Simple suggestions for making good food choices

Looking at the broad sweep of human history, we who are lucky enough to live in the developed world are surrounded by an unprecedented abundance of food and food choices. Freed from the struggle to find enough food to survive in our immediate environment, a struggle that has marked most of human existence, we have the luxury of declining to eat certain foods that our ancestors would have gladly eaten. This freedom from want allows us to make informed choices to improve the nutritional quality of our diet, but it has also fueled the demonization of foods like wheat and dairy that have long been valued as wholesome and the exaltation of foods like kale and quinoa, which have long lingered in comparative dietary obscurity.

This freedom from want allows us to make informed choices to improve the nutritional quality of our diet, but it has also fueled the demonization of foods

So how are we to make the most of our food freedom when we are constantly bombarded with new revelations about heroes and villains lurking in our kitchensonly to have those revelations revealed in turn as the work of publicity seekers pedaling bad science?

Suggestions for making good food choices:

Dont Make Any Sudden Moves

Radical shifts in your diet, or any other aspect of your life, are rarely a great idea. Unless a food or product is the subject of a recall because it is contaminated or unwholesome, you can generally continue to consume it while you are learning more about the pros and cons of including it in your diet.

Consider the Source

This is true both for the source of your food and the source of your information about food. The gold standard for both would be clean and ethically produced. If food is sourced from someplace where agricultural products are not inspected, there are no restrictions on the use of pesticides, and working conditions are unsafe and unsanitary, you probably shouldn’t consume it. Similarly, if food “science” comes from a ”dirty” source with an economic or political interest in the “story”, you probably shouldn’t consume it either. While no single source of information is entirely reliable, the editorial standards for publication in established medical journals are fairly high and provide some level of screening to help filter out some of the junk science.

Look for Corroboration

Real science takes time and generates results that can be repeated. A tremendous amount of research and peer review of that research is needed to start to tease out the truth about any subject. Many of the tantalizing or horrifying food stories that we read, especially those stories that bubble up in the unedited wilderness of the Internet, are based upon things suggested by early findings and small studies.

Listen to Your Body and Your Doctor

Trust your experience. If something hasn’t bothered you in the past, it probably isn’t going to be a problem in the short term while you are deciding whether it is a good choice for you. Dont forget that you are uniquefrom your smile to the curves of your digestive tract. If your best friend is one of the very small number of people who cannot tolerate gluten, that doesn’t mean your health will improve if you eliminate certain grains from your diet. But if you are experiencing some symptoms of a food allergy or intolerance, most often digestive and dermatological issues, it is important to talk to your doctor about how to identify a problem food and eliminate it from your diet.

Miracle Foods

Goji berries? Acai berries? Coconut water? Kale? Each of these foods is wonderful in its own way, but there are no magic berries, leaves, teas or juices that will change your life. All plant-based foods, in their whole, natural, unprocessed state, are truly miracle foods packed with antioxidants, vitamins and other healthful phytochemicals. Enjoy them in as fresh and unprocessed a state as you can, and enjoy them as a diverse assortment. Humans have evolved to be quite successful as omnivores, and we thrive on a varied diet. Dietary diversity really is key, because when it comes to foods, we really can have too much of a good thing and the current kale craze provides an excellent example. Doctors are seeing people in their offices with digestive issues and symptoms of severe thyroid gland suppression as a result of obsessive over-consumption of kale.

Savor the Flavors of Life

No matter what food choices you make, don’t let food be one more source of stress and anxiety. Try to follow a simple 80/20 strategy to build the bulk of your diet; 80%, from whole foods with a special emphasis on colorful, water-rich fruits and vegetables and 20% from foods that you love, regardless of their inherent healthfulness. Sharing foods you love with those you love will give a bigger boost to the health of your heart than you’ll ever get from a bowl of chia seeds.

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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The Murad Story

The Murad Brand

25 years ago Dr. Howard Murad founded the first modern doctor brand of clinical skincare products, with a goal of making beautiful, healthy skin attainable for everyone. He has changed how the world sees skincare through his pioneering research and a Connected Beauty philosophy.

