Category Archives: Natural Ingredients

Food sources

As the Temps Rise, So Does Your Need for Vitamin D

Poor Vitamin D! It was a perfectly respectable vitamin until the Urban Dictionary perverted it into a sexual euphemism. Now one can barely mention the vitamin without the occasional titter from those familiar with what it means to “put the D in someone.” In fact, even Marks and Spencer has come under fire for their claims of “Putting the D In Bread,” sparking a social media frenzy by those who can’t keep their minds out of the proverbial gutter.

The more mature among us will know vitamin D as a valuable nutrient for managing calcium in the blood, and assisting with intercellular communication. You may also know that this vitamin is primarily derived from the sun. However, if the sun is not an option, due to inclement weather, or simply lack of exposure, there are some foods that may be more consistent options.

Tuna Fish
Canned tuna is probably the cheapest and most accessible source of seafood, and a 3 oz. contains 236 IU of vitamin D: more than half the daily requirement. Sandwich or salad, tuna’s got the D.

Eggnog

Eggnog
There is no wrong time for eggnog. One glass contains 25% of the RDA of vitamin D, thanks to its large egg content. However, you may want to keep the consumption down to a minimum to avoid a sugar overload.

Fortified Dairy
Although most dairy does not contain significant amounts of vitamin D, the federal government began to fortify milk in the 1930’s due to a widespread deficiency in the nutrient. A single cup of fortified milk will get you 34% of the recommended daily value, while a 6-ounce container of fortified yogurt will give you one fifth of the RDA.

Mackerel
If you’re looking to pick up some Vitamin D, mackerel is quite the catch. Not only does one four ounce portion contain an entire day’s worth of vitamin-D requirement, it also has lower levels of mercury and is at less of a risk of overfishing than other fish with a similar nutritional profile. Mackerel is also rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and protein. Catch it if you can!

Portobello mushroom

Portobello Mushrooms
Portobello mushroom crops are exposed to additional lighting that boosts the amount of vitamin D by a whopping 3,000 percent. The increase of vitamin D intake due to lighting has also been shown to be a cost-effective way of lowering depression.

Smoked Whitefish
Kosher deli connoisseurs will know this fish as a great accompaniment to bagels, but they may not know that half a cup of this brunch staple contains enough vitamin D to get you through your day, It is also naturally low in calories and fat, and rich in vitamin D, protein, and B vitamins.

Soy Milk
You may be drinking soy milk to address issues of lactose intolerance, but if its fortified, you are also getting a daily dose of D. Most brands contain about one-quarter of the daily requirement.

Orange juice

Fortified Orange Juice
You may know orange juice to be a valuable source of vitamin C, but with fortification it can also be a significant source of vitamin D, with one cup exceeding a quarter of the daily recommended intake.

How are you getting your D? Let us know! We love to hear it, especially the dirty stuff!

Add Cabbage Juice To Your Healthy Drink List

Some may say that the popularity of home juicers and food processors have brought out a bit of the mad scientist in us. Increasingly, the question seems to be not what you can put into these new contraptions, but what you can’t. Indeed, something in these new kitchen innovations have awakened our inner eighth grader, leaving very little off limits. Among the more eyebrow-raising to meet their fates in the juicer: cereal grasses, cucumbers, celery, potatoes and now, a new addition to the list; cabbage.

Cabbage

Cabbages
Why cabbages, you might ask? They don’t seem to be too high on anyone’s favorite food list, and even smell a little funny, but it turns out, cabbages can do the body a surprising amount of good.

Cabbage is low in saturated fats and cholesterol and is also rich in vitamins such as B6, C, K, and folate. It also has a high fiber content and contains protein, calcium, phosphorous, and omega -6 fatty acids. However, it is not the nutritional content of cabbage that makes it so impressive, rather it is the health benefits.

Health Benefits of Cabbage

Fights Cancer
Cabbage juice contains isocyanate, known for its ability to prevent great, stomach, prostate, lung and colon cancer. It also contains sulforaphane, which blocks carcinogens. For these reasons, it is often prescribed to patients recovering from cancer.

