Super-foods with Super-Benefits

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy Superfoods and Healthy Skinfood.”

(Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine.)

Two thousand years later, modern medicine changes the perspective to “a pill for every ill”. Where’s food in this equation? Nutritionists try to bring it back as the fundamental of health and insist that most of our health problems can be prevented and why not, alleviated or cured with proper nutrition. This doesn’t equal a load of vitamins in a colorful jar, as nutrients are not only vitamins and minerals, but also include the antioxidants, dietary fiber and enzymes from raw food, which are crucial to the well-being of our body. Nutritionists advise: a 51% raw daily diet would be most appropriate for our bodies.

As far as beauty is concerned, an inclusive approach to skincare teaches us that good health is also reflected on the outside: “looking” healthy is a kind of beauty that no skincare or makeup product can replicate. But in today’s world where stressors and processed foods threaten our health and produce more damage than our body can take, this inclusive approach to skincare seems to be a difficult task.

Super-foods to the rescue! A minimum daily intake can provide our body with a significant amount of necessary nutrients that would make up for the chronic lack from other sources. The “super-food” term has become quite popular in the past few years and has made a huge impact on the diet considerations. Defined as “foods with high phytonutrient content that may confer health benefits”, super-foods are a daily must-have in your meals. We could very well add “beauty benefits” to the health ones.

Which are the best super-foods?

Berries – most of these berries pack more antioxidants, vitamin C and fiber than any other fruit: goji berries, blueberries, raspberries.

Broccoli – always available and one of the best everyday choices. High in vitamin A, C, calcium and fiber. It is of great help in reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease.

Garlic – known to fight cholesterol, it is also our immune-system’s ally because of its antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. Egyptians trusted garlic to give them strength and heal a lot of ailments.

Nuts – nuts and seeds make an excellent source of protein, heart-healthy vitamins and fats. Have a handful with your meals every day: almonds, peanuts, flax seed or pumpkin seed are popular choices.

Spice – cinnamon & turmeric stand out on the spice shelf nowadays and have been proven to help with diverse ailments ever since the ancient times.

Oats – always great for your body because of their high fiber and protein content.

Salmon – rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, this fish leads the battle against heart disease and guarantees our body -and our skin’s!- well-being. Rainbow trout is a great (and tasty) alternative.

Spinach – praised for its high contents of vitamin C. calcium and Iron, spinach is essential for a healthy body.

Mushrooms – often omitted in favor of vegetables and fruit, but they should definitely make the super-food list. The common button mushrooms and any other edible types are great immunity boosters and fight cancer. A significant source of selenium, B-vitamins, magnesium and potassium.

Tomatoes – they are high in lycopene (the bright red pigment called carotene) and are known to fight cancer.

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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How sunscreen protects

Sunscreens protect your skin by blocking or absorbing the sun’s rays. Depending on the active ingredients in the sunscreen you use, you will protect yourself from the burning ultraviolet B (UVB) rays and the more penetrating ultraviolet A (UVA) rays.

The growing awareness of UVA’s destructive power is especially disturbing because since sunscreens were invented we have has the ability to protect ourselves against the burning UVB rays. That, obviously is a good thing. However, the downside is that since we’re less likely to burn, there is no warning sign that we’ve gotten too much sun. We could stay at the beach or on the golf course much longer than we might have in the days before sunscreens, exposing our skin to huge doses of UVA. Today we have broad-spectrum sunscreens that protect against both UVA and UVB rays.

Tip: Always wear a moisturizer with SPF.

What are the side effects of sun damage?

Dr. Murad explains.

 

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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No Time, No Energy, No Way

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If you can’t fathom doing any physical exercise most days of the week between your work and family life, you’re among the millions of people who struggle to schedule regular physical activity into their busy lives. Not having time and not feeling up to it are the two biggest complaints I hear.

