Posts Tagged ‘Skin’

Vitamin C- The super hero

We all know that nothing is constant in this universe except change. One of these is the change of season. Every time we near a change of season we are surrounded by news of “flu in the air”, “viral infection in every family”, common cold, hay fever etc. All these can be kept under control with proper nutrient intake and supplementing with natural herbs and vitamins. Whenever I ask this questions to my clients – Do you take any vitamin/mineral supplements???? Immediately I get this answer- No way!!! I do not pop any of those pills into my mouth… This tells me how much knowledge a lay person has about the power house “antioxidants”  and that’s the main reason for me to write this note again today.

Not just the seasonal changes but today the way our agricultural industry is going, all we are putting in our bodies are chemicals. “N” number of pesticides, insecticides, antibiotics and god knows how many more carcinogens (cancer causing chemicals) are sprayed on our food supplies. It is our responsibility to keep our body strong to be able to fight these chemicals and kick them out of our system and, to make our body and “Immune System” strong we need to keep supplying it with proper antioxidants.

Antioxidants are the minerals and vitamins that are found in food as well as manufactured by our bodies and are critical for optimal health (Packer.L, Colman. C, 2000, pp1). Lipoic Acis, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Coenzyme Q10 and Glutathione are all part of the antioxidant network.

Here I am going to discuss about VITAMIN C.

Packer and Colman call vitamin C the hub of the antioxidant network because it links the fat soluble antioxidants to the water soluble ones.  Unfortunately we humans, like few animals, do not produce vitamin C in our bodies so we have to rely on getting enough of it in our food and through supplements (Packer.L, Colman. C, 2000).

Few Benefits of Vitamin C:-

Research shows that people who take vitamin C supplements daily significantly reduce their risk of dying from cancer and heart disease. It is shown that vitamin c prevents cancer by shielding our DNA from free radical damage.

Vitamins C works in regenerating vitamin E & interacts with flavonoid antioxidants in the network.

Vitamin C has also shown to protect sperms from free radical damage. If you are planning to conceive be vigilant about giving vitamin C to your man daily 😉

Vitamin C is very much critical to a well-functioning immune system. Vitamin C strengthens the immune system thus helping to reduce the length and severity of colds and viruses. Taking a regular dose of vitamin C can make this saying wrong “if 1 person gets cold infection in the family or school or office all others will get it.” NOPE. NO WAY.

Vitamin C is great for the skin. It is essential for the production of collagen. Collagen is the cellular glue that hold the body together and keeps the skin young and supple.

Vitamin C is shown to protect against cataracts.

Vitamin C is shown to strengthen connective tissue.

Vitamin C plays an important role in preserving the health of our cardiovascular system.

According to studies done, vitamin C supplement is very crucial for the diabetics.

Food source of vitamin C:

Vitamin C is found in abundance in plants. It is present in many fruits and veggies like red peppers, broccoli, cranberries,  cabbage, potatoes,tomatoes, Indian gooseberry, guava and citrus fruits.

Amount of vitamin C: 

RDA amount: 60 milligrams, 100 milligrams  for smokers. As vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin the excess amount that is ingested is eliminated through urine. Thus there is no chance of toxic buildup. The only side effect noted from too much vitamin C intake are abdominal cramp and diarrhea, which are uncomfortable but not particularly hazardous to the health (Packer.L, Colman. C, 2000).

Always include fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables in your diet along with vitamin C supplement.  Remember that simply swallowing a vitamin pill will not guarantee its absorption into the system and delivery to the appropriate cells and tissues. When it comes to vitamin C, less is more. Recent study shows that when smaller amount of vitamin C is taken it has better bio availability.  Colman and Packer recommend 250 milligram a day to be the healthy supplement dose of vitamin C (Packer.L, Colman. C, 2000).

Do read my post on the 5 antioxidants.

