Tag Archives: Coffee

coffee beans and tea leaves

Surprising Facts About Coffee, Tea, and Their Uses In Skincare

Novel skincare ingredients have a way of turning up in a variety of places. The real question is frequently if they have any truth behind their inclusion in a product. A surprise ingredient is interesting, but if it doesn’t help, why include it?

Many companies rely on this sort of novelty ingredient to capture the imagination of potential customers. Coffee and tea are two particularly popular additions to products these days. It actually isn’t that odd if you look at it closely.

Here’s the deal:

Tea and coffee both possess positive benefits for your skin when used properly. These benefits can help you work towards overall healthy skin. The catch is that the ingredients also have a flip side where they’re not as good for your skin.

That’s true of most skincare ingredients. Learning how to use ingredients the best way is ultimately what the skincare industry is about. We learn about how to best incorporate ingredients for maximum benefit.

Admittedly, it tends to be a fairly opaque process to most people. Those outside of the industry tend to be left wondering how we know something is good for skin or what exactly it does. This is particularly true for novel skincare ingredients.

skincare ingredients

Images like this are often used to advertise products, but tell us nothing about their true content.

That’s why we’re going to take a close look at some of the interesting facts surrounding tea and coffee in this post. It will let you know what they can do for you and some of the more novel aspects of the ingredients.

We’re going to focus on the following:

  • Interesting Facts
  • Benefits
  • Potential Drawbacks

This will help us all stay focused and ensure we know what we’re looking at at any given time. Let’s get started.
Interesting Facts
Both coffee and tea enjoy the reputations for being among the world’s favorite drinks. So many of us rely on coffee as a way to wake up in the morning that it is hard to overstate the appeal. Tea’s varied flavors make it equally popular.

We often don’t know much about them beyond that though. They’re simple drinks we buy or prepare regularly. That’s a shame given they’re actually fascinating if you take a moment.

For instance:

Coffee “beans” are actually seeds extracted from berries rather than independently grown beans. The name bean is applied to them because other beans are also seeds, but typically share a more recognizable look.

Tea’s different varieties are equally interesting. We here people recommending white, green, or black teas with some regularity, but what do those mean?

The names actually tell you when the leaves were plucked from the tea shrub. White teas are plucked when the shrub is blooming with new leaves and flowers while green tea is made from fully grown leaves. Black tea is made from aged and fermented green tea leaves.

Those are far from the only interesting things about them either. Let’s look at where they come from next.

tea plantation

This is what tea looks like long before it reaches your cup or skincare product.

Origins

While most of us have an idea of where coffee and tea are grown these days, we don’t always know where they came from before the modern era. All plants started somewhere and that affects a lot about the plants as well as the culture surrounding them.

Tea, for instance, is one that many of us already know started. China is its home as much as it is the cultural center of tea drinking in many ways. This is particularly important to remember thanks to England also enjoying a reputation for tea drinking.

Most experts place the tea shrub as developing in southeast China. There people eventually came to cultivate the plant and develop the various preparations we take for granted today.

Interestingly enough:

Black tea is comparatively popular in the West thanks to its comparative long-lasting nature. It stays both usable and fully flavored for far longer. As a result, this is what was traded to Europeans first.

Coffee is a bit harder for people to pin down though. We’re so used to talking about where the best coffee comes from that we’ve forgotten where it started. It wasn’t Columbia or Hawaii.

The coffee plant has been traced back to Africa. Culturally and biologically, coffee has its roots around Ethiopia and Sudan. That’s not where most of us end up thinking about when we think of coffee though.

It feels like a historical joke in some ways, but it is the truth. We can trace coffee back to the general area and Arabic countries for the earliest roots. The end result is the drink we enjoy today.

All of these facts have dealt with the past of coffee and tea rather than the now though. That’s worth looking at too.

The Benefits

Not only great as drinks, coffee and tea are also beneficial for skincare.

Countless little nutrients are available from them as well as potential perks from the compounds in each of the raw ingredients. It is simply a matter of extracting them properly. That’s where professionals come in.

Here’s the thing:

Almost every one of us has heard of one of the major benefits of both coffee and tea for your skin lies in their potential as an antioxidant. The idea is only surprising if one is relatively new to skincare.

