Category Archives: All About Ingredients

Sometimes You Shouldn’t Feel the Burn

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“Ya burnt!” It’s one of the latest things milennials say when they think they’ve sassed you. You don’t want to get it from your teenage son, and you definitely don’t want to get it from your skin care products. Sure, we all like the tingling feeling that let’s us know our skin care products are doing their jobs, but we definitely don’t want the redness, peeling, and flaking that comes from applying harsh products daily, and sometimes its hard to tell the difference. How can we tell when ‘its working” turns into “ya burnt?” Here is a little insight from the pros.

The Burn
Lucille White, MD and Houston dermatologist says, “No pain, no gain is a terrible motto when dealing with your face, ” and Karyn Grossman, MD warns that daily stinging and flaking “are signs of chronic inflammation.” Grossman warns that this can lead to an array of other issues, such as tightness, dryness, and an increase in sensitivity.

However, here’s the confusion. Some proven care ingredients, such as retinoids and acids sting as they work. In these cases, a short period of stinging may be par for the course. So how can you tell when it’s gone too far?

Scrubs and Exfoliants
The word acid may be a clue as to whether or not the burning is a cause for concern. According to Dr. Grossman, any product with glycolic, lactic, alpha-hydroxy, or salicylic acid may cause some tingling. “The sensation could be because of their acidic pH or the concentration of the acid,” she says. She also warns that the feeling should be intermittent. Daily tingling could be problematic. Bottom line: if your peel stings, it’s probably ok, but your cleanser shouldn’t, and neither should most scrubs. Unless it has been formulated to be “energizing”, scrubs with microbeads and grains shouldn’t sting.

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Face Cleansing Brushes
Using a face cleaning brush should not feel any rougher than using a washcloth. Grossman says, “The machine is doing all the work. All your hands should be doing is gently holding it to your skin. Don’t do that and scrub.” You should not be applying pressure on the brush, or work your hand in a scrubbing motion, simply hold it to your skin and let it do the work for you. Anything additional, and White says, “You’re scrubbing off too much of your skin.”

Using A Toner
Toners should not sting. Grossman says, “Alcohol evaporates quickly and feels so cooling.” While you may feel a tingling if your skin is inflamed from acne or other skin issues, you may feel a tingling, but otherwise, you may not feel anything at all. If you do feel some stinging, you may want to do a quick check of the ingredients, to see if the toner contains any acid. If that’s the case, the sensation may be completely normal.

Zit Zapping
When it comes to acne prevention, it usually comes down to one of two ingredients: salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. While salicylic acid might sting, especially if you apply it to a picked pimple, benzoyl peroxide should not. However, benzoyl peroxide may parch skin which can cause peeling over time. Using too many acne ingredients can always be a recipe for dry, tight, or flaky skin. If you experience such irritation from your acne fighting products, you may want to try using a more calming formula with anti microbial ingredients.

What do you think? Can you tell when the tingling sensation may be too much of a good thing? Let us know your experiences.

Your Guide To Making Summer Stains Disappear

vine vera banner Your Guide To Making Summer Stains Disappear

Quick! What do these things all have in common: ice cream, the beach, hiking, hot dogs, hamburgers, berries, and sweat? If you guessed all things to do with summer, you’re half right! What is the other half? All things likely to cause stains. Summer brings with it not only its own unique set of activities, but its own unique set of stains caused by those activities, and that could be bad news for your white crop top. But have no fear, for every stain, there is a solution. Here are some of the ways you can help keep your summer clothes stain free.

Ice Cream
What’s summer without ice cream, and what’s ice cream without a big chocolate stain on the front of your shirt? Don’t let run away scoop get in the way of your summertime pleasure. Rinse with cold water, apply a stain pretreatment, fill a sink with cool water, and a few drops of detergent, and let soak.

Berries
Ah, the berries of summer. A vast array of colorful fruits, all with a potential to do some heavy damage to your pastels. Don’t abandon your antioxidants! Use a spatula or knife to scrape off excess. Apply a formula of 1/2 teaspoon dish soap, and 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide and rinse.