Controls Ulcers
In addition to having cancer-fighting properties, cabbage juice is also effective in controlling peptic ulcers. The juice of the cruciferous veggie contains glutamine, which is a type of amino acid associated with the promotion of cellular growth it the stomach, and may aid in helping peptic ulcers to repair itself.

Cabbage juice

Weight Control
Because cabbage juice is beneficial to the digestive system, it is known to aid in weight loss, converting sugar and carbs into energy, rather than fat.

Heart Disease
Cabbage contains omega -6 fatty acids. Although once believed to block arteries, the American Heart Association has now found Omega-6s to be heart healthy and recommends that individuals get 5-10% go their daily calorie intake from these fatty acids.

Fights Anemia
Anemia is characterized by a decrease in red blood cells in the bloodstream, resulting in feelings of fatigue and exhaustion. The folic acid in cabbage juice has been shown to help generate new red blood cells vital to anemia sufferers. Cabbage is also rich in Vitamin C, which assists in the body’s absorption of iron.

Skin Care
Cabbages are rich in phytochemicals, like alpha and beta-carotene and contain the retinol equivalent of vitamin A. The antioxidant properties in these nutrients cam destroy free radicals that damage skin cells and age skin and are probably a better source of skincare than many products available on the market today.

Let us know if you’ve tried cabbage juice? What do you think? Is it the next must have smoothie ingredient?

Certain Sunscreens May Harm Corals

Coral reefs

You’re finally going on your Hawaiian vacation. You’re going to party the week away eating kalua pork and huli huli chicken, working on your hula moves and drinking exotic cocktails from coconuts with umbrellas sticking out of them. You’re going to go snorkeling in the crystal waters of Waikiki Beach and you’re going to hit the white sands of Honolulu running. And of course, you’re going to slather on that sunscreen. Right? Well, you may want to think again.

You know that your Hawaiian vacation would not be complete without checking out those amazing coral reefs. Not only are these beauties responsible for housing 500 species of algae which provide food and sustenance to Hawaii’s vast marine life, they’re also going to keep you hangin’ 10 by creating those big Hawaiian waves. Unfortunately, when it comes to these natural wonders, your sunscreen may be doing more harm than good.

Dangers of Sunscreen to Corals
Although sunscreen may be fully beneficial to humans, it may be anything but for the coral reef. Chemicals in sunscreens that wash off the body off beach goers wreak havoc on the precious reefs, bleaching the coral, hindering its growth, and often, outright killing it. In the aim of damage control to one of Hawaii’s most profitable natural resources, Hawaiian Senator Will Espero presented a bill to congress on January 20 that would ban sunscreens with octinoxate and oxybenzone from the Hawaiian island.

Sunscreen Harms Corals
The chemical and mineral filters in sunscreen, used to block the sun’s radiation are the most damaging to the reefs. They wash off the skin of surfers, swimmers, spear fishers, and even those using the beach showers, and find their way into the ocean. Oxybenzone, concentrations have been measured at 30 times the concentration level safe for the corals. Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources says, “(These chemicals) cause deformities in coral larvae making them unable to swim, settle out, and form new coral colonies. It also increases the rate at which coral bleaching occurs. This puts coral reef health at risk, and reduces resiliency to climate change.”

Woman on a hammock

Craig Downs, researcher on stunted coral growth at Haereticua Environmental Laboratory in Virginia says that oxybenzone “kills (coral.) It turns them into zombies if it doesn’t kill them outright. It makes them sterile and you do not get coral recruitment.”

Not Just A Hawaiian Problem
Hawaiian corals are not the only ones being endangered. In fact, about 80% of all corals in the Caribbean Sea have died within the past 40 years. Although factors such as temperature anomalies, predators, pollution from cruise ships and coastal runoffs all contribute to the endangerment, the fact the approximately 14,000 tons of sunscreen has been found to wash into the world’s ocean each year is not helping matters.

The Other Side
Of course, there are two sides to every story. Sunscreen manufacturers, such as L’oreal uphold the benefits of their products and oppose the ban claiming there is not enough supporting evidence. However, Espero rallies, ” We have advocates and science on our side. Fisherman, boat owners, ocean sports enthusiasts, ocean-tour operators, and environmentalists rely on the ocean for recreation and jobs. Opponents will be out there, but supporters as well.

