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Blog posts tagged with 'skin health'

The Many Skills of Coconut Oil

The Many Skills of Coconut OilWhen it comes to multitasking, coconut oil truly fits the bill. As one of the most versatile ingredients around, it can be used for so many tasks. Coconut oil is known for its numerous health benefits, including helping condition damage hair, moisturizing dry skin, improving immunity, boosting digestion, and even helping manage weight loss. However, not only is it a boon for your health, but even for your meals and chores around the house!

Cooking with Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a big favorite among chefs as a cooking oil, as it’s ideal for baking and stir-frys. If you’re hungering for sautéed beef or stir-fried vegetables, coconut oil is the ticket for it. Because of coconut oil’s high lauric acid and other medium chain triglycerides, it can help boost metabolism when it is utilized in cooking.

Another good reason for choosing coconut oil is because it has a high smoke point. While other oils, such as olive oil, can oxidize when it’s heated, the saturated fats that make up coconut oil helps it remain stable, even under very high temperatures.

Coconut oil can be used for other food uses. It’s a great dairy-free alternative to traditional butter, and can be spread just as easily on toast. You can also use it to replace the creamer for your coffee, which can give an extra boost of energy. With a lot of MCT’s in its makeup, coconut oil naturally improves energy, and can even help with the routine workout.

Coconut Oil Helping Around the Home

The Many Skills of Coconut OilNot just for food, but even with chores around the house, coconut oil can be a happy helper. Coconut oil is popular as a homemade hand soap. Because of its moisturizing properties for skin, it can also help act as an antibiotic, killing bad bacteria that can lead to acne.

Your skin isn’t the only thing it cleans. Coconut oil can be used as a laundry detergent as well! Combining it with lye, water and your choice of essential oils, you can get an allergen-free laundry detergent that is sensitive on the skin. It can also be used for furniture polish, as it works gently on wood, granite counter tops and other metal surfaces. It’s even handy as a dust preventer! When wiping a small amount of coconut oil on surfaces, it can keep dust from gathering on said surface.

Extra Help with Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

Just as coconut oil has multiple uses around the house and the kitchen, it has multiple benefits for your health itself. Extra Virgin Coconut Oil takes the best out of this dietary oil in one convenient dosage. Its high MCT content is what gives it its nutritive power, providing a powerful energy boost, helping manage weight, supporting the healthy look of both skin and hair, and even benefiting the heart. It can support healthy cholesterol and raise the good HDL content, while giving a nice kick to your metabolism rate. If you’re thinking of starting a more inclusive coconut oil life, let Extra Virgin Coconut Oil ease you into it!

Click here to try Extra Virgin Coconut Oil today!

 

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Changing Needs: A Focus on Age and Proper Nutrition

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Changing Needs: A Focus on Age and Proper NutritionMany people can recite the names of the most popular vitamins and prominent minerals such as vitamin A, D, calcium, and potassium. But are you getting enough each day? Many people are, in fact, missing some of the main nutrients needed to sustain healthy living—especially older adults. As diets change, the number of calories older adults absorb can drop. This can lead to a deficiency in some of the more vital nutrients that are needed for good health and increased longevity. To help you sustain ongoing health, here are some of the top nutrients you should look out for to help ensure that you’re getting the proper amounts.

Bones, Cells and Heart Health

Calcium is essential to supporting healthy bones and teeth. Bone development continues throughout adulthood, which is why your body needs a steady supply of calcium. Not getting enough calcium can lessen your bone density over time, leaving them brittle and making you more susceptible to falling and incurring injuries. Besides dairy products, broccoli and kale are also rich sources of calcium. You can also turn calcium supplementing into a treat by making a smoothie out of yogurt, fruit, and vegetables.

Along with helping maintain healthy nerve function, vitamin B12 helps in the formation of DNA, RNA, and red blood cells. B12 is especially important for older adults because they can’t absorb it as easily as younger people can. To get enough B12, eat plenty of fish, poultry, meat, eggs, and milk.

Folate, or folic acid, is another B vitamin (vitamin B9). Folic acid supplementation is recommended in pregnant women because adequate folate levels during pregnancy may help reduce the incidence of neural tube defects in babies. It has also been connected to protecting heart health and reducing risks of heart concerns later on in life. As one of the eight B-complex vitamins, folic acid helps convert the body’s food into fuel and is a crucial part of overall wellness.

Essential Nutrients for Internal Conditioning

Much has been written and debated about vitamin D. At its core it helps the body absorb calcium and is important to bone density, skin health, immune function, and many other processes in the body. While your skin is capable of producing some vitamin D when you’re exposed to the sun, many people do not spend enough time outdoors to satisfy the recommended daily value. Vitamin D amounts can vary by gender and age, but adults ages 19–70 should get, on average, at least 600 IU each day by remembering to step out in the sun or eating cereals, milk, and juices fortified with vitamin D.

Potassium is an electrolyte that helps your cells, tissues, and organs function properly. It is also connected to the electrical activity of the heart, and aids healthy blood pressure and kidney function. The daily requirement for potassium is 4,700 mg, which can be obtained from bananas, prunes, potatoes, dairy products, soy, and some fish.

