Foods That Protect Your Skin From the Sun

We’ve all heard the saying “you are what you eat” and here’s another reason to believe that’s true. Did you know that by eating certain plant compounds, you could gain some of the same sun protection for your skin that plants themselves use? Of course, that’s not a license to go lay out in midday sun all summer without protection, but the following foods may increase your skin’s ability to ward off damage from the sun.

Berries in a basket

Berries
It’s not hard to find a reason to eat berries, but add them to the list of foods that can protect your skin from the sun. These fruits are full of vitamin C, a well-known antioxidant, which boosts collagen production in the skin.

Citrus
One medium orange not only contains about 75 percent of the RDI of vitamin C, but it also contains the skin-protecting pigment beta-carotene, which a study published by Molecular Biotechnology showed decreased skin’s sensitivity to UV rays.

Carrot juice and carrots

Carrots
The same pigment that gives the carrot its protection from the sun may also keep your skin from getting blistered. Besides being rich in beta-carotene, carrots also taste delicious dipped in hummus or mixed into homemade coleslaw.

Leafy Greens
Rich in both Vitamin C and carotenoids, leafy greens, such as leaf lettuce and spinach, protect your skin with an antioxidant double whammy! P.S. The darker the greens, the better!

Almonds

Almonds
Not only does the vitamin E in almonds help prevent and reduce the severity of sunburn, but combined with vitamin C-rich foods, the protection offered from both foods is maximized. Try tossing some almonds and strawberries into a salad for a delicious and skin-loving combo.

Cantaloupe
A summer staple, cantaloupe protects your skin by helping you stay hydrated and giving you a dose of lycopene, another naturally occurring plant pigment. Research done by the Journal of British Dermatology shows lycopene may decrease skin’s sensitivity to UV rays. Bonus: you guessed it; cantaloupe is a vitamin C powerhouse!

Bell peppers

Bell Peppers
Rich in both vitamin C and carotenoids, bell peppers are an easy-to-use food in your healthy skin diet.

Tomato Paste
Tomatoes are another lycopene-rich food but according to a 2011 study from the British Journal of Dermatology, the bioavailability of the carotenoid may be greater in processed tomato products. Try using tomato paste as a base for soups or in a sauce.

green tea

Green Tea
A 2010 review in the Archives of Dermatology suggests that a diet rich in polyphenols can defend skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. One to two cups a day of this light-tasting tea can help you take advantage of its skin-protecting

Flaxseed
Like almonds, flaxseed is full of vitamin E. Take advantage of the C & E combo by mixing some ground flaxseed into a smoothie with some kale and blueberries.

It’s important to remember that while adding these foods to your diet may prevent burns or lessen the intensity of damage done by the sun, you should always take proper caution when being outdoors for an extended period of time. Along with eating these foods, you can avoid the sun altogether during peak hours (from around 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.), wear protective clothing when you will be in direct sunlight, and wear sunscreen daily.

The Truth about Mineral Oil

Woman looking into a microscope

There’s been much debate about whether or not the colorless, odorless mineral oil is actually good for skin, and the answer seems to vary depending on who you ask. However, there are quite a few fans out there, and with good reason. For a long time, mineral oil has been used as part of many a beauty regimen and using it has numerous benefits including helping to make the skin feel softer. Here are some truths that you should know about mineral oil so you can make a choice about whether or not you feel it’s the right product for you.

Highly Refined
Mineral oil is made from petroleum, specifically, it’s a product result of distilling of petroleum. It is one main reasons why some are turned off even before using it. Even the association is enough to have them choose something else. However, mineral oils that are used in beauty products are purified and highly refined, which leads to…

Mineral Oil and Cancer
The extensive purification process that mineral oil goes through allows it to be completely safe for use in beauty products. According to the Report on Carcinogens, Thirteenth Edition on the National Toxicology Program site of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, mineral oils that are untreated and mildly treated are “known to be human carcinogens.” There are different grades of mineral oil, and while some are untreated or mildly treated, those in beauty products are, as previously stated, purified and highly refined. According to the World Health Organization International Agency for Research on Cancer on their List of Classifications, Volumes 1 – 115 page, “Mineral oils, untreated or mildly treated” are labeled as Group 1 while “Mineral oils, highly-refined” are labeled as Group 3. According to their classification system, Group 1 is described as “Carcinogenic to humans” while Group 3 is described as “Not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans.”