Ketchup
Ketchup is the world’s most popular condiment and most likely to end up on your shirt. Don’t let it dampen your barbecue fun. Pretreat with stain remover. If any of the stains remain, use a clean toothbrush or eye dropper to apply white vinegar to lighten it.

Dirt
With summer comes the opportunity to get out in the great outdoors. Unfortunately, the great outdoors is full of dirt. Don’t let dirt keep you from getting your vitamin D! Wait for the stain to dry. Scrape off excess. Dilute a gentle detergent with water and rub it on to form a lather. Rinse. If the stain remains, apply a solution of one part vinegar, and one part water to lighten it.

vine vera banner Your Guide To Making Summer Stains Disappear

Underarm Yellowing
Nothing like a good workout in the summer to yellow the underarms of your favorite white shirt. Don’t let a sweat stain stop you from getting in your daily aerobics! For a fresh stain, apply some shampoo. If the stain is older, make a paste by mixing four digestive enzyme tablets with 1 tablespoon of water, and let sit for an hour.

Mustard
If you’re headed out to the ball game this summer, a hot dog may seem like a great idea until the mustard drips on the seat of your pants. Don’t let mustard stains keep you from rooting for your favorite team. Just flush the stain with some white vinegar, apply a dish soap solution using one tablespoon clear soap and ten ounces of water and let sit for fifteen minutes.

Wine
Summer and wine were meant to go together. Wine and your clothes, not really, If you’re carefree lifestyle is taking its toll on your clothes, never fear! For red: Coat the stain with salt, boil some water, and stretch the fabric over a bowl. Pour the boiled water onto the spot from a foot above. For white: Run cold water on the stain, spray with dish soap solution (one tablespoon clear soap, ten oz water), and dab with detergent.

Got summer stains? Let us know how you deal with them! We want to know!

Beware These Bleaching Ingredients In Your Skincare Products

woman with good skin

One would like to think that society is moving forward; that we are beyond the point of endangering our health for our beauty; that we have come a long way from the days of using white lead to lighten our faces (as the ancient Romans did) or lead sulfate to remove our freckles (Rome circa 15th-18th century). But maybe we’re not as forward thinking as we would like to believe. While the days of full face whitening may be over, many women still use skin bleachers to fade hyperpigmentation and dark spots., and some of these products contain harsh chemicals. Here is a list of some of the chemicals you may not want to see on your skin cream label:

Hydroquinone
If you use skin lightening creams, you may have noticed this ingredient popping up on the label. Hydroquinone is a melanin inhibitor that works by preventing the production of skin pigments. Although it may look as if it is working in the beginning, long-term danger may await. Hydroquinone has been known to cause permanent skin discoloration, and has hence been banned in many countries.

Mercury
Mercury is another ingredient that often looms large in skin lightening products. However, while it may serve to lighten your skin, it may also be doing damage to your kidneys. Mercury in skin products can cause scarring, discoloration, and rashes, and has also been found to break down the skin’s resistance to bacteria and fungus.

Steroids
Banned in most countries without a prescription, topical steroids can cause skin thinning and fungal infections, and long term use can even lead to serious internal diseases. Steroids have also been associated with folliculitis and rosacea.

woman reading labels

Parabens
These preservatives are most often used to extend the shelf like of beauty products, but they have also been found to be carcinogenic. Parabens have not only been associated with an increased cancer risk, and they can also interfere with the endocrine system. Reports show that paraben can have an estrogen-like effect on the body which may disrupt the reproductive system.

Phthalates
Similar to paragons, phthalates are also carcinogenic in nature and should especially be avoided by pregnant women.

Fragrances
They smell lovely, but they may not leave your skin that way. Fragrances can be highly toxic and have an adverse effect on the central nervous system, possibly leading to irritability, hyperactivity, and depression.

Natural Alternatives
So now that you’re sufficiently scared of your skin lightening treatment, you may be wondering if there are natural alternatives, and the good news is; yes, there are! Plant testing has revealed a number of all-natural ingredients that suppress melanin production without the side effects of chemicals. Look for products including such ingredients as licorice, mulberry extract, arbutus, kojic acid, Emblica and vitamin C next time you are looking for a pigment reducer for effective results without the negative side effects.