The Founder

Howard Murad, M.D. is recognized as a leading visionary for his scientific innovations, total body approach to youth building and overall wellness. His mission and passion is to help people unlock their potential to look younger, to feel younger and to live healthier, happier and more rewarding lives.

It’s not skincare.
It’s Murad.

Murad is founded on the simple truth that living younger is a choice you can make every day.

We believe that youth is a reflection of how you live, how you feel and how you look, because every aspect of your life is as interconnected as every cell in your body. That’s why everything we do at Murad is designed to help you activate youth through hydration at the cellular level. Murad — a connected life is a beautiful life.

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Collagen Building Foods

Collagen is the foundation of healthy skin. It provides the natural support structure that gives skin strength and resilience. It helps our lips stay plump and prevents our cheeks from drooping into jowls. However, as we age, our body’s natural production of collagen decreases. Generally, the first signs of age-related collagen loss are fine lines, which can develop into wrinkles over time. Both men and women lose about one percent of their collagen per year after their 30th birthday. For women, however, this loss of collagen escalates significantly in the first five years after menopause.

To help combat this decline, here are nine collagen-boosting foods you can easily incorporate into your daily diet:

  1. Fish

    Omega-3 fatty acids create an ideal environment for collagen production. Find this nutrient in fish such as salmon and black cod.

  2. Prunes

    As free radicals attack the skin, they break down collagen. To combat free radical damage, eat antioxidant rich prunes. Eat five to six prunes daily for a great health boost.

  3. Manuka Honey

    This special honey from New Zealand has long been promoted for its special healing properties. Manuka Honey has been touted as helpful in the formation of strong collagen. Additionally, it is rich in antioxidants and has been traditionally used to help to reduce inflammation and breakouts.

  4. Pineapple

    Your body needs an ample amount of the mineral manganese for collagen production, especially when healing wounds. Pineapple is high in manganese and can help you achieve the recommended daily amount of 2.3 milligrams per day.

  5. Turkey

    Turkey contains carnosine, which research suggests may slow down the collagen damaging aging process called cross-linking. Cross-linking makes collagen stiff and less resilient. Eat turkey two to three times a week to help your skin snap back into shape.

  6. Oranges

    Your body uses Vitamin C to make collagen and elastin, proteins that help keep your skin firm. Get 75 – 90 milligrams of vitamin c daily for ideal collagen production.

  7. Grapefruit

    After age 50, it is recommended that you concentrate on a variety of fruits and vegetables to boost your vitamin c intake. Grapefruit is a great vitamin c-rich alternative to oranges.

  8. Shellfish

    Shellfish contains a concentrated amount of copper, an essential mineral the body uses to bind collagen and elastin for strong, healthy skin. Consume 0.9 milligram of copper a day to help boost healthy collagen and elastin production.

  9. Tomatoes, pepper and beets.

    These red foods are an excellent source of lycopene, an antioxidant that boost skin’s own natural sun protection to help prevent collagen damage resulting from UV exposure.

While the body is constantly producing new collagen, since that production naturally decreases with age, adding collagen-boosting foods to your diet is a great way to encourage your body to produce as much as it can, no matter what your age.

It’s a smart step that can help keep skin healthy and supple.

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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What Skin Care Products Do You Need in Your Gym Bag?

For those with an active lifestyle, making sure that you have the right skin treatment products is essential to having great-looking skin. Regular workouts can be healthy for your body and skin, but the buildup of sweat on your clothes during your workouts can cause breakouts that can damage your skin. Of course, you probably take a shower or clean up after your workouts, meaning you most likely put a few products into your gym bag to keep your skin clear and clean. While there are times that you may forget or run out of your usual skin care products while you’re at the gym, you also want to think about using products that are milder and gentler on your skin. If you’re going to be washing your skin a little more than usual during the day, you don’t want to irritate it! Here are gentle skin care products you want to start keeping in your gym bag.