Mineral Oil and Acne
Another one of the biggest debates regarding mineral oil is that it blocks pores and could cause acne. One of the best ways to tell about the chances of that happening is to look at its comedogenic rating. The system ranges from 0 which means that the oil won’t clog pores to a 5 which means that there’s a very high chance of the oil clogging your pores. When it comes to the comedogenic rating of mineral oil, it has a score of 0. So you really don’t have to worry about acne and breakouts while using skincare products which use mineral oil.

The Feel of Mineral Oil
Mineral oil can feel greasy (some will be put off by the feel more than others), so if you have oily skin, it may not feel particularly comfortable to use, but on other skin types, it shouldn’t feel off-putting. To see how it might feel on your skin, do a patch test instead of immediately slathering it all over your skin. It can also give you a good idea about whether the mineral oil and your skin are compatible.

There are several myths out there about mineral oil, but the truth is that many people who use it won’t experience problems, and instead, can reap the benefits of using it. If you’re thinking of using mineral oil on your skin, it is best to consult your dermatologist first. This is an especially important step if you have skin sensitivities or you’re taking medication. You want to make sure you don’t do anything that could cause your skin to get irritated, so a quick and simple conversation with your dermatologist work wonders and also let you reap the benefits of mineral oil.

Best Ways to Celebrate Mother’s Day

The care, guidance, and nurture a good mother provides is beyond priceless, and mother’s day is the perfect time to tell your own mother and/or any other mothers in your life—be it the mother of your children, a grandmother, or even the mother of a dear friend (why not thank her for raising her child to be such a great friend?)—just how important they are and just how meaningful all that they do is to you and those around her. Of course, with how important good mothers are in our lives, if you have a loving, caring mother, it can be really hard to think of a way to adequately express your appreciation. Thankfully, we have some ideas.

Mother having breakfast in bed

Breakfast in Bed
Mothers spend so much time tending to the needs of their beloved children and making sure they get what they need and feel happy, secure, safe, and loved. Why not turn the tables on mother’s day and let mom sleep in and wake up well-rested to a delicious breakfast she doesn’t even have to get out of bed for? A leisurely meal before her feet even hit the ground that morning lets her just relax and enjoy herself, an uncommon occurrence for busy moms. Make it a group effort with the rest of the family to whip up some of mom’s favorites and wait on her until she feels good and ready to get up for the day.

Go on an Adventure
Spending time doing fun things with her family that everyone in the family—but especially her (this is mother’s day we’re talking about after all)—enjoys is one of the best ways to make a mom’s day spectacular. Make a family day trip to a favorite park, lake, etc, and maybe throw in a movie she’s been wanting to see, a visit to a museum she likes, a shopping trip to a few favorite stores, meals out at favorite restaurants, that sort of thing. Exactly what you do should depend on the mother in question and what her tastes are, but the point is to give her a chance to do something she loves with the people she loves most all nearby to share it with her.

Mom’s Day Off
We’ve already mentioned that moms do a lot, and tend to be quite busy, whether or not they also work on top of being a mom (being a parent is a full-time job on its own, after all). On mother’s day, make sure she doesn’t have to lift a finger. Do all the chores, clean the house, and prepare every meal for the day, making sure mom can just sit back and relax all day.

family party

Extended Family Party
Get together all your extended family, with the mothers as the special guests. Aunts, Grandmas, Great-Grandmas, etc, and their families can all get together for a nice dinner prepared by the rest of the family.

Give to Charity
There are a lot of mothers in need who are trying their very hardest to be good moms but are affected by adverse circumstances and poverty, and need help to take care of their families. Consider donating to a charity that helps low-income and homeless mothers on mother’s day, to show how much you value motherhood.

Easy Meals for New Moms

Being a new mom is a wonderful, blissful experience…for most of the time. It often seems an incredible feat to take a shower for longer than 5 minutes let alone prepare a healthy, delicious meal for yourself. Even though you need to take care of your child it doesn’t mean you should resort to eating pea and carrot mash for dinner with a side of pasta shapes. And put that lid back on the pickle jar! Get ready to delight in some tantalizing flavors while saving both time and your sanity!

Spinach tortellini soup

Spinach Tortellini Soup
This soup uses fresh spinach for your daily dose of green. Tortellini (cheese or meat) is filling, full of protein and tastes delicious. Just toss everything in, bring to a boil and simmer. Soup is amazing for a quick meal and reheats so easily in the microwave or on the stovetop.