Reference:

 

Packer, L & Colman, C. (1999). The Antioxidant Miracle. New York, U.S.A: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

 

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SHINE AND GLOW THIS FESTIVE SEASON

Hellllooooo my beautiful girlfriends.

Navaratri, Diwali, Thanksgiving, christmas, New Year………. yes the festive season will start soon and so will marriage season. I am sure all of you are dying to get that beautiful glow on your face.

Here is a simple home remedy of a face pack:

Ingredients:

1 small piece of papaya

1/4th mashed banana

1/4th teaspoon fresh aloe vera gel (if fresh leaf not available then try using organic aloe gel available in market)

few drops of raw organic honey

“If have extra dry-flaky skin then add few drops of vitamin E or almond oil”

Mix these together into a smooth paste and apply on clean face.  Leave till dry and wash with luke warm water. pat dry and apply rose-water with cotton.

TIP: Do this at least three times a week and other days alternate between rubbing half a tomato (if skin not sensitive), 1 piece of papaya, or fresh aloe gel.

Remember girls, internal nutrition plays equally important role in giving you the natural glow you need so make sure you are watching what you are eating and “DRINKING.”

Anyone looking for  diet consultation for a beautifully young skin, contact me by email : radhika@holisticnutrifit.com

Happy glowing :)- “because you are worth it.” – love this saying 😉

The magical “Aloe Vera”

              

            “Aloe Vera”, a plant that most of us know as a “healing plant” for its external application benefits. This plant cannot be beaten as an external wound healer, especially for burns.  Aloe has much more to offer than merely its skin clearing properties. Aloe plant has remarkable health enhancing and medicinal properties. 

             More than 240 species of aloe are now identified and grown mainly in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas. Out of these 240 species, 4 are recognised as having significant nutritional value. “Aloe barbadensis miller” is the leader. The aloe leaf is shown to contain at least 75 nutrients and more than 200 active compounds. It also contains 20 minerals, 20 of the total 22 essential amino acids and 12 vitamins. According to juice authority Steve Meyerowitz, aloe vera juice contains vitamins, minerals and nutrients including B1,B2,B3,B6,C, choline, calcium, copper, manganese, potassium, silicon (Bowden,2007).

  Key uses and health benefits:

  • Whole leaves and fresh or dehydrated juice from aloe plant are used for wound healing.
  • Externally used for burns, sunburns, wounds, insect bites, scars etc.
  •  Several studies show aloe having antibacterial and antifungal activities against a number of organisms, especially skin pathogens.
  • Reduces inflammation, speeds up healing and relieves irritation as it heals.
  • Aloe vera juice eases internal inflammation.

            The gel from the aloe leaf is shown to reduce inflammation and it also shows antibacterial effects. When applied on the skin it acts by relieving pain, itching and swelling. According to a report in the Journal of Dermatologic Surgery and Oncology, aloe decreases the surgical recovery time.

            Aloe juice is shown to ease internal inflammation as well. It is believed to have anti-inflammatory action in the digestive system and is often recommended by experts for heartburn and to ease constipation. Internally aloe has laxative and cathartic effects which explains its recommendation to ease constipation. According to a study mentioned in the Journal of Alternative Medicine, aloe vera juice can be effective in inflammatory bowel disease. In this study, 10 patients were give 2 ounces of aloe vera juice three times a day, for 7 days. After a week it was found that, all patients were cured of diarrhea, 4 had improved bowel regularity and 3 reported increased energy. The researchers concluded that aloe helped rebalance the intestine by “regulating gastrointestinal pH while improving gastrointestinal motility, increasing stool specific gravity, and reducing populations of certain fecal microorganisms, including yeast.” (Bowden,2007,pp 272). Several other studies have shown that aloe vera juice helps to detoxify the bowel, neutralize stomach acidity, relieve constipation and gastric ulcers.

CAUTION:

Experts recommend taking necessary precautions while using aloe internally because of its laxative and cathartic effects. Should not be used during pregnancy since it is shown to stimulate uterine contractions.