Cleansers for Removing Sweat and Salt

No time for a wash?

Get a few spritzes of the on-the-go-friendly, refreshing Hydrating Toner to rehydrate skin and neutralize surface impurities

A mild, gentle cleanser is important if you’re going to wash your face after a hard workout. Make sure that you use one that won’t irritate your skin and cause problems down the line. You also need to get skin those vital nutrients and antioxidants that will help combat breakouts as well as the signs of aging. Murad Daily Cleansing Foam helps give your skin a healthy glow while gently clearing it. It works to restore skin’s natural balance while pomegranate extract gives your skin the needed antioxidants it needs to stay protected from free radicals.

Have 5 minutes?

Cleanse skin immediately with the antioxidant-rich Essential-C Cleanser to remove oil and sweat, and refresh skin with a burst of citrus.

 

Murad Skin Perfecting Lotion for Hydrated, Post-Workout Skin

A gentle cleanse means making sure that you use the right lotion to make sure that your skin isn’t irritated after frequent washings. Murad Canada’s Skin Perfecting Lotion is formulated to reduce the size of pores and refine your skin’s texture. As an oil-free moisturizing formula, Murad Canada’s Skin Perfecting Lotion contains Queen of Meadow and Algae extract which work to clear pores.

A Lip Treatment

In our skin care treatment routines, we tend to focus on our face or body when it comes to anti-aging or acne treatments. While skin care products that focus on your face or body are the primary products of any regimen, you should also be using a lip treatment that will moisturize your lips. Murad’s Rapid Collagen Infusion for Lips is especially formulated to help moisture penetrate your skin. It’s the perfect size to pop in your gym bag for use after every workout.

But No matter what….

Always use an SPF before heading back to work. Apply the 3-in-1 Invisiblur formula under or on top of makeup to protect skin from UV rays, blur imperfections and treat signs of aging.

When you’re going to the gym more often, making adjustments to your skin care treatment routine can be tough when you want to keep your skin healthy while not irritating it after an extra washing. Make sure you choose the gentlest skin care products that will make sure your skin keeps that healthy glow, especially after a tough workout!

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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Take a Deep Breath

The practice of quieting your mind and focusing on your breath is not just for the enlightened. Here’s one of my favorite deep breathing exercises. It can be done at any time and any place. Try it lying down or sitting in a comfortable chair while maintaining good posture.

  • Close your eyes and relax your body as much as possible. Scan your body from head to toe and let go of any tension.
  • Pay attention to your breathing. With one hand on your heart and another on your belly, notice the rise and fall of each breath. If you are using the lower part of your lungs, your abdomen should be noticeably rising and falling. Your chest should not be rising nearly as much.
  • Continue breathing deeply through your nose.
  • After several more breaths, inhale slowly through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Keep your mouth, tongue, jaw relaxed.
  • Continue this pattern of methodical breathing as you stay relaxed, and focus on the sound and feeling of long, slow, deep breaths.

relax2

Meditation is not for everyone, but it’s also not just for monks anymore. With time and patience, anyone can learn to meditate. It’s like entering a deeply restful sleep while being fully awake; its casting the human brain back to a more primitive state where we are freed of our analytical and critical selves. In this blissful state of mind, you are more aware of senses and feelings rather than negativity and stress. Here’s a simple way to try it:

  • Sit in a quiet comfortable spot. Be mindful of your posture. Set a timer for five or ten minutes.
  • Choose a word to repeat to yourself. Many people like to use the word “om” because it has been shown to be calming. Or you can murmur “breathe in” and “breathe out” to yourself, or count your breaths from one to ten, then repeat.
  • Close your eyes and focus on your work or count. When thoughts intrude, gently bring your attention back to the words or count.
  • Keep going as long as you can without falling asleep.
  • When you’re ready, slowly open your eyes. How do you feel?