Jewelled Cauliflower Rice Pilaf
You will not believe how fast this dish came together (less than 20 min). Cauliflower rice is popular right now as a low carb substitute for carb-rich grains like rice or pasta. Pairing it with baked or pan fried chicken makes for a delicious and balanced meal! Makes 6-7 portions (can keep in the fridge for up to 4-5 days). Tip: Make an Indian spice blend in advance of: 4 parts cumin, 2 parts coriander, 1 part turmeric, 1 part chili powder, 1 part paprika store in the cupboard and use to season cauliflower rice, chicken, beef, shrimp, or use in curries!

Salmon in Tomato and Feta Sauce
If you need something quick, fish is always your best bet because of its short cooking time (just ’til flaky!). This savoury sauce is perfect over salmon and takes all but 15 minutes to put together, feta and tomato are superstars together and even goes over well with kids. Salmon is high in omega 3’s which supports brain health and (bonus!) can give skin that glowing, healthy look. Tip: Throw in asparagus spears beside salmon and bake at the same time!

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca
Pasta Puttanesca is an Italian family favourite and contains pungent, herbaceous flavors such as black olives, basil and anchovies. The great thing about this recipe is you can add in whatever you like such as tuna, broad beans, lentils, chicken or bacon and it will still taste just as amazing!

Grilled Chicken and Cabbage Salad with Tahini
This salad is great for busy bodies because it contains cabbage which does not wilt even when dressed. This means you can make a double batch, store in your fridge over night and it will be perfectly fine for lunch the next day. Plus, if you haven’t heard how nutritious cabbage is, the benefits are endless and provides a satisfying crunch to any meal!

Bircher Muesli

Bircher Muesli
The Bircher Muesli! I’m sure you’ve already heard of this revolutionary way of eating oats. It’s quick, easy and dare we  say fun, to make! Prepare in a small bowl, mug or jar (as pictured below), let sit in the fridge overnight and in the morning you have a lovely serving of muesli with all of your favourite add-ins.

Being a new mom can be hard! But eating well and eating what you want to eat can be easy with the right strategies and recipes!

Aloe Vera Leaf Juice

Aloe vera

You’ve probably heard of the Aloe Vera plant as a pain reliever and healing salve for burns and sunburns, and, to be sure, it certainly excels in that regard, but it may have numerous other applications as well. Of course, the usual skepticism when discussing alternative medicine and folk remedies is advised, but aloe vera’s potential is at the very least worth investigation and objective assessment. Let’s take a look.

What’s Aloe Vera?
Aloe vera is a species of succulent plant in the aloe genus with long, thick, dull green, spike-edged leaves all growing out of the center of the plant. When one of the leaves is cut open, a thick, sticky gel is revealed inside the plant. This gel is what’s of interest for potential health, medicinal, and skincare applications.

Burn Relief
One purported use for Aloe Vera is pain relief, especially for burns (including sunburns) but also for rashes, minor irritations, cuts, and other wounds, and etc.

This one actually holds a lot of water. There is ample evidence for aloe being effective on sunburns and other burns. It not only reduces pain, but causes the burn to heal faster than it would on its own. There’s also suggestive research and ample anecdotal evidence to suggest that aloe probably helps soothe and heal a variety of rashes and skin irritations. There is insufficient evidence supporting Aloe working well for wound healing of any kind, however, and what evidence does exist is conflicting.

Topical Skincare
It is also suggested that Aloe Vera can be used in or in addition to skincare products for purposes such as acne control, soothing sensitive skin and preventing flare-ups, and helping to nourish and moisturize skin.

While not conclusive as of yet, research does suggest that Aloe Vera is helpful at reducing acne, and it is less harsh than a lot of other acne treatments, like salicylic acid, which has a tendency to dry out the skin. However, aloe alone is not a sufficient acne treatment on its own, as research suggests that applying aloe gel in the morning and evening improves acne by about 35%. If you want that to be 100%, you should pair it with a prescription acne medication.

As for softening skin, there isn’t enough evidence to make a clear conclusion. It’s a “maybe, maybe not” kind of thing. Some studies were done, but the results are inconclusive, and it seems that aloe may increase water content in the very outermost layers, but not inner layers, meaning it doesn’t really fix the problem, so you’re better off with other skin softening ingredients.

Studies show promise for aloe treating psoriasis symptoms. A 0.5% aloe extract cream reduced skin plaques after about four weeks in clinical trials. It is more effective than corticosteroid creams commonly used for decreasing severity, however, it does not decrease other symptoms, so using prescription creams along with aloe is your best bet.

Ingestion
A lot of too-good-to-be-true claims for drinking beverages with aloe gel in them or taking aloe capsules have been made; everything from aloe juice as a depression cure to helping fight cancer to lowering cholesterol.