This potential as an antioxidant is highly important to skin health. It helps to protect the skin from various signs of aging as well as helping counteract potential lingering low grade damage. There is more to talk about than that though:

  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Exfoliation
  • Oil Control
  • Anti-bacterial properties

All of these benefits are worth talking about and often end up being overlooked. That’s why we’re going to take a good look at where these benefits come from and what they can do for you.

Anti-inflammatory

Perhaps the best to look at in detail are the anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties of each compound. These are what help them boost the skin’s healing properties the best. In turn, this is what makes them particularly valuable.

Green tea extract is particularly known for these properties in skincare circles. That’s why you’ll find it on the ingredient list of a variety of products. Both of these properties are thanks to the tannins found in coffee and tea.

Tannins are a collection of compounds that naturally occur within a variety of plant life. These compounds are protective in nature, but that protective nature isn’t exclusive to the plants themselves.

We appear to be able to make use of these tannins both through imbibing or eating them and through application on the skin. Imbibing them is part of where the antioxidant-rich nature of coffee and tea comes from though.

aloe vera

Regardless, tannins have a noticeable anti-inflammatory property whether they’re in coffee, tea, or red wine. These properties allow them to help soothe the skin and reduce overall levels of irritation. This in turn allows the skin to repair itself better.

Want to know the best part?

This same property allows you to get control of inflammation induced redness in the skin as well. In effect, it helps you to smooth out complexion problems. That’s all before we get to the potential anti-bacterial properties as well.

Antibacterial

Antibacterial properties are an important part of skincare products. As much as we share our skin with friendly bacteria, we also have to deal with the constant attempts of less than friendly bacteria to colonize our skin.

Our friendly bacteria tend to do what they can to protect our skin, their home, to ensure they’re healthy too. The downside of all of this is that the interaction of each set of bacteria sometimes causes us problems. Acne, for instance, is typically born of this conflict.

Antibacterial products tends to be a fairly broad spectrum approach that kill most of the bacteria in the area. That allows your skin’s natural healing processes to clean up the area as well as ensure your products work that much better.

Tea and coffee-based products offer this benefit. It makes them particularly well-suited for acne control and healing products. Admittedly, these benefits aren’t necessarily as pronounced as formulated products for the same reason.

Both of the previous benefits ride along with another, though.

Oil Control

Tannins are interesting in that their potential to help is clearly there, but it is paired with a potential for harm as well. They tend to dehydrate the skin if you’re not careful. That’s what a lot of warnings around them lean on.

The truth is this can help work in the favor of some skin types. Topical application can help to reduce the overall amount of oil on the skin. While they can’t reduce the amount your skin secretes, preventing it from building up and clogging your pores is possible.

It gets better:

This benefit is relatively easy to use and typically fairly prevalent in most products utilize tea extracts or coffee extracts. That allows them to help minimize the chance for a dull complexion as well as supporting healthier skin.

It isn’t perfect though. Generally this means needing to make sure you stay on top of properly moisturizing your skin to ensure it doesn’t get too dry. Abusing any of these products could dehydrate your skin if you’re not careful.

oily vs dry skin

Your sebaceous glands do what they can to protect your skin, but sometimes go overboard.

That will in turn cause a surplus of oil that can cause many potential skin problems. So make sure to maintain good moisturizing practices when using products including coffee or tea. The good news is the right preparations can extract yet another benefit.

Exfoliation

Not every ingredient is suitable for exfoliating. Sometimes the chemical properties aren’t quite right or the ingredient isn’t the right level of gritty to do the job properly. In this case, you generally aren’t going to find tea being used as anything other than an anti-inflammatory.

Guess what:

Things are entirely different when it comes to coffee. Those fond of the drink are already aware that there are varying ways to grind the beans to get them to the right consistency. Some of those consistencies are perfect for use in body scrubs.

These products allow the ground coffee to shine by providing more or less comfortable exfoliation. You can also temporarily smooth out rougher areas of the skin too. Think of it as a quick, if temporary fix, for cellulite and similar issues.

Don’t ever use coffee-based exfoliating products on your face though. The grounds are almost never smooth enough to avoid harming the skin. Stick with your body and your should be fine.

Potential Drawbacks

We’ve touched on some of these as we’ve gone, but it is worthwhile to give these their own space. Coffee and tea-based ingredients are incredibly good when targeted well, but like all ingredients they have their downsides.

