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Food

  • Do Nutrition and Skin Care Go Hand in Hand?

    Nothing you eat will make your wrinkles or lines simply disappear or reverse all the signs of aging on your face. But you can’t just eat anything and think it won’t affect your face and appearance. Foods and your appearance definitely have a close relationship, internally and externally. The foods you eat affect every organ in your body, including your skin.

    No matter what type of skin care regimen you have, even the most expensive kinds, you must nourish yourself and your skin from the inside. Don’t use any product as a substitute for specific foods because certain foods have the vitamins, nutrients, and metabolites that your skin and body need which no product can replace.

    Every cell in your body needs tons of certain nutrients, minerals, vitamins, and essential amino acids. Specific foods carry these nutrients, such as vitamins A, C and E, and deliver them to your cells and organs, especially your skin. Topical skin care products can only deliver these types of vitamins on the outside and they do not ensure that they will reach deep enough inside your skin. Some only stay on your skin temporarily until you shower or wash your face. By eating certain enriched foods, you are sending these vitamins to your skin through your bloodstream, ensuring their delivery and benefits.

    By using a trusted skin care regimen on the outside and eating right for your insides, you’ll begin to notice healthier skin each day. Talk with your doctor about the right amounts you should be consuming. Although they have great benefits, foods and topical treatments won’t be able to do miracles on your skin because there are many other factors within the aging process that you cannot control. However, they will make a big difference in your overall health and appearance. Always remember the saying, “You are what you eat.”

    For more information on nutrition and your skin, check out this article on WebMd.com.

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  • Understanding Hyaluronic Acid

    27Hyaluronic Acid is a natural substance found in your body and in animals. It serves as a lubricator in between joints and even inside of your eye. It’s a component of your connective tissues, serving as a barrier and cushion between your joints and limbs.

    Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is a very popular ingredient used within many skin care products. It is usually paired with vitamin C to assist in the penetration of your skin. It’s effective for reducing the appearance of aging symptoms and damaged skin on the face and has been regarded as the “key to the fountain of youth.” This is because of its natural properties found inside our bodies.

    As you age, you begin to lose significant amounts of this important substance. Smoking and certain diets can also alter the amount you have over time. With the loss of hyaluronic acid, more wrinkles begin to appear and your skin may get dry. This is why many anti-aging products formulate their mixture using HA to restore hydration and reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles. But what started the hyaluronic acid revelation and its use in skin care products?

    Years ago, in a small Japanese village by the name of Yuzurihara, Connie Chung set out to discover what the secret was for the villagers’ long lives and youthful looking skin. They lived very long lives, well into their 80s and 90s. Very few of them wore glasses and most of them still had a full head of hair and great, flawless skin.

    She found out that the villagers’ diets are full of root vegetables, fish, and low iron foods which allow their bodies to retain more hyaluronic acid levels, which other people around the world tend to lose as they age. The villagers’ bodies had much higher levels of HA than the average level humans tend to have. This was the reason for their wrinkle-free faces, no age spots, and beautiful hair. So make sure to eat healthy, incorporating certain vegetables and iron in your diet, in order to maintain your hyaluronic acid levels. It just might be the real “key to the fountain of youth.”

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  • Açaí – The Big Picture

    There has been a lot of media coverage over the supposed “superfood” Açaí, pronounced ah-sah-EE. Many people have been raving about its uses and benefits. So what really makes Açaí so special?

    Açaí is a fruit that grows in Brazil on the Açaí Palm. The berry itself is very small and dark purple. The fruit is 90% seed with very little pulp around it, and no body consumes the actual seed. It is said to be one of the most nutritious and powerful foods in the world because of its extremely high levels of antioxidants and amino acids.

    The benefits of Açaí include: the maintenance of a healthy body and organs, increase in energy and stamina, healthy skin and hair, better sleep patterns, strengthened immune system, reduced pain and sores, and it has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. This little fruit seems to have it all.