What natural products do you use for hyperpigmentation? Let us know how you’re staying safe while looking gorgeous!

Seven Oils That Belong In Your Beauty Routine

vine vera banner Seven Oils That Belong In Your Beauty Routine

Coming under the heading of mistaken song lyrics, is the meaning of “essential” in the term essential oil. We usually use the word “essential to mean: “absolutely necessary, indispensable.” However, in the term “essential oil” it refers to ” the essence of the plant,” or the “natural composition” of the plant itself. For instance, lavender essential oil means that the oil is made from the essence of lavender, it doesn’t mean the lavender is a necessary oil. If you’ve been thinking that “essential oils’ meant very important oils, however, you’re not really wrong, so we won’t disabuse of the notion. Here are some very essential oils.Carrot Seed Essential Oil

Carrot Seed Essential Oil
Carrot sends oil is best known for its rejuvenating properties. It boosts cells turnover and for this reason, it can help to fade scars and age spots. It’s also packed with antioxidants, which help it to quench wrinkle-causing free radicals and reduce inflammation.

Frankincense Essential Oil
Friendly to all skin types, frankincense oil has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties which make it a great acne treatment. It also has natural toning properties to minimize the appearance of pores and even out skin tones, while encouraging the growth of new cells to tighten skin, reduce wrinkles, and lighten scars.

Geranium Essential Oil
Another great oil for reduction of oil, geranium is fantastic at controlling acne breakouts while boosting skin elasticity and making wrinkles less noticeable. Geranium oil is also known for promoting blood circulation, and as such may help to heal everything from cuts to bruises to broken capillaries and is even effective in treating skin conditions such as eczema, ringworm, and dermatitis.

vine vera banner Seven Oils That Belong In Your Beauty Routine

Lavender Essential Oils
This stuff smells so good, we would apply it even if it did nothing for our skin, but fortunately for us, that’s not the case. In addition to helping the body adapt to stress, lavender oil can help regenerate skin cells to prevents sun spots, and scarring.

Myrrh Essential Oil
With a biblical reference to its name, myrrh is the ancient essential oil and inflammatory that helps to improve skin’s firmness tome and elasticity, while healing sun damage, chapped skin, eczema, and rashes. Now we know why the Wise Men carried it around all the time.

Tea Essential Oil
If you’re familiar with acne, you should be familiar with tea tree oil. Tea tree essential oil is one of the better-known oils for treating acne. The antibacterial properties of the oil can help to eliminate acne-causing bacteria and heal wounds while limiting the incidence and severity of breakouts.

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
Another heavenly scented oil, yang has a lot more going for it than just a pretty smell. The floral oil is also able to control oil production to keep breakouts to a minimum and helps cells turnover, to smooth out fine lines and improve skin elasticity.

What do you think are the most essential of the essential oils? Let us know! We love to hear from you!

Hibiscus Extract For Your Skin

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Botox. When its good its very good. It seems hard to contest the fact that, when done properly, botulism injections can solve a lot of aging problems. We’ve all seen those middle-aged women whose Botox injections have spared them from a lot of the common age-related complaints, and it seems like they’ve uncovered the Fountain of Youth. Then, we think of the expense, the horror stories, the looks of permanent surprise, and think it may be better to stay slightly more mature looking. But, what if you found out there was such a thing as the “Botox Flower.” Could it be possible that there was a natural substitute for something so, well, unnatural? Let’s take a look at Hibiscus extract and what it can do for the skin.

The Botox Plant
Not only is the hibiscus beautiful, it is also useful.The hibiscus earns its nickname from its reputation for increasing skin elasticity. The extracts from the stunning plant inhibit the activity of the enzyme elastase, responsible for breaking down skin’s elastin, which mimics the effects of Botox in its ability to firm and lift skin.

Evens Skin Tone
Hyperpigmentation refers to the appearance of discoloration or age spots that form on the skin as it ages, usually due to a number of variables, including genetics, exposure to ultraviolet rays, and excess production of melanin. The hibiscus contains organic acids, including malic and citric acid, which is responsible for the plant’s exfoliating properties, helping to boost turnover of cells for a more even skin tone.

