The Power of Pomegranate

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Pomegranate contains a super antioxidant called ellagic acid, which is even more powerful that the antioxidants in green tea. Pomegranate appears to be effective against viruses, destroying them on contact. And it is especially effective in protecting cells from free radical damage.

Other compounds in pomegranate –the anthocyanidins –interact with ellagic acid to further boost its antioxidant potency. The powerful antioxidants in pomegranate work by boosting the levels of glutathione, a natural antioxidant in the body that helps protect the DNA in cells from free radical damage. Glutathione is also essential in helping the body recycle hormones such as estrogen, which also protect the skin cells.

Spring Cleansers Hydrators

Most Murad products contain antioxidants and are essential ingredients to receive the best results. Now you know why!

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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Not All Aging Is the Same

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There’s only one word to describe what happens over time –age –but there are different reasons and triggers for this process. Let’s look at the three main types of aging. This will help you to completely grasp how to address aging.

What happens when you age?

  • Wrinkles
  • Sun damage
  • Less hair in some places, more in others
  • Poor memory
  • Lack of sleep
  • Lack of Energy
  • Poor digestion
  • Reduced circulation
  • Chronic disease

Intrinsic Aging: A Fact of Life

Intrinsic aging is simply the natural aging process no matter what you do to try to halt it. It’s what would occur had you never been in the sun, swallowed toxins, taken a stressful exam, smoked a cigarette, partied past your bedtime, breathed metropolitan air, and so on. It’s what would occur despite sleeping in a pure oxygen tank, avoiding smiling to defy laugh lines, or Botoxing your face stone cold. 12139807_318783148292334_76868710_nGenetics play a key role in intrinsic aging. If your parents aged well, odds are you will too. In the body, intrinsic aging results in loss of collagen and elastin, and reduced water content in the cells.

Environmental Aging: Inevitable but Controllable

Extrinsic or Environmental aging is exactly what it sounds like: aging from a combination of injury to your outsides and compromised cellular functions on your insides. Luckily, this is a type of aging that we can control to come degree. Factors such as excessive sun exposure, pollution, smoking, stress, poor diet, and intake of drugs or alcohol contribute to this type of aging. The classic signs of environmentally aging are usually written all over a person’s skin in the form of redness, dryness, thinner skin, sagging, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. You probably can’t see the water loss in the cells, but it’s there. The good news is the effects of environmentally aging can be minimized through both preventative actions and treatment.

Hormonal Aging: Another Fact of Life12145582_1529962630629177_1482865733_n 

This type of aging has gain tremendous attention in recent years and has no doubt spurred much conversation, especially in women’s circles. Hormonal aging occurs as levels of estrogen decline –and starts happening long before menopause.

Estrogen is your skin’s best friend. It helps prevent aging in three big ways: 1. It prevents a decrease in skin collagen in postmenopausal women; 2. It increases the skins collagen content, which maintains skin thickness; and 3. It helps skin maintain moisture by promoting the production of certain substances in the skin that boost 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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The 80/20 Rule for Eating Healthy

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I enjoy dessert after a meal and I’m not ashamed to admit it. People wonder how this fits into my Pitcher of Health© and I remind them that the goal of the Pitcher of Health is to help people successfully adopt a better and sustainable way of eating and living. The desire for a little dessert in our lives is almost universal and it’s the reason I developed the 80/20 rule as part of the Inclusive Health® un-diet plan.

Eighty percent of the time, commit to eating a healthy plant-based diet as laid out in the Pitcher of HealthBut the other 20 percent of the time it’s OK to give yourself permission to splurge on your favorite comfort foods, like chocolate.

Why is that?

Because when you deprive yourself of something that you really love to eat, you’ll eventually fall off
the wagon and go overboard. Instead of one piece of chocolate, you’ll eat the whole box. But if you give yourself permission to make yourself happy, and permission to live without a feeling of guilt about cupcakes and other things you like to eat, you alleviate cell-killing stress.

And stress is far more harmful to your cells than a few calories from a piece of chocolate!

