best product to avoid or minimize pregnancy stretch marks. I came across Bio-Oil. Amazing product and a must have item for any pregnant woman! I started using it from early stage of 2nd trimester. I massage bump, breast and hip area with Bio-Oil twice a day.
I have to say now 11 days until due date I do not have any stretch marks. My skin is super soft, even and looks healthy. I even got rid of my old stretch marks (drastic weight loss about 12 years ago).

Bio-Oil is a bit expensive compared to other products, so look around for offers. I bought my at Costco (Wholesaler) for an incredible price. 2x 200ml for about £20. You don’t need much, little goes a long way and I only apply on certain areas. Plus the smell I find is calming and relaxing.

Of course no matter how much and what body lotions, cremes, oils etc you put on, those alone don’t do the whole job. Perhaps for some….. So next two important “strategies” I use is hydration and adequate intake of zinc.

Hydration – as we know is important no matter if you are pregnant or not. Water is what keeping us alive (and of course the fuel aka food). It also keeps skin elastic and moist from inside. I drink roughly 3L of water a day, plus loads of fresh vegetables and fruits. I start my day with big glass of water (sometimes with lemon or lime). This not only kicks my metabolism but also helps my to re-hydrate after a night sleep. Plus sets good habit for the rest of the day.

Zinc – now you are probably wonder why zinc? Zinc is an essential mineral and is found in every cell of our bodies. Zinc has many functions in the body and one of them is it ability to promote skin health (it is used as an ingredient in many skin products). Good sources of zinc: egg yolk, pumpkin seed, mushrooms, meat, fish and legumes.

Irina

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Posted by on 10 April, 2014 in Health & Wellbeing, Pregnancy

 

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Beetroot – Athletic Performance Enhancer?!

One of channel 4’s ‘Food Hospital’ episodes got us much more interested in Beetroot recently. We always enjoyed eating it in salads or roasted with other vegetables, but after seeing that it could actually enhance performance, we thought it warranted more research and maybe some ‘testing’ of our own!

Beetroot is a great source of antioxidants and nutrients (including; magnesium, sodium, potassium, zinc, iron & vitamin C). It is also rich in nitrates which the body uses to dilate the blood vessels, thus reducing blood pressure. So during exercise it can effectively increase blood flow and oxygen supply to the muscles! Long term it can help prevent high blood pressure and cardiovascular problems, as well as being a very healthy food to consume as it contains very little fat and is carbohydrate rich.

I found details of a study, conducted by researchers at the University of Exeter, England, which compared the effects of acute use of beetroot juice (one serving taken 2.5 hours before exercise) and chronic beetroot juice consumption (5 and 15 days) on blood pressure, the oxygen cost of submaximal exercise, and performance in an incremental exercise test.
They found that a single dose of beetroot juice was as effective in lowering blood pressure, reducing the oxygen cost of submaximal exercise, and boosting peak power in an incremental exercise test as 15 days of beetroot juice consumption!
I also found that past studies have shown it can reduce blood pressure in as little as 24 hours. Astonishing findings, effectively meaning that consuming beetroot regularly, or at least during the days leading up to a major event or training session can improve your body’s athletic performance!

We conducted our own mini-trial… Read the rest of this entry »

 
 

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