The secret is to find what you love to do and make that a priority in your list of tasks for the week. Don’t force yourself to engage in any activities that bore you or mentally drain you. Gyms and groups exercise classes are not for everyone. Also bear in mind that exercise is invigorating. As soon as you get your circulation going, those feelings of “I’m too tired” usually fade away as endorphins begin to take over. Try moving your workouts to the morning, when the day’s events haven’t kicked in to disrupt you or wear you down. The first five minutes are the hardest, but once you get over that initial hump, the body takes over. And if you do find yourself chronically tired, then id stop to ask why. Chronic exhaustion isn’t a sign of health. You would do well to examine your lifestyle, priorities, and attempts to reduce your stress load.

 


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 Skin From the Inside Out

Healthy skin is a reflection of overall health and well-being. Good skincare practices consist of a double approach, internal and topical. Internal skincare is caring for your skin from the inside, by eating a balanced diet, full of beautifying nutrients, providing proper hydration and maintaining low stress levels. Topical skincare is caring for your skin from the outside by helping the epidermis stay strong and healthy. Sunscreen, creams, cleansers, and various treatments are necessary topical solutions for skin.

The inside-out approach to skincare can be summarized by a few basic rules and habits one must follow as part of the daily skincare routine.

    Internally:

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  • Eat a nutritious breakfast and include cereal, fiber-rich foods and probiotic yogurt. Fiber and probiotics help clean your intestines of toxins which can cause skin problems like acne, dermatitis, or irritation and sensitivity.
  • Integrate leafy greens, vegetables and fruits in you diet with every meal. Minerals like Zinc and Selenium are crucial in skin regeneration, anti-oxidants fight free radical damage at cellular level, vitamins nourish the skin from the inside making it radiant and healthy-looking. Tip: add spinach and other greens to your omelettes, sandwiches and salads.
  • Eat ‘good fats’ like Omega 3 and Omega 6 every day to maintain cellular integrity and help maintain skin hydrated from the bottom layers. If cells are optimally hydrated, they are stronger and healthier.
  • Be wise about losing weight. If you plan a diet, make sure you’re not excluding vital nutrients from your meals and exercise to keep your body toned and maintain optimal hydration levels in your muscles. Weight loss usually depletes your body of extra water in your tissues making skin appear saggy, while fat loss makes your skin appear older with visible wrinkles.
  • Don’t forget exercise! Even if you don’t exercise for a dream body, exercising improves blood circulation and skin appearance. Moderate exercise like an hour of walk every day could do wonders for your entire body and your skin.
  • Take time to relax and do a little something you love every day: sleep an extra 10 minutes in the morning, read, go to a spa, or meet your friends. Maintaining low stress levels helps skin stay healthy and wrinkle-free.

 

    Topically:

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  • Use sunscreen every day. Ultra Violet (UV) light in excess damages skin tissue and causes skin aging. Use a minimum SPF15 all over your body every day and reapply a few times when you’re outside on sunny days.
  • Cleanse twice a day. It is imperative to cleanse your face in the morning before applying moisturizers or makeup and in the evening before going to bed. This prevents acne flare-ups, inflammations, and helps moisturizers and treatments penetrate pores better. A clean face at night allows skin to regenerate and build new healthy cells.
  • Exfoliate! The older you get, skin regenerates slower. Help your skin with AHA & BHA peels or gentle scrubs a few times a week. On your body, use a moisturizing scrub or use a loofah while you shower.
  • Moisturize – hydration is essential for supple and healthy skin. Maintain optimal hydration levels with proper nutrition but help your skin stay protected by supplementing moisture with creams and lotions. Even oily skin needs hydration in order to balance the production of sebum; oiliness is often a sign of dehydration – when skin doesn’t have sufficient moisture, it compensates by producing more oil. Keep oil at bay by moisturizing, it will help skin regenerate and stay healthy.

Internal skincare supports topical skincare. The two combined significantly improve the quality of skin and maintain its youthfulness. While cleansing and moisturizing skin is important for everyday care, nourishing and hydrating from the inside with proper nutrients is vital for overall health and improves skin quality in the long term.