What Can You Do?
If your wondering how to keep these creatures safe without risking your delicate complexion, you can check out the Environmental Working Group’s guide to safe sunscreen, but be aware that they do advise, “Sunscreen should be your last resort,” and urge you to consider long sleeved shirts, Uv blocking attire, sunglasses, shade and well time jaunts into the sun to keep exposure to a minimum.

So what do you think? To screen or not to screen? Let us know where you stand!

The Best Plant Extracts For Skin

Usually, when we think of the plights of ancient civilization, acne does not top our list. However, that does not mean skincare was not a problem for our forebears. After all, if there was a sun, was there not sun damage and, if there were pregnancies, were there not stretch marks? While we can pretty much assume our forefathers and mothers all battled with skin issues, there is a noticeable absence of the mention of benzoyl peroxide and hyaluronic acid in the history books. So what did our ancestors use to ensure skin health before the advent of “science-based skincare?” Plant extracts. And if they worked back then, shouldn’t they work now?

Let’s take a moment to investigate the best plant-based extracts for your skin that are still available.

Aloe vera

Aloe Vera
This extract has been around since time immemorial. Best known as a remedy for irritation and minor burns, this desert plant is known for its ability to fight bacteria, protect skin cells from damage, soften skin, and rebuild new tissue. Aloe is an ideal ingredient for mature skin and improves collagen levels when ingested or applied topically.

Tea Tree Oil
Ideal for moisturizing and cleansing, tea tree oils reduces sebum production in the sebaceous glands and reduces the amount of bacteria that cause blemishes to form. Its antiseptic properties make it an effective healer, it is known for its ability to safely remove dead cells from the skin and decrease the appearance of wrinkles.

Shea
Shea butter evens skin tone and protects and moisturizes the skin and scalp without clogging pores. Extracted from the nut of the West African karate tree, shea butter is naturally rich in vitamins A and E and helps restore elasticity to the skin and soothe irritation.

Shea butter

Olive Oil
Hailed as a skin care remedy by the ancient Egyptians, olive oil is still regarded as one of the most effective natural oils for skin care. It has been associated with everything from aiding in digestion to acne prevention and anti-aging. The words “Extra virgin” or “cold pressed” on the label should indicate that the olive oil contained within is the purest of all extract and have more nutritional components to improve skin appearance, but beware falsely labelled products!

Avocado
One of the finest extracts found in nature, the oil from the avocado is an extract long found in face masks, bath oils, and cleansing cream. Avocados are rich in vitamin A, which is effective at removing dead skin cells and contain amino acids which protect skin against environmental damage.

Cocoa Butter
Cocoa butter is known for the ability to reduce scars and is often recommended by surgeons to patients to reduce evidence of surgery incisions. It is credited with boosting collagen in the skin and reducing stretch marks and the appearance of wrinkles and frown lines. Cocoa butter is an active ingredient in most moisturizers and is useful in combatting rough skin where dryness is common.
Cocoa butter

Coconut Oil
Great for both hair and skin care, coconut oil is an effective moisturizer for dry skin and scalp. It can also delay the appearance of wrinkles and has been proven to be effective in the treatments of psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis. The antioxidant properties of the coconut prevent premature aging and degenerative disease and it is available in a variety of skin care products, such as lotions, soaps, and creams.

Do you know of any plant extracts we haven’t mentioned that do wonders for your skin? Let us know your favorites. We’re all ears!

The Benefits Of A Sprinkle Of Chia Seeds

SNL enthusiasts may recall the ‘Chia Head” sketch, featuring Kevin Nealon, Chris Rock, and David Spade as balding men who have “tried everything” and failed miserably in their futile attempts to regrow hair. The commercial spoof shows the actors throwing ineffective hair products in the garbage only to be pleasantly surprised by the discovery of “Chia Head.” This product, much like the “Chia Pet” novelty, requires the men to rub the gloppy formula on their heads, only to wake up the next morning having sprouted plantlike follicles in varying afro-like shapes – the most hilarious of which is probably Chris Rock’s Marge Simpson-inspired beehive-like do.

Funny as the sketch was, it is perhaps more amusing to realize that hair growth is one of the many health benefits of chia seeds. If only the SNL alum had known; a little sprinkle of chia really could’ve gone a long way.