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Antioxidant Loaded
The word antioxidant has become common jargon in the beauty and health world lately. Antioxidants are the powerful naturally occurring ingredients with the astonishing power to fight free radicals and spare skin from the damaging effects of pollution and ultraviolet radiation. The Hibiscus is rich in anthocyanosis, which function as antioxidants as well as astringents. Not only do anthocyanosis prevent oxidation, they minimize the appearance of large pores, and have an anti-inflammatory effect, offering soothing relief for irritation, making hibiscus ideal for those with sensitive skin.

Purifies the Complexion
In addition to reducing the appearance of age spots, the exfoliating malic and citric acids in the skin can make for a fresher, smoother, younger looking complexion. By sloughing off dead skin cells, and promoting the growth of new ones, the acids can decrease the look of aging while decongesting pores to keep acne blemishes to a minimum. Also, because the acids in hibiscus extract are organic, they won’t strip skin of its natural oils like synthetic forms of the acids are likely to do, resulting in a supple, glowing complexion.

Moisture Boost
Of course, no “botox plant” worth its salt would be complete without some moisturizing properties. Hibiscus is high in mucilage content, which is a sticky plant produces the substance that aids in the storage of food and water, and also makes a fantastic natural skin moisturizer. The mucilage in the hibiscus helps skin to retain moisture, staying hydrated longer and keeping skin from excessive dryness and flaking.

What do you think? Have you tried hibiscus extract? Is hibiscus the “Botox Plant?” Let us know!

Foods That Naturally Increase Your Estrogen Levels

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Unless you were lying under a rock for the past few decades, you probably know that the sun is one of the primary causes of aging skin. What you may not know, however, is that there’s something that ages your skin far faster and more irrevocably than even some of the most hardcore sun exposure. Loss of estrogen is the reason behind some of the least desirable effects of aging skin, and even more distressing, there is not a whole lot you can do to stop it. While hormone replacement is possible, the side effects associated with it are enough to make it a non-option, and it is likely that, until corporations find a viable treatment, we are not likely to hear much about possible ways to avoid it, but there are, and you can find them in your foods.

What Is Estrogen?
Estrogen is the hormone responsible for women’s reproductive health. As Dr. Ritika Samaddar explains, “It has a significant role in tissue functioning- specifically of the uterus, pituitary gland, and breasts.” In addition to playing a vital role in the development of reproductive organs, estrogen also affects bone density metabolism and fetal maturation during pregnancy and is a crucial part of growth and development.

The compound phytoestrogen is a nutrient found in plants that have similar functions to estrogen found in the body, and its intake has been shown to increase the level of estrogen in humans.

Benefits Of Estrogen Rich Food

Relief of Menopausal Symptoms
A study published in the ‘Menopause’ journal showed a significant difference in women with diets high in phytoestrogen and those with a lower level of the nutrient in terms of menopausal symptoms. Results showed phytoestrogen was capable of relieving hot flashes and vaginal dryness in menopausal women.

Prevents Ovarian and Breast Cancer Risk
In addition to relieving symptoms of menopause, estrogen rich foods contain antioxidant- like properties that help to remove oxidizing agents from the body. A study published in Environmental Health Perspectives showed that phytoestrogens can stimulate protein synthesis and are, therefore “strong candidates for natural cancer-protective compounds.”

Good For Skin and Hair
Dr. Simran Saini says phytoestrogen can add natural radiance to skin and hair and fight premature aging.

Prevents Osteoporoses
Estrogen is crucial for bone development, combining with calcium, vitamin D and other hormones in the rebuilding of bones. Studies suggest that phytoestrogen may have similar properties. In addition, a study in Women’s Health Initiative revealed that phytoestrogen may provide “cardiovascular protective effects” that are lacking in Hormone Replacement Therapy and better strategies for preventing bone loss need to be taken.

Prevents Strokes and Improves Heart Health
Studies show strokes to be the third most common causes of death in middle-aged women. A Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide suggests these statistics can be lowered by incorporation a daily tablespoon of flaxseed oil into the diets of women over the age of 50, who are likely candidates for strokes.