    Because of Açaí’s high ORAC value, Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity, it can slow the aging process in your body and brain. Because we don’t live in the Amazon, fresh Açaí berry is hard to attain. It perishes very fast, within 24 hours, so we must consume it in other forms.

    Açaí Berry extract is a very popular form of this powerful antioxidant. It is rich in vitamins and minerals such as numerous B vitamins, vitamin C and E, iron, potassium, and calcium. Organic Açaí berry Juice is also another option. With 3500 ORAC units per serving, you can have more than your daily recommendation of antioxidant consumption. It also contains enough dietary fiber to help your digestive system.

    Açaí Berry Capsules are also a great way to gain its benefits, especially when you’re on the go. The recommended dose is twice daily with food and you’ll be able to get the proper amount of antioxidants and benefits all in a small pill.

    Be careful when purchasing Açaí products over the internet and make sure it is really derived from the Açaí berry and not just its seed. Many websites are trying to scam their way into the Açaí market by selling fake products that aren’t really from Brazil or are predominantly from the crushed particles of the seed. If you can find Açaí products in trusted grocers, their authenticity might be more guaranteed.

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  • Foods for Healthy Skin

    Topical creams and lotions can give you smoother, radiant skin on the outside but what about treating your skin from the inside? Eating certain foods can give your skin the nutrients it needs from the inside out. Incorporate them into your meals and your skin will start to look and feel healthier.

    Vitamin A is one of the most important vitamins our skin needs. You can find plenty of dietary vitamin A in low-fat dairy products. This is especially important for people with diabetes or thyroid problems. Foods, such as low-fat yogurt, contain a significant amount of Vitamin A and helps regulate your digestive system. Products that help keep your digestive system on track are very good for your skin.

    Antioxidants are another very important substance our skin and body need. Fruits such as plums, strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries are very high in antioxidants. In fact, according to the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, these four fruits have the highest “total antioxidant capacity” of any fruit or vegetable. Your skin’s health will improve greatly by eating these certain fruits.

    For skin to remain healthy, essential fatty acids are a necessity. These can be found in foods such as walnuts, salmon, canola oil, and flax seed. The most important fatty acids are Omega 3 and Omega 6. They promote healthy cell membranes and prevent further damage from occurring to the cell. Your cell membranes are what hold water in, so the stronger these membranes are, the more moisture your cells will be able to hold. Eating foods rich in fatty acids will make your skin firmer and younger looking.

    In order to keep your skin healthy and lubricated, you must eat the right oils. Oils labeled as extra virgin, expeller processed, or cold pressed are the best ones to consume. These oils have the least amount of steps in their preparation process, allowing more nutrients to be saved. These nutrients are important for our skin and body but make sure to limit the amount you take in because they’re high in calories.

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  • Study finds that Vitamin E may slow Alzheimer’s Disease

    Reuters Health recently posted an article about the effects vitamin E has on Alzheimer’s Disease. When taken in large doses, vitamin E seems to slow the decline of mental and physical abilities in patients with Alzheimer’s. This also counts for drugs that reduce inflammation.

    Dr. Alireza Atri told Reuters Health, “Our results are consistent for a potential benefit of vitamin E on slowing functional decline and a smaller possible benefit of anti-inflammatory medications on slowing cognitive decline in patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.”

    Dr. Atri led the National Institutes of Health research which studied over 540 patients with Alzheimer’s in the Memory Disorders Unit. These patients were given high doses of vitamin E that ranged from 800 units per day to 1000 units twice a day.

    The patients showed a small benefit from taking vitamin E, and a slightly bigger benefit from using vitamin E along with other anti-inflammatory drugs, when doing daily tasks such as dressing themselves and personal care. Although the benefits seem small, they believe it will increase over time.

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  • Easy, Nutritional Dinners

    Whether you’re cooking for one, two, or the whole family, these simple and easy dinners are  sure to impress anyone you serve it to, including yourself. You might not even have to go to the grocery store because many of the ingredients are already in your fridge or cupboard.