 

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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Foods, Fads and Facts. What’s Right for You?

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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.

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 kitchens—only to have those revelations revealed in turn as the work of publicity seekers pedaling bad science?

Here are a few simple suggestions for making good food choices.

Don’t 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. Don’t forget that you are unique—from 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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5 Ways to Embrace Change

Fall is a season for transition. Choose products to help repair summer sun damage and hydrate your skin for the cold months ahead. Fall is also the perfect time to adopt good habits for healthy, beautiful skin. Are you using a good cleanser, treatment and moisturizer day and night? Are you exfoliating or using a mask weekly?

Focus on your happiness by allowing yourself to embrace change and let go of stress in your life. Remember, healthy skin is a reflection of overall wellness—and that includes your mental and emotional wellness. Here are my top five ways to learn to embrace change:

1. Welcome Positivity

It’s easy to get caught in the rut of always seeking out the negative aspects of situations. Make a conscious decision to identify when negative thoughts enter and replace them with positive thoughts or observations instead.

2. Sweat it Out

Whenever you’re faced with a daunting change or another stressful event, challenge your body with a great workout. When we work out, our bodies release endorphins that help reduce stress and anxiety.

3. Live in the Moment

Panic and worry can erupt when we focus on everything that can go wrong. Most of those “worst case scenarios” will never come to fruition. Do yourself a favor—relax and enjoy each moment of your life.

4. Be Appreciative

Studies suggest that grateful people tend to feel happier and more optimistic, which helps them cope with change. Every night, before you go to bed, write down three things for which you are grateful.

5. Try Something New

Whether it’s a new activity or a new at-home facial mask, make it a goal to try something new every week. Not only will this help you become comfortable with adapting to change; you’ll also develop more confidence and build new talents.

 

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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Roasted Yam and Eggplant Tacos with Chipotle Mayo and Crunchy Tortilla Chip Garnish

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Innovative, yet original. This tacos are like nothing you’ve seen before. Taking in your daily dose of healthy veggies doesn’t have to be boring, you can change up a traditional recipe to accommodate for your dietary restrictions and preferences. Healthy and delicious, these tacos will please everyone in the family. Try it this weekend and let us know on the comments below how you liked it!

INGREDIENTS

1 Batch Oh She Glows Life-Affirming Nacho Dip
1 Bag blue corn Organic Tortilla Chips
1 Bag blue corn soft taco shells
2 Big yams
2 Japanese eggplants
2 Tbsp coconut oil (or oil of choice)
3 Cloves garlic (minced)
1 Can black beans
1 Jar Organic Salsa
2 Limes
1 Bunch green onion (or red onion) (chopped)
1/2 c. Chipotle mayo (just stir a bit of chipotle spice into Vegenaise)

DIRECTIONS

1. Start by making a batch of Oh She Glows Life-Affirming Nacho Dip, but stop after you’ve completed the ‘cheese’ step (so, don’t add the spinach, onions or marinara sauce).

2. Preheat oven to 400F. Slice yams and eggplant vertically into strips. Toss with coconut oil (or oil of choice) and garlic, then lay on a parchment lined baking sheet and cook for 25 minutes or until golden.

2. Next, add a can of drained black beans to a small pot on the stove over medium heat. Add the juice of one lime and salt. With a wooden spoon, mash the beans slightly as you stir and cook until soft (about 10 minutes).

3. Heat your soft taco shells in the oven and then begin assembling: add a big dollop of citrusy black beans to each shell, a bigger dollop of nacho dip, roasted vegetable wedges, a spoonful of organic salsa, a squeeze of lime, a sprinkling of red or green onions (or both), a fat drizzle of chipotle mayo and — the piece de resistence — a big handful of crumbled tortilla chips.

4. Fiesta time! Hope you enjoy.

Recipe by Erin Ireland, can be found here.

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Allow Yourself to Have a Transformation

“Give yourself an opportunity to have a transformation.”

For many, this is not as simple as it sounds.