While the body doesn’t need much magnesium, it still plays a crucial role in some 300 different processes in your body. Often associated with heart health, magnesium is also pertinent to a high-functioning immune system and bone health as 66% of the magnesium your body needs is stored in the bones. Although magnesium is found in many common foods such as grains and nuts, it is still estimated that people only get 66% of the necessary daily value. You can help make up for this deficit by eating more unprocessed foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, beans, and seeds.

Keeping Well Fed and Watered

Your digestive tract has a lot of responsibilities that include nutrient absorption, waste elimination, and immune health. Fiber, which is a type of carbohydrate that can’t be digested by the body, aids the digestive system. It is also known for supporting heart health. The national recommendation for fiber is 30–38 grams a day for men and 25 grams a day for women ages 18–50.

The last area of nutrition that is often overlooked is hydration. Fluids are an important part of your diet; water being the most crucial. As you get older your sense of thirst can decline, but no matter what age you are, hydration is important for every process mentioned in the above paragraphs. It is often said that if food is your body’s fuel, then fluid is the coolant. Nutritionists recommend drinking 3–5 large glasses of water each day, or 8 glasses if you’re physically active.

Covering Your Bases of Nutrients

Sometimes keeping track of what your body needs can seem overwhelming. However, if you’ve already made the decision to eat healthier by managing your food groups and portions, you can easily figure out what vitamins and minerals you are getting enough of, and what areas you may need to focus on. Supplementation for many vitamins and minerals is always a viable option due to the various nature of different diets. Getting a wide variety of what you need, at each point in the aging process, however, is crucial to continued healthy living, and it starts with what you know.

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Stay Up on Skin Health This Summer with These Super Foods

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Stay Up on Skin Health This Summer with These Super FoodsThe start of summer is upon us and with it comes the opportunity to enjoy trips to the beach, picnics, hikes, and other fun outdoor activities. If you plan on soaking in the sun and getting that tanned look or if you're outside for any other reason, remember to pay attention to skin health. Protection against UV rays is important and you should carry sunscreen with you at all times to avoid serious burns. There are, however, some super foods that can also help protect and support the health of your skin from the inside.

Add Some Antioxidants to the Mix

Fruits and summertime go together like wine and cheese. Besides being great for hydration, fruits can provide other nutrients that are beneficial to skin health. Watermelon, for instance, is made up of 90% water and great for those hot afternoons in the sun. But it also contains vitamin C, which is crucial for your body's continuous production of collagen—the main building block of skin cells. Vitamin C's antioxidant and immune support properties make it the perfect weapon against free radicals that can cause oxidative damage to skin and other organs. Berries can be another go-to source for preventing oxidative damage to your skin. Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries…take your juicy pick. These antioxidant-rich summer soldiers can provide your body—and especially your skin—protection against free radicals. If citrus fruits are more along your line of taste, you can also get your fill of vitamin C from oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes. Squeeze the latter two into your water to not only enjoy a refreshing drink, but an extra splash of vitamin C and its collagen-building benefits. Some of these citrus fruits also have other collagen-producing ingredients such as the amino acids proline and lysine that can promote firmer and more supple-looking skin. Not to be outdone, pineapples contain a compound called bromelain. Studies have found that bromelain helps ease inflammation, which may come in handy if you are experiencing any discomfort from sunburn.

Are They Fruits or Vegetables?

While there may be some debate whether tomatoes and cucumbers are fruits or vegetables (technically, they are fruits because they bear seeds) there is no debate about their health benefits, especially for your skin. Tomatoes contain lycopene which has been shown to help stave off unwanted lines and wrinkles. It, too, is another helper in the collagen-production area. The use of cucumber in facial treatments is no fluke either. Made vastly of water, cucumbers can hydrate and replenish skin, and reduce puffiness and inflammation, especially around the eyes. Cucumbers are another powerful ally in the fight against free radicals, which can bring on unwanted blemishes and other age-related skin damage.

Vegetables, Omegas, and the Power of the Coconut

Fruits aren't the only foods that can give you super skin. Vegetables such as dandelion greens contain a healthy amount of vitamin A, another powerful antioxidant agent in the free-radical battle that can help you avoid unwanted skin damage caused by oxidative stress. Spinach and oily fish such as salmon also contain omega-3 fatty acids, which regulate your skin's oil production, giving it that natural, healthy-looking glow. Want to create a super skin-supporting meal? Whip up a salad of dandelion greens, berries, and cucumbers. For protein, add salmon. And don't forget to wash it down with coconut water, an amazing, hydrating drink containing powerful electrolytes and potassium which can help deliver more nutrients to your skin by supporting circulation. If you're going to be outdoors this summer, make sure you give your skin the proper support. With these super foods you can not only get the nutrients your body craves daily, but the valuable skin protection needed to keep your skin look healthy and youthful. Enjoy the summer season the right way today!

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From Body to Brain to Bones, Just How Important Is Vitamin D?