The predominant downside is the potential for drying out your skin that we touched on above. While this can be good for oil control in some cases, it can also damage and sensitize your skin if you’re not careful.

Similarly, we need to stress that most of these benefits are from when the products are used in proper products. Applying tea or coffee soaked things to your face isn’t going to do your much good. It could hurt your skin if you’re not careful.

You’ll also wanted to be mindful that these benefits are largely from topical use. The antioxidant benefit is one of the few things you can get from drinking coffee and tea. However, this comes with a few caveats.

Many of us like to add sugar or other flavoring agents to our coffee and tea. This can be a problem if you drink too much of either with this ingredients. Ingredients such as creamers, sugars, and dairy products can all aggravate the skin if you take in too much.

Keep this in mind:

Coffee and tea are a healthy addition to most diets. All we need to do is remember that they are best enjoyed in moderation. This is similar to knowing when and how often to use products using coffee and tea as ingredients.

Loving Your Skin and the World

Your skin does a lot for your body. That’s probably why you pamper it so much. Remembering this and being more selective about the ingredients in your skincare products is a way to show you care.

Coffee and tea aren’t the weirdest skincare ingredients out there, but they remain relatively novel. We recognize their names on a product label compared to more complex ingredients with more obscure names.

parcel on map

Skincare ingredients come from around the world to support all sorts of skin types.

Just like our skin, someone cared a lot about those ingredients and spent time figuring them out. They have a long history too. Their histories and what they can do for us are all interesting facts.

Some facts are just more usable than others. Hopefully you’ve learned a few things from this article and you’ll have a greater appreciation for your next cup of coffee or tea. After all, now your know a bit about them and their potential.

It makes it all the more fitting that they can help you live up to your own in so many ways.

 

 

Enjoy A Polyphenol-Packed Refresher

vine vera banner presents Enjoy A Polyphenol Packer Refresher matcha tea

It seems that most people believe there is no crisis that cannot be handled with a coffee. Indeed, judging from the human dependency on coffee, it would appear that most humans don’t believe themselves capable of addressing most of the daily challenges of life without some kind of caffeinated beverage on hand to lessen pain, speed thinking, and quicken reaction time. While the growing news about the health benefits of coffee seems to make it more and more attractive, coffee does have its downsides: namely the tendency to produce jitters, difficulty sleeping and the lows that result as a reaction to the caffeine-generated energy boost. What if you discovered that there has recently emerged a beverage that provides all the positive effects of coffee, with little of the negatives? Matcha tea, anyone?

What Is Matcha Tea?
Matcha tea is the age old newest thing to hit the market. It originated more than 1,000 years ago in Japan when Japanese monks discovered its ability to make them feel “calm, yet alert” during endless hours of meditation.

The reason that the tea is so strong is that the leaves are not steeped in bags, but dissolved in water, leaving all the antioxidant powers of the leaf intact. As a result, you get antioxidant levels 6.2 times that of goji berries, 17 times that of blueberries, 7 times that of dark chocolate, anti-carcinogenic and 60.5 times that of spinach.

Cancer Prevention
Green tea contains catechins, which are antioxidants which knock out free radicals in the body. The most potent catechin in green tea is EGCG, which is anti-carcinogenic properties. A 2003 study done at the University of Colorado found that one cup of matcha has 137 times the EGCG or regular green tea.

vine vera banner presents Enjoy A Polyphenol Packer Refresher matcha tea

Anti-Aging
Some of the oldest living people in the world live in Okinawa, Japan. The longevity of these people has been partially attributed to matcha green tea consumption. Although the tea is most popular in Japan, it is becoming widely recognized throughout the world for its ability to fight inflammation, aging, and oxidation.

Lowers Bad Cholesterol
According to a 2011 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition green tea beverages can significantly lower serum total and LDL cholesterol concentration.

Weight Loss
A study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition conducted in 1999 revealed that catechins found in green tea extract have thermogenic properties capable of promoting fat oxidation beyond that explained by tea’s caffeine content. The study showed that consuming green tea increases the body’s thermogenesis, or rate of calorie burn, by 8-10% to 35-43% of energy expenditure daily. Yet another study showed that exercise done immediately after consuming matcha green tea resulted in a fat burning increase of 25%.