Estrogen Rich Foods
If you are thinking of getting serious about boosting your phytoestrogen intake, here are some of the best foods to do it with:

Flaxseed
When it comes to foods that contain phytoestrogen flaxseeds are at the top of the list. They improve liver function, prevent brittle nails, and skin dryness associated with lack of estrogen.

Soy Products
Oh say can you soy? Soybeans are a great source of phytoestrogen and one of the best foods for women in general. Soy milk, wheat flour, yogurt and soy dairy can all make great estrogen additions to your diet. They are low in calories, have almost no cholesterol, and researchers often point them out for their effectiveness in the prevention of breast cancer.

Walnuts
Walnuts are another effective source of phytoestrogen. Add some to your salads or eat them alone for a phytoestrogen-rich snack.

Dairy Products
Got milk? Milk, tofu, and paneer are all dairy products with a healthy amount of phytoestrogen, so be sure to include them in your diet to reap the benefits.

Sesame Seeds and Chickpeas
Packing a heavy punch when it comes to phytoestrogen sources, sesame seeds and chickpeas are a great addition to any health conscious diet. Hummus (made from chick peas) contains a whopping 993 micrograms of the stuff per hundred grams, so eat up for that estrogen surge!

How are you upping your estrogen levels? Let us know!

Add Avocado To Your Beauty Routine

Flower made of Avocado How often has this happened to you? You’re on a date or in a meeting and you go to the restroom. Check your look in the mirror, and there is, the inevitable food on the face. How long has it been there? Is it that noticeable? What is it? Where is it? On your nose? In your eyebrow? Most of us don’t want to be caught wearing our meals in public, yet, at home, it can be somewhat more acceptable, in fact, even desirable. Avocados can be great in your meals and also on your face, and hair. Here are some ways of incorporating the green wonder into your beauty routine.

Anti-Aging
One thing avocados, a.k.a. alligator pears are great for is anti-aging. Not only can you use the mashed avocado for a mask, but eating it helps to fight aging as well. The antioxidants in the avocado detoxify the body, reducing wrinkles and making skin soft and supple.

Drink the Juice for Skin Health
These days it seems as if no fruit or vegetable is beyond liquefaction, and avocados are no exception. Just mix one with a cup of milk in the blender and – voila- a drink full of nutrients and vitamins. Your skin will thank you for it. Add honey if you like it sweet.

Revitalizes the Scalp
Avocado is also a great treatment for your crowning glory. The fruit can be used to treat dry hair or a dry itchy scalp. Just mash some up and massage it into your scalp and let the proteins and amino acids work their magic. You should find a more comfortable, less flaky scalp, and improved overall hair condition.

fresh Avocado smoothie

Defrizz Hair
Got frizz? Put half a mashed up avocado in the blender, add two tablespoons of avocado oil, and work it into your hair and scalp. Let it sit for about 15 minutes and shampoo. You should find hair immediately less frizzy and easier to control.

Natural Sunscreen
If you’re looking for a chemical free way of guarding againstUVA and UVB exposure, avocado oil works as a natural sunscreen and also soothes sunburnt skin. The high antioxidant content of the avocado protects against free radical damage and can restore the effects caused by overexposure to the sun.

Treats Skin Conditions
The healthy fats and oils in contained in the avocado are a close match for the natural oils in the skin and make great natural moisturizers with calming properties to reduce inflammation. Just mash one up and put it right on your face and neck, and wash it off after 5 or 10 minutes and reap the effects of radiant, beautiful skin.

Bad Breath
Some stuff a stick of gum in their mouths before an up close encounter, others drink avocado juice. Bad breath comes from your stomach, not your mouth. Avocado juice cleanses both mouth and intestines, removing the microbes that cause bad breath.

What is your beauty go to’s? What food do you wear? What do you do with your avocados? Let us know! We love to hear it!

These Ingredients Have Neuroprotective Benefits

woman reading book

The central nervous system. That complex combination of the brain and the spinal chord, studied extensively, but understood only partially, constantly and mysteriously working to generate our movements, emotions, and desires. While a system so multifaceted can be so fascinating, it can also be extremely prone to malfunction. So many things can go wrong with a system so complicated, and unfortunately, our limited knowledge makes many of these difficult to treat. Neuropathic disorders and diseases continue to plague so many with so few solutions. That is why it is so important to protect ourselves against these disorders. Here are some ingredients with neuroprotective properties.