Most of the key positive changes in our lives come about as the result of personal transformations. These transformations don’t just happen by themselves. We have to be open to them and to all the possibilities that they represent.

Virtually every aspect of my own personal and business success has been based on the fact that I was open to significant change. For things to get better in your life, you have to be willing to allow yourself to take a chance.

 

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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Hydrate

Applying a moisturizer after every cleansing will immediately replenish the skin with structural lipids, smooth the rough, dry surface cells, and seal the barrier of the stratum corneum. A good moisturizer contains a mix of water-attracting and water-holding ingredients. Keep in mind, though, that as with every other product, it the total formulation that affects how the moisturizer feels on your skin as well as it’s hydrating potential. For example, two moisturizers can contain similar ingredients yet one will be more occlusive than the other, making it better for dry skin that needs that kind of invisible, nongreasy, water-holding shield. One moisturizer may work better under a foundation. And some women prefer a tinted moisturizer with sunscreen when they’re not wearing foundation. Men may prefer a moisturizer with more soothing ingredients to use after shaving.

Although most moisturizers are meant to be slightly occlusive, many of those on the market today don’t make the skin feel greasy. In the past, petrolatum or mineral oil was often used in a moisturizer because of its occlusive properties. With the new technology available to cosmetic chemists, though, these sticky products have been replaced with lightweight ones that are even more effective. They often contain ceramides that seem to dissolve right into your skin,

In the past most moisturizers were available in either a water-in-oil formulation or an oil-in-water one. People with dry skin were encouraged to use the water-in-oil products that were more occlusive; and people who produced too much sebum or structural lipids were advised to use oil-in-water products. These distinctions are now outdated, as new ingredients and manufacturing processes have improved the formulations.

New delivery systems are also now incorporated into many moisturizers. The liposome, for instance, involves a kind of encapsulation process that transports whatever agent is put within the liposome into the epidermis. In contrast, biovectors can be attached to ingredients to keep them at the top of the skin.

Typically women prefer creamier moisturizers, and men prefer lotions that don’t have thickening agents. But a lotion can be just as hydrating as a cream. One of the most popular moisturizing products in the Murad skincare line is neither a lotion nor a cream, but a viscous liquid. It’s a combination of only water-attracting natural moisture factors and water-holding lipids. It’s light and it’s absorbed immediately into the skin, moistening and smoothing the stratum corneum and leaving no trace on the skins surface.

I believe that everyone, even those people with oily skin, needs to use a moisturizer. The idea of a moisturizer is not to add structural lipids alone. Rather, a moisturizer serves several purposes: smoothing, hydrating, and restoring the barrier function of the stratum corneum.

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Hydro-Dynamic® Ultimate Moisture
Topically, you can fight dryness and the visible signs of aging with a moisturizer that contains humectants and emollients. Hydro-Dynamic® Ultimate Moisture is a powerhouse moisturizer that intensely hydrates, absorbs easily and quickly into the skin, and is gentle enough for someone with sensitive skin. It’s also filled to the brim with high-performance ingredients.

 

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 Typing – what is normal skin and dry skin

Everyone has a unique genetic profile. No two of us are exactly alike, with the exception of identical twins. The characteristics of your skin –its color and pore size, how much hair you have and where you have it, and how much sebum and sweat coats your skin –are dictated by your genes. Your skin characteristics may be similar to your father’s skin or your sisters but there are going to be important differences. After all, the medicines you take, where you live, the stress you experience are unique to you. Even identical twins are exposed to different environmental influences. And your own skin will not be the same tomorrow as it is today.

When people think of skin type, they typically mean how oily or dry the skin is. Oily is actually a white, fatty, sticky, substance secreted by the sebaceous glands. Except for the lips and eyelids, which have no hair follicles or sweat glands, sebaceous glands empty sebum into the upper part of the hair follicle. As the oil emerges from the follicle opening, or pore, it lightly coats the skin, mixing with the structural lipids within the stratum corneum, creating a kind of protective barrier that keeps water within the layers, helping the skin stay moist and soft.