Mood Booster
Matcha tea can contain up to 5 times more L-theanine than most tea. L-theanine is an amino acid with psychoactive abilities which induce alpha wave activity in the brain. Stress is associated with the brain’s beta wave activity. Alpha wave activity combats this, relieving stress, promoting relaxation, and lowering blood pressure, counterbalancing the jittery effects of caffeine. Thus, matcha tea promotes clarity of the mind without the nervous energy related to coffee.

What do you think? Are you ready to trade in your daily java for some matcha? Let us know!

Seven Daily Wellness Habits

good habits lead to good life

It’s true that sometimes the emphasis on self-improvement can be a little, well, much. After all, maybe you don’t want to improve, or maybe you’ve already improved, thank you very much, and if you get any better you may just start losing friends. While we don’t want people to stop ‘liking’ you on Facebook because of your glowing positivity, you may want to take a look at this list. You may actually find some things that are a little naughty, and even if you don’t, you and your friends can have fun discussing how much you don’t need to do them.

Coffee
Here’s a habit that most of us have mo trouble keeping, in fact, some of us might claim it’s more difficult to stop. Carlene Thomas, RDN, actually makes no bones about preferring it more traditional “health food” options. “My daily ritual during summer is two beverages- a green smoothie and a really good cafe latte from my Nespresso machine. A morning cafe latte is something I truly enjoy and crave, while a green smoothie is a great way to clear out my fridge and fit in more greens.”

Breakfast
The most important meal of the day should always be tops on your list, and not so hard to swallow. After all, what could be better than food to wake up to? Scott Keatley, RD, says, “My favorite daily habit is breakfast.” He points out that research shows that spending just 15 minutes devoted to making mindful food choices can lead to more satisfaction throughout the day and that breakfast is a great way to kickstart your metabolism in the morning.

Limit Technology
What? Turning off my computer and phone is supposed to be good for my mental health? While no one is suggesting that you miss important phone calls and emails, it has been shown that excessive attachment to technology can lead to isolation. One study of human behavior reported an indirect correlation between the use of social media and happiness. Taking a break may lead to some relaxation and more spare time.

thoughtful woman

Reflect
So, this may sound a little heavy to you, but, really who couldn’t benefit from a few minutes of quiet thought? Carley Sweet, INHC, says, “I take five to ten minutes a day to reflect on what’s going on. I struggle with anxiety, so finding time to go to a quiet spot and just chill really helps me to stay level-headed.”

To Do List
The organization can be key to sanity. Cynthia Pong, JD, says making a to-do list keeps her focus. She says, “my favorite daily habit which helps me manage my stress, stay organized and be productive- is making a to-do list. It sounds basic, but writing things down can go a long way in keeping you sane.” She says just remembering what you have to do can be stressful enough!

Yoga
Not for everyone, but a life changer for some. Calli De La Haye, co-founder of Kali murti Yoga makes sure to find a place for it in her busy day. “I have a 10-month-old daughter, so I have to roll with how the day is going, but this is my savior for staying calm and finding some peace at the start of my day.”

Cooking
While the kitchen may be a disaster area for some, it’s a salvation for others. Says Pat Connelly, founder, and CEO of Cavity, “I cook dinner every night. I try new things and I eat beautifully organic and seasonal foods. It calms me there is something wonderfully methodical about cooking every night….. It helps me unwind from a long day.”

What do you do to stay maintain wellness daily? Let us know which habits keep you on the ball!

Mid-Day Refreshers

The tradition of the siesta is common throughout Southern Europe and the Mediterranean.  It is derived form the Latin word “hora seta,”  or sixth hour, otherwise known as midday, or six hours after dawn.  It is a time in which businesses close down so workers and employers can take a snooze during the hottest hours of the day.  Einhard’s  “Life of Charlemagne” most charmingly refers to the emperor’s siestas as a time,”In summer, after his midday meal (when) he would eat some fruit, and take another drink; then he would remove his shoes and undress completely, just as he did at night, and rest for two or three hours.”  Sound good?  Well, good luck trying that in the middle of your office.

