Effect Of Sugar On Your Brain



A study was published by US scientists at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) stating that too much intake of sugar can have an effect on your brainpower but it can be counteract by including an OMEGA-3 fatty acid on your diet. The said study was tested on rats wherein they underwent a high fructose corn syrup diet and how their memories were shattered by the corn syrup solution.

Two groups of lab rats were fed a solution that contains high-fructose corn syrup as drinking water for six weeks. This high fructose syrup is commonly used as an ingredient in processed foods. It is commonly found in soda, condiments, applesauce, baby food and other processed snacks. They have given one group of rats brain-boosting omega-3 fatty acids in a form of flaxseed oil and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) as a supplement, the other group has none.

To see the actual effect of the high sugar intake, they have provided a complicated maze and placed the rats there for a five-day training session before the start of the sugar taking. After six weeks of drinking the solution, the rats were placed back on the maze to see how they perform. As a result, the DHA-deprived animals were less capable of solving the maze unlike before they were given the solution. It is also revealed that these rats developed signs of resistance to insulin, a hormone that controls blood sugar and regulates brain function.

Here’s the explanation on the result according to Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, a professor of neurosurgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

“The DHA-deprived animals were slower, and their brains showed a decline in synaptic activity. Their brain cells had trouble signaling each other, disrupting the rats’ ability to think clearly and recall the route they’d learned six weeks earlier.”

“Because insulin can penetrate the blood-brain barrier, the hormone may signal neurons to trigger reactions that disrupt learning and cause memory loss.”

“Insulin is important in the body for controlling blood sugar, but it may play a different role in the brain, where insulin appears to disturb memory and learning. Our study shows that a high-fructose diet harms the brain as well as the body. This is something new.”

“Our findings illustrate that what you eat affects how you think. Eating a high-fructose diet over the long term alters your brain’s ability to learn and remember information. But adding omega-3 fatty acids to your meals can help minimize the damage.”

According to the US  Department of Agriculture, on a yearly basis, an average American consumes more than 40 pounds (18 kilograms) of high fructose corn syrup. This means that we should always watch what we eat especially when it comes to sweets because too much fructose intake could interfere on the insulin in our body which is necessary for processing our thoughts and emotions.

Sunscreen Labeling That You Need To Know


Summer is around the corner, and I’m willing to bet that one of the hottest skin topics in the coming months is going to be the new sunscreen rules. These changes have been a long time coming, because sunscreen manufacturers have been using some "loose" definitions to the terms on their prodcuts' labels. 


As a consumer, this means that you’re going to have to start reading labels differently. There are new regulations for manufacturers regarding protection benchmarks (which may lead to reformulation of some of your favorites), but for now we’ll stick to the info you need to know. 

"Broad spectrum" is not broad.

The Scoop: There are two main types of UV rays: UVA and UVB. UVA rays are responsible for aging changes like wrinkles and discoloration, while UVB rays cause sunburn. Both of these rays contribute to skin cancer. However, SPF only refers to the level of UVB protection, and up until this point, there hasn’t been a scale for UVA protection.

New Rules: New labeling rules state that in order to put the words “broad spectrum” on a bottle of sunscreen, the product must shield skin from 90% of UVA rays, and have an SPF of all least 15, which means it provides protection from UVB rays as well

SPF in cosmetics is not reliable.

The Scoop: If you’ve been following me for any period of time, you know I always advise patients not to trust the SPF in makeup. Cosmetic labeling has not been required to follow the same rules as sunscreens.

New Rules: From now on, beach products and cosmetics products will be treated the same in terms of sun protection labeling. This means your favorite tinted moisturizer or foundation must meet the same criteria as sunscreens and carry a drug facts label if it claims to have SPF. Expect to see many of those sun protection claims go away—or to see skin cancer and skin aging warnings on products that do not meet the broad-spectrum criteria.

Shampoo or body wash is not sunscreen.

The Scoop: You may own body wash with SPF claims in its label. In the past, all kinds of products (including shampoo and powders) could claim to have sun protection.

New Rules: The FDA is tightening the rules on other types of products that claim to offer sun protection. Powders, towelettes, wipes, shampoos, or body washes will no longer be able to be classified as sunscreens. Even continuous spray formulas that we’ve all come to depend on must be subjected to additional testing in order to confirm that the average user actually applies enough product to get the protection stated on the package.

4.  “Waterproof” and “sweatproof” are dangerous words.

