Tag Archives: Diet

Connecting Your Skin Inflammation To Your Diet

woman eating dessert
Perhaps you have seen “Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion.” The 1997 movie starred Lisa Kudrow and Mira Sorvino as two shallow thirty-somethings who reinvent themselves as brilliant business women in the hope of impressing the attendees of their high school reunion. The movie is chock full of quotable quotes, mostly concerned with the superficiality of the women who put too much emphasis on appearance and not enough emphasis on what counts. Such quotes include, “Did you deduct 16 pounds for your shoes?” and, “When I made my first million, my present to myself was a new face,” and, “I’m sorry I forgot my top.” But one priceless gem that sticks out among others came out of Romy’s mouth when she gives her insights on nutrition: “Actually, I have been trying this new fat-free diet I invented. All I had to eat for the past six days are gummy bears, jelly beans, and candy corns.” Beware, Romy, your fat-free diet is a perfect recipe for skin inflammation.

What Are the Effects Of Sugar?
When you eat sugary foods, a.k.a. high glycerin foods, your insulin levels go up and create a burst of inflammation in your body. This, in turn, breaks down collagen and elastin. This horrifying process is called glycation which can cause skin to sag and wrinkles to appear. Glycation can cause weak cracking, skin that takes a long time to heal, exacerbating conditions like acne, psoriasis , psoriasis and rosacea.

Stay Below the Sugar Limits
According to the World Health Organization, free sugar intake should make up less than 10% of your total calorie intake. Reductions to below 5% per day (six teaspoons) are even more beneficial. Free sugar refers the monsaccharides and disaccharides added to food or sugar naturally occurring in syrups fruit juices, honey and syrup.

Read Ingredient Label
While it is obvious that Romy’s all-candy diet was a recipe for instant glycation, there are some less obvious offenders. Sugar is in everything from dressing to sauces to chips to crackers and beyond. To prevent the unconscious intake of sugar, read the labels on everything your eating to check sugar levels and remember to adjust for serving size.

Stay Away from Liquid Sugar
Beware! Those “healthy” smoothies you’ve been inhaling for breakfast each day may be the source of your complexion woes. An average smoothie, about 32 oz, can contain 30 grams of sugar! Because liquids go down more easily then food, we are less likely to keep track of the quantity we consume. The best solution? Stop drinking soda, lemonade , shakes, sweet teas, juices and, sadly, those beloved smoothies.

vine-vera-connecting-your-skin-inflammation-to-your-diet-fruite
Cut Down On Fruit
Yes, even our trusted fruit can betray us. Just one large naval orange can contain 23 grams of sugar! Dried fruit and processed fruit, such as are found in smoothies and juices, are also high in glucose. If you suffer inflammation, you may want to stick to one low sugar fruit per day. The best choices are berries.

Stay Away from High Glycemic Foods
Simple carbohydrates, while easily absorbed by the body can cause a spike in insulin and lead to inflammation and glycation, The faster your body can absorb a food, the faster it raises your blood sugar. Most processed foods are highly glycemic because they lack fats, fibers and proteins that make foods more difficult to absorb.

So, while Romy’s diet might have sounded perfect at the time, she probably paid for it later. If you have any information to share about the connection between diet and inflammation, or are just a Romy and Michele fan, we would love to hear from you. Please share your wisdom.

The Benefits of Eliminating Soda From Your Diet

Woman drinking soda
If you’re trying to decrease your soda intake, these new touch screen soda machines are not helping things. If you have never seen one of these, the home screen displays icons from almost every brand of drink you can think of: Fanta, Coke, Coke Zero, Sprite, Hi C, Dr. Pepper, Diet Coke, the list goes on and may include some brands most of us have never heard of. If that’s not too overwhelming, when you press on one of these icons, you get a menu of available flavors of each drink. For example, if its Coke Zero you prefer, you can get it in vanilla, cherry vanilla, raspberry, orange, lemon and lime. You can get Hi C in grape or raspberry lime! You can get Powerade ION4 Fruit Punch! You can even get Vault Red Blitz! There are 127 flavors on this thing!