Apparently, the need to sleep starts growing as soon as you wake up. (Seems about right.) Harvard Professor of Sleep Medicine, (Did you know there was such a job?) Charles A.  Czeisler says, ” The circadian system is set up in a beautiful way the override the homeostatic need for sleep.”  However, sometimes there is a dip in the day when the need for sleep has built up and  the second wind has not yet kicked in, hence the mid-day  slump.  Maybe someday we will all have the luxury of a siesta, but until then, here are some suggestions to help get past it.

Woman drinking coffee

Sip Some Green Tea or Coffee
Green tea is a less caffeinated and alternative to coffee and is full of antioxidants, but if coffee is still the way you roll, it has its health benefits as well.

Exercise
Gets the blood flowing and definitely keeps you awake.  You are much likely to fall asleep in the middle of jumping jacks than you are with your head down on your desk.  If going to the gym is not time permitting, just do a few stretches or light aerobics at the desk.

Eat
Eating is always  a good way of restoring energy to your body.  If its not lunch time, keep a healthy snack handy at your desk.  String cheese, a handful of nuts, or a piece of fruit are all great options.  Jerky is  another high protein alternative that is easy to pack and keep fresh, but try to avoid brands with high levels of sodium.  Another tip?  Resist  sugar. It may perk you up in the short term, but you’ll be comatose on the drive home.

Woman listening to music

Chew Gum
Sugar free gum is a great way to keep your jaw moving and your teeth clean at the same time.  The rush of flavor is invigorating and it does involve some physical activity, plus all the cool kids chew gum!

Turn On Some Music
Have you ever seen “Risky Business?”  Have a Tom Cruise moment in the middle of the afternoon!  Just turn on whatever rocks you to life.  Headphones are recommended to avoid a midday office dance party, and try to keep your pants on.

Take A Nap
Sure, take a cue from our Mediterranean neighbors. If you can afford to, and your boss is liberal, go for a power nap in the middle of the day.  Try to keep it down to 20 minutes, an alarm clock with a snooze button may come in handy.

Sip Coffee For Your Health

Woman sipping coffee

No doubt about it. Coffee is the new black.  These days your look is not complete until you are equipped with at least a small white cup in your hand with the telltale lid.  And for a bolder look, you may choose something with whipped cream on top in that cute little bubble cap.  Not only is coffee look, its a lingo.  Quelle  horreur  if you can’t throw the words macchiato and latte into a casual conversation. ( Ex.  While drinking vanilla non-fat latte, the cutest guy came in the shop…)  You get the picture.  What is it about coffee?

Drinking coffee has always been a social activity.  The beat poets gathered at coffee houses in the  1960’s on the Lower East Side of Manhattan to talk about peace with Bob Dylan. Philosophers gathered at coffee houses in Greece with Socrates to debate.  Why is coffee such a social drink?  It  takes a long time to drink.  Hot or cold, no one really chugs coffee.  Also, coffee makes people talkative.  So there you have it, empty time and a loose tongue.  The perfect recipe for conversation.

For years, we have loved our coffee.  But for a while, coffee got a bad rap.  The acidity was bad for your stomach; the caffeine was bad for your nerves, coffee could lead to stroke or heart disease. It seemed to make sense; nothing we enjoy this much could possibly be good for you.  But then….. things changed.  All of a sudden, knowledgable medical professionals started revealing evidence that this caffeinated liquid was actually good for you!  Could it be?  Let’s have a look at all some of the reasons you can feel good about getting your java fix.

Coffee can Make You Smarter and Boost Your Energy
Caffeine blocks inhibitory neurotransmitters in your brain and increases dopamine and fires up your neurons.  Studies she that this improves memory, mood, energy levels and reaction time.  Drink coffee before you take your SATs!!

Coffee can Burn Fat
Caffeine boosts the metabolic rate by 3-11%.  Studies show that it can increase fat burning by 10% in obese people and 29% in lean people.

Coffee is the Biggest Source of Antioxidants in the Western Diet
Sort of sad, but true, studies show that most people get more antioxidants from coffee that fruit and veggies combined!

Coffee Drinkers Have a Lower Risk of Some Kinds of Cancer
One study showed that coffee drinkers have up to a 40% lower risk of liver cancer.  Another study of 489,706 people found the those who drank 4-5 cups of coffee per day had a lower risk of colorectal cancer. Liver and colorectal cancer are, respectively, the third and fourth leading cause of cancer death in the world.

and last but not least….