 

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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Do Skin Types Matter

There’s no dearth of skin products on the market to match every skin type, but don’t let it drive you crazy. Go by how your skin feels in response to the products you choose. Most people are oily in some places and drier in others. A few tips to consider:

  • If you’ve got oily skin, don’t be afraid to cleanse, treat and moisturize twice a day, as would a person with dry skin. Even though your skin looks “moist” doesn’t mean you could be missing key lipids to maintain your skin’s barrier: Your oil glands within the follicles are simply genetically programmed to be more active. Try using a cleanser with hydroxy acids on alternative days, or more often if your skin seems to respond well to it.
  • Dry skin is the most fragile. Be careful about over cleansing and over exfoliating, as your skin is more susceptible to irritation. Use a cleanser and tone with hydrating ingredients and exfoliate gently (and not every day). Look for products that contain skin soothers such as chamomile extract and arnica.
  • Fair-skinned people and those who spend a lot of time outdoors need to be extra cautious about over exposure to UV radiation. While a sunscreen with SPF 15 if sufficient for many, I recommend upping that coverage to at least 30 if you’re more sensitive to the sun. Similarly, if you take drugs that increase your sensitivity to the sun, which is the case for birth control pills, for example, apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30.
  • Don’t overdo it. No matter what kind of skin you have, it’s easy to over clean and over exfoliate and in a word, irritate. You can also trigger excessive oil production with excessive use of soaps, cleansers, scrubs, and toners made with drying alcohols. Listen to what your skin is telling you and adjust your skin care routine accordingly

Give products up to six months to work and show results.

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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Healthy Eating for a Healthy Body

In addition to eating foods containing the specific nutrients that directly eliminate cellulite, it is necessary to create an environment of inclusive health within your body. Your system will find it easier to smooth out the imperfections in your skin if it is also running smoothly internally. Having a healthy mental state is another vital step in repairing any affliction in your body. An unnecessarily strict diet that causes undue stress eventually winds up doing more harm than good, and it is unlikely that you will stick to it.

Five Tips for Healthy Eating:

  1. Eat when you are hungry, not when you think you should eat.
  2. Stop eating when you are full, not when your plate is empty.
  3. Listen to your body. We often get cravings for food rich in nutrients that we are deficient in.
  4. Substitute healthy alternatives and cellulite-stopping foods whenever possible.
  5. Take supplements every day.

Smoothies are an excellent energy booster and a great breakfast option or mid-afternoon snack. For best flavor and smooth consistency, drink them as soon as you have made them. Experiment with different fruits, juices, and spices. Dried fruits offer another good option when your favorite fresh fruits are not in your local market.

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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Why You Should Be Using An Oil-Based Makeup Remover

Did you know:

Today’s makeup is super long-wearing—that means great day coverage but a real risk of clogged pores and acne at night. To meet the challenge of easily removing these long-wearing products without stripping your skin, we’ve developed Renewing Cleansing Oil. Renewing Cleansing Oil is a remarkable new, non-greasy cleanser that has the power to thoroughly remove your makeup without scrubbing. Renewing Cleansing Oil not only leaves your skin remarkably clean, it actually leaves your skin noticeably softer and smoother.

How it works:

Renewing Cleansing Oil forms a strong bond with the oils and minerals that give your makeup its staying power. That’s why when you rinse off with Renewing Cleansing Oil, makeup, BB cream, sun-block, excess oil and impurities rinse off too—leaving skin free of potentially pore clogging debris. And Renewing Cleansing Oil isn’t just an exceptional makeup remover. Renewing Cleansing Oil supports the health of your skin by preserving your natural pH balance and strengthening skin’s natural protective barrier.

How to use:

Massage Renewing Cleansing Oil’s botanical oil formula directly onto dry skin to dissolve makeup—even the most stubborn mascara. Rinse off dissolved makeup and grime with a splash of water to enjoy skin that’s soft, residue-free and healthfully clean.

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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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What is the differences between Cellulite and Stretch Marks?