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From Body to Brain to Bones, Just How Important Is Vitamin D?Vitamin D is a vital component to many areas of your health including bone density, muscle strength, immune health, brain function, and more. However, as recently as 2009 it was reported that nearly three-quarters of all teens and adults in US are vitamin D deficient. This is a critical area to address as the consequences can have far-ranging effects on your overall health.

Sun to Skin

Your body’s skin cells are able to produce vitamin D every time you step out into the sun, so it stands to reason that vitamin D should be easy to obtain. But those with darker skin and people who spend a lot on time indoors or in darker regions, may have a harder time absorbing enough sunlight to produce a proper amount of vitamin D. It is recommended to spend 15 to 30 minutes a few days a week outside in direct sunlight. However, UV rays can be harmful so health experts don’t often advise getting Vitamin D from sun exposure.

Just How Important Is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is important right down to the core of your health. It influences everything from aiding calcium absorption for strong bones to supporting muscles and teeth. Vitamin D can also influence heart health. It has been studied for its ability to support healthy blood pressure levels, and promote healthy arteries and circulation. Recent studies have shown that it can also influence your auto-immune system’s health, aiding your body’s natural defenses. If supporting almost every aspect of your body wasn’t enough, vitamin D has also shown its merit in supporting the brain. Several studies have shown that sufficient levels of vitamin D can support brain function and cognitive health. It seems there is nothing this multipurpose vitamin can’t do, but are you getting enough?

Where Do I Get Vitamin D and How Much Do I Need?

Eating a healthy and balanced diet containing cereals and low-fat milk fortified with vitamin D can be a great way to start off your day. Many brands of orange juice also contain added vitamin D; just be wary of additives and sugar content. For dinner, if you’re looking to boost your vitamin D intake, certain fish, especially mackerel, salmon, tuna, and sardines can all provide healthy amounts of vitamin D. In addition, foods like eggs (especially the yolks), cheese, and yogurt can all help fortify your diet with the recommended amounts of vitamin D. How much you need depends on you as an individual. Age, nationality, and where you live can all factor into your recommended daily amount. While there is still some debate on how much vitamin D you should take, allowances ranging up to 4,000 IU’s a day are generally considered safe. For those who may have trouble getting enough vitamin D through their diet there are also many vitamin D supplements that can satisfy your daily needs. So be sure to stay up to date on how much you need, and continue to make the choices that give you all the nutrition you need to remain healthy each day!


Vitamin D
 

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A Little Spice Goes a Long Way: The Surprising Benefits of Three Everyday Spices

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A Little Spice Goes a Long Way: The Surprising Benefits of Three Everyday SpicesSpices have been a part of human society for thousands of years, with evidence of their use dating as far back as 2000 BC. Throughout human history different cultures have utilized them for food preparation, preservation, and religious ceremonies; and they have even been catalysts for global exploration. Some spices were such rare commodities that they were used for trading. The little, ground pepper flakes you shake onto your meal or salad were once used as currency, and nutmeg found in recipes and snacks was once so valuable that a historian has called it “the iPhone of the 1600s.” We tend to pay less attention to the details in spices these days because they’re so commonplace, but some of these simple additives can provide a pinch of support to your health. Here are some everyday spices with some surprising benefits.

Cinnamon

It may come as a surprise that cinnamon provides anything beyond an interesting flavor—both spicy and sweet—to our foods. But this brown spice has been known to help promote healthy blood flow. The chemical responsible for these benefits—cinnamaldehyde—also possesses anti-inflammatory properties. In a 2011 study it was found that the use of cinnamon in diets can also help combat the negative effects of triglycerides found in high-fat meals.

Turmeric

Turmeric, like cinnamon was also mentioned in the same 2011 study as one of the spices that helped lessen the negative effects of meals high in fat. This orange-colored spice is commonly used in Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian cuisines. It is also known for its powerful antioxidant properties, often said to help neutralize or prevent free radical damage. Studies have also shown that turmeric can be a potent ally against joint discomfort, with one researcher commenting that “Turmeric is one of the most potent natural inflammatories available. Other studies found that the main component in turmeric, curcumin, can also support healthy skin, memory, digestion, and cholesterol levels.

Ginger

Studies have shown that Chinese cultures have benefited from the use of ginger for over 2,000 years. It has been said to relieve symptoms related to upset stomachs and nausea, as well as support daily digestion. It has also been shown to be helpful in aiding colon health by acting as an anti-inflammatory in the colon. Ginger contains antioxidant-like properties as well. A study published in the Journal of Dietary Supplements states that ginger may help alleviate the instances of oxidative stress similar to vitamin E.

Make Your Spice Rack a Health Rack

Who knew these everyday spices held so much potential nutritional benefits? The best part is that they aren’t rare or expensive; they are readily available and lend themselves to a wide range of uses in meals, drinks, and desserts. It is also common to make hot teas out of these spices—try mixing cinnamon, turmeric, and ginger together to make a super-tea when you’re feeling under the weather. Some of the best sources of these ingredients can also be found in specific supplements, giving you exactly what you need in one bottle. So keep your eye on the spice isle and kick-start your health by adding some spice to your health.


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