We’ll save you a lot of time on this one; almost none of these claims, or any other positive claims about aloe beverages, have any decent amount of supportive evidence. The singular exception is that aloe can be an effective treatment for constipation, but there are much better prescription and over-the-counter options for stool softeners or laxatives.

Free Radical Question and Answer

Free radicals illustration

If you have even the smallest active interest in anti-aging products, you’ve likely heard no shortage of information on antioxidants. These allegedly magical compounds are reputed to do everything from extending one’s lifespan to reversing the signs of aging to preventing diseases like cancer and heart disease.

And if you’ve heard much about antioxidants, chances are you also know at least a thing or two about free radicals. This is because the very reason that antioxidants have so much hype tied to them is predicated on the existence of free radicals, what they do to the body, and how antioxidants interact with them. The damage caused by free radicals is often demonized, and antioxidants’ ability to fight them off sometimes over-extolled, as if they were a preternatural fountain of youth. That said, there is some truth to health claims regarding antioxidants, but it’s mixed up with a lot of overblown exaggerations and some outright falsehoods. So, what is true about free radicals and antioxidants? Keep reading, and you’ll find out.

What Are Free Radicals?
A free radical is an atom or a molecule that has a single unpaired electron in its outer electron shell. Free radicals tend to be very reactive, with some exceptions (such as melanin, which is, chemically speaking, a free radical, but which is entirely nonreactive and harmless), and many can cause damage to cellular structures, which is known as ”oxidative stress.” When discussing the impact on aging, the free radicals of most relevance are superoxide (O2-), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), and peroxynitrite (OONO-), as not all free radicals actually cause damage.

How Do Free Radicals Cause Damage?
The free radical theory of aging—which is not necessarily definitive, but has substantial evidence—states that free radicals cause damage due to being highly reactive. According to this theory, when they come in contact with another molecule and seek to stabilize themselves by pulling an electron from a neighboring molecule. In doing so, the affected molecule itself becomes a free radical, because it now has an unpaired valence electron, and will then seek to pull an electron from another molecule, which will them itself become a free radical, and so on. This chain reaction can ultimately cause what is known as “cross-linking.” Cross-linking is often harmless, but when cross-linking of DNA strands happens, the result causes mutations which can result in various aging symptoms, and cross-linking between proteins and fats can cause wrinkles.

How Do You Prevent Damage from Free Radicals?
Enter Antioxidants. Antioxidants are substances that seem to be able to stop oxidative chain reactions in their tracks and stop free radicals before they do real damage. Proponents of antioxidant therapy to slow aging or reverse signs of aging believe that preventing oxidative damage through cross-linking alone can help greatly in this regard, lengthen lifespan and slow the aging process, but it is important to remember that definitive studies are largely inconclusive; there may be something to the notion of increasing antioxidant intake to slow aging, but then again, there may not. We need to wait for further reputable, academic studies to be sure one way or the other.

Cocunut Oil and the Fountain of Youth

Coconut oil is a natural oil derived by pressing the tough white “meat” of the palm coconut, which produces as thick, transparent liquid oil that solidifies at room temperature into a hard white greasy mass. Coconut oil is greatly extolled as an anti-aging “superfood” that’s good for your heart, skin, and hair, a natural anti-ager, and great to consume just about as much as you want of with only positive effects.

Of course, as with many foods or substances of near-legendary hype status, the truth is a bit more mixed than that. Let’s dive into some of the most commonly proclaimed virtues of coconut oil and separate fact from fiction.

Coconut oil

Coconut Oil: “It’s a Healthy Fat, So Eat Up!”
About 84% of coconut oil’s calories are from saturated fat (compared to olive oil’s 14% and butter’s 63%), but it is frequently claimed that high quantities of coconut oil are fine, or even good, because they contain “good” fats. Specifically, coconut oil is made up primarily of medium-chain triglycerides (aka MCTs). MCTs are supposedly better than the more common longer-chain lipids, which are found in large quantities in vegetable oil, dairy, and animal fats.

There are studies that point to coconut oil providing an increased level of HDL cholesterol, which is considered the “good” kind of cholesterol because it helps remove plaque from your arteries. That said, coconut oil consumption also increases LDL cholesterol, aka the “bad” kind, which can cause plaque buildup in your arteries. Granted, small amounts of even “bad” cholesterol are necessary for survival because many essential hormones are synthesized from cholesterol (which is why “zero cholesterol” diets are a terrible idea, and can be dangerous, while low cholesterol diets are more sensible), but you don’t need more than just a little. In any case, the fact that coconut oil increases “good” cholesterol is countered by the fact that it also increases the “bad” kind, meaning it’s far from the freebie food that you can just eat however much you want of, and should be consumed in as much moderation as any other food high in saturated fat (in other words, go ahead and add a tablespoon to your coffee if you like the taste and the way it feels, but that’s about where you should stop on an average day).

