• A Superfood Guide to Super Beautiful Skin

    4 Min Read

    While many people are concerned about healthy eating, a great number fail to realize the impact that a healthy diet can have on their skin. The old adage “you are what you eat” has never been more applicable. If you want beautiful skin, you really should consider incorporating superfoods into your diet. Nutrient dense superfoods can help you to manage your weight, provide protection from diseases and reduce the signs of aging. The population of the United States spends billions of dollars on skin products, yet many people could have beautiful skin with some basic dietary changes.

    Why superfoods?
    The beauty industry has flourished over the years, creating products to hide imperfections and unattractive features. Many manufacturers use superfoods as ingredients to improve the effectiveness of their products. So, why not go straight to the source? Often, busy people resort to processed foods or fast food dining to make their life easier, but this can take a great toll on their skin. These types of foods are high in saturated fats and low in vitamins, this can leave skin dry, damaged and wrinkled. So, if you’re prone to spots or have rough dry patches, you should consider adjusting your diet.

    Protection from the sun:
    One of the major causes of skin damage is over exposure to the sun. While some degree of sunlight is needed to assist the body in synthesizing Vitamin D, over exposure can cause inflammation, wrinkles, dryness and spots. However, it is possible to protect your skin from the sun by adjusting your diet. Vitamin E and lycopene are antioxidants, which can protect the cells from free radical damage caused by ultraviolet exposure. Lycopene can provide a protective shield from the UV damage, while Vitamin E restores and repairs the skin cells. There are a wide range of lycopene rich foods, including tomatoes, watermelon and pink grapefruit. Vitamin E can be found in spinach, olives and nuts.

    Combating acne:
    Acne can affect people of any age and can be a real blow to the self confidence. Acne is often caused by hormone changes, making it more common in adolescents but it can be mitigated by changing your diet. This can affect the severity, intensity and the duration of an acne breakout. Vitamin A is nature’s skin exfoliate. It is often used in topical creams prescribed for the treatment of acne. Vitamin A can restore the softness and glow of healthy skin. Foods rich in Vitamin A include leafy greens such as kale, collard greens and spinach, as well as carrots and peppers.

    Counteracting redness and inflammation:
    Inflammation and redness can be the result of an acne outbreak or other skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis. Additionally, you may experience inflammation or redness because of changes in weather temperatures or other environmental factors. However, this can be counteracted with a quercetin rich diet. This natural flavanoid is both anti-inflammatory and an antihistamine. This reduces swelling in inflamed skin, reducing the redness. Sources of quercetin include apples, broccoli, citrus fruits, capers, green tea, leafy green vegetables, red grapes and tomatoes.

    Anti aging:
    The signs of aging are often most apparent on the skin. As we age, skin can lose elasticity and become dry and wrinkled. This is the result of decreased levels of collagen and elastin within the fibers of the skin. Many people resort to the chemical treatment botox, but Vitamin C can provide a natural solution. Vitamin C can strengthen collagen in the skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Additionally, Vitamin B can repair and rebuild the elastin and collagen in the skin fibers. Vitamin B can be found in whole grains and brewers yeast. Great sources of Vitamin C include citrus fruit, cabbage, kiwi, red pepper and papaya.

    Moisturize dry skin:
    Dry skin is often a sign of water loss in the body and dehydration. As we become older, the skin has a greater difficulty in retaining moisture, which can result in rough dry skin. Omega 3 oils can assist the body in preventing the loss of water from the skin cells, keeping the skin hydrated. This in combination with the correct water intake can moisturize dry patches and encourage supple healthy skin. Good sources of Omega 3 include flax seeds, avocados, nuts,  and olives.

    Cosmetic beauty treatments and products can be extremely costly, but you can achieve great results with some basic dietary changes. Superfoods also have a number of other health benefits, so not only will you have beautiful skin, you should also feel fitter and healthier, with less chance of developing a number of medical conditions. So, why spend hundreds of dollars on the latest skin cream, use natures beauty treatments and have a superfood enriched diet.

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  • Superfoods for Weight Loss

    3 Min Read

    With an estimated sixty percent of the adult population in the U.S. classified as overweight, weight loss has become big business. There are a wide variety of weight loss products and plans available, many are based on artificial chemicals or unsustainable diets. Medical experts maintain that the most effective method of weight loss is calorie restriction. This leads many people to increase their consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. Many of these are superfoods, but are there specific superfoods which could aid your weight loss?

    Eating a healthy balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables and superfoods is the key to good nutrition. This can not only aid in weight loss and management but can also boost your immune system and encourage an increase in your rate of metabolism. This increases the rate at which you burn calories and helps to reduce food cravings. While many people may be tempted to switch to a fruit and vegetable diet to lose weight, there are a number of other superfoods which could be beneficial to your weight loss plans.

    Almonds:
    Many dieters avoid nuts in general because of the high fat content. However, this can be a mistake. Almonds may contain a high amount of fat but it is mono unsaturated fat. This type of fat has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and can actually help to lower your cholesterol level. Almonds also contain a number of essential vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin E, calcium and magnesium. This means that they can be beneficial to reduce the risk of anemia, constipation, diabetes and psoriasis. This will enable you to feel fitter and healthier, keeping you more motivated to not succumb to the temptation of junk food.

    Brown Rice:
    Many dieters assume that carbs are terrible for weight loss. However, while refined process carbohydrates are essentially empty calories, healthy carbs can actually be beneficial. Brown rice is a great example. A half a cup contains almost two grams of resistant starch. This has been shown to increase the rate of metabolism, helping you to burn more fat. One serving is just 108 calories but it contains dietary fiber and eighty percent of the recommended daily amount of manganese. This ensures that you feel fuller for longer, with energy obtained from carbohydrates and protein.

