5 Foods That Help Strengthen Cells In Your Body

5 Foods to Build Stronger Cells

 

In these times of being constantly “plugged in,” we tend to become busy with hundreds of e-mails and endless “To Do” lists. This excessive overstimulation can lead to an increase in Cultural Stress—the constant and pervasive stress of everyday modern living.  So what’s the danger? That Cultural Stress can cause changes in your body that lead to the breakdown of your body’s cells.

One of the best things you can do to fight back against cultural stress is to give your body the building blocks for stronger cells that are better able to withstand the assault that cultural stress can inflict. Even the busiest among us have to stop to eat so when you do make your foods count and ensure they are packed with the highest nutrient quantities possible for the health of your entire body.

Here are five of my favorite foods that also help to strengthen every cell in your body:

  1. Eggs

    Eating eggs is statistically associated with the promise of a number of health benefits including lower rates of breast cancer, prevention of macular degeneration and cataracts, higher HDL cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol), and the strengthening of collagen, among others. Why are eggs such a powerful source of nutrients? Because they are embryonic, which means they contain all the ingredients needed to create a baby chick! And that includes nutrients for strong, healthy cells. Eggs contain lecithin that softens, tones and moisturizes skin. Lecithin also restores the barrier function of the skin, helping cells keep water in to hydrate deeper layers. It is also a powerful antioxidant, which helps protect cells from free radical damage.

  2. Nuts

    USDA researchers say that eating 1.5 ounces of tree nuts daily can reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Nuts are also natural anti-inflammatories, especially almonds. This means they can help protect the skin from conditions such as acne, psoriasis and eczema.

  3. Avocado

    Rich in healthy fats, vitamins A and C and fiber, eating avocado helps your body create elastin and collagen which helps bind your skin cells together and maintain their firmness and structure. Also, avocado consumption has been shown to lower the risk of heart disease and macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness.

  4. Blueberries

    Blueberries are one of the best anti-aging foods you can eat. They are packed with antioxidants, which help fight the signs of aging and aid cells in protecting the body against environmental aggressors. They also make for a great, portable snack.

  5. Pomegranates

    Not only are pomegranates rich in antioxidants, eating them (and applying products containing pomegranate extract to your skin) can help prevent sun damage. In a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, participants who ingested polyphenols found in pomegranates for 12 weeks experienced improved blood flow and oxygen to the skin, leading to improvements in their overall skin quality.

These are just a few of the many wonderful cell-strengthening foods anyone can easily add to their diets, but they are five of the best.

Article by Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, a world renowned skincare expert and founder of the Inclusive Health movement.

Check out an Inclusive Health Grocery Shopping List put together by Dr. Murad which includes many of these great cell strengthening foods.

Sources: Live Strong, Everyday Health, Prevention, She Knows

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10 Best Foods to Fight Aging

Food to Fight Aging
 
Beautiful skin starts with your diet. A well-balanced diet can not only help you live longer and feel better, it can also help you look younger. Topical anti-aging treatments can only go so far. But, you can fight aging from the inside out by eating foods rich in antioxidants, which slow down the signs of aging by fighting against free radical damage. Turn back the clock with these 10 delicious anti-aging foods:

1. Pomegranates

This fruit is packed with vitamin C, which helps guard against the wrinkling effects of sun damage. The juice in pomegranate seeds contains both ellagic acid and punicalagin. The first is a polyphenol compound that fights damage from free radicals; the second is a super-nutrient that may increase your body’s capacity to preserve collagen.

2. Blueberries

These delicious berries contain more antioxidants than almost any other food! They can give your skin extra protection against the skin-damaging free radicals that result from sun exposure and emotional stress. Just half-a-cup every day will help to prevent the cell-structure damage that can lead to loss of firmness, fine lines, and wrinkles.

3. Spinach

This vital veggie contains special phytonutrients, or antioxidant compounds, that help guard against damage caused by the sun. Spinach is loaded with beta-carotene and lutein, two nutrients that have been shown to improve skin’s firmness and elasticity.

4. Cold Water Fish

Sardines, salmon, and mackerel contain omega-3 fatty acids, which strengthen skin-cell membranes, helping keep moisture in. Consuming two servings of fish a week can reduce chronic skin inflammations, like eczema and psoriasis.

5. Tomatoes

They are so much more than a pretty salad topping! Tomatoes are packed with vitamin C, which helps build collagen, resulting in firmer, plumper-looking skin. Tomatoes also contain lycopene, which helps protect your skin from UV damage and play an important role in improving your cardiovascular health.

6. Watermelon

This refreshing, sweet treat contains everybody’s favorite antioxidant, vitamin C—plus lycopene and potassium—which regulate the balance of water and nutrients in cells.