Of course this technological mind-blower also offers healthier alternatives like Peach Dasani Sensations, but the temptation to try every flavor is extremely hard to resist! While the mayor of New York tries to make 64oz. soda illegal, there’s this.

But the truth is, as attractive as this all may be, abstinence is really the best route. There are loads of benefits to cutting the fizzy drink out of your diet.

The Truth About Diet Soda
You may think that diet soda is a gift from heaven. After all, it allows us to indulge in the taste and carbonation of regular soda without the weight gain. However, according to Isabel Smith, MS RD CDN of Isabel Smith Nutrition, “Our bodies are developed to expect a large amount of calories when we take in something exceedingly sweet, and artificial sweeteners are from 400 to 8,000 times sweeter than sugar. ” Smith says that this causes stomach muscles to relax and hormones to be released in preparation to the in food. “It can actually send some people searching for more food, out of lack of satisfaction.”

Quitting Soda Leads to Weight Loss
Although it has no calories, diet soda causes insulin release in your gut which can prevent weight loss. Miriam Jacobson, RD, CDN, says, “Insulin is your body’s primary fat storage hormone, so it will have the body hold on to any extra fat.” Diet coke may, in fact, be more harmful than the regular version because of all the added chemicals.

Quitting Soda Improves The Immune System
The acidity in soda spells bad results for your tooth enamel and digestive system and it is no help if you are suffering from acid reflux. Diet sodas are the worst culprits because artificial sweeteners affect gut bacteria which can interfere with weight management and blood sugar levels and cause disease.

Quitting Soda Improves Bone Health
The coloring in soda contains an artificial phosphorous. As a naturally occurring chemical, phosphorous is found in foods like grains and beans, but the kind found in dark soda can affect bone health. Smith explains, “Basically, you’re taking something that exists in nature but making this hyper-absorbable form of it, Your body doesn’t have the choice whether to absorb it or excrete it, so it can cause calcium to leach out of bones.”

woman with energy
Quitting Soda Gives You More Energy
While caffeine can provide an initial lift drinking too much can overstimulate your nervous system. Smith says, “There is way more energy for our bodies in real food than in processed foods. When people cut back on processed items, they often look for more fresh foods and make better choices.

If you have been seeing more of these soda bearing technologies, let us know what you think of them. Are they the next big thing or the next big controversy? We’d love to have you join the conversation.

Enjoy A Daily Serving Of Almonds

Woman eating almonds
Let’s face it. There are a lot of nuts out there. There’s the peanut, the pistachio, the macadamia, the pine nut, the cashew; the list goes on. But perhaps the most ambitious member of the nut family is the almond. Since 2005, almonds have been taking America by storm, growing in demand by more than 220%. As of today, the average American consumes over two pounds of almonds per year. And why shouldn’t the almond get its due? We owe a lot to the almond! Without the almond, there would be no Hershey’s with Almonds, Snickers with Almonds, almond milk, Rocky Road Ice Cream, and perhaps, most devastatingly, Almond Joy! So what is behind the Almond Seduction of America? Let’s investigate!

1.  Almonds prevent heart disease
Almonds contain mono saturated fatty acid, or MUFA, as well as antioxidants. The presence of flavanoids in the skin of the nut, works along with Vitamin E to decrease inflammation and improve the function of your arteries.

Almonds also pack in the nutrients when it comes to keeping the heart health. They contain, copper, manganese, calcium, potassium and magnesium and helps to lower “bad cholesterol.”

2. Almonds are good for your brain
That’s why people who eat almonds are so smart! Almonds are unique in that they contain L-carnitine and riboflavin, nutrients which are known for their abilities to accelerate neurological activity and decrease cognitive decline. The elderly are advised to eat almonds regularly because of the association between nuts and the reduction in brain disorders, like Alzheimer’s Disease.

3. Almonds are good for your skin
Almonds contain loads of Vitamin E and antioxidants that reduce the signs of aging.The concentration of nutrients like catechin, flavonol antioxidants, and epicatechin fights skin cancer and reverses damage and stress from pollution, an unhealthy diet, and exposure to UV light. The healthy fat content in almonds also improves circulation, helps to hydrate skin and heal wounds.