** The above information is for educational purposes only. There is absolutely no intension to diagnose, prevent, treat or cure any health problems or diseases. Consult your doctor for specific medical advice, diagnosis and treatment, advice on diet, herb and exercise.**

References:

1.Bowden, J, Ph.D., C.N.S, (2007). The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth,

     Beverly,M.A.: Fair Winds Press.

2. Kidd, R, D.V.M., Ph.D., (2000). Dr. Kidd’s Guide to Herbal Dog Care, North Adams, M.A.: Storey Publishing.

Oil Massage

                      Many of us who were born and raised in India, remember the oil massage given to us by our mother’s or grandmother’s. Even today, in India an infant is given a nice warm oil massage before bath. Let’s learn the reasons behind a nice warm oil massage.

                   Oil massage is an important daily practice with good therapeutic value. Properly done massage helps:

  •  Remove fatigue
  • Improve circulation to the organs and the skin
  • Increase muscular tone and flexibility of the joints
  • Eliminate waste product through skin
  • Stimulate the nervous system
  • Prevent aging
  • Increase longevity

Oil Massage” is an important treatment in Ayurveda. In Sanskrit it is known as “Abhyanga”. In Ayurvedic treatment, medicated oil is used to massage the entire body, including head and feet. According to Ayurvedic wisdom, regular oil massage helps to remove toxins and excess fat from the skin, making the skin glossy, soft and strong (Frawleyand Ranade; 2007).

A warm sesame oil massage given to a child is shown to calm the child’s nervous system, help promote sleep and nourish the skin. Above all, this type of oil massage is said to increase the child’s feeling of being nurtured and cared for (Frawley,2008).

Oil massage does not have to be a full body massage all the time. Applying a common oil, such as sesame oil, to the feet or head twice a week is also considered helpful. Experts say that the therapeutic touch communicates with our body and breaks the stagnation along its surface. Oil massage is also shown to nourish the heart and calm the mind. Essential oils are important in this aspect. Essential oils are known to help open up the mind and heart and purify the air as well as the aura. Even incense works along the same line. Incense is shown to aid in purification and help to create an atmosphere receptive to the Divine powers (Frawley, 2008).

Regular warm oil massage to the hair and scalp has shown to inhibit premature hair loss or graying of the hair and promote sound sleep. Experts state that massaging the soles of the feet helps to improve eyesight, prevent cracks to the skin of the feet and strengthen the reproductive system( Frawley and Ranade,2007).

** The above information is for educational purposes only. There is absolutely no intension to diagnose, prevent, treat or cure any health problems or diseases. Consult your doctor for specific medical advice, diagnosis and treatment, advice on diet, herb and exercise.**

References:

1. Frawley,D. DR (2008). Ayurvedic Healing- A Comprehensive Guide. Delhi, India: Motilal banarsidass Publishers PVT.LTD.

2.  Frawley, D, DR, Ranade, S, DR. (2007). Ayurveda-Nature’s Medicine. Delhi, India: Motilal banarsidass Publishers PVT.LTD.

Amazing Avocados

                                  

 

                             Up until recently avocados were avoided due to their high fat content.  Yes,it is true that avocados are high in their fat content but, this is helpful fat. The fat content of avocados is largely monounsaturated fat, specifically oleic acid. Oleic acid is an omega-9 fat which is known to be present in high amounts in olive oil, macadamia nut oil and many nuts. Several researches have proved the cholesterol lowering effects of monounsaturated fats. A research done in Mexico showed that the 45 volunteers who ate avocados daily for a week experienced an average 17 % drop in total blood cholesterol.

                               Avocados are high in beta-sitosterol. This is a natural substance which is shown to significantly lower blood cholesterol and is also shown to be highly protective of the prostate. Avocados also contain lutein.  Lutein is a natural antioxidant and a member of the carotenoid family. Lutein is shown to maintain the health of the eyes and skin.