Coffee Makes You Happy
A 2011 Harvard study showed women who drank 4 or more cups of coffee per day had a 20% lower risk of depression and another study polled 208,424 individuals and found those who drank 4 or more cups o coffee were less likely to commit suicide.

So, be cool, smart, thin and healthy! Keep drinking that java.

Heart-Healthy Drinks

Heart disease is a serious threat, but with proper care and education, heart disease is also quite preventable. Maintaining a healthy diet full of essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients is one part of keeping your heart healthy. Getting regular exercise is also incredibly important when you are taking steps to keep your heart healthy, as is reducing as much stress as possible. However, food, exercise and stress reduction aren’t the only things you can do to help prevent heart disease. You may not put much thought into the beverages you consume, but if you want to keep your heart healthy, it’s time to start. Below, find some of the best heart-healthy drinks.

Coffee beans

Coffee
If you can’t live without your morning cup of coffee, then prepare to be excited. Coffee actually registers more antioxidant activity than tea, which is well-known and widely used for its antioxidant abilities. A study involving more than 83,000 women found that those who drank two cups of coffee each day were at a 20 percent lower risk of stroke than those who drank no coffee each day. The antioxidants in coffee inhibit inflammation in your body, and coffee not only lowers your risk for strokes, it lowers your risk for all cardiovascular disease. Consume coffee in moderation; about two to four cups of coffee each day.

Green Tea

Green Tea
Coffee may register more antioxidant activity than green tea, but that doesn’t mean that green tea is without benefits. Green tea contains plenty of heart-healthy antioxidants that have been shown (in a 2004 study) to reduce the risk of coronary artery disease. Additionally, green tea lowers cholesterol, decreases the risk of blood clots and stroke, and is a natural anti-inflammatory. Aim to drink two to four cups of green tea daily for maximum heart benefits.

Server pouring red wine

Red Wine
Red wine is full of cardioprotective compounds and perhaps the most well-known is resveratrol. Resveratrol is a polyphenol that is found in the skin of grapes in addition to berries and some types of nuts. The antioxidant properties found in resveratrol have many health benefits, one of which is protecting the blood vessels around your heart and stopping blood clots from forming. There is also some evidence that red wine can raise your HDL (good) cholesterol. It is important to remember that drinking any alcohol, including red wine, in excessive amounts is detrimental to your health, so consume red wine in moderation. Experts recommend drinking no more than a four or five ounce serving of red wine once a day.

Your heart health is of the utmost importance, and there are many ways that you can promote heart health and protect yourself from cardiovascular disease. Incorporate these heart-healthy drinks into your diet for increased heart health.

Science Says Eating These Foods Make You More Happy

Your diet is directly linked to your health, and not just your physical health. The foods that you choose to eat can improve your mood, keep you calm and increase your overall levels of happiness. If you want to be healthy and happy, consider adding the following five mood-boosting foods to your diet.

Coffee beans.

Coffee
If you can’t imagine a morning without at least one cup of coffee, then this study will make definitely make you happy. Research from the Nurses’ Health Study shows that the risk of becoming depressed is 15% lower in women who drank two to three cups of coffee each day. That number increased to 20% in women who consumed four or more cups of coffee daily. Researchers believe that this is due to the caffeine content found in coffee. Caffeine increases dopamine and serotonin transmission in as little as 30 minutes.

Yoghurt

Yogurt
Eating cultured dairy products increases your probiotic bacteria (the healthy kind of bacteria) in your gut, but it may also do a bit more. A UCLA health study indicated that women who consumed probiotic yogurt twice daily had a decreased stress response when shown images of angry or frightened faces. This finding aligns with a study that found mice who were fed a probiotic had a significantly diminished stress response during the completion of a maze and being forced to swim (two activities that generally stress rats out). The theory as to why cultured dairy increases happy is that your gut and brain send messages via the vagus nerve and probiotics may send a message to remain calm and lessen stress. When you go to the market for your yogurt, be sure you are buying yogurt that is labeled as having “live and active cultures.”