Anti-Aging?
Coconut oil does contain antioxidants, and for this reason is often said to be an anti-aging superfood that does everything from slow down wrinkling of the skin to aiding with memory issues arising from Alzheimer’s. While it does have beneficial antioxidants, it’s antioxidant count is fairly low, and you’d be better off with high-antioxidant fruits, vegetables, and grains.

Skin and Hair
So coconut oil may not be the magical superfood it’s hyped up to be, but what about applications to skin and hair care?

This one actually has a fair bit of truth to it. While coconut oil alone shouldn’t replace a solid hair or skincare routine, a small dab of it on your face on top of your moisturizer can be a great help moisturizing, and a little bit rubbed into your hair can help prevent damage, too. Just don’t overdo it; oil is still oil, and can cause breakouts or greasy looking hair/skin if you use way too much.

B Vitamins and Aging

We have more than enough to worry about as we age, so wouldn’t it be nice to solve at least one problem before it happens, or correct it if it already has? This probably sounds like a no-brainer, and with recent advances in medical knowledge, it’s even easier to arm yourself with information to make sure you age gracefully.

Not much was understood about the relationship between B vitamins and aging until somewhat recently, but it is becoming rather clear with recent discoveries that there is likely some kind of connection worth exploring.

Vitamins

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Age
One thing to be keenly aware of is that as you get up there in years, your body looses some of its ability to absorb and process vitamin B12 from your diet. This can lead to a number of symptoms, like anemia, (which often manifests as sluggishness, generalized weakness, and fatigue), muscle weakness, shakiness, incontinence, unsteady gait, low blood pressure, fatigue, cognitive problems (including poor memory), and mood disorders like depression, mood swings, etc. A vast majority of these symptoms, save for anemia, will generally be simply dismissed as “signs of aging.” This can be avoided by simply taking a vitamin B12 supplement.

B Vitamin Myths
The only solid evidence for a connection between B vitamins and aging is that our bodies grow less proficient at absorbing vitamin B12 as we grow older, and this should probably be corrected for. You should be skeptical of any other claims, such as purported links between overloading on B vitamins and improved skin appearance and health. In fact, overdosing on some B vitamins can cause serious side effects. Too much vitamin B-3 (Niacin) can cause skin flushing, pain, liver toxicity, and high blood sugar. Too much vitamin B-6 can cause nerve damage and skin lesions. Too much B-9 (aka Folate or Folic Acid) can cause kidney damage, and can mask the presence of a B-12 deficiency, if you have one. Too much vitamin B-12 can cause acne and rosacea in some. Of course, deficiencies have nasty side effects too, but taking way more than necessary is, as you can see, more harmful than helpful.

In short, definitely do take a vitamin B-12 supplement to prevent deficiency as you age, but don’t take more than 100% DV on B12 or any other B vitamins, or almost any vitamins, for that matter.

As ever, a healthy dose of doubt is always helpful in discerning fact from fiction, whether in skincare, overall health, or life in general. And when in doubt, see if you can find a consensus of expert opinion—which means a majority of experts are in agreement, not just one or two—and/or double-blind controlled-variable clinical studies. If you can’t find either, take the claim as an unknown possibility at best, and falsification at worst.

Boost Your Health with Brown Algae

It seems like with every new season, a new superfood hits the shelves in grocery stores. But if there’s one that’s not a fad and is sure to stick around, it’s brown algae. Brown algae is said to promote healthy weight loss, increase energy levels and improve skin conditions. More specifically, brown algae can help to slow down cellular aging, promote a healthy glow and help with certain skin conditions, like eczema.

Brown algae

What is Brown Algae?
Algae is a generic term for any plant-based organism found growing in water. Seaweed is another term used to describe algae. Most people have heard of kelp, which is also another term for brown algae. Brown algae grows in colder waters and is mostly harvested in the Northern Hemisphere. Don’t confuse brown algae or kelp with versions of algae that are farm grown, like spirulina. These unnaturally harvested versions will never have the same levels of nutrients and are more prone to contamination.