The Scoop: These terms have been problematic for dermatologists for a long time, mainly because they give a false sense of security. Regardless of the formulation, and sunscreen needs to be reapplied every two hours, or after swimming, perspiring or towel-drying.

New Rules: New labeling rules only allow companies to state that a sunscreen is “water-resistant for 40 minutes” or “very water-resistant for 80 minutes.”



Another Type of Ray You Should Know

We wear sunscreen every day to shield our skin from the damage caused by UVA and UVB rays, but you probably didn’t know that there’s another type of sun ray we need to think about. Odds are you’ve heard of infrared rays, but research is beginning to shed light (no pun intended) on the ill effects this energy has on our skin.

What are infrared rays?

Simply put, infrared rays are produced by the sun, ovens, hairdryers and light bulbs. (In fact, 54% of the solar energy that reaches the skin’s surface is infrared.) Similar to UV rays, there are three kinds of infrared rays: IFA, IFB and IFC. We can’t feel the IFA type rays, but they penetrate deeper in the skin than UV does, and cause damage that leads to skin aging.  (You can feel IFB and IFC, which get reflected off of the skin’s surface.)

How do they affect our skin?

IFA rays do not generate heat, but they penetrate deep into the skin and damage the mitochondria (energy-producing organelles) and other parts of our skin cells by generating free radicals. Infrared rays have also been found to increase pigment production within the skin. Recent research also shows that IFA rays cause inflammation as well as signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles. Infrared rays may also be the root cause of “laptop rash,” a red, blotchy irritation (medically known as erythema ab igne) that looks like brown, red patches in areas of heat contact.

How can you protect yourself?

Sunscreens do not shield skin from any type of infrared rays. Topical antioxidants should help shield the skin but the only one that has been tested (and proven) to protect against IFA is SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic.

Five Tips For Cellulite Removal



Cellulite affects women of all shapes and sizes. Although there is no diet that can remove cellulite, lowering your overall body fat percentage and consuming a healthy and balanced diet may help to reduce the appearance of unsightly dimples. Certain foods may help to hydrate your skin, promote the growth of collagen and prevent fat stores, which may reduce cellulite or prevent cellulite from forming. Contact your doctor before beginning any type of dietary program.


Staying Hydrated
Properly hydrating your skin creates thicker, plumper skin, which helps to hide the fat cells beneath the skin. Hydrating your skin helps it appear healthy and supple. Drinking at least 64 oz. of water each day helps to flush toxins from the body and improves body function. Carry a water bottle with you during the day and refill it often. In addition to drinking water, try to eat foods with a high water content, such as grapes, cucumbers, watermelon and apples, to help keep your skin hydrated throughout the day.

Whole Grains
Whole grains, including oatmeal, brown rice and whole wheat pasta, are healthy alternatives to refined grains and sugars. Refined foods, which include white bread and rice, sugary cereals and pastries, can cause a spike in blood sugar, which tells the body to store fat. Excess fat cells push through connective tissue, which results in a lumpy appearance, or cellulite. Whole grains are a solid source of necessary nutrients and minerals, including dietary fiber. The high fiber content in whole grains also helps to treat and prevent cellulite.

Fruits and Vegetables
Fresh fruits and vegetables include high amounts of vitamins, minerals, nutrients, antioxidants and water. Not only is fresh produce low in calories, but is also includes cellulose, a product necessary for cell structure and supple skin. Many fruits and vegetables, including blackberries, oranges, strawberries, bell peppers, tomatoes, mangoes and grapefruit, are high in vitamin C, which helps fight cellulite by preventing collagen breakdown. When collagen weakens, skin loses its elasticity, which pushes fat against the skin and reveals cellulite lumps.

Low-Fat Legumes
Legumes, including peas, beans, peanuts and lentils, are low-fat protein options that contain high amounts of dietary fiber. The high fiber and protein content of legumes may help to reduce the appearance of skin dimpling and cellulite. Consuming legumes as part of a balanced diet may reduce body fat and increase satiety, which helps you avoid overeating. Add legumes to main or side dishes as a healthy alternative to fatty animal protein.

Substances to Avoid
Substances such as alcohol, salt and soda may worsen the amount and appearance of cellulite. These substances dehydrate the body and cause water retention. Other foods thought to contribute to cellulite include fatty, fried or processed foods. Refined foods, including those that include artificial sweeteners and additives, may also make cellulite look worse. If you smoke, quit. Cigarettes weaken the skin by constricting the capillaries and damaging connective tissue, which causes dimpling.