4. Almonds Keep Blood Sugar Level Down
Remember those MUFAs we were talking about? Well, they do more than prevent heart disease. They also slow down the rate of sugar entering the blood stream and control insulin resistance. Almonds also help to decrease risks associated with diabetes, like oxidative stress, obesity and inflammation.

5. Almonds Help You Lose Weight
Almonds got a bad rap for a while because of their high fat and calorie content, but then scientists found out it was mono saturated fat and, now its all good! Besides healthy fats, almonds also contain dietary fiber which keeps you full and prevents the temptation to overeat and over snack.

According to the Nurse’s Health study, these nuts also support an active metabolism and according to a 2003 article in the International Journal of Obesity, women who consumed almonds experienced more weight reduction then those who did not.

If your an almond lover, let us know what you do with your nuts! We always appreciate your comments, advice, and suggestions.

Spicy Nutrient Rich Greens

Perhaps, you remember the Seinfeld episode entitled, “The Chicken Roaster” in which Jerry suspects that Kramer is secretly ordering from a chicken place that Jerry is trying to put out of business because its neon sign disturbs his sleep. In an effort to cover for Kramer, Newman tries to convince Jerry that Kramer’s chicken order is actually for him. There is one problem; the order includes steamed broccoli which, as Jerry says, Newman wouldn’t eat, “if it was deep fried in chocolate sauce.” Newman claims to love broccoli, but Jerry remains unconvinced and asks Newman to eat a piece of the offensive vegetable in Jerry’s presence. Although Newman makes a valiant attempt, he is forced to spit it out, proclaiming it a”vile weed,” and calling for honey mustard, which he proceeds to use as a chaser, chugging it straight from the cup with enormous zeal.

If you are like Newman, straight vegetables may be a little hard for you to make peace with. You may find them slightly bitter and maybe on the bland side. If this sounds like you, here are some veggies that are anything but bland.

mustard seed Mustard Greens
Are you ready to try the veg that took home the title of “World’s Most Feared Vegetable?” These spicy green vegetables, also known as leaf mustard, may be one of the healthiest foods in the world, containing Vitamins A and K, carotene, flavonoids and antioxidants. They are also a source of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc, selenium, and manganese. Eaten regularly, mustard green has even shown to prevent osteoporosis, anemia, and arthritis and to protect against asthma, and prostate and colon cancers. There is also evidence suggesting that the supervening can limit neuronal damage in the brain leading to Alzheimer’s and has enough fiber to ward off hemorrhoids, colon cancer, and constipation.

Arugula
Want some more tang in your salad? Arugula is a cruciferous vegetable with that offers intake levels of nitrate shown to cut down on the amount of oxygen intake needed for exercise, improve athletic performance and lower blood pressure. So what’s behind arugula’s mighty powers? Studies show that the same thing that gives cruciferous vegetables their bitter taste is also responsible for their cancer-fighting properties. Sulforaphane is currently being studied as an impediment to melanoma as well as prostate, pancreatic and esophageal cancers. In addition, arugula’s high Vitamin K content has been shown to help bones absorb calcium and decrease its urinary elimination.

watercress Watercress
Once used by Hippocrates as a medical treatment, watercress achieved popularity in the 19th century when watercress sandwiches were a standard component of tea for the working class English, earning the vegetable a reputation as “poor man’s food.” Relegated to no more than a garnish in recent years, watercress is now getting its proper recognition. Like arugula, watercress contains nitrate to lower blood pressure and enhance the performance of athletes. Studies have shown it to be effective in reducing the risk of diabetes and heart disease while providing increased energy, lower weight, and healthy complexions. Watercress contains 3,3-diindolylmethane or DIM which has been shown in a recent study to function as a shield for a healthy tissue during cancer treatment. Rats were given lethal doses of radiation were able to stay alive longer when treated with DIM and had higher counts of red and white blood cells.