Glutamate Antagonists
Glutamate antagonists are the main treatment to used to control cell death in CNS disorders. Overexcitation of glutamate receptors causes calcium to increase, which has major consequences on the nerve. Glutamate antagonists inhibit the binding of glutamate to receptors and may help to avoid excitotoxicity. Some treatments with promising results include:

Estrogen
Estradiol helps to prevent excitotoxicity by inhibiting glutamate receptors, such as NMDA.

Ginsenoside Rd
Studies show that ginsenoside Rd may help to inhibit glutamate excitotoxicity, and has proven to be an effective and noninvasive treatment for ischemic stroke patients.

Progesterone
Progesterone has been shown to prevent secondary injuries in patients with stroke and traumatic brain injury.

Antioxidants
Antioxidants work to protect the body against oxidative stress, which is the main cause of neuron degradation. The effectiveness of antioxidants depends on the disease, gender, age, and ethnicity. Here are some of the most common antioxidants that have been shown to be beneficial in the reduction of oxidative stress in at least one neurodegenerative disease:

Fish Oil
Fish Oil contains n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids that can prevent mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress. It has potential to be neuroprotective and is the subject of many studies on its effects on neurodegenerative diseases.

Resveratrol
Resveratrol can prevent oxidative stress in disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, ALS, Parkinson’s disease and cerebral ischemia.

Vitamin E
Vitamin E has varying effects depending on the neurogenerative disease that is being treated. It is most effective On Alzheimer’s disease and may be somewhat beneficial in treating ALS, but it is ineffective in the treatment of Parkinson’s.

THC
THC can exert neuroprotective effects on ischemia of the brain by acting on glutamate receptors, cation channels, and other pathways,

Stimulants
Certain stimulants are neuroprotective in appropriate doses.

Nicotine
Nicotine has been shown to offset Parkinson’s disease in humans and monkeys. It is available in patch form.

Caffeine
Caffeine is protective against Parkinson’s disease and induces neuronal glutathione synthesis by promoting cysteine uptake.

Selegiline
This has been shown to delay early onset Parkinson’s disease by an average of nine months.

Are neuroprotective ingredients important to you? Which ones would you use? THC? Nicotine? Caffeine? Let us know what you think.

Natural Ingredients That Stimulate Healthy Cell Formation

These days, when the word “cell” is mentioned, most of us are likely to think “phone.” While many of us may argue that cell phones are vital to our well being, there are other kinds of cells that are probably just a little more important. These are the cells in your body; the fundamental units of life form which all your organs and tissues are made.

Like most of our cell phones, the cells of the body are in constant communication with one another, responding to the signals they receive from your environment. If the cells cannot operate efficiently, tissues and organs can breakdown, resulting in a host of health conditions. In order to keep these cells functioning properly you need to keep yourself well nourished. Here are some healthy ingredients you need to ensure that these very important cells continue to serve you well.

whole grains

Whole Grain
Whole foods contain the fullest variety of nutrients, which makes whole grains one of the most complete food sources for healthy cell formation. The three main parts of the whole grain each serve a different purpose, and provide a different complement of vitamins and minerals. The protective bran guards the sprout from sun damage; the germ contains a high level of micronutrients from the vitamin E family, while the endosperm contains the lowest level of nutrients and serves mostly to provide calories for the sprout. While all three parts are used in whole grain food, refined products, such as white bread, use only the endosperm, or starch component of the grain.

Fats and Cell Formation
The fats you eat have a major influence on your cells. As a matter of fact, they become your cell membranes. Unsaturated fats, like the omega-3s in fish and nuts, are needed to give your cell membranes their shape and the ability to communicate with one another. While trans fatty acids, or saturated fats, also become part of your cells membrane, they are less able to respond to signals and can cause cell membranes to become brittle.