Green Tea Benefits to Your Skin



You probably know that a green tea fix is awesome for your body (green tea is packed with antioxidants, which help protect the body from free radicals). But--news flash!--putting green tea on your skin is beneficial, too! 

Green tea is made from unfermented tea leaves and contains a very high concentration of antioxidants called polyphenols. Remember how I said that these antioxidants help protect the body from those nasty free radicals? Well, the antioxidants protect your skin in a similar way. There has been some research suggesting that when green tea extract is applied directly to skin it reduces sunburn. 

Obviously don't replace your sunscreen with green tea. But the evidence suggests that antioxidant skin care products may enhance sun protection when used in addition to a sunscreen. We all know the dangers of sun exposure so the idea that antioxidants can help your sunscreen work better is great news! Green tea polyphenols function as both antioxidants and anti-inflammatories so it makes sense that it's such a superstar skin care ingredient!

Green tea has great health benefits whether you drink it or apply it to your skin. And using it along with an SPF 30 helps to punch up your protection! 

Foods that Minimized Body Pain



What you eat can directly and indirectly help reduce pain in three ways: by controlling inflammation, which contributes to the nagging pain associated with some chronic diseases like arthritis; by reducing the damage caused by oxidative stress, which occurs when the body is exposed to more cell damage than it can handle; and by helping to regulate your body's immune response, which helps manage inflammation more effectively.


We get in the habit of taking Advil or Aleve to treat pain symptoms, without getting at the underlying cause of pain. Over time these medications, because of their side effects, can do more harm than good. Changing your diet, on the other hand, protects your cells from damage and reduces the number of inflammatory compounds the body produces. An anti-inflammatory diet is an effective path to weight loss, which reduces pain that's caused by extra stress on joints. New research in the journal Cancer Research links losing just 5 percent of body weight to significant reductions in biochemical markers for inflammation.

These six food categories -- and six standout examples -- can result in meaningful changes for your pain level.


Eat this: Anti-inflammatory herbs and spices
Try: Turmeric. Turmeric contains a powerful anti-inflammatory compound known as curcumin. (In fact, turmeric is sometimes simply called curcumin.) This deep yellow-gold spice has a smoky, peppery flavor and is used in curries and mustard. It's such a powerful anti-inflammatory, it's one of the spices recommend to eat every day. 



Other examples: Garlic, ginger, cinnamon, tart cherry, curry, rosemary. (Dried tart cherries, while not technically a spice or herb, are another antioxidant-superstar way to "spice up" other foods.)

Why: Several studies have shown an anti-inflammatory effect of turmeric on patients with rheumatoid arthritis. These spices and herbs help inhibit the formation of inflammatory prostaglandins and COX inhibitors (the same enzyme-inhibiting substances in medications such as Vioxx or Celebrex).


Eat this: More non-animal sources of protein
Try: Canned salmon. The fish highest in inflammation-busting omega-3 fatty acids, salmon, is available in cans year-round. And it's the most affordable source of wild salmon. Wild-caught is healthier than farm-raised salmon, which may contain toxic chemicals and antibiotics, depending on their feed and the conditions they're raised in.



Other examples: Cold-water fish that supply omega-3 fatty acids include black cod, tuna, sardines, halibut, mackerel, herring, and anchovies. And for protein don't overlook legumes and dried beans, such as lentils, soybeans, and black beans, and ancient grains including quinoa, millet, and spelt. Plant sources of omega-3s include pumpkin seeds, walnuts, and flaxseed.

Why: Replacing animal protein with proteins from fish increases your consumption of DHA and EPA, so-called "long chain" omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to improvement in symptoms of both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Plant sources provide also-essential "short-chain" omega-3 fatty acids.


Eat this: Healthy fats
Try: Coconut oil. Coconut oil provides good fuel for the cells that line the gut, which is fundamental to proper immune system functioning. You can use coconut oil in cooking and baking where a light, slightly sweet flavor is desired, or to pop popcorn (another plant food high in antioxidants).



Other examples: Olive oil, grape-seed oil, avocados, ground flax, nut butters (especially almond, almond-flaxseed, cashew, or sunflower seed, which are less inflammatory than peanut butter), omega-3-fortified eggs.

