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INGREDIENT SPOTLIGHT: Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

image of vitamin b2 Vitamin B2, also known as Riboflavin, is an extremely important vitamin that can be found in a variety of animal based and plant based food items. It serves a range of purposes for the human body, such as helping enzymes to protect the human body from the damage caused by free radicals, ensuring the development and proper functioning of the skin, performing the functions of metabolism and maintaining the functioning of blood cells and the lining of the digestive tract. Vitamin B2 is also known to be a micronutrient that easily gets absorbed by the cells located in the human body. It is generally found in food items such as enriched flour, green vegetables, meat, nuts, milk and eggs. Other sources of Vitamin B2 include ready to eat foods like cereals and breads, yeast, yogurt and cheese.

The daily requirement for Vitamin B2 for the human body ranges from 1.1mg – 1.6mg. Moreover, Riboflavin has also been approved by the FDA and it is generally considered to be an extremely safe ingredient. The main reason for the apparent lack of danger of Vitamin B2 over dosage is that the human body simply excretes the excess Riboflavin by way of sweat or urine. Vitamin B2 is considered to be directly involved with the metabolic processes of the human body. As a result, it is extremely important in terms of normal cell functioning and energy production. Vitamin B2 also plays a crucial role in assisting other Vitamin Bs to become useful to the human body by undergoing a chemical change.

3D model of Riboflavin The lack of Vitamin B2 can lead to a deficiency known as Ariboflavinosis. This normally occurs of your Vitamin B2 intake becomes lesser than 0.5mg per day. The main symptoms of Vitamin B2 deficiency are soreness in your throat, weakness, cracking of the skin, anemia and dermatitis. Lesser known symptoms include fatigue, bloodshot eyes, itching, blurred vision and watering of the eyes. It is also said that alcoholics, elderly and the chronically ill are more susceptible to Vitamin B2 deficiency than others.

Now that the importance of Vitamin B2 for the human body is clear, why not understand how this vitamin can assist in your skin care treatments and processes?

Antioxidant protection – Vitamin B2 plays a major role in saving the human body from damage caused by free radicals.  This is because the vitamin serves as a major component of the glutathione reductase enzyme, which protects the human body from free radical damage.

young woman with healthy shiny hair Healthy Hair – Deficiency of Vitamin B2 along with deficiencies in Vitamin B1, B3 and B5 can lead to improperly nourished hair follicles that can ultimately cause stunted hair growth or brittle hair.

Healthy Nails – The nails require an extremely balanced diet in order to remain healthy. Vitamin B2 helps the human body to absorb mineral iron, a compound that is necessary for strong and healthy nails. Without access to this iron, the nails can become thin, brittle and white. Improper nail growth is also known to be a common side effect of Vitamin B2 deficiency.

Maintaining healthy skin and preventing acne breakouts – A sufficient amount of vitamins and minerals are essential for your skin care. Vitamin B Complex promotes healthy skin and speeds up your cell metabolisms. Moreover, research has also proved that Vitamin B can benefit the skin when consumed orally as well as when applied topically. Since Vitamin B2 is an important ingredient of the Vitamin B Complex, it plays a huge role in skin care as well.

2D rendering of Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol)

INGREDIENT SPOTLIGHT: Vitamin E

Vitamin E, also known as Tocopheryl acetate, has been classified as a heterocyclic compound as well as an ester. One of its most important functions is that it is used as a major ingredient for skin conditioning and as an antioxidant. Vitamin E is typically found in products such as vegetable oils, vegetables like avocado and asparagus and whole grains. It features among the most popular antioxidants that are used in skin care formulas for a good reason – it is not only known to be one of the most effective antioxidants, it is also famous as an excellent hydrating agent. Furthermore, Vitamin E is considered to be one of the key ingredients for building your immunity, ensuring healthy eyes and protecting your cells from damage.

Where to Get Vitamin E
The best place to get your daily Vitamin E dosage is through food. There are a number of food items such as green leafy vegetables, nuts, vegetable oils and seeds that are known to be excellent sources of Vitamin E. However, the unprocessed food items are considered to be the best options. There are a number of Vitamin E supplements available in the markets as well.  Other ways of getting your daily dosage of Vitamin E include skin care creams and lotions that are applied topically. These lotions and creams can help you to reduce your wrinkles, remove facial lines and decrease the roughness of your skin. Furthermore, some studies have also shown that consuming Vitamin E can help you to ward off skin cancer.

How to make use of Vitamin E
Now that the importance of Vitamin E is clearer, you must be wondering on how to make use this all important ingredient.