 

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Do Something Great for Your Skin in 1 Minute

Got 1 minute? Skincare doesn’t have to be a time-consuming process, but for great results, it has to be consistent. Some skincare routines can be completed in less than a minute, so here’s what you can do to pamper your skin without taking too much time off your other daily activities:

Tone and moisturize

To save some seconds, use a spray toner! Spritz some all over your face and then apply a bit of moisturizer on the damp skin. Massage until absorbed and you’re ready to go!

Exfoliate

Grab an exfoliating cleanser of your choice and gently massage all over your face for 1 minute. Voilà, your skin is smooth and baby soft.

Refresh

Got a minute on a late afternoon? Quickly wipe your face with a cleansing cloth to remove impurities or remove excess oil with some blotting papers if you have makeup on.

Apply a mask

You’d think this needs more time, but a cleansing or hydrating mask can be used for 1 minute only. If you’d prefer to create your own mask (and spare a couple extra minutes preparing it), mix 1 part olive oil with 1 part honey for a quick hydrating mask, or equal parts honey and fresh lemon juice for normal and oily skin. Otherwise use a store-bought 1 minute mask and leave on while you count to 60!

Treat your imperfections

Got an unsightly pimple, dark circles or a deep wrinkle? 1 minute is all you need to apply targeted treatments on these problem areas. Finish with a light touch of powder or tinted moisturizer and you’re good to go.

Take your make up off

Yes, this is one of the most amazing things you can do for your skin and 1 minute is all it takes. Use disposable pre-moistened wipes for a quick makeup removal before bed and you don’t even need to cleanse with water anymore.

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Inclusive Health Grocery Shopping Tips

Grocery Shopping Tips

 

Part of the Inclusive Health® lifestyle that encourages cells to act younger is the choices we make regarding the foods we eat. Beautiful skin—and a healthy body overall—starts with the water we carry in every cell in our bodies.

Pitcher of Health
To help people visualize what healthy eating should look like, I created what I call the “Pitcher of Health.” By following this simple eating guideline, you can help strengthen your cells, increase your cellular water and get the nutrients you need for a healthy and happy life. This is in no way a strict or “fad” diet. On the contrary, it is a recommendation that will help you design your own blueprint for a healthy eating strategy.

A key aspect to think about as you look at the Pitcher of Health is to consider these guidelines as part of what I call the “80/20” rule. The food you eat should consist of roughly 80%  great, healthy nutritious foods, while the remaining 20% or so can be comfort foods. I’m a strong believer in this philosophy because those who stick to an all-healthy diet tend to end up craving the less healthy, but enjoyable foods all the time. If you never allow yourself the joy to experience your favorite treats in moderation, eating can become a chore and the tendency to binge eat will be much greater.

Grocery List
To get you started, below is a Pitcher of Health-inspired sample grocery list that I’ve filled with some of my own favorite foods. Remember that these are just suggestions, and you should feel free to substitute similar foods you enjoy if there are items on the list you personally don’t like or are allergic to.

Fruit (3+ Servings):

  • Dried goji berries
  • Bananas
  • Organic apples
  • Blueberries
  • Pomegranate
  • Watermelon

Vegetables (5+ Servings):

  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Tomatoes
  • Spinach
  • Cucumber
  • Brussels sprouts

Whole Grains (4 – 8 Servings)

  • Whole wheat bread
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Oats and oatmeal
  • Quinoa
  • Buckwheat

Lean Protein (4 – 6 Servings)

  • Chicken breasts
  • Edamame
  • Greek yogurt
  • Eggs
  • Tilapia

Fats (3 – 4 Servings)

  • Nuts (walnuts, almonds, cashews, pecans, etc.)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Wild salmon
  • Avocado
  • Flaxseed

Supplements

  • Multivitamin
  • Essential fatty acids

Treat

  • Frozen yogurt
  • A bar of dark chocolate
  • Yogurt parfait

Making Inclusive Health changes to your diet is likely easier than you think. By merely making slight shifts in what you pick up at the grocery store, you can learn a way of eating–and living—that’s sustainable and healthy for you and your family.

If you liked this post, you will also like: The Science of Cellular Water Explained


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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