Cereals, vegetables, fruits, and grains also have fats to protect cell membrane from damage. These include tocopherals and are found in highest amounts in wheat germ oil, carotenoids, such as beta-carotene in carrots, vitamin C from citrus fruits, and lycopene in tomatoes.

eggs and meat

DNA
DNA is the part of your cell which stores your genetic information, and it is vital that you take steps to make sure its integrity is not compromised. When the structure of DNA breaks down, the body becomes not only unable to produce proteins for proper cell function, but it may cause mutations that lead to cancer. While fats are an integral part of protecting the DNA, it is also important to maintain adequate levels of protein, choline, inositol, carotenoids, and antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E.

Healthy DNA also requires an adequate intakes of vitamin B12 and folate, which are involved with repair and replication of DNA. Eggs, meat, fish and dairy are all rich in vitamin B12, while high levels of folate are found in eggs, grains, and green vegetables.

Organic Foods
Since agricultural chemicals are know to damage the function and structure if cells, organically grown foods are recommended to promote healthy cell formation. Studies show that pesticides can overstimulate enzymes which can be a cause of inflammation, and a contributing factor to psoriasis and atherosclerosis,
Organic foods can also minimize DNA degradation. Test tube studies show that agricultural chemicals can lead to genetic mutations leading to the development of cancer and have a negative effect on the production of energy.

Are you keeping your cells healthy? Let us know what you’re eating to keep your cells in tip top shape!

Kale

10 Ways To Include Kale and Swiss Chard In Your Diet

You may be wondering why, if veggies like Swiss chard and kale have been around forever, why haven’t you heard much about them until recently? Well, the sad truth is that there was a time in history when these greens were considered the “ugly ducklings” of the vegetable family. While their better tasting relatives, like spinach and broccoli, were enjoying the limelight, kale and chard were consigned to a lesser position, largely ignored, until one day, their superfood powers were revealed.

Suddenly, they became all the rage. No one could consume these darlings quickly or often enough, and more and more new and innovative ways were found to incorporate them into meals and snacks. If you are among those who are see in kale and Swiss chard in a new light, here are ten ways you can give these veggies their proper due.

Veggie Soups
Healthy comfort food? Why not? Chop or puree some kale and Swiss chard into your next soup recipe.

kale chips

Kale Chips
Just remove the stem and center ribs and tear leaves into chip size pieces. Toss them with a little olive oil and sprinkle with herbs, salt or cumin. Bake at 300 until crisp.

Smoothies
Smoothies and green protein juices can be great sources for packing in nutrients. Add one or two handfuls of kale, Swiss chard, or spinach to your morning or afternoon concoction. However, you may want to keep in mind that juices do not provide the same fiber benefits as eating greens and drinking smoothies do, as juices tend to have high sugar content due to other added vegetables.

Green Veggies With Eggs
Not to be confused with green eggs and ham, green veggies can make a great addition to an egg scramble or frittata.

Green powder

Green Powders
Green powders contain a large variety of concentrated green veggies, and usually include plant algae like chlorella and spirulina. Look for organic green powders at health food stores and make sure to take into account what type of sweetener and how much sugar the powder contains. Try to keep sugar levels under five grams per serving.

Baked Goods
Fool your family, fool yourself. Puree some Swiss chard or kale into your muffins or brownies. According to Heather Bauer, RD, CDN, “You won’t even feel like you’re eating vegetables.”

Pasta
Cheryl Forbero, RD suggests foregoing the basil or pesto on your pasta for some heartier greens. You can even work them into your lasagna or pesto recipe, says Julie Upton, MS, RD, CSSD.

kale pizza

Pizza
Kale pizza anyone? Why not? After you finish heaping on the mozzarella, how about heaping on the greens? Drizzle with oil and vinegar and mangia!

Beans
Add texture and color to your bean dish with a few cups of chopped Swiss chard or kale. Just add it along with the garlic, onions and seasoning.

Stir-Fry
If your sautéing some beef, chicken or tofu, stir in some carrot, red pepper and Swiss chard stems. Then, remove from heat and stir in the leaves for a healthy and delicious stir fry.

How are you adding kale and Swiss chard to your diet? Let us know how your keeping healthy!