  • Protecting your Skin – Vitamin E oil can be an excellent substitute for lotions that are full of harmful ingredients such as alcohol and chemicals. It not only provides your skin with the requisite moisture, but it also helps in facilitating the healing process for your body. However, you are advised to refrain from applying pure Vitamin E oil as it can be extremely sticky and thick. The best time to apply Vitamin E oil is just before going to sleep. The best way to apply the oil is to mix it in equal amounts with Olive Oil and then apply it on your skin just before going to sleep.
  • Anti-aging benefits – The production of collagen and the turnover of your skin cells is known to slow down as your skin begins to age. This can make the skin lose its elasticity and firmness. Unhealthy diets and habits, exposure to harmful chemicals and unwanted exposure to sunlight can also trigger the aging process and make your skin look saggy. Adding Vitamin E to your daily routine can help you to reverse the anti-aging process. It not only smooths out your wrinkles and fine lines, but it also reduces their chances of occurring in the future. Another factor which plays a huge role in aging your skin is the cross linking of proteins. Vitamin E is also known to prevent excessive cross-linking and protect your natural enzymes, thereby allowing the skin to look younger. Furthermore, your DNA degenerates as your body ages. This can result in a number of skin problems and premature aging. Studies have shown that topical applications of Vitamin E can prevent this process from occurring.
  • Removing your makeup –Why use those harmful chemical solutions to remove your makeup when you can easily use Vitamin E oil to do so. All you need to do is to dip a ball of cotton in Vitamin E oil and use it to wipe the makeup off your face. This is the healthiest way of removing your makeup.
  • Under-eye treatments – Vitamin E is suitable for application in the sensitive areas around your eyes. Make sure that you apply it on the skin around your eyes after a shower as it can help in preventing the formation of crow’s feet.
  • Cleansing Agent – Vitamin E is considered to be one of the best cleansing agents as it can be used by people with all types of skin. Things like grime, dead cells, dirt and debris accumulate on your skin over time  making it look tired and dull. Dipping a ball of cotton in Vitamin E oil and wiping your face with it can do wonders for your skin and bring back your glow. Ideally, you should cleanse your skin two times a day, once in the morning and once at night.
  • Treating Sunburns – Topical applications of Vitamin E can be used to treat minor sunburns as well. Once applied on the skin, the Vitamin E gets absorbed into the epidermis and begins to heal the unwanted damage caused by the harmful UV rays of the sun. If the sunburn is severe, apply Vitamin E oil twice a day on the affected area of your skin.
  • Treatment of Brown Spots – Brown spots crop up due to a number of factors such as liver issues, radical damage and aging. Using Vitamin E can help you repair and cure this damage. All you need to do is apply the Vitamin E oil on your brown spots and allow it to lubricate the cell membranes. Your cells should soon begin to regenerate and once this happens, the brown spots should begin to disappear.

Now that you’re aware of how beneficial Vitamin E can be for your skin, don’t you think you should give it some more attention. It’s not just something out of your school classes, it can actually do wonders for your looks as well.

Super foods can help you relax

Super Foods for Relaxation

We all want to feed our bodies for optimum health, but did you know that the right foods will also give us the ultimate in relaxation? The goal in fighting stress is to help your body produce serotonin, the ultimate brain relaxation chemical that allows the rest of you to wind down.

Luckily, there are plenty of healthy foods that can help you increase the production of this important chemical. Vine Vera brings you seven different super foods that contain the fuel for serotonin and will help you unwind during stressful times:

-NUTS. The numerous vitamins and minerals in nuts, ranging from Vitamin B-complex to zinc, help relax the brain and allow the body to ease down from stress. The fatty acids in these nuts, also known as Omega-3s, can also help increase the production of serotonin. Walnuts, Brazil nuts and peanuts are all good options. Although they are delicious and important to your diet, be warned: Although they are vital to your diet, nuts are also high in calories, so monitor your intake.

Nuts offer your body numerous vitamins and minerals

-MILK. When you were little, your mom probably offered you warm milk to help you sleep. It has been a tried-and-true remedy for sleep for decades, and chemically it’s for a good reason. Milk contains tryptophan, or the chemical that relaxes your body and makes you feel tired after it converts to serotonin. It may be most commonly associated with the sleepy feeling after Thanksgiving’s turkey, but tryptophan can be found in milk products due to its large amount of proteins. If you don’t like drinking milk, don’t worry — eating cheeses higher in protein has the same effect.

-WHOLE GRAINS. Brown rice, whole wheat and whole oats offer two chemical benefits to help relax your body. One is that all these things contain selenium, which is a chemical that is known to relax the body. The other is that its complex carbohydrates let the body absorb the tryptophan from protein sources such as milk. If you choose whole grains, you’ll find that whole grains will keep the blood sugar from spiking and give you the ultimate relaxation qualities.

-CHOCOLATE. Yes, we are encouraging you to eat chocolate, but it’s not what you think. The cocoa bean’s cacao, or the common ingredient in your average chocolate bar, is high in flavanoids, which are antioxidants that help not only rid your body of free radicals but also soothe your stress. However, you can’t just grab any old candy bar and expect to receive the benefits of the cacao. You need to be indulging in dark chocolate that has a higher rate of cacao, usually above 70 percent.

-BERRIES. Berries are rich in Vitamin C, which is the essential antioxidant that will not only help convert tryptophan into serotonin to absorb into your bloodstream but also lower your blood pressure and minimize the cortisol levels that come from stress. Any Vitamin C-rich fruit will help, like citrus and kiwi, but berries often pack a powerful punch of this nutrient in a smaller serving than other fruits.

-SPINACH. Dark green leafy vegetables contain magnesium, which has a relaxing effect on the body’s arteries. Although you can get it from supplements, spinach has one of the highest magnesium sources of any natural food. In addition to its other numerous nutritional benefits, from folate and calcium to protein (all of which are calming agents), it is also a good source of vitamin C, and not unlike berries it helps the body convert tryptophan.

Avocados are a super food

-AVOCADO. In addition to the Omega-3s and other healthy fats that are similar to those in nuts, avocados also contain Glutathione, which is a chemical that helps fight free radicals in the digestive tract. This creamy fruit is also a good source of B-vitamins, Folate and Panothenic Acid, not to mention Vitamin C. It also helps stabilize your blood sugar, so it’s no wonder why this natural wonder is sure to soothe your troubled mind.

Whenever you are feeling stressed out reach for one of the 5 foods we listed here today. These amazing super foods not only help you relax but they are great for your body and skin. If you care for your skin and your body it’ll take care of you for many years to come!

What foods do you eat when you feel stressed? Let Vine Vera know using the comments box below.