Why: You'll be displacing unhealthy, omega-6 saturated fats (found in highly processed foods), which far outnumber good-for-you omega-3 fats -- a backwards ratio that fans inflammation. Healthy fat sources fuel both proinflammatory hormones, which fight stresses to cells, and anti-inflammatory hormones, which regulate the healing process after a threat (injury or infection) is gone.


Eat this: A wide variety of plants
Try: Kale. It's fibrous, low in calories, rich in dozens of beneficial flavonoids, and is one of the most nutrient-dense greens. Chop it into vegetable- or bean-based soup, blend it in a smoothie, or add it to salad or pasta dishes. To bake kale chips, tear leaves into bite-sized pieces, sprinkle or spray on olive oil (one tablespoon per cookie sheet), and add some sea salt.


Other examples: Whole grains, beans, lentils, and all dark green, red, orange, yellow, blue, and purple fruits and vegetables -- the whole rainbow. Rule of thumb: The more intense the color, the more antioxidants are packed inside. But even whites (cauliflower, garlic, onion) and blacks (black beans) provide plenty of benefits.

Why: A plant-based diet emphasizing whole (unprocessed) foodsis like a force field, or sunglasses, protecting your lipid membranes and DNA from oxidative damageIdeally, amp up the plant foods at the same time you eliminate refined and processed foods (such as white flour, sugar, and packaged goods like cakes, cookies, chips), which can raise blood glucose, increasing insulin production and, in turn, inflammation.


Eat this: Probiotics
Try: Greek yogurt. This thick type of yogurt packs more than twice the protein of regular yogurt, and it contains probiotics -- live microorganisms that help supplement the healthy bacteria already in your digestive tract. It's also a good source of vitamin D.


Other examples: Probiotics are also found in any yogurt containing live cultures (check the label for Lactobacillus acidophilus and L. bifidus, two common types) and in any fermented food -- such as kimchee, sauerkraut, and kefir.

Why: Probiotics help your gut preserve a healthy balance of good bacteria, which are often under siege from factors ranging from poor nutrition and stress to smoking and pollution. A healthy population of bacteria needs a plant-based diet to survive -- it's its own biosystem that needs to be cultivated. This dairy food is another way to supplement that healthy ecosystem. It's especially beneficial after finishing a course of antibiotics, which can disrupt the balance of healthy bacteria. 


Drink this: Lots of water
Try: Green tea powder. Also called matcha, powdered green tea -- basically the tea leaves, finely ground -- provide the same powerful antioxidants that green tea beverages do, but in a more concentrated and versatile form. In steeped tea, the liquid contains the water-soluble antioxidants from the tea leaves, but in tea made from green tea powder, you're literally consuming the whole leaf. Stir it into water (hot or cold) for tea, or add to smoothies or lattes. It can even be added to baked goods or soups.


Other examples: Water, green tea. Black tea and coffee also contain anti-inflammatory properties, but in lesser amounts. However, their caffeine can help treat headache pain.

Why: The vital organs and blood supply are composed of as much as 90 percent water.Water is needed by the liver to help detoxify chemicals and the other compounds we come in contact with. Water helps all the body's processes work, right down at the cellular level.

8 Bad Foods for the Heart



Name a food that doesn't belong in a heart-healthy diet. An egg-a-day? Nope. That morning cup of coffee? Wrong again.

Surprised? These foods may be the subject of much talk about heart health, but there are other foods associated with a higher risk of high blood pressure and heart disease - and they don't get nearly as much attention. Give your heart a break by nixing these 8 unexpectedly bad foods from your diet. 


White Bread 
Women who eat a lot of foods rich in refined carbohydrate like white bread, pizza and rice are twice as likely to develop heart disease as women who eat few of those foods, according to a recent study from Italy. The increased risk seems to be associated with carbs that are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream rather than carbohydrates on the whole.


Heart-Smart Swap 
Instead, choose unrefined (and therefore more slowly digested) whole-grain alternatives. Brown or wild rice, 100 percent whole-wheat bread and whole-wheat pizza crust are all good options.


Canned Soup 
While soup can be a great way to curb your appetite for few calories, choosing certain canned soups can be hazardous to your heart. An individual container of chicken noodle soup contains more than 1,700 mg of sodium, which is 200 mg beyond the recommended daily intake for people over 50, or those who have high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease. (If you don't fit into those categories, your daily limit is 2,300 mg). The reason? Too much sodium can accumulate in your blood, which increases your blood volume as well as the amount of work your heart has to do to keep up pressure in your arteries.


