THE 5 ESSENTIAL VITAMINS FOR STAYING HEALTHY AND FIT THIS WINTER

Ein Mann und eine Frau schneiden Gemüse auf einem Holzbrett

When temperatures drop, your risk of catching a cold increases. But how can you keep from getting sick? Get plenty of exercise, stay warm and eat a balanced diet. In today’s blog post, we will tell you which five vitamins are essential in winter and how you can avoid developing a vitamin deficiency.

lots of fruits on a table

1. VITAMIN D

Unfortunately, vitamin D deficiency is not so uncommon. Especially in places with long, dark winters. Your body makes vitamin D (cholecalciferol) when your skin is exposed to sunlight. The lack of sunlight in winter often makes it hard for your body to produce enough vitamin D. Why is this fat-soluble vitamin so important for us? It strengthens our immune system and protects us from infections.

Daily requirement in the absence of sunlight: 20 mcg/day

THESE FOODS ARE GOOD SOURCES OF VITAMIN D:

  • Fish (salmon, tuna & sardines)
  • Eggs
  • Dairy products
  • Mushrooms

Note: If you already have a deficiency, you won’t be able to correct it by simply eating foods containing vitamin D. In this case, you need to see a doctor. A supplement might also be a good idea. In winter, you should get approx. 5,000 IU (international units) of vitamin D per day.

2. VITAMIN C

While Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) can’t protect you from colds, it can shorten the length of time you are sick. If your body is low in vitamin C, it won’t be able to ward off germs as effectively as usual. Therefore, an adequate supply of vitamin C is crucial in winter!

Daily requirement: women 95 mcg/day, men 110 mcg/day

THESE FOODS ARE GOOD SOURCES OF VITAMIN C:

  • Bell peppers (contain almost three times as much vitamin C as oranges)
  • Citrus fruits
  • Brassicas (kale & broccoli)
  • Leafy greens
  • Cranberries

Make sure to eat plenty of the abovementioned foods to avoid developing a vitamin C deficiency.

red and yellow pepper

3. FOLIC ACID

Folic acid is part of the B vitamin family. It is important for the growth and reproduction of cells and is therefore very important during pregnancy. It also plays an important role in DNA and RNA synthesis. This is why a lack of folic acid can weaken your immune system.

Pregnant women should definitely be taking folic acid, and it’s also a good idea for people suffering from intestinal disorders. Plus, alcoholics are at a much higher risk of becoming deficient in folic acid. In addition to getting help with this addiction, a folic acid supplement could also be a good idea.

Daily requirement: 300 mcg/day, pregnant women 550 mcg/day

THESE FOODS ARE GOOD SOURCES OF FOLIC ACID:

  • Leafy greens (spinach & kale)
  • Beets
  • Legumes (beans & chickpeas)
  • Rolled oats
  • Cherries
  • Strawberries
  • Peanuts

4. VITAMIN A

Vitamin A (retinol) is a fat-soluble vitamin. Most people know that it is good for your vision, but it’s also important to get plenty of this vitamin in winter. Vitamin A deficiency has been associated witha reduced immune response and an increased risk of infection.

The human body is capable of producing vitamin A itself from beta-carotene (the precursor of the vitamin).

Daily requirement: women 0.8 mg/day, men 1 mg/day

THESE FOODS ARE GOOD SOURCES OF VITAMIN A AND BETA-CAROTENE:

  • Tuna
  • Eggs
  • Dairy products
  • Carrots
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Leafy green vegetables (spinach, kale & arugula)

a lady is frying two eggs

Good to know:

Foods rich in fat-soluble vitamins should always be eaten together with fat (e.g. vegetable oils).

5. VITAMIN E

Vitamin E (tocopherol) is also a member of the fat-soluble vitamin family. The vitamin is a potent antioxidant which strengthens the immune system and plays numerous roles in the body. It is said to help with a wide range of diseases (like cancer and arthritis) and the aging process. Your chances of developing a vitamin deficiency are low if you eat a balanced diet.

Daily requirement: women 12 mg/day, men 14 mg/day

THESE FOODS ARE GOOD SOURCES OF VITAMIN E:

  • Nuts
  • Vegetable oils (wheat germ oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, safflower oil)
  • Whole grain products

TAKEAWAY:

If you eat a balanced diet and lead a healthy lifestyle, you can prevent vitamin deficiencies in winter. However, if you are tired or sick a lot, it might be worth talking to a doctor. The doctor will draw a blood sample and then be able to tell you if you have a deficiency and what vitamin or mineral supplements you need to take.

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HOW DOES DIET AFFECT YOUR HEALTH AND BEAUTY? 10 WAYS

What you eat can make a massive difference to your health and your appearance, and we’re not just talking about weight. While weight obviously is an important consideration, your food can also affect your complexion, your hair and even your mood. You really are what you eat, so read on, and find out how your diet can have a direct effect on your health and beauty:

1. It affects your weight

Starting with the obvious, eating too much of the wrong types of food will make you put on weight. That’s not to say that everyone needs to be a skinny super model to look beautiful, but obesity also causes other health problems too, like diabetes and heart problems.

2. It can make your hair dull and lifeless

Your hair needs nourishment too, and eating the wrong types of food will have a direct impact on your hair. Without sufficient minerals and vitamins, the hair follicles will become unhealthy and your hair will become weaker and, ultimately, thinner.