When the sebaceous glands are overactive, the excess sebum can make skin look shiny or feel greasy. When sebaceous glands are underactive or harsh chemicals or overzealous scrubbing remove the natural lubricant, moisture is lost and the skin becomes dry.

Using sebum and structural lipids, or oil, as primary criteria, the skin types are broadly categorized as oily, dry, or normal/combination. It is normal for pores to be more abundant on the nose and chin, and so there is more oil secreted in these areas, the so called T-zone. There are fewer pores on the cheeks and around the eyes, so these normally tend to be drier.


The pores of your skin are medium-size. Although you may have more pores along your nose and chin, and these areas may be oilier than your cheeks and around your eyes, you are not troubled with blackheads and pimples. Your complexion is bright and it feels smooth to the touch. Your skin is usually free of blemishes and tolerates extremes in temperatures well. Your cheeks may redden in the cold, but they don’t become irritated and chapped. Makeup stays where you put it and doesn’t flake. Weather conditions may change your skin: it’s a bit oiler when it’s warm and drier when it’s cool.

Your pores are small and fine, even across your nose and chin. You may have flaky areas where there are fewer pores, and your skin is thin over your cheeks. It may be transparent and delicate that you can see small blood vessels beneath it, especially on your cheeks. Your skin looks smooth, but it feels rough when you run your fingers across it. There’s tightness to your skin’s texture within a half hour after you wash your face with a gentle cleanser, especially when you don’t use a moisturizer. That tightness may even feel uncomfortable by midday. Harsh weather –cold temperatures and wind –can make it feel even worse. You may even get red, scaly patches after being outdoors. You may notices very fine superficial lines etched on your cheeks. That’s because the normal creases in the skin are more obvious when there isn’t enough moisture to soften them. Moisturizing creams and lotions disappear quickly into your skin after you apply them.

 

In a sense, dry skin is like a dry sponge. It rough, hard, and has little cracks in it. When the sponge is soaked in water, it becomes plump, soft, and smooth, and those little cracks disappear. Dryness is caused by lack of either sufficient sebum or structure lipids or both. So if you have dry skin, it may be because your oil glands are not producing enough sebum, or aging has taken a toll on the production of structural lipids within and outside of your skin cells, or because you are cleansing your skin too aggressively or too often. Sometimes the wrong foundation or face powder can be drying. Whatever the reason, the lack of moisture disturbs the skins barrier function.

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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Sensitive Skin

People of all skin colors can have sensitive skin, but it is more common in those with a fair complexion and light-colored eyes. Your skin tends to sting when you put certain things on it, and you’ve probably learned over the years what to avoid. Your skin may even react to cold temperatures or wind by becoming red and irritated. You may also notice tiny cracks in your skin, and that makeup becomes flaky. In fact, the barrier function of skin in people with sensitivities has been disturbed, which is why it’s so vulnerable to anything that’s put on it.

Although the irritation –redness, stinging itching, and burning –that you sometimes experience is not the same as a truly allergic reaction, you are more prone to true allergies, and you can break out in a rash all over if you are allergic to a fragrance or some other ingredient or drug.

With few exceptions, the formulations of my products are safe for the most people with sensitive skin. Therefore I have not designed a separate daily regimen for this skin type. Usually following the recommendations for dry skin will be fine for you. However, you may have an allergic response to some ingredient in any formulation, regardless of how much testing has been done to ensure that it is unlikely to cause a reaction. So you might do your own skin test on the inside of your upper arm before using a product for the first time. Also, you can develop an allergy to something you have used without any problems for yours, so don’t ignore any unusual symptoms such as redness, rashes, irritation, stinging, or dry patches that occur when you use a product.

According to some surveys, about 40% of women say they have sensitive skin. They say their skin becomes red, itches, feels tight, stings, and burns in response to changes in the climate, in the reaction to the sun, or when they use some products. No one knows how many people really have sensitive skin, but it is estimated that as many as 20% of people are allergic to certain things that make contact with their skin.

 

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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