Incorporating The Greens Into Your Diet
Are you ready to bring on the greens? You can incorporate them into casseroles, sauces, and pasta for a slightly peppery taste. Blend them into your favorite smoothie, add them to your omelet, sauteed them in olive oil or use them to make pesto or eat them fresh and chase with large quantities of honey mustard. Let us know if you have gone daring with your greens. We would love to hear about recipes and adventures!

Great Diet, Great Mood

Woman having lunch

You’re going out to eat at your favorite restaurant, “Big Food.”  You are very excited.  You have an excuse to put on that forest green slinky dress that has been festering in your closet for the last few months and your thinking of burgundy stilettos and and pewter clutch.  Jewel tones, nice contrast, but not too Christmassy.

Into the car you go in a great mood.  You get to the restaurant and obsess over the menu.  Too much choice!  You should really pig out!  Isn’t that what restaurants are for?  You deserve it!  You’ve been working hard on your body!  Everyone will be asking, “Where does she put it?” and looking at you with envy.  You decide.  You’re going to have the Seafood Pasta Alfredo and the Double Decadent Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake a la mode.  You come back home with a sugar high and reminisce about your evening, when it hits you.  Suddenly, you feel terrible!  You’re stomach hurts and its straining against your dress.  Your mouth is dry and your breath smells!  You’re good mood slowly evaporates as you watch the skinny Bachelorette on TV.

Ok, now everyone is entitled to pig out now and then, especially if you exercise regularly, but we do often find that as happy as we were before we went out, we are equally depressed after a huge heavy meal.  So let’s talk about some choices we can make so we can start happy and end happy.

Lentil soup

Appetizers

Triple Bean Salad
How about this for a starter of side: garbanzo beans, kidney beans and black beans with some vinegar and oil.  This Contains selenium, a micro mineral that protects against free radical damage, lower inflammation and helps patients with moderate depression.

or

Ginger Lentil Soup
Carrots, onion, ginger, olive oil, lentil and tomatoes, now you’re talkin’.”  Full of protein and fiber, this soup contains 25% of your daily folate needs.  Low folate is associated with depression so eat up and get happy!

Main Course

Spanish Shrimp and Farfalle
With farfalle, large shrimp, olive oil, cinnamon and pimiento stuffed olives, you can’t go wrong with this dish. carbohydrate-rich, it increases level of serotonin and elevates your mood.

or

Yogurt and Spice Grilled Chicken Skewers
Spicy chicken, low fat yogurt and reduced fat cream cheese in honey mustard make this a dish to remember. Protein rich foods keep you alert and energized. Dig in!

Banana smoothie

Dessert (the big finish)

Blackberry Banana Smoothie
Who needs a milkshake?  You will be in a great mood after you eat this antioxidant-rich smoothie with bananas, blackberries, low fat yogurt and light coconut milk.  Better than coffee for maintaining a good mood!

or, how about some…..

Deep Dark Chocolate Biscotti
The best for last!  With whole wheat flour, flaxseed, baking soda, dark brown sugar, dark chocolate chips and unsalted almonds, you’re not giving up anything.  Antioxidant-rich, these healthy ingredients will help you avoid the lows associated with processed food and high sugar content.

Eat well and prosper!

Four Ways To Citrus Up Your Diet

Woman  holding a slice of orange

Move over seaweed!  There is a new sheriff in town. Yes, for all of you searching your local health food store for the latest superfood; search no more.  While you were out hunting down the latest brand of maca powder and hemp seeds, the hero of all food was sitting in your own backyard.  Ladies and gentlemen, presenting: the citrus fruit.  The citrus fruit, you say?  Well, that’s been around for years. So, it has, but with all the new products out there, maybe it is not getting the attention it deserves.  So let’s take a moment to sing the praises of the citrus.