3. Your nails need feeding too

If you find that your nails break easily, then this could be a sign that you need to change your diet. Just like your hair, without the proper nourishment, your nails will become weaker, so eat plenty eggs, low fat dairy and lean meats, to give your nails the protein that they need.

4. Your muscles can become weaker and smaller

You might not naturally associated muscles with beauty, but if your muscles start to get weak, then you won’t be able to work out and it will affect your posture too. Eat high protein foods and you will be able to keep your muscles well-toned and in good working order.

5. Your skin is directly affected by what you eat

Dull complexion, breakouts and blotchy skin, could all be a result of your diet. Your skin will look far more radiant and clear of blemishes if you eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and enough protein. Avoid fatty and processed foods too, because they can make your skin greasy and cause breakouts.

6. What you eat can slow the ageing process

Your food can also have an impact on how quickly you begin to show the singes of ageing. Eating foods that are high in antioxidants, like raw organic fruit and vegetables, helps to fight the cell damage caused by free radicals that can bring on wrinkles and lines in the skin.

7. What’s so special about Omega-3 fatty acids?

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for the healthy growth of hair, skin and nails, and your body can’t make them by itself. About 3% of your hair is made up of Omega-3 fatty acids, so eat plenty of salmon or other oily fish, to feed your skin, nails and hair.

8. Your eyes and eyelashes can also be affected

If you are not drinking enough water and eating the right foods, then it will show in your eyes and your lashes too. Your lashes are hairs, just like the hairs on your head, so without the proper nutrients, they can become thin and fall out. Your diet can also take the sparkle out of your eyes and make them look red.

9. Eating a healthy diet will help you make other good decisions too

Eating the right kind of food will have a positive impact on your overall mental wellbeing too. You will feel more alive and more comfortable in your own skin. It will spur you on to take more exercise and to, possibly, make other changes to your appearance too. With all the energy, confidence and the feel good factor that a healthy diet brings, you might feel more like changing your hair or experimenting with some new makeup.

10. Eating right will put you in a good mood

Eating healthily puts you in a great mood all day long. You won’t get the ups and downs in mood that you might be experiencing today and the radiant smile that it will put on your face will make you look even more beautiful.

How does diet affect your health and beauty? Feel free to share your thoughts.

Stay happy!

5 Step Almond Treatment For Natural Skin Whitening

Are you still using chemical based skin whitening creams? Do you know that they contain paraben that could possibly cause a lot of side effects?

There are a number of natural ways to get fairer skin. Almonds are one of the easily available solutions to get fairer skin. They are rich in Vitamin E and many other nutrients that aid skin repair and help rejuvenate skin. Also, with regular use they bring about effective skin lightening along with improving the overall health of your skin.

Almonds and almond oil can be used creatively in a number of homemade skin whitening recipes. Here are a few DIY recipes that you must try at home.

  1. Almond and oats face scrub

Oats naturally have exfoliating properties by which they remove dead cells and expose newer and fresher skin every day. The goodness of almonds when added to oats can help nourish skin from deep within.

You can make your own face scrub by taking a cup of oatmeal and cooking it with hot water for about five minutes until the oats soften well. In a separate vessel, take around eight to ten almonds and soak them for an hour in water. Grind the almonds in a blender and add it to the oat meal and mix well while you crush the mixture. Add a tablespoon of Organic Honeyand two tablespoons of Soy milk to this mixture and mix well.

You can use this scrub to wash your face in the morning and at night. It unclogs your skin pores and clears it off dirt. Soy milk is also rich in Vitamin E and helps in nourishing skin along with almonds while honey helps to tone skin after exfoliation.

  1. Almond and milk treatment

Almond and milk face pack is an all-time hit that has been used for many generations in skin whitening recipes and preparations. You may have noticed that many of the skin whitening products that you use actually contain Almond and milk combination. Milk in itself has skin whitening properties and is also moisturizing and soothing. When combined with almonds, skin lightening properties are even more enhanced.

Take five to eight almonds and soak them for about half an hour in plain water. Grind the almonds well by adding two to three tablespoons of milk to make a coarse mixture of almond and milk. Apply this evenly on clean and dry skin at night. You can then rinse it with warm water before going to bed. This face pack has the ability to reverse sun tan and make your skin fairer with regular use. It can even be done every day.

  1. Almond and lemon face mask

Lemon is an excellent exfoliant that not only removes dirt but also dead cells. It helps to bring about skin fairness faster. To make your face mask, take one whipped egg white and add five drops of almond oil and two tablespoons of lemon juice to it. Mix well and apply this mixture to clean and dry skin. Allow it to dry and then rinse with warm water.

The almond and lemon face pack is ideal for people with oily skin. Egg white is also rich in nutrients for the skin and helps in skin whitening treatment. You can use this face pack twice a week.

  1. Almond and liquorice face pack

Liquorice root is also extremely potent in bringing about skin lightening. It can be used two to three times a day and suits all skin types. To make your own face pack, take two tablespoons of liquorice powder and add five drops of Almond Oil to it. You can then mix well by adding two tablespoons of Soy milk or plain milk. Milk makes the mixture blend well working as a binder. At the same time, it soothes skin. You can apply this face pack in the evening and allow it to remain until dry. Later, you can rinse with running water and pat dry. This works as a de-tanning, skin lightening, de-scarring and spot-fading remedy.

  1. Almond oil for night care

In order to make sure that the skin whitening effects are fast and long lasting, you could use almond oil in your daily care regime. At night, massage your skin thoroughly with Almond Oil. Before massaging