                             Avocados do contain few grams of saturated fat but experts advice not to worry about it. According to Dr. Bowden Ph.D., C.N.S., this saturated fat is coming from a natural whole food source so is different from the saturated fat present in an order of fries and it does no contain a lot of toxins compared to the saturated fat coming from factory-farmed animals.

                       In addition to the good fat content, avocados also contain good amount of fiber, about 11 to 17 grams per avocado. It also contains potassium, folate,vitamin A, beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin which is another healthy carotenoid. One more good news, Dr. Bowden also mentions that avocados have “next to zero effect on blood sugar” (Bowden,2007,pg 98). There is a bit of difference found in nutritional composition of California and Florida avocados. According to USDA food database, California avocados contain 20 % less calories then the Florida variety, 13 % less fat and 60% less carbohydrates. Callifornia avocadoes are the significant source of lutein and zeaxanthin, the two important carotenoids.Florida avocados contain 20% more potassium and  a bit more calcium and phosphorous.

                    So in a nut shell.  A for Amazing, A for Awesome—– A for “AVOCADO”.

Pick a slightly soft avocado that is a little darker green in color if you want it ready to eat.  The hard and brighter colored once are not yet ready to eat but can be bought if not needed for the same day use.

Add them to your pasta or sandwiches or have them in the form of guacamole dip. They are simply

DD—– liciously Nutritious.

 

 

** The above information is for educational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose, treat or mitigate a disease. Consult your doctor for specific medical advice, diagnosis, treatment,  advice on diet, herb or exercise. **

Reference:

1. Bowden, J, Ph.D., C.N.S, (2007). The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth,

Beverly,M.A.: Fair Winds Press.

“TRIPHALA- The wonderful Ayurvedic herbal formula”

    Triphala simply means “three fruits”. This is a traditional Ayurvedic preparation commonly used in many households in India as a remedy for acute and chronic constipation.  It is a combination of three fruits, that when combined, acts as a mild laxative as well as a tonic to clean out and sharpen the entire digestive system.

             The three fruits used in this formula are:

  1. Chebulic Myrobalan (Ayurvedic name- Haritaki AKA harada): The biochemical constituents include anthraquinone glucosides known as sennoside, tannins, ellagic and gallic acids, chebulinic acid and fixed oils. This herb-fruit is known to have laxative, astringent and vermifuge (expels intestinal worms) properties. Out of the three ingredients of triphala, this one is known to be the highest contributor of laxative action. It  a non-habit forming laxative and a tonic, especially when combined with the other two ingredients of triphala. In its tonic properties, it is shown to promote longevity, rejuvenate, stimulate enzymatic actions and help transform arteriosclerosis. It is called “ho-tzu” in Chinese medicine. Chinese medicine classifies it as having warm energy and bitter, sour and spicy taste. It is known to be used by the Chinese for intestinal problems, including worms and parasites, to strengthen the lungs, for chronic diarrhea, chronic cough, dysentery, gas and also for female leucorrhea. An early sixteenth century herbal, Tabernaemontanus, claimed this herb-fruit of having purgative properties and it also benefited the heart, promoted appetite, cleared the skin (one reason for us women to consider this blend), strengthened the nerves and helped in eliminating depression (M.Tierra,1998). So, now we know that this 1st ingredient has both eliminative as well as tonic properties.
  2.    Emblic Myrobalan (Ayurvedic name-Amlaki, AKA Amla or Indian gooseberry): According to “shusrut”, the great Ayurvedic authority, this herb-fruit is considered the best among all the acid containing fruits and is known to be the most useful in maintaining health and fighting diseases. It is a very high source of vitamin C. The vitamin C content of one amla fruit is equivalent to 20 times the vitamin C content of an orange. It is also very valuable to note that the vitamin C content in this fruit is thermostable as it is bound up with certain tannins that make it nearly resistant to dissolution after drying, aging or getting exposed to heat .This fruit is also shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. It is very sour to taste and is regarded as a tonic herb-fruit in India. This herb-fruit has mild laxative and rejuvenating properties. It is also known to be beneficial in failing eyesight, thinning of hair, skin diseases, hemorrhoids, diabetes, heart disease, anemia, asthma, diarrhea, jaundice and bronchitis. This herb- fruit is also known to help clear mucus and foul phlegm from the intestinal tract (M. Tierra, 1998). Indian gooseberry is shown to have revitalizing effect for e.g. it is a old mother’s tale in India that an ancient sage by the name chyavan used this herb-fruit to rejuvenate himself and gain his virility during his late 70’s. Indian gooseberry is shown to improve body resistance and thus help protect against infections (H.K. Bakhru, 2007).
  3.  Beleric Myrobalan (Ayurvedic name- Bhibitaki AKA behada): This herb is known to be useful in mucus and lymphatic congestion. This is the third fruit of triphala and is particularly useful in elimination of the mucus. This herb-fruit is also shown to be useful in conditions like bronchitis, asthma, Vomiting (especially morning sickness during pregnancy), allergies, constipation and colicky pains. Just like the other two herb-fruits in the triphala blend, this one also benefits the eyes and hairs, helps in regulating bowels and is known to be good for digestion.