Most of us most commonly associate citrus fruits with their high concentration of Vitamin C.  In fact, one medium orange contains 100% the recommended amount of vitamin C in the daily diet.  You may know “C” as a powerful antioxidant, but that is just the beginning of the list of  benefits this tangy wonder can  provide! Citrus fruit ensures that the nerve cells in your  eyes function properly, preventing macular degeneration, linalools,(funny word, huh?) found in lemons ,can reduce stress, satsuma mandarins inhibit tumor growth, flavonoids (found in all citrus fruits)  have been proven to lower the chance of stroke by 19%,  boost good cholesterol, and lower the risk of obesity and diabetes.  In fact, (get this!) 70,000 women were divided into two groups and monitored over twelve years.  One group was given apple juice, the other citrus. Guess who lost more weight.  The citrus ladies lost an average of 3 1/2 lbs. per week, while the apple gals lost only1/2!  That’s because citrus burns fat, and contains enzymes that promote digestion and boost metabolism.  How’s that for pretty great?  Here are some ways you can up the citrus content in your diet.

Squeeze Some Lemon in Your Water
This will help eliminate toxins in your body.  Or squeeze them over salad to add flavor instead of salt.

Vine-Vera-Four-Ways-To-Citrus-Up-Your-Diet-Salad

Put Some Citrus in Your Fruit (or Any) Salad
Toss in some mandarins or tangerines for an Asian tang on Chinese Chicken salad , or just throw in some grapefruit with your berries and apples.  Oh, and a squeeze of lemon on top will also preserve the fruit! It will look so pretty you’ll definitely have to post a picture on Facebook.

Add Some Orange to Your Smoothie!
Citrus fruit juice has the advantage over other fruit by blending well with both red and green smoothies. (It is decidedly neutral!)  Go ahead, cut up a whole orange and blend it right in there for fiber and Vitamin C.

Add Some Lemon or Lime to Your Green Tea
This is a great combo.  Already a powerful antioxidant, green tea with citrus  will actually increase the health benefits by 13X!

Need more reasons to eat citrus? They’re dependable! In season all year around, citrus is great news for people who want to shorten the duration of that nasty winter cold. Also,  they’re one of the most affordable fruit per pound! So let the trendy foods and fads  come and go, experiment or don’t, but remember, when you’re sick and broke, and maybe a few pounds overweight, citrus will always be there for you.

Mostly-Pescatarian Benefits

Salmon sashimi

Now that there are more vegan and vegetarian restaurants out there, more and more people are experimenting with eliminating or limiting meat from their diets.  There are pros and cons for every diet choice, and it is a very personal decision, so it’s best to try the things you’re interested in so you can figure out what works best for you! Although pescetarianism isn’t talked about quite as much as vegan or vegetarian diets, it definitely has its benefits, even if you’re eating pescatarian about three times a week! There are tons of reasons to cut down on meat consumption, and here are just a few of the benefits of getting your protein from fish.

It Can Help with Weight Loss
A pescatarian diet is perfect for someone who is trying to lose weight. You are probably eating more fruits and vegetables like vegetarians, but also getting plenty of lean protein. While it is definitely possible to get enough protein without any meat at all, pescatarians can easily consume a high amount of it without supplements, or foods high in fat like nuts or cheese. This is especially important for people who are following a weight loss plan because when you are working out, your body needs protein to refuel and build muscle. Adding more fish to your diet can also help you plan (and enjoy!) healthy, homecooked meals. There are so many different kinds of fish, and even more different ways to prepare it. You won’t have to worry about getting into a rut- there is always something new to try!

It’s Great for Your Overall Health!
In addition to helping with weight loss, eating fish can also improve your health overall! A huge benefit of eating fish and seafood is the high quantity of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are the reason that people take fish oil supplements, and they are said to have numerous benefits. Some of the main claims are that eating fish helps reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes, as well as improve joint health. Omega-3 fatty acids can help lower cholesterol, therefore improving circulation and reduce the risk of blood clots. Studies also show that they can help ease symptoms of inflammatory diseases. Finally, a pescatarian diet can promote healthy skin and hair- go omega-3s!

As if that wasn’t enough, fish ensures that you are getting enough iron. Some people, especially women, are prone to anemia, and eating iron rich foods is essential for preventing the fatigue, and other negatives effects, that come with an iron deficiency. Eating fish a few times a week can really improve your iron intake!