7. Cucumber

These are very hydrating vegetables, and staying hydrated is one way to stay looking and feeling young. The silica in the peel helps promote collagen production. Buy them unwaxed if possible.

8. Brazil Nuts

Selenium, a powerful mineral that aids in the production of the anti-aging antioxidant glutathione, can be found in Brazil nuts. This mineral repairs cell damage, and protects your skin from free radical damage. . According to a recent study in New Zealand, just two nuts a day can help you consume necessary amount of selenium for powerful antioxidant protection.

9. Avocado

Like nuts and fish, avocados have a lot of good-for-you (and your skin) fats, but they are also high in glutathione (like Brazil nuts), which helps fight aging process. Avocados are also one of the richest sources of monounsaturated fats and contain biotin and oleic acid for healthy skin.

10. Green Tea

This healthy brew contains catechins (one of the most effective compounds for preventing sun damage like hyperpigmentation) and polyphenols (antioxidants that combat free-radical damage and may reverse the effects of aging). Green tea also contains the amino acid L-Theanine, which induces calming effect and promotes relaxation..
 
These healthy and delicious foods give us numerous benefits, including sun protection and anti-aging properties, helping us to eat our way to health that’s #BetterEveryDay.
 
Sources:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/11/anti-aging-foods_n_4419906.html
http://www.doctoroz.com/slideshow/anti-aging-foods-gallery
http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/beauty/skin-care/anti-aging/the-best-anti-aging-foods-/

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Seasonal Skincare: Change your skincare regimen based on the weather

Seasonal-Skincare-Explained

There are certain things that we should do all year round (such as wearing sunscreen and “eating our water”) to help keep our skin protected and hydrated, but as the seasons change, so do our skincare needs.

In the short video below, I explain how our skin’s needs change with the weather:

So let’s review some of those key seasonal adjustments:

A heavier moisturizer in colder weather and a lighter moisturizer in the summer, as I mentioned in the video, is one example. Another adjustment we can make to protect the health of our skin is to optimize our sunblock use.

While I always say we should use sunblock year round, we find ourselves outside and exposed to harmful UV rays more often during the warmer months—when the sun is the strongest and most dangerous. That means we need to be extra vigilant and reapply more often spring through fall.
 
To help you through these changes in your skincare regimen as Spring and summer arrive, we suggest reading about the best ways to detoxify your skin for the warmer days days: here.

 


Doctor Murad

 Article by Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, a world renowned skincare expert and founder of the Inclusive Health movement. Read more about Dr. Murad.

 

 

 


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Benefits of Chocolate

Benefits of Chocolate

 

While chocolate is thought of as a decadent “treat,” (and chocolate certainly is a treat), did you know that along with the delicious taste comes some surprising health benefits?

1. Good for the Heart

It turns out that chocolate is actually very good for the heart and the entire cardiovascular system. The cocoa bean is rich in a class of plant nutrients called flavonoids which appear to be at the heart of its protective power. Flavonoids help protect plants from environmental toxins and help repair damage. They can be found in a variety of foods, such as colorful, fresh fruits and vegetables. When we eat foods rich in flavonoids, our bodies benefit from this antioxidant power, much as plants do.

2. Antioxidant Properties

The flavonoid antioxidants found in chocolate (dark chocolate in particular) are believed to help the body’s cells resist damage caused by free radicals that are formed by normal bodily processes, such as breathing; from environmental contaminants, like cigarette smoke, and from the impacts of everyday Cultural Stress. If your body does not have enough antioxidants to combat the amount of oxidation that occurs, it can become damaged by free radicals. For example, an increase in oxidation can cause low-density lipoprotein (LDL), also known as “bad” cholesterol, to form plaques on the artery walls.

Flavonols are the main type of flavonoid found in cocoa and chocolate. The darker the chocolate is, the higher levels of flavonols it has.

3. Blood Health

In addition to having antioxidant qualities, research shows that the flavonols found in chocolate have other potential influences on vascular health, such as lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow to the brain and heart, and making blood platelets less sticky and less prone to forming dangerous clots.

4. Reducing Stress and Boosting Happiness

One of my favorite sayings, which I often share with people, is “before there was medicine there was food.” This reflects the simple reality that prior to modern medical treatments people had to rely on the nutritional and healing properties of natural and whole foods to remain healthy. I like to underscore this another saying, “before there was food…there was chocolate.” This drives home my concept of the 80/20 rule—indulge in your favorite treats (in moderation) to preserve the joy in eating and life in general. Treating yourself to something you love is a key aspect of living an Inclusive Health lifestyle and can go a long way toward reducing stress.