Think of a rubber band that is stretched out over time. It loses its elasticity and becomes weak. The same thing with your connective tissue. As parts of it become damaged and brittle, their newly ridged texture and lack of elasticity become visible. Stretch marks are cause by acute damage to specific areas of the body that are stretched. It affects 70% of adolescent females and 40% of young males, 90% of pregnant women (during the sixth and seventh months of pregnancy). The most common areas where they occur is on the abdomen, thighs, breasts in women; armpits in men. Stretch marks affects adolescents experiencing growth spurts, body builders who practice strenuous and repetitive exercise, users of topical and systemic steroids, people with massive weight gain and loss (including pregnancy), and people with certain diseases such as tuberculosis.

You know that fatty tissue is found in most parts of your body to varying degrees. It primarily functions as a protective cushion for your organs and as an energy reserve. When you reduce your normal intake of food, your body automatically burns its own reservoir of stored fat. On a low-calorie diet, fat comes off in many areas, but the cellulite bulges remain. Cellulite is a complex disease or problem that starts with damage to the vascular system. Its causes are both hormonal and genetic. It affects 80-90% of women and rarely seen in men. The most common areas they appear are on the thighs, hips, buttocks, knees, upper arms and abdomen.

It’s rarely discussed, but the skin of your behind needs special care too. Bring the saying soft as a babys bottom to your own backside by exfoliating the skin on your derrière 2-3 times per week with your favorite body scrub or dry brush. Minimize the appearance of cellulite by using topical products like the Firming Peptide Body Treatment that help restore skin elasticity and firmness. Or get a deep tissue massage (butt included) to help break up that connective tissue and improve circulation for healthy skin everywhere!

Dont forget to take care of your skin – all of it! Your body will thank you.

Recommended products for Cellulite and Stretch Marks

 

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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Skin is a water gauge

The Water Principle is not about drinking four to eight or twelve glasses a day, it is about getting water into cells and keeping it there so that every one of the trillions of cells in your body functions at full capacity.

Next to oxygen, water is the most important substance you need, and almost everything we know about aging tells us that the decline in function over the years is a story of water loss. At birth, about 75 percent of our weight is water, but gradually as we age we lose the ability to hold on to water. On average, man is about 60 percent water and a 15 percent decrease in water may not seem like much, but as you’ll see, if we look at the cheek of a baby and a seventy-year-old, it makes a dramatic, visible difference.

The skin is the largest and only visible organ of the body, and it reflects the aging processes – including water loss – that occur throughout the body. The damaged, water-deprived fibers and cells, and the gel-like substance in which they are all embedded, tell me that a similar situation exists in the cells of the heart, the muscles, the liver, the walls of the blood vessels, and the joints. Each and every cell of the body is connected. Therefore, if water is lost from the epidermis, those cells will withdraw water from somewhere else. It comes from the fluid circulating around the cells, then from an adjacent cell or from the dermis beneath it, and eventually from other tissues or cells of other organs.

Water is essential to the life of every living cell. It is what keeps a cell from collapsing in on itself, so one of the purposes of the body’s natural chemistry is to insure that each cell from the brain to the heart to the organs of the abdomen are kept plump with fluid on the inside and lubricated with moisture on the outside. Water also gives volume to the blood and pliability to the tissues. You can see this in your skin.

Without an adequate water supply, the skin cells, disintegrate. Structures that support skin become stiff and lose flexibility. The skin layers become thin and flat. Blood vessel walls become fragile, porous, and leak water like old pipes. Nutrients can’t be delivered, and waste materials aren’t carried away. And the more water that’s lost, the more fragile and penetrable the barrier is. That weakening means even more water is lost, and a destructive, self-perpetuating cycle is set in motion.

You can put a stop to this water loss. You can rebuild a vital strong barrier than not only gives you a more youthful appearance but also functions at its full potential, defending itself against further water loss.

Read more about:
The Science of Cellular Water
Health Benefits of Watermelon
3 Rules for good health
Recipe for hydration
 

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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