    Chicken Stir-fry- All you need is a cup of chicken broth, one garlic clove, 3/4 lb to a pound of skinless and boneless chicken, cumin (not necessary), lemon juice, and two cups total of broccoli and carrots, fresh or frozen. Cut the chicken into half inch cubes, add some salt and pepper on top, a dash of cumin if you have any, and a little bit of lemon juice and put aside. Start chopping your carrots and separating the broccoli. Dice the garlic and set aside. When you think the chicken is finished marinating, heat it in a pan over medium heat. Brown the chicken for about five to ten minutes until it is almost cooked. Now add the rest of the ingredients. Mix them and let them simmer for about ten to fifteen minutes until everything is fully cooked. Your delicious stir-fry is now ready! Serve with rice or mashed potatoes. (Makes 3-4 servings)

    Chorizo Soup – Another quick, gourmet recipe that will appeal to anyone, especially if that someone is a little under the weather. For this homemade soup, you will need 2 cups of chicken broth, half a small onion, half cup of carrots, salt, pepper, and two chorizo sausages. Substitute the chorizo with turkey or chicken sausages for even less calories and fat. Bring the chicken broth and a few dashes of salt and pepper to a boil. Add the chopped onion and carrots to the boiling broth but reduce the heat slightly, for a lighter boil. Meanwhile, start cooking your sausages in a separate pan. They should take less than 10 minutes to cook. When they are done, carefully chop them up into smaller pieces. Wait for the onions to become transparent and soft and then add the sausage into the broth. Let all the ingredients simmer together for about ten minutes. Taste the broth so you can adjust salt and pepper amounts according to your own preference. In under 20 minutes, you have a gourmet, healthy soup ready to be enjoyed! (Makes 2-4 servings)

    Grilled, Seared, or Baked Swordfish – (This one might require a trip to the store!) This is one of my favorite recipes.  You will need two pieces of swordfish, washed and patted dry with a paper towel, a little bit of lemon juice, quarter teaspoon cumin, quarter teaspoon coriander, salt, pepper, and some olive oil to brush the fish.  After you have washed the swordfish, marinate it in all of the ingredients for one hour, making sure they’re all mixed well. Grill the pieces of fish over your stove, two minutes per side, using a griddle or grill pan while lightly brushing each side with olive oil. If you want to bake the fish, preheat the oven to 350 degrees, brush the fish with olive oil, and bake for 10 minutes. Serve with jasmine rice or mashed potatoes for a full gourmet meal.

    Before you say you have nothing to eat or cook, look a little closer. If you find these types of ingredients in your fridge or pantry, try whipping them up in any creative way . You’ll be surprised by what you can come up with.

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  • Healthy, delicious, and quick lunches to take to work

    You don’t have to stop at the deli to have that gourmet sandwich, you can make them in your kitchen for work or any on-the-go occasion.

    When you’re at the grocery store, buy any type of whole grain or wheat bread. Not only are they much healthier, they taste great, too. Meats from the deli section or fresh, rotisserie chicken can be used. Try chicken or turkey meats instead of beef for less calories and fat. Get some lettuce and tomato ( I recommend butter lettuce, but make sure to wash it before you use it!), cheese if you’d like, and whatever condiments you want to add to the sandwich. Instead of mayo, grab any “light” dressing, like thousand island.

    Pop two slices of bread in the toaster. When they’re done, spread the condiments on each side. Make sure to put the tomato slice in between the meats so it won’t wear down the bread. In less than 5 minutes, your gourmet, toasted sandwich is ready for wherever you go!

    If you’re not into sandwiches, try making some penne pasta the night before with a light marinara sauce. Avoid alfredo sauce because of the fat. For a lower carb pasta, some brands make their pastas out of wheat. They taste great and not much different. Store the pasta in the fridge the night before and put it together in the morning before you head out to work. Don’t forget the fork!

    You can also check your grocery store to see if they make pre-made salads. Many of them come with chicken in a variety of flavors – from caesar to waldorf. These pre-made salads are the quickest lunch to take with you to work. Just drizzle on the dressing, shake it up, and enjoy!

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