So enjoy moderate portions of chocolate a few times per week, and don’t forget to eat other flavonoid-rich foods like apples, onions and cranberries.

Article by Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, a world renowned skincare expert and founder of the Inclusive Health movement. Learn more about Dr. Murad.

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7 Key Steps Towards Prevention of Aging Skin

7 Steps Towards Prevention of Aging Skin

Step 1: Good skincare

It is important to find the best skincare regimen that works for your skin and maintain your daily routine all the time. Depending on your skin type, make sure you are using good quality products and maintain your skin hydrated and supple 24/7. Hydration is essential even for oily skin. Make sure you use efficient moisturizers that help your skin hold the water it needs to maintain a healthy tissue. Exfoliate once a week to help the natural renewal process and maintain a clear complexion. Remove all makeup before going to bed and avoid harsh ingredients that irritate your skin or cause allergies.

Step 2: Hydration

Hydrated skin is not just about using potent moisturizers. A proper internal hydration will give your skin the suppleness and the glow of youth. Make sure you drink plenty of water, but also “eat your water” and include certain nutrients in your diet to help you maintain hydration at cellular level. Water is essential to life and to your beauty as well – your body works best when it’s well hydrated and cells function correctly to maintain healthy skin. Be careful, cellular water retention is not the same with tissue water retention – which is actually a result of cell malfunction.

With aging, water levels in our body decrease and it’s very important to maintain healthy cells by providing extra “water-loving” nutrients: essential fatty acids and vitamins are key to optimal cellular hydration.

Tip 3: Diet and exercise

These two are related and they are mentioned in any life guide you can think of. You don’t have to maintain strict diets, this is more about maintaining balanced eating habits. Do not make excesses frequently and make sure your diet includes fish, cereal, fruit and veggies as often as possible. For your skin’s youthfulness, it is also important to maintain a constant weight – frequent changes in body weight lead to stretch-marks and a saggy appearance. Don’t run from fats, there are many good fats like Omega Fatty Acids which are a healthy body’s best ally and also help maintain skin’s elasticity.

Tip 4: Antioxidants

Their main role is to protect your body and cells from free radical damage, reducing the signs of aging. Used internally and topically, antioxidants are the key to a young body and a youthful skin. Vitamin C and E, grape-seed and green tea extracts along with other antioxidant-rich fruits should be included in your daily diet.

Tip 5: Sun protection

One of the skin’s biggest enemies is the sun and its harmful UV rays. While it is necessary, in small amounts, for the natural synthesis of Vitamin D by our skin, it’s very harmful in larger amounts. Skin cancer and premature aging are just long term effects, usually a result of occasional damage like burns and prolonged sun exposure. Make sure you wear sunscreen every time you go out, even in winter days when the UVs can be as powerful as in summer (especially if there is snow around). Clouds also allow some UVs to pass through and reach the ground so make sure you are “covered” by a minimum SPF 15 lotion and adequate clothing every time you are outside.

Tip 6: Sleep

It’s your skin’s best friend. While you sleep, skin regenerates and tissue heals faster. This is the most important time of the day in a skincare routine so make sure you don’t deprive your skin of at least 7 hours of sleep every night. Not getting enough sleep shows instantly on your skin, as it gets puffy, dark circles show around your eyes, wrinkles form. Premature aging can be a result of a tired body.

Tip: Lying on your back and sleeping face-up could help smooth your skin and even some wrinkles – as a result of the gravitational force, the face skin is pulled on the sides and evenly stretched.

Tip 7: Healthy mind

Avoid stress and put on your most optimist attitude. Stress is a major factor for premature aging and a negative mental state can take its toll on your body’s health. While some people resort to spas or yoga classes, others simply take the time to do something they like, as often as possible; a walk in your favorite park or generally spending time outdoors can help you manage stress better and stay stronger and healthier. And inner beauty always shows on the outside ….

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Veggie Antioxidant Juice Smoothie

iStock_000023042354Small-800x500

Antioxidants, such as vitamin A,C, E, polyphenols, are needed to prevent and repair free-radical damage. Natural smoothies or juices are filled with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. These are absolutely essential to our health and wellness, and that’s why we love this recipe as a healthy snack or an post-workout energy booster.
 

Dr. Murad’s Veggie Antioxidant Juice Smoothie recipe:

  • 3/4 cup fresh carrot juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh natural unfiltered apple juice
  • 2 dark green lettuces leaves
  • 1 scoop soy protein isolate powder
  • 2 spinach leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh broccoli
  • 2 springs parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon diced ginger root

Combine all ingredient in a blender until smooth.

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