Heart-Smart Swap
Homemade soup is ideal, since you control how much salt you add to the recipe. If you're pressed for time and can't take on a DIY cooking project, shop for low-sodium canned or boxed soups instead.


Fizzy Drinks
It may come as a surprise that both regular and diet sodas can be harmful to your heart. Regular pop is packed with added sugar - about 8 teaspoons per serving. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 6 teaspoons per day for women and 9 for men to prevent obesity, which can lead to heart disease. And diet soda's a heart no-no too: A recent study found that people who drank a low-cal soda daily had a 61% increased risk of cardiovascular event compared with those who drank none.


Heart-Smart Swap 
If you like fizzy beverages, try seltzer with a squeeze of lime or orange. Or, sip unsweetened green or black iced tea - you'll get a boost of antioxidants and quench your thirst.


Microwave Popcorn 
Homemade popcorn is one of my favorite foods. Not only is it a nutritious whole grain, it's also delicious and fun to eat. There is, however, an exception. Much of the microwave popcorn on the market is loaded with trans fats, the sneaky fats that raise your "bad" (LDL) cholesterol and lower your "good" (HDL) cholesterol. One popular brand of microwave popcorn packs as much as 5 grams per serving - the American Heart Association recommends limiting your trans fat intake to no more than 2 grams per day. Movie theater popcorn is notoriously heart-unhealthy as well.


Heart-Smart Swap  
Make it yourself! Popcorn is easy to make with healthful fats, or no fat at all - pop it on the stovetop, in an air popper or even on the microwave. For DIY microwave popcorn: place 1/4 c of kernels into a glass bowl, place the lid on tight and heat until the kernels stop popping (usually about two minutes).


Full-Fat Dairy
Dairy foods like yogurt, milk and cheese can all be healthful additions to your diet - if you choose the right ones. The grams of saturated fat - the type that can raise your "bad" (LDL) cholesterol - can add up fast when you choose full-fat dairy. For instance, regular (full-fat) Greek yogurt has 7 grams of saturated fat per serving, while a cup of whole milk has 4.6 grams.


Heart-Smart Swap
Go for nonfat or low-fat dairy choices. You'll get the same bone-building calcium and strengthening protein with little or none of the heart-unhealthy saturated fat. And in most cases you won't even notice the difference.


Applesauce 
It may seem like a healthy on-the-go snack, but some store bought applesauces subtract one of the most nutritious parts of the fruit - the fiber-full skin - and add sweeteners and even artificial coloring. Too much sugar and not enough fiber can be a recipe for raising your cholesterol levels (and increasing your risk of diabetes).


Heart-Smart Swap 
There are nutritious versions of applesauce out there - you just need to know what to shop for. Double-check the label to make sure it reads "natural" or "unsweetened", and scan the ingredient list - apples and water should be at the top. For an even healthier version, try making a batch yourself. It's quick, easy and gives you control - you can leave the skins on the apples to add fiber, and decide for yourself if it needs any sugar at all (our bet is that it doesn't!).


Pretzels 
Pretzels usually seem like a healthier alternative to potato or tortilla chips. But that doesn't necessarily mean that they're a heart-smart snack. The two main ingredients of pretzels (white flour and salt) are devoid of nutrients and can put you at risk for high blood pressure and heart disease.


Heart-Smart Swap 
If it's a crunch you're craving, try sliced apples, baby carrots or a handful of almonds for a filling and healthy snack.


Pie 
That flaky, golden-brown pie crust may taste like perfection, but the ingredients used to achieve that taste (butter or margarine, shortening, cream, whole milk) can be high in both artery-clogging saturated fat and cholesterol. And shortening that traditional dough recipes call for is high in dangerous trans fat.


Heart-Smart Swap 
If you're set on a fruit-filled dessert, try a fruit crumble instead. Crumbles keep all of the fruit but ditch the crust in favor of crunchy topping made of uncooked rolled oats, butter and brown sugar. Just go light on the butter and sugar and you've got yourself a sweet, heart-smart treat!

Regular Jogging Increases Longevity



If you're aiming to add a few more years to your lifespan, researchers suggest lacing up your running shoes and taking regular, gentle jogs a few times a week.

According to new data, men who regularly jog can add 6.2 years to their life while women can tack on 5.6 years. 

Presented last week at a heart health symposium in Dublin, the preliminary findings come from the Copenhagen City Heart study, which has been monitoring the health of more than 19,000 men and women since 1976 to increase knowledge about preventing heart disease and stroke. 