CONCLUSION:

        As per the information shared above, the “TRIPHALA” blend serves as a mild laxative and tonic to clean up and sharpen the entire digestive system. Haritaki or Chebulic myrobalan regulates the nervous system; Emblic myrobalan is the highest source of vitamin C and is also an anti-inflammatory and Beleric myrobalan helps clear mucus from the channels of the body. Harada and behada have warm energy while amla has cool energy thus making this a balanced blend.  In totality, triphala is a mild, non habit forming laxative, a tonic and a blood and liver detoxifier. It is also widely known as rasayana or rejuvenator as it is also shown to rejuvenate the whole body. Triphala is also known to be used as an eye wash for relieving eye strain and sharpening vision. Triphala when taken on a regular basis is also shown to promote absorption and utilization of vitamin B. An Indian saying states “If you have no mother and have triphala, everything will be all right!”(M. Tierra, 1998).

** The above information is for educational purposes only. Consult your doctor for specific medical advice, diagnosis and treatment. **

 Referances:

1. Tierra, M. (1998). The way of herbs. New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc

2. Bakhru, H.K. (2007). Healing through natural foods. Mumbai, India: Jaico publishing house.

Fruitfully Radiant face pack

Hello once again to all you beautiful girls.

I hope you all got a chance to try the homemade  face scrub recipe I posted last week.

Today let’s talk about a naturally glowing, radiant skin.
This fast paced hustle-bustle of the new century where every one is busy, stressed and tired along with being excited especially during this time of the year, contributes a lot to how our skin looks and feels. 
Students are stressed because of the finals, professionals are stressed to meet the year end deadlines, some are stressed with last-minute christmas gift shopping, sleeping late, eating anything available quick and several other reasons. All of these factors affect our skin’s health. It is always helpful to care for our skin by choosing to make healthy dietary choices and by following natural topical skin care regimen.

Take just a few minutes out of this busy schedule to pamper yourself with this natural fruit face pack.

Ingredients:
Ripe Papaya pulp- enough to cover entire face and neck
1 tsp honey

Mix these two and apply all over face and neck and leave it until dry.
Softly wash it off with luke warm water and pat dry.

Papaya is a good source of fruit enzyme papain which has mild exfoliating properties thus helps clean off the dead skin. When applied topically, papaya is also shown to reduce wrinkles and blemishes thus making the skin smooth and healthy (rejuvenated).

I will not repeat the information on honey since i mentioned it in the face scrub article.

 I hope you all will try this one too. 🙂

Oh!!! one more thing, DO NOT FORGET TO KEEP YOURSELF WELL HYDRATED. Drinking plenty of fluids, especially water, has shown to keep the skin healthy.

** The above information is for educational purposes only. Consult your doctor for specific medical advice, diagnosis and treatment. **