Chia seeds

High in Nutrients, Low In Calories
It’s no accident that “chia” is the ancient Mayan word for strength. These tiny black seeds, related to the mint, contain 11 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, 5 grams of omega-3s, as well as a decent percentage of calcium, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorous. Chia seeds are a gluten-free, GMO-free, whole grain food, and one ounce contains a low 137 calories and one gram of carbohydrate.

Antioxidant Rich
The antioxidants in chia seeds prevent the production of free radicals that can cause damage to cell molecules and contribute to cancer and aging.

Fiber Rich
Although chia seeds have 12 grams of carbs per ounce, 11 of those are fiber, which means that these 11 grams are not digested by the body, do not raise blood sugar, and don’t require insulin for disposal. The high-fiber content means that the seeds can absorb as much as 10 to 12 times their weight in water, thereby increasing fullness, slowing food absorption, and decreasing feelings of hunger. Chia seeds are one of the best fiber sources in the world, helping to feed good bacteria in the intestine and promoting proper digestion.

High In Protein
Chia seeds are about 14% protein by weight and contain a good balance of amino acids, which assists in helping our body to process the proteins in them. High protein can reduce appetite and is shown to lower food cravings by 60% and the need for nighttime snacking by 50%.

Can Improve Athletic Performance
A recent study was conducted to find out if there was truth to the legend that Mayans and Aztecs used chia seeds as high-performance fuel. Six participants were given carb-loaded Gatorade or a mix of Gatorade and chia seeds. After a workout involving an hour on the treadmill followed by a 10-kilometer run, it was discovered that both groups performed equally well, suggesting that the chia seeds were just as effective as Gatorade in fueling athletic performance.

Incorporating Chia Seeds In Your Diet
Chia seed can be eaten raw or added to puddings, porridges, and baked goods. They can be sprinkled on yogurt, cereal, vegetables, and rice and can even be used as egg substitutes because of their ability to absorb water and fat. Recommended dosage is 20 grams, or about 1.5 tablespoons, twice daily.

Do you have any chia-seed recommendations for us? We’d love to hear from you!

Skin Friendly Snacks

The frozen snack aisle assaults you with a dizzying array of mini hot pockets, hot wings, fries, chicken nuggets, and cheese filled soft pretzel sticks, while the snack and candy aisle seems to have taken on epic proportions. There are potato chip flavors that you never dreamed were capable of fitting into a potato chip and hybrid candy bars that would have baffled Willie Wonka. And all you can think of is how badly your skin is going to react to all this. If you’re looking to avoid a major skin irritation flare up, here are some skin friendly snacks you may want to include at your next big celebration.

Berries

Berries
When choosing fruits and vegetables, color signals high the presence of natural pigments with antioxidant properties. Berries burst with color and antioxidants, replenishing your skin’s antioxidant defenses and absorbing free radicals from ultraviolet light.

Brazil Nuts
Packed with healthy monosaturated fats, Brazil nuts are a key source of selenium, which is crucial for immune support and a healthy circulatory system. These nuts are also rich in vitamin C, which improves skin circulation for a radiant glow.

dark chocolates

Dark Chocolate
Once thought to be the enemy of adolescent skin, dark chocolate is one of the newest snacks to achieve superfood status. Research in the European Journal of Nutrition and the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology shows that, dark chocolate, in addition to protecting the blood vessels and heart, can also help defend skin from sun damage. When applied topically, natural cocoa butter is an effective ingredient in preserving skin moisture and elasticity.

Yogurt
Low-fat yogurt is a key source of vitamin A, known for its skin enhancing and anti-aging properties. The vitamin boosts the skin’s production of collagen and protects against its deterioration, increasing and preserving skin elasticity.

Kiwis

Kiwi
When it comes to Vitamin C rich fruits, oranges and grapefruit typically come to mind. That’s why it may come as a surprise to find out kiwifruit is an even more powerful source of the antioxidant. Vitamin C plays a valuable role in skin health, maintaining connective tissue and also prevents scurvy. Although it has since been eradicated, scurvy was once a major cause of sickness among sailors who suffered disfigurement as a result of the deprivation of vitamin C. Other good C sources include papaya and guava.