The research is part of the work of cardiologist Dr. Peter Schnohr, who has been investigating whether or not jogging is healthy or hazardous, due to the fact some believe it is too strenuous for ordinary middle aged people and can put unnecessary strain on the heart. 

"The results of our research allow us to definitively answer the question of whether jogging is good for your health," he said, adding: "We can say with certainty that regular jogging increases longevity. The good news is that you don't actually need to do that much to reap the benefits."

How much jogging is necessary? The investigators found that between one hour and two and a half hours a week, broken down into two to three sessions, delivered the optimum benefits, especially when performed at a slow or average pace.

As for your pacing, "aim to feel a little breathless, but not very breathless," Schnohr added.

Aerobic activities such as jogging were also found to be better than resistance training for reducing belly fat, which poses a serious threat to your health, researchers say.

Maintaining aerobic fitness through middle age and beyond has also been found to delay your biological aging by up to 12 years and prolong independence during old age, according to a study a few years ago published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Cellulite-Busting Foods



Suffering from bumpy “orange peel” skin on your legs, butt or tummy? You're not alone – cellulite affects over 90 per cent of post-adolescent women. While there is no quick – or definite – cure for cellulite, by addressing its fundamental causes through your diet you can greatly reduce its appearance and pave the way for smoother skin. Here are our top 10 foods for giving cellulite the heave-ho.


Ginger

One cause of cellulite is poor circulation, so eating foods such as ginger that boost blood flow can help to improve its appearance. As well as being good for circulation, ginger is also good for detoxification and strengthening the lymphatic system, which can help with the circulation of lymph fluid and toxins that can accumulate in fat pockets under the skin, contributing to the bumpy appearance of cellulite.


Asparagus

Asparagus is another food with circulation-boosting properties. On top of this, asparagus is a great stress reliever due to its abundance of folic acid, which can help to stabilise a stressful mood. As prolonged levels of stress can increase fat storage on the body, adding foods such as asparagus to your diet can help to reduce the appearance of cellulite.



Avocados

While anyone fat, thin, young or old can suffer from cellulite, ageing does tend to increase the visibility of cellulite due to the loss of elasticity and thinning of skin. Therefore, try eating foods rich in Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) which can help to strengthen skin and keep it supple and elastic. Avocados are a particularly rich source of EFAs, as well as being high in many essential nutrients.



Oily fish

Another top food for keeping the skin in good condition is oily fish, which is high in skin-strengthening omega-3 fatty acids. As an added bonus, the fatty acids present in oily fish are also good for reducing inflammation and boosting the cardiovascular and lymphatic systems, making them a good choice for keeping cellulite at bay.



Dark, leafy greens

Dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale are rich in an antioxidant called lutein, which research has shown is good for helping the skin to retain its moisture and elasticity and increase its lipid levels - all good news for those suffering from cellulite. On top of this, leafy greens are nutrient-rich and are good for the circulation and detoxification.


Cranberry juice

A sluggish lymphatic system is one of the primary causes of cellulite, so those wishing to reduce its appearance should try boosting their intake of cranberry juice, which is noted for its abilities to cleanse the lymph system. This powerful juice helps to emulsify stubborn fat deposits in the lymphatic system so that they are more easily flushed out the system.


Bananas

Bananas are a rich source of potassium, which is helpful for reducing cellulite in many ways. Firstly, potassium helps to reduce water retention which can be a leading cause of cellulite. Furthermore, potassium can help to support the lymphatic system and ensure it works efficiently at circulating fluid and cleansing the body of impurities.


Whole grains

Whole grains are packed with fibre, which is an essential for keeping your body running smoothly. Fibre helps speed up the process of detoxification and clear out waste products that can build up in your system, often leading to cellulite. Eating whole grains also helps to keep the heart healthy and boost circulation to cellulite-prone areas.


Papaya

Eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables is one of the best ways to detox the body and reduce the appearance of cellulite, and papaya is a particularly good choice of fruit. Papaya is not only rich in potassium - one of the most important nutrients when it comes to battling cellulite - but it is also high in antioxidant beta-carotene, which can help prevent damage to body tissue.


Berries

To help keep skin firm and taut and disguise the appearance of cellulite, try adding some vitamin C to your diet to help boost your skin's collagen levels. Berries are a particularly good source of vitamin C, as well as being extremely high in the antioxidants necessary for fighting toxic waste, which can slow down the lymphatic system and accumulate in cellulite-prone areas.