It’s Good for the Environment
No industry is perfect, but replacing a few meals a week (ones that are made with meat) with pescatarian meals can really have an impact on the environment. The amount of water and other resources needed to raise livestock, as well as the pollution it causes, are pretty convincing reasons to mix up your diet, and going pescatarian 3 or 4 nights a week is a great option!

Adding Turmeric to Your Diet

Turmeric is a spice that has a rich history. It has been used in India for centuries and has gained fame as a medicinal herb. Science is just now beginning to catch up with what locals have been claiming for years. Turmeric does indeed have some impressive medicinal properties that just about anyone can benefit from. A short list of ailments that turmeric treats include jaundice, toothaches, bloody urine, menstrual difficulties and flatulence. But what the spice is best known for is its anti-inflammatory properties.

Turmeric powder

What Makes Turmeric the Anti-Inflammatory Spice?
There are many compounds found in turmeric that give it medicinal properties but the most important is certainly curcumin. It’s important to know that most scientific studies surrounding this compound are conducted using pure curcumin and most samples of turmeric only contain 3% curcumin. For this reason, it is always suggested to deeply research any turmeric supplier to make sure that it has the highest level of curcumin possible. It is also recommended to take black pepper with any dosage of turmeric as it will help the body absorb the curcumin.

How Does Curcumin Work?
In some studies, the strength and effectiveness of curcumin has been proven to be comparable with certain anti-inflammatory drugs. This is excellent news for those who are trying to deal with their health issues in a more natural manner.

Before really understanding the effects of curcumin found in turmeric, it’s important to understand that inflammation is actually a good thing. When areas of the body become inflamed, it allows the body to fight bacteria and infection and also helps to set up the healing process. If the body wasn’t able to become inflamed, bacteria would easily attack and destroy it.

So why does anyone need anti-inflammatory medication? While initially beneficial, long-term inflammation can cause serious health issues. Most health professionals believe that long-term inflammation plays a serious role in the development of certain types of cancers, heart disease and a long list of other degenerative conditions.

The addition of turmeric and the curcumin that it contains can help to keep dangerous inflammation at bay. Curcumin works by blocking a specific molecule that is linked to excessive inflammation. In other words, curcumin fights inflammation where it starts and prevents it from getting out of control in the first place.

Turmeric

What Else Can Turmeric Do?
Besides its magnificent anti-inflammatory properties, which can prevent the onset of serious diseases, turmeric and its compound curcumin can also work as a potent antioxidant, which can neutralize excess free radicals that can have a negative effect on DNA.

Turmeric can also help to increase healthy levels of certain brain cells, which could be a preventative measure against Alzheimer’s disease and other common brain disorders. Turmeric can also help to improve memory and even make it easier to learn and retain new information.

Overall, turmeric is not just a flavorful spice to add to dinner dishes. It can be used to improve daily health and even extend the average lifespan by preventing the onset of serious diseases, mainly thanks to its main component curcumin.

Flavonoid Sources: Parsley and Onions

You’ve probably heard the word flavonoids and know that your diet is supposed to include these ingredients, but you might not know what benefits flavonoids have. Adding foods rich in flavonoids to your diet is remarkably easy when you know what foods to add. Below, check out two of the greatest sources of flavonoids and how you can include them in your diet.

Parsley and onions

What are Flavonoids and What are Their Benefits?
Flavonoids are polyphenolic compounds that contain antioxidant powers and that are found in plants. The antioxidants help to protect your body from dangerous free radicals, which is helpful because free radical damage can increase your risk of heart disease by raising your LDL, or “bad” cholesterol. There are also flavonoids that can decrease dangerous inflammation in your arteries, which helps to prevent heart disease, particularly atherosclerosis. Research from Cornell University has shown that extract from onions, which are incredibly rich in flavonoids, has provided strong antiproliferative effects against both liver and colon cancer cells.

Why Parsley and Onions?
Most people, if they are familiar with flavonoids, associate these compounds with foods such as berries, dark chocolate and red wine. While all of those contain flavonoids, they aren’t the only dietary sources available. Parsley and onions are two incredible sources of flavonoids to add to your diet.