Olives and Olive Oil
If you are organizing a skin friendly celebration, make sure olives and olive oil are on the grocery list. Besides, being full of healthy monosaturated fats, extra virgin olive oil uniquely contains phytochemicals, health improving chemicals found naturally in plants. Enjoy olives and olive oil in food, or apply the oil directly to skin to receive its nourishing benefits.

Let us know what your skin friendly snack picks are! We love to hear from you!

Beauty Products To Store In The Refrigerator

Did your significant other get mad because he accidentally drank your eye serum? Did your kid almost put your moisturizer on his cereal? Did your roommate use your facial mist as cooking spray? Is your nail polish occupying the ice tray in your freezer? So, maybe you’re not the domestic type, but you sure have a leg up when it comes to keeping your makeup fresh.
Beauty products that contain organic and natural ingredients may lack preservatives found in other cosmetics to keep them fresh. Keeping these products at a lower temperature can lengthen the life of vital vitamins and nutrients and keep your favorite makeup looking its best.

Beauty Products
Facial Mists

Facial mists are one example of a product whose survival rate can be increased by storage at a cool temperature. Michelle Ornstein, licensed aesthetician says, “Facial mists can help provide more soothing and calming benefits, especially if you’re spraying it on dry, inflamed skin. Plus, it feels more refreshing spraying cold mists instead of hot mists.”

Serums and Eye Cream
According to Tessa McCullough, makeup artist at G2O spa and salon, “Keeping my eye serum and line refiner for under eye super cold (freezer of fridge) make it that much more powerful at reducing puffiness and boosting circulation under the eye are to reflect a well-rested appearance. The cooling effect feels pretty amazing too.”

Nail Polish
When it comes to nail polish, refrigeration is all about protecting it from outside elements. Ami Shvartzman, director of Education for Osmosis, says its because the glass bottles that contain the nail polish make it a target for the effects of the sun. “Leaving nail polish in an area where it is subject to light and/or heat can change the texture and even the color of the product in the bottle.”

Lipstick
Lipstick

Melty lipstick is no good for your lips or the inside of your purse, and Cristina Samuels, co – founder of Mode says it can never be cold enough for your lip paint. She says that, “freezing your lipstick locks in freshness and helps prevent the beneficial and delicate natural oils and extracts from going rancid.” She adds, “Remember, heat is lipstick’s enemy,” and has advocated her clients to store extra lipsticks in the freezer and just popping one out “the night before or a couple of hours before you plan on using it to come to room temperature and your lipstick is ready!” Defrosted lipstick!

Mascara
If you’re noticing a strange odor emanating from your favorite mascara, that may because mascara has a shelf life, and, according to Shvartman, “liquid cosmetics have a shorter shelf life. Placing your mascara in a colder environment can enhance its life and keep it safe for your eyes longer.”

Serums, Masks, Toners, and Moisturizers
Because “cold temperatures shrink capillaries and stimulate drainage to reduce puffiness, toners serums, moisturizers, and gel-based masks do well in the fridge,” according to celebrity aesthetician Renee Rouleau. “Not only does this help preserve product, but the cooled down temperatures help reduce redness by constriction capillaries.”

If your fridge looks more like Sephora than Martha Stewart, tell us about it. What product do you find does its best at cooler temps? Let us know!

Wine and Other Heart Healthy Foods And Beverages

In Greek history, wine has always played a major role in sparking profound dialogue and wild sex. From the orgiastic Dionysian rituals to the philosophical discussions between Plato and Socrates, wine was just as openly exchanged as thoughts and bodily fluids. Indeed, the connection between wine, intense conversation, and physical pleasure seems to have held up through the years and cultures, but, in comparison to its history, the connection between wine and heart health is a rather new discovery.

In the past years, researcher have looked at foods and supplements to analyze the ideal components of a heart-healthy diet. Here are some heart healthy foods and beverages, wine included, that made the list.

Red Wine
Red Wine and Heart Health
Studies show that people who drink moderate amounts of alcohol have a lower risk of heart disease than nondrinkers, with further studies showing that red wine may actually offer extra health benefits. It contains flavonoids and resveratrol, which can limit hardening of the arteries.
In addition, according to the American Heart Association, one to two alcoholic drinks per day has been shown to increase “good” (HDL) cholesterol, while lowering “bad” (LDL) cholesterol and may also reduce instances of blood clots.