Tips on How to Reduce Hair fall



Women lose about 40 to 120 strands of hair a day. If you've got fine hair, expect to shed more because you have more hair than your thick-tressed counterparts. It's also a fact that hair thins out as you grow older. So if this is all a natural part of life; what's the big deal about falling hair?

Some people might think that one's concern over hair fall is pure vanity. It's true that hair naturally changes in thickness and quality at different points in one's life (pregnant women get fuller, thicker hair; but start shedding once they give birth.) But women (and men!) have a pretty legit reason to be concerned, especially when they see a noticeable increase in hair fall. That's because hair fall can also be a sign of poor diet, too much stress, or something medical, like a thyroid imbalance.


Kinds of hair fall

To start, doctors like to classify "hair fall" cases under three categories:

Female Pattern Hair Loss, also known as Androgenetic Alopecia, is the most common cause of hair loss. It is a genetic disorder that can occur anytime after puberty. A good 50% of women experience this, mostly after they turn 40 years old. Stress, medications, birth control pills, and hormones can also cause it.

Telogen Effulvium, or physiologic shedding, occurs when an excess number of hair follicles suddenly stop growing. This can be caused by certain illnesses, anemia, hormonal shifts (such as pregnancy), and thyroid imbalance. It can also be the result of trauma. Studies have shown that trauma, such as the death of a loved one, can disrupt the hair's growth cycle. Unhealthy eating can also cause physiological shedding.

Lastly, there's Alopecia Areata, also known as "Allergic Alopecia". They come in the form of patchy bald spots on the head. This can easily be caused by an allergic reaction, or it could also be an immune system imbalance.


Fighting hair fall

There are a few things you can start doing at home to fight hair fall.
.
To start, avoid getting stressed out. See, hair grows in phases. The first phase, known as the growth phase, lasts for two years. It is then followed by a resting phase, or the "telogen phase", for three months. Whenever we get extremely stressed, almost 70% of our hair prematurely enters the telogen phase, making it fall out after three months. The good news is, new hair will most likely grow back in the next six months.

Also, make sure you're getting the right amount of vitamins and minerals. Avoid drastic diets, which can cause an imbalance in nutrition. Make sure you get adequate doses of protein, zinc, iron, and vitamin B complex.

Try to avoid exposing your hair to too many chemicals. If you love going to the salon for chemical hair treatments (that includes dyeing!), consider "resting" your hair a few months in between before going in for more tune-ups. Exposing your tresses to various chemicals (not to mention high temperatures) can cause stress on your strands.

You can also try anti-hair fall shampoos. Make sure to look for formulas that include DHT inhibitors, such as the herb palmetto. Keep an eye out for variants with plant-based oils such as coconut, lavender, evening primrose, and rosehip seed oils—it's believed that these essential oils help encourage hair growth, and could even give you thicker hair. Also check if your shampoo addresses strengthening hair at the root and not just treating hair breakage.

Steer clear though of shampoos with surfactants and too much sodium sulfate. Surfactants cause your shampoo to lather up, but doesn't really help in cleaning your hair—in fact, this added chemical can make your hair dry, causing it to break (not good for those with thin hair!). Too high concentration of sodium sulfate can damage your hair and scalp.


However, if none of the above mentioned tips work and  you feel you have a serious hair fall problem, see a doctor. You can go to a dermatologist, gynecologist, or even an endocrinologist to get to the root (no pun intended!) of your hair fall problem. Some like to consult with a "trichologist", someone who has studied the science of hair and scalp. Keep in mind that it's never a good idea to self-diagnose or self-medicate.

And remember, seeing a professional about falling hair shouldn't be something to be embarrassed about. Remember, it could be a symptom of an imbalance in the body, or a signal that it's time to slow things down (remember, stay stress-free!) And besides, the worst thing you can do about your falling hair is to worry about it—so seeing a doctor is the best thing you can do to keep your mind at peace.

Top 6 Anti-Aging Foods



As the weather warms and we all start spending more time outside, chances are you're upping your sunscreen usage. But did you know that certain foods also shield your skin from the sun-and the damage it wreaks on your skin? It's true (though that doesn't give you carte blanche to ditch the sunscreen!). 

Boost your defenses against skin cancer (the most common type of cancer) and help keep your skin looking younger with these 6 foods.