How Does Brown Algae Improve Health?
While some natural ingredients are debated by scientists, it is well known that the reason brown algae is so beneficial is because of its high levels of iodine. Iodine helps to regulate the thyroid gland, which has a direct effect on nearly every part of the human body. By helping the thyroid gland balance hormones, a single serving of brown algae can help the body to perform more efficiently. Brown algae also has a long list of other nutrients, like potassium, magnesium, iron, copper, zinc, calcium and selenium. It’s been described as nature’s multivitamin.

How to Use Brown Algae for Skin
Brown algae is the most commonly used type of algae in skincare products so there is a high chance that one might already be using the ingredient without realizing it. The extract of the plant is used so this alone can be mixed into homemade beauty products easily and with plenty of benefits. Brown algae can also be eaten raw or added into food as desired. Keep in mind that as with many plants, overpreparation of the food can remove many of its beneficial nutrients. If the idea of eating the plant raw is unappealing, try mixing it into a smoothie.

When it comes to using brown algae for skin, topical or internal use of the plant are beneficial. As more beauty companies turn to brown algae, more is studied regarding the plant. It has been shown to naturally encourage the development of collagen, which tends to dissipate with age and strengthen the skin while promoting greater moisture retention.

In general, brown algae helps to prevent the natural cell aging process. As the body ages, cells tend to rejuvenate slower and are unable to repair themselves as they once were. But brown algae has been shown to prevent this slowdown and keep skin cells operating efficiently.

Algae, in general, has been used for years in the beauty world, but brown algae has proven itself to be one of the best plants that the ocean has to offer. Adding it to a skin regimen is not only a great idea but highly recommended.

Laminaria Japonica

Brown seaweed salad

Laminaria Japonica is a type of brown seaweed rich in a vast host of nutrients, minerals and with some truly amazing health benefits. The medicinal powers of seaweed have actually been used for centuries because of their known ability to extend life and even enhance health and beauty. Decades of research has shown that it is actually Laminaria Japonica, or brown seaweed, which is the most beneficial of all seaweed. Laminaria Japonica is high in organic iodine, alginates, fucoxanthin, laminarin, and fucoidan. It also possesses over 70 different minerals which many nutritionists have said are lacking in diets throughout the Western hemisphere.

Extracts from brown seaweed have astounded researchers as have not only they been able to cause cancer tumors to die, they also detoxify the body of chemical build up and even burn body fat.

Fucoidan and Cancer
Fucoidan is a sulfated polysaccharide, also known as an ‘evaporated oligomineral’. Approximately 4% of the total dry weight of brown seaweed is composed of fucoidan which is the chemical responsible for the apoptosis (or death) of cancer cells. To date, there have been well over 600 studies that show that fucoidan is also responsible for a vast host of other positive benefits. These include: immune system improvement, intestinal disorders, allergy control, improved liver function, cholesterol regulation, blood pressure regulation, blood sugar regulation and its powerful anti-oxidant action promotes healthy hair and skin. The regular consumption of brown seaweed in many parts of Asia is often correlated with the significantly lower rates of breast cancer and other hormone-related cancers amongst Asian women.

Fucoxanthin and Weight Loss
The fat burning properties of Laminaria Japonica are accredited to a compound called fucoxanthin. Alongside the iodine content of brown seaweed, when ingested, the compounds increase our body’s metabolic rate meaning you burn your more calories and you burn them faster. This prevents the accumulation of body fat. One study published in the journal ‘Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism’ involved 16 weeks of supplementation with a product containing fucoxanthin and pomegranate seed oil. The results saw that participants lost an average of 7.7 pounds over the period and additionally fat deposits in the liver decreased.

Alginates and Detoxification
Aliginic acid, also known as algin or alginate is an anionic polysaccharide that is found in the cell walls of brown algae. The alginate content of brown seaweed is known to detoxify the body of numerous unwanted and sometimes harmful chemicals such as strontium, uranium, mercury and lead. In day to day life, we are exposed to hundreds of toxins which over time can become embedded in our vital organs such as the heart, liver, or brain. The alginate content of Laminaria Japonica effectively eliminates these compounds from or bodies, helping us to stay disease free.

Supplementation
Although supplementing with brown seaweed or consuming it regularly is no doubt a great health choice to make, researchers have actually found that healthy participants who consumed 4 kelp capsules each day for a period of four weeks showed increased levels of thyroid stimulating hormones. Although we know that kelp is not the same as Laminaria Japonica – the compounds found within the two are very similar. In this way when consuming brown seaweed, remember to consume it regularly but always in moderation.