    Oats:
    Oats are considered to be one of the healthiest grains. They contain healthy fats which encourage an increased metabolic rate to burn fat. Oats contain a high level of dietary fiber and protein while remaining low in fat. One cup of oats is only 130 calories, research has shown that regular consumption could lower bad cholesterol levels and stabilize blood sugar levels. This allows you to feel fuller and reduces the risk of sugar cravings compromising your diet.

    If you are looking to shed those excess pounds, a diet rich in superfoods can certainly be a great way to achieve your weight loss goal. Just remember that a balanced diet is the key. Don’t overlook certain foods because they contain carbohydrates and fats. These are also essential elements for healthy body function, just be sure to choose the right carbs and fats. The superfoods above can form the basis of a healthy balanced diet, which supplemented with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables should have you achieving a steady and healthy weight loss.

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  • Amazing Super-foods to Boost Your Mood Naturally

    5 Min Read

    Whether you are struggling for energy or have the mid afternoon blues, your first thought may be to snack on a candy bar. While there are a number of health benefits associated with good quality chocolate, a sugary candy bar will only provide a temporary boost to your mood, with a distinct lull later. However, there are a number of healthier options including some amazing super foods. Many of these super foods are linked to a number of health benefits including natural mood boosting. Super foods are defined as foods which contain a very high level of nutritional benefit when compared to how many calories it contains. By choosing a super food snack, you can boost your mood without compromising on your healthy eating plans.

    Asparagus:
    Although technically not a snack, incorporating asparagus into your lunch could provide you with a great mid afternoon mood boost. Asparagus contains high levels of Iron, Folate and Vitamins A, C and K. It also contains a considerable amount of B Vitamins which assist the body in metabolizing sugars and starches. This can help to optimize your blood sugar levels and negate the low feeling of after lunch fatigue.

    Banana:
    Bananas are the perfect naturally pre packaged super food. This makes them perfect for keeping in your lunch box or office drawer. The high level of potassium in a banana helps to control your blood pressure. Bananas also provides an antacid like effect which can provide protection from stomach ulcers.

    Blueberries:
    The blueberry is the ultimate in super fruits. They contain the highest amounts of antioxidants in any food group. Blueberries have been linked to improved nervous system function, enhanced brain health, reduced risk of developing certain forms of cancer and maintenance of blood sugar level balance. In order to gain the maximum benefit from blueberries, they should be eaten fresh and raw. So, while that blueberry muffin may look tempting, you will get a far better mood boost from a handful of raw berries.

    Coconut:
    Many people have begun to incorporate coconut oil into their diet for its considerable health benefits. However, the milk and flesh of a coconut is also filled with amazing benefits. Coconut can help fight infection, stabilize glucose levels, boost memory, regulate hormone balance and improve your digestion. This can provide an overall boost in your mood.

    Goji Berries:
    Although goji berries are still relatively new in the western world, they have been used in Asia for thousands of years. These little red berries contain a considerable amount of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron and amino acids. Research has shown that goji berries can help to regulate the amount of the hormone cortisol which is released in response to stress. This can help you to feel calmer, even if you are having a particularly stressful afternoon.

    Grapes:
    Grapes have been a traditional gift for those in hospital for a reason. They are attributed with a low GI value. This helps to regulate insulin sensitivity and blood sugar levels. Grapes can also improve the immune and nervous systems, which are often responsible for low mood. Recent research has also linked grapes with improved brain function and cognitive response.

    Sunflower Seeds:
    These seeds make an excellent snack. They are packed with vitamins and minerals in addition to antioxidant properties. Sunflower seeds have been linked to the inhibition of cancer cells, improved cell function and lowered cholesterol. In addition sunflower seeds also have significant levels of magnesium, which is linked to calmer nerves and muscles. This makes them a perfect antidote to tension headaches, low mood and stress.

    Tomatoes:
    Tomatoes are a great super fruit. They contain vitamin A, C and K but also contain the antioxidant lycopene. This antioxidant has been linked to a number of cardiovascular and neurological benefits. There has also been research which suggests that tomatoes can decrease the risk for Alzheimer’s disease and improve brain function. However, you need not choose just red tomatoes, yellow and orange varieties provide similar benefits.

    Walnuts:
    These great nuts contain potassium, Vitamin E and omega 3 oils. Research has shown that consuming walnuts can improve cardiovascular health and have a positive impact on mood and cognitive function.
    All of these super foods can be a great way to boost your mood naturally. However, if the snack machine is still calling, remember to choose a dark chocolate bar. Dark chocolate containing a high percentage of cocoa solids, contains phenylethylamine. This promotes the production of “feel good” endorphin’s within the brain. This can immediately boost your mood. Additionally, better quality dark chocolate contains antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It may also contain theobromide, which is linked to harder tooth enamel, to provide protection against cavities.

    Super foods are packed with vitamins, minerals and other nutritional benefits, which ensures that they are a healthy snack or a sensible component of a meal. Whether you have a physically demanding job or a fairly static office role sat at a desk, it is likely that at times of the day, you feel your mood and energy dropping. However, by adding some super foods into your diet or keeping them ready as a pick me up snack, you are sure to find your mood naturally lifted. These foods can assist you when you have a lull in your mood, leaving you more ably equipped to deal with every day stress. Even adding in one or two super foods can boost your mood and motivation to help you through your full day, leaving you plenty of energy for your visit to the gym, exercise routine or a session of socializing.

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Superfoods for Health