1. Strawberries: A cup of strawberries delivers about 150 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C-and eating more vitamin-C-rich foods may help to ward off wrinkles and age-related dryness.


2. Tomatoes: Tomatoes get their red hue from lycopene, a carotenoid that may help to keep your skin smooth. Researchers found that of the 20 individuals studied, those who had higher skin concentrations of lycopene had smoother skin. Consuming more lycopene may also protect your skin from sunburn. In one study, participants who were exposed to UV light had almost 50 percent less skin reddening after they ate 2 1/2 tablespoons of tomato paste (or drank about 1 2/3 cups of carrot juice daily), in addition to their regular diet, for 10 to 12 weeks. Supplements, however, weren't as effective: in the same study, those who received a lycopene supplement or synthetic lycopene weren't significantly protected against sunburn. You can also get lycopene from pink grapefruit, carrots, watermelon, guava and red peppers.


3. Tofu: Tofu-and other soyfoods, such as edamame and soymilk-may help to preserve skin-firming collagen because it is rich in isoflavones.  In a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, mice fed isoflavones and exposed to ultraviolet radiation had fewer wrinkles and smoother skin than mice that were exposed to UV light but didn't get isoflavones. The researchers believe that isoflavones help prevent collagen breakdown.


4. Tuna: Tuna-and other omega-3-rich fish, such as salmon and sardines-may help keep your skin looking youthful and prevent skin cancer. EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), one of the omega-3 fats in fatty fish, has been shown to preserve collagen, a fibrous protein that keeps skin firm. And EPA in combination with the other omega-3 in fish, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), helps to prevent skin cancer by reducing inflammatory compounds that can promote tumor growth. Aim to eat two servings of fatty fish each week: not only are the omega-3s good for your skin, they're good for your heart too.


5. Coffee: Drinking a single cup of coffee daily may lower your risk of developing skin cancer. In one study of more than 93,000 women, published in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention, those who drank one cup of caffeinated coffee a day reduced their risk of developing nonmelanoma skin cancer by about 10 percent. And the more they drank-up to about 6 cups or so per day-the lower their risk. Decaf didn't seem to offer the same protection. 


6. Cocoa: This one may be the most surprising of all, since some people say chocolate gives you acne. Turns out studies have unequivocally shown there is no connection between chocolate and skin problems, and that some types of chocolate, in fact, may even be good for your skin. Cocoa contains a type of flavonoid called epicatechin (so do tea and red wine). In a study of 24 women, published in the Journal of Nutrition, drinking an epicatechin-rich cocoa beverage daily for 12 weeks improved skin texture. The authors explained that epicatechin increased blood flow to the skin, boosting nutrient and oxygen supply-both factors essential for keeping skin healthy. 

Foods That Hydrates Your Body



With the weather warming up, it's more important than ever to stay hydrated. But if the idea of downing 8 glasses of water doesn't appeal to you, have no fear: Although it's recommended that women over 19 get at least 2.7 liters of fluids per day, that includes all fluids, not just water--and food can provide a significant chunk of that. So if you're trying to increase your intake of fluids, add these hydrating foods to your diet to get a boost: 

1. Cucumbers: The flesh of cucumbers is primarily composed of water but also contains vitamin C and caffeic acid, both of which help soothe skin irritations and reduce swelling-which is why cucumbers are often used to help swollen eyes and sunburn . 


2. Tomato sauce: It may vary depending on the brand, but most store-bought tomato sauces are about 90 percent water. Plus, one half-cup serving of tomato sauce has only 50 calories and zero grams of fat, while the same amount of creamy Alfredo sauce weighs in around 200 calories and 18 grams of fat. 


3. Eggplant: Eggplants have all the qualities of an excellent weight-loss food: They're high in fiber and water but low in calories . Just avoid recipes that involve frying. Eggplant's spongy texture means it will absorb a lot of oil and as a result, negate the calorie advantage. 


4. Watermelon: A 2009 study at the University of Aberdeen Medical School found that the combination of salts, minerals and natural sugars in some fruits and vegetables can actually hydrate people more effectively than water or even sports drinks. Watermelon was on top of the list, thanks to its 92 percent water content and essential rehydration salts calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium. 


5. Pineapple: This exceptionally juicy fruit is packed with bromelain, a mixture of compounds with potent anti-inflammatory powers. In other words, eat pineapple now and you may avoid pain meds in the future. 

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