Chocolate and Heart Health
The discovery that dark chocolate and cocoa are good for the heart is truly revelatory. Chocolate is rich in antioxidants called flavanoids which keep blood vessels healthy and aids them in their ability to expand.

Those of who prefer white chocolate are less fortunate. While one study showed that eating dark chocolate daily reduced blood pressure and reduced LDL, no such benefits were found as a result of eating the white variety.

Fish Oil and Heart Health
Fatty fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that may help fight heart disease. According to the AHA, the best aquatic candidates for a healthy heart include lake trout, salmon, albacore tuna, mackerel, and sardines.

Alice Lichtenstein, DSc and professor of nutrition science and policy, says that she has reviewed studies crediting fish oil with decreased instances of cardiovascular disease, concluding that those who eat more than two servings per week are at a lower risk level.

Cholesterol Lowering Foods
Certain foods contain plant sterols that are shown to decrease bad cholesterol. These include cholesterol lowering margarine, chocolate bars, yogurt, and some orange juices. However, although these products have been shown to lower cholesterol, they should be used in moderation as part of a heart-healthy diet low in saturated fat.

Veggies
Fruits and Vegetables and Heart Health
Lichtenstein says, “We’ve been very disappointed with supplements in general, especially with respect to cardiovascular disease.” She adds, “All the major vitamin E intervention studies have shown no significant effects.”

The solution? More fruits and veggies! Judith Levine, RD, MS advises eating ” a rainbow of fruits and veggies, incorporating reds, blues, greens, and orange/yellows for a well-balanced heart healthy diet.

What do you eat to keep your heart healthy? Let us know what tops your list of heart-healthy indulgences!

Caffeine: Myth Vs. Fact

It would not be an exaggeration to say that caffeine has achieved celebrity status. In fact, it is possible that caffeine has received more mixed press than Charlie Sheen, Mel Gibson and both presidential candidates in the 2016 election. The stimulant has been credited with everything from causing cancer to curing it, and the verdict seems to vary with the weather. While the jury still seems to be out on the final judgment, there are a few things that we do know to be facts about caffeine so let’s take the time to clear up to sort out some of the tabloid rumors from the hard truth. Its time to separate myth from fact about the sordid tales of caffeine.

Coffee
Myth No. 1: Caffeine is Addictive
Ok, so maybe a little bit. Caffeine does stimulate the central nervous system, and, yes, regular use does can lead to a mild physical dependence. However, it doesn’t pose a threat to your mental, physical, economic or social health.

If you choose to go cold turkey on your java habit, you may experience symptoms of withdrawal, including headache, anxiety, irritability, and depression. However, because the severity of the withdrawal is relatively low, most experts agree that caffeine dependence is not a serious addiction.

Myth No. 2: Caffeine Causes Insomnia
Although this will likely come as a surprise to most of us, caffeine is not a huge culprit when it comes to preventing sleep. While the body absorbs caffeine quickly, it also disposes of it quickly. Caffeine has a comparatively short half-life; it takes about five to seven hours for the body to eliminate half of it. Thus 75% of the caffeine is gone eight to ten hours after consumption. So, a morning coffee or two should have no bearing on your sleep.

However, consuming caffeine later in the day can be a different story. Most people will be safe from a disrupted sleep as long as they avoid caffeine for at least 6 hours before bedtime. More sensitive people may experience not only insomnia, but also nervousness and upset of the gastrointestinal system.

coffee
Myth No. 3: Caffeine Increases Risk of Heart Disease, Osteoporosis, and Cancer
For most healthy adults, a moderate amount of caffeine (3 cups of coffee, or 300 mgs of caffeine) a day will not cause problems. However, some people, such as those who battle with high blood pressure, may be more vulnerable.

Osteoporosis
High doses of caffeine (more than 744 mgs per day) have been shown to decrease calcium and magnesium in urine, but no studies suggest it contributes to bone loss, especially if your intake of calcium remains high. Two tablespoons of milk added to your java will offset any lost calcium. Be warned though – research has shown links between caffeine intake and hip fracture in mature adults. Older coffee drinkers are advised to discuss their daily dose of caffeine with a health care expert.

