Los Angeles Naturopathic Doctor, Dr. Nigma Talib
Kindness, caring, and healing is in Dr. Nigma Talib’s roots. Growing up in Vancouver, Canada, Dr. Talib spent her weekends volunteering her time cooking and cleaning for the elderly and serving the underprivileged.
I knew that this was the true me- being of service. I wanted to help those in need, and being a Naturopathic Doctor was in my cards as a healer and caretaker
Dr. Talib told us. It’s no wonder, then, that she has become a top Naturopathic Doctor, treating her patients from the inside out and empowering them to live healthy, radiantly beautiful lives.
Dr. Talib loved that Naturopathic medicine gave her the ability to see patients with all sorts of health concerns. However, as she opened the doors to her clinic, she began to notice that her patients weren’t just concerned about their internal health; they had concerns about their appearance as well.
Time after time, they’d start telling me that they were aging faster than they thought they should.
Dr. Talib worried that her patients had resigned themselves to poor health and poor skin as they aged, and that didn’t sit well with her. Those who hadn’t given up hope had resorted to fillers and injections, procedures Dr. Talib believed were only disguising the problems her patients were experiencing. She believed that by addressing her patients’ internal health, she could help them achieve healthy, youthful-looking skin.
As their medical treatment progressed and we addressed the gut problems, hormonal imbalances, or inflammation behind pretty much all of their health concerns, my patients also started to notice major skin changes. Not only was I helping my patients achieve optimum wellness, I was also helping them turn back the clock and look better than they ever had before.
Dr. Talib’s success with her patients’ skin concerns motivated her to train as a medical aesthetician. She felt that being able to provide medical-like skin treatments would complement her work as a Naturopathic Doctor.
I felt that together, the two could help me absolutely determine the root causes of why people age before they should. I saw more and more patients, and as my knowledge grew, I could clearly see the link between their health and why they were aging.
It was Dr. Talib’s work in the intersection of gut health and skincare that propelled her to write not one but two best-selling books, Reverse the Signs of Ageing and Younger Skin Starts in the Gut. In addition to Dr. Talib’s book success, she founded Healthydoc Clinics, which were previously located in West Vancouver, Canada and London, England. She is now based in Los Angeles, California.
In her books and through her practice, Dr. Talib attends to patients’ gut health and nutrition. After years of focusing on what goes in the body and how those things affect not just our overall health but our appearance, Dr. Talib can now pinpoint components of a patient’s diet based on the issues they’re having with their skin. She shares these trade secrets in her books.
“For example,” she told us, “if someone had been eating more dairy in the weeks before they saw me, they’d often appear with dark circles under their eyes; a higher intake of alcohol would leave skin with more fine lines and wrinkles around their mouth, the nasolabial folds, and the eye area; if I took gluten out of a patient’s diet, in no time it would result in a face that was less bloated and puffy.”
Dr. Talib also discussed how so many foods we consume contain harmful products that wreak havoc on our bodies. Between poor diet and inactive lifestyles, Dr. Talib says that we are aging at an alarming rate and developing very damaging health conditions. However, we have the power to take back control of our health.
“The process begins through proper nutrition. A poor diet can lead to the spread of inflammation and infection,” says Dr. Talib. “To protect your immune system, you must limit your consumption of sugar, gluten, cow’s milk, dairy, and processed foods.”
While Dr. Talib does address proper diet and nutrition, her program is not a weight-loss plan. She outlines certain foods for optimal health and more youthful skin, but she doesn’t include portion sizes. That doesn’t mean, however, that we should go overboard on those ‘good’ foods. For patients and readers looking for portion-control advice or simple takeaways they can implement on their own, Dr. Talib recommends a common Japanese practice.
A good rule is to follow the Japanese principle of Hara Hachi Bu, which means you put down your knife and fork when you feel about 70–80 percent full. It takes a little while for your brain to catch up, but you will soon feel fully satisfied. Always eat mindfully.
Dr. Talib credits fellow Naturopathic doctors and healthcare practitioners who have mentored her over the years for shaping the doctor she is today. When asked about her definition of beauty, Dr. Talib had this to say:
“I don’t believe that tackling aging or getting perfect skin is related solely to what you put on the outside of your body. It is also about what you put inside your body, as deep down inside the gut is where real aging begins.” Her book Younger Skin Starts in the Gut helps solidify this concept and allows readers to achieve beautiful skin. “The book’s comprehensive four-week program and healthy recipes provides solutions to eight different signs of aging—including uneven skin tone, puffiness, dark circles, and adult acne—and guarantees one blissful result: younger-looking, healthier skin.”
Ask Us Beauty Reader Questions
How much does sugar effect the signs of aging?
In the United States, the average adult consumes about 130 pounds of sugar every year. Increased consumption of sugar can lead to the production of advanced glycation end products.
As with the signs of Sugar Face, it’s not just the obvious sweet foods that cause problems— refined carbohydrates that the body turns quickly into glucose (aka those with a high GI, or glycemic index) also cause an inflammatory reaction. In fact, researchers at the University of Sydney in Australia found that eating a high GI meal raises levels of inflammatory markers three times higher than a low GI one.
What about sugar substitutes?
Avoid artificial sweeteners. Not only do they prevent you from losing your craving for sweet tastes, they negatively change the make-up of gut bacteria. If, once you’ve rebalanced your sugar levels, you want to sweeten foods, use a natural sweetener such as stevia, xylitol or coconut sugar instead.
What are your thoughts on juicing (fruits/vegetables)?
I am a huge fan of juicing, but the main ingredient in any kind of juice should be green vegetables and not fruits—otherwise, you’re simply aging your skin with every sip.
You’ll be eating three main meals a day, with a beauty burst of juicing in between to feed your cells with extra greens and other natural boosts. Every time we consume a full meal or snack too much, our digestion must work harder and harder; by constantly snacking, you can overstress digestion, which makes it sluggish. This can then potentially cause a buildup of undigested food in the digestive tract, which can then cause problems such as fermentation, bloating, toxicity buildup, and a potential imbalance of bacteria that can upset everything. Juices, however, are readily digested by the body and nourish the cells within, avoiding this effect.
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