Dark chocolate

Chocolate
The idea that chocolate makes you happy may not be new to you, but there is actual science behind why this happens. You know that dark chocolate contains tons of antioxidants, perhaps most beneficially polyphenols. Studies have shown that one of the polyphenols in dark chocolate actually mimics the effects of marijuana on the brain. An Australian study showed that individuals who consumed a drink with high doses of dark chocolate received a contentment and calmness that other participants didn’t. When choosing your chocolate, remember that the darker it is, the better it is for you. Strive to always eat chocolate with a cacao content of 70% or higher.

Walnuts

Walnuts
A Nurses’ Health Study discovered that women with the highest levels of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) in their diets were less likely to be depressed than those with a low intake of ALAs. The science behind this mood-boosting food is pretty straightforward: when you have low levels of ALA, inflammation in your body increases which is linked to depression. Not consuming enough alpha-linolenic acid actually decreases your natural levels of dopamine and serotonin, leading to depression.

Steamed clams.

Clams
Clams are loaded with vitamin B12, which is may keep you happy. Low levels of B12 can lead directly to depression, because the vitamin is necessary in order for the brain to function properly. Studies show that people with depression who added a B12 supplement to their antidepressants had significantly improved mood after a three-month period. Don’t worry if you don’t like clams, you can also get B12 benefits from tuna, salmon and beef.

Your diet not only keeps your body healthy, it can keep your brain happy as well. By stocking up on the five foods above, you feed your body and brain with essential vitamins, minerals, chemicals and antioxidants that help you perform at your highest, and happiest, level.

Beauty Ingredients That Make you Look More Awake – Vine Vera Reviews

Whether you are a new mom or just a night owl, you do not want to hear “are you feeling okay today” constantly because you didn’t have time for your beauty routine in the morning. For long nights and mornings that come way too quickly, VineVera highlights a few beauty ingredients will help you look more awake and refreshed.

Hot coffee with coffee beans.

Caffeine
Coffee is not your only friend in the morning containing caffeine, there are tons of beauty products that contain caffeine to help wake up your skin. Caffeine in skin care ingredients gives you several beauty benefits. First, caffeine restricts blood vessels which reduces redness in your skin, a perfect solution for someone with irritated skin or rosacea. Secondly, caffeine reduces puffiness making it an ideal ingredient in your eye cream. Lastly, caffeine helps skin appear firmer and can reduce the appearance of cellulite. Choose skin care or beauty products with ingredients such as green or black tea and coffee to help wake up tired skin.

The word "Hyaluronic Acid" written on a tablet.

Hyaluronic Acid
Beauty bloggers, magazines and experts have been raving for some time about hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a carbohydrate that your body normally produces. Unfortunately, the older you get the less hyaluronic acid your body produces. The reason that hyaluronic acid is great for when you’re looking extra tired is that it hydrates the skin while acting as a skin plumper, filler and firming agent. When you are tired and your skin is looking less than bright, a skin care product with hyaluronic acid can provide the dewiness and suppleness you want.

Woman enjoying a milk bath at a spa.

Exfoliants
There are tons of exfoliants in the world of beauty from gels to scrubs. One of the easy ways to add life to your tired looking skin is to use an exfoliator. A mask with a scrub is great, but when you don’t have the time to pamper your skin, look for gentle chemical exfoliants. Two effective and easy exfoliants are Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs) such as salicylic acid and Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) such as lactic acid. As a general rule, AHAs are for you if your skin is on the dry side while BHAs are perfect for you if your skin tends to be a bit oilier.

Wine being poured in a wine glass.

Antioxidants
Antioxidants are not only great for your helping your body function at it’s best, they also are super beneficial in skin care as well. Antioxidants occur both synthetically and naturally and they protect your skin against damage from free radicals and your environment. These skin care ingredients not only help you look more refreshed and awake, they also provide protection against things such as further sun damage. The reason that antioxidants are great for when you’re looking (and feeling) less than energized is they help reduce inflammation in the skin. So if you’re pulled an all-nighter, antioxidants in your skin or beauty products help take down inflammation and the puffy look that tired skin often has. The also can reduce redness, soften your skin and add much needed moisture.

Just because you look less than your best when you wake up doesn’t mean you need to spend time you don’t have to carefully make your entire face look perfect with cosmetics. Having a few well chosen skin and beauty products that contain the above ingredients (bonus if the products include more than one ingredient in the list) to help wake up your skin is all it takes for a perfectly refreshed complexion.