  • Parsley – Both the leaves and stems of the parsley plant contain flavonoids. Parsley is especially rich in a flavonoid known as luteolin, which is both an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory flavonoid. Luteolin helps to suppress inflammation from arthritis and other painful conditions. Research that was published in “Molecules” indicated that another flavonoid in parsley, myristicin, inhibited the production of several inflammatory compounds by cultured immune cells, however, these results have yet to be proven to be effective in humans.
  • Onions – When it comes to flavonoid content, not all onions are created equal. According to a 2004 article published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, western yellow onions were ranked highest in overall flavonoid content. Red onions, which are also popular in the United States, ranked fourth for flavonoid content. When it comes to receiving the full flavonoid content, try to remove as little of the outermost layer of onions as possible, because over-peeling leads to flavonoid loss.

How to Incorporate Parsley and Onions Into Your Diet
One of the greatest things about parsley and onions is how versatile they are; you can really add them to about any dish you can think of. For breakfast, try a spinach, onion and bell pepper omelet topped off with some freshly chopped parsley. When it comes to lunch and dinner, you can create tons of quick salads using onions and parsley. One of our favorites is the tomato, sweet onion and parsley salad.

To make this salad, you’ll need a cup and a half of grape tomatoes, ½ cup of thinly sliced onions, ½ cup of fresh chopped parsley and two tablespoons of crumbled feta cheese. You can make your own dressing by whisking together one and a half teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil, one teaspoon of red wine vinegar, salt and pepper to taste.

Eating well not only makes your body feel good, but it improves your internal health. Flavonoids are excellent at fighting free radical damage, decreasing the risk of heart disease and potentially fighting cancer, and you can get a ton of flavonoids by adding parsley and onions to your diet.

Spinach for Healthy Skin

Woman sipping green juice

Spinach is an incredibly nutrient dense vegetable that also happens to taste great. It is also a super versatile ingredient to keep in your kitchen because it can make an amazingly fresh salad just as easily as it can supercharge your smoothie. Saturday, March 26th, is National Spinach Day and what better way to celebrate than fixing your favorite spinach recipes. If you need further reasons to grab a bunch of this leafy green, check out the skin benefits that spinach has.

Hydration
Spinach contains an astounding amount of water, and keeping your body hydrated benefits your skin. Just a one cup serving of spinach contains 164 grams of water, which is the equivalent to five ounces! Your skin cells need water in order to function properly and without this water, your skin is more prone to wrinkles, dryness and dullness.

Anti-Aging
Free radical damage and loss of collagen and elastin have significant impacts on how your skin ages. As you age, your natural collagen production slows down, and your skin loses some of the support that keeps it firm and smooth. Spinach contains beneficial vitamin A, which possesses some serious antioxidant power. In a one cup serving of spinach, your receive 943 micrograms of vitamin A, which is more than the daily recommended value for the average healthy adult.

Under-Eye Darkness
There are many factors that contribute to dark circles under your eyes, some of which you can control and others you cannot. Your genes play a role in whether or not you have dark circles as do things like alcohol consumption and lack of sleep. Vitamin K is a powerhouse at combating dark circles because it encourages healthy blood circulation, strengthens blood vessels and promotes blood clotting, all of which help diminish dark circles. Vitamin K can also help clear your skin and it reduces inflammation in the body and skin. One cup of spinach gives you 900 micrograms of vitamin K, which is 10 times the daily recommended value for a healthy adult female.

Skin Repair
Another potent antioxidant contained in spinach is the anti-aging powerhouse, vitamin C. Vitamin C is necessary for the production of collagen, which as we mentioned early is crucial to keeping your skin looking and acting young. Collagen, in turn, is required to manufacture new, young and healthy skin cells. You can get 18 milligrams of vitamin C in a one cup serving of spinach, which is almost 25 percent of the recommended daily value for a healthy adult female.

Spinach is one of the greatest superfoods you can include in your diet. Not only does it benefit your skin, but it has amazing benefits for your overall health as well. Celebrate National Spinach Day on March 26th by enjoying your favorite dishes that incorporate spinach; your skin will thank you.