Cardiovascular Disease
Caffeine causes a slight rise in heart rate and blood pressure, but large studies have failed to find a connection between caffeine and high cholesterol, irregular heartbeats, or heart disease. If your blood pressure is high, you may want to discuss the effects of caffeine with a doctor, as more research is required to tell whether or not caffeine leads to an increased risk of stroke in those who have high blood pressure.

Cancer
Thirteen studies of 20,000 people revealed no link between cancer and caffeine, and evidence has even surfaced that caffeine may even protect against the disease.

Myth No. 4: Caffeine Can Sober You up
It may seem like it, but the truth is judgment and reaction time are still impaired. In fact, the mixture of caffeine and alcohol is more likely to cause car accidents than alcohol alone.

Myth No. 5: Caffeine Is Harmful to Children
Big shocker here. According to research obtained in 2004, kids age 6 to 9 can consume about 22 milligrams a day and still remain within the recommended limit. However, that’s not to say you want to turn the little ones into regular caffeine fiends. Some children can be more sensitive and may experience anxiety or a “crash” post caffeine intake. Besides, most caffeinated beverages contain other things that most of us don’t want out children to ingest.

So, are you team caffeine or not? Of course, its all about moderation and sensible judgment, but let us know how you weigh in!

Add Some Avocado Oil To Your Diet

Life seems to be getting better. First, olive oil becomes the new superfood, and Italian food is back on the menu. Then, we find out dark chocolate has antioxidants and our afternoon snack got a lot more interesting, But now, a true star has emerged, avocado oil, and indeed, it may be the happiest thing to happen to food thus far.

When scientist David Fairchild declared avocados to be, “the veritable fruit of paradise,” he literally said a mouthful. The avocado is in no way your usual fruit. It is full of healthy fat and produces oil. Avocado oil may not be as popular as olive oil, but it is certainly just as chockfull of health benefits and every bit as tasty.

avocado oil
Lowers Blood Pressure
The mono saturated fats in avocado oil can lower blood pressure naturally when used as a replacement for transfats and saturated fats in your diet. According to a study published in the Journal of American Medical Association, partially substituting carbohydrates with mono saturated fats and protein can improve lipid levels, lower blood pressure and reduce cardiovascular disease.

Eases Arthritis Pain
ASU is an extract made from a combination of soybean and avocado extract which has recently received prescription drug status in France as a treatment for knee and hip osteoarthritis. In Denmark, ASU is used as a dietary supplement for its anti inflammatory properties and ability to stimulate growth and repair of cartilage.

Benefits Skin Problems Like Psoriasis
Psoriasis is a common skin problem causing the buildup of dead skin cells. A study published in Dermatology proved a B12 cream with avocado oil to be effective as a topical treatment for psoriasis. Patients using the oil for 12 weeks showed regular improvement during the study period. This is a significant finding, as most psoriasis medications are associated with side effects. Avocado oil may offer a risk free alternative.

Lowers Cholesterol and Improves Heart Health
Because it is high in content of monounsaturated oleic acid, avocado oil has the ability to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease by raising the body’s “good” cholesterol and lowering bad cholesterol. Monosaturated fatty acids, such as oleic acid have also been shown in clinical studies to reduce risk factors for coronary heart disease, such as factors affecting formation of blood clots and insulin sensitivity.

Avocado Oil Uses
Boosts Absorption of Nutrients

A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that avocado oil can also help to increase the body’s absorption of carotenoids. Carotenoids are antioxidants that depend on healthy fats for absorption. Dietary carotenoids are thought to have numerous health benefits, including the ability to decrease risk of cancers and eye disease.

Using Avocado Oil
When purchasing avocado oil, make sure the oil is 100% pure, for the healthiest and highest quality. It can be used in the same way olive pile is used, that is as a dressing on a salad or sandwich, or to roast or sautee foods. Avocado oil is also known for its regenerative properties and can used in hair to moisturize and improve texture and in skincare for eye makefup removal, dry cuticles, and cracked heels and wrinkle reduction.

Have you tried avocado oil yet? Let us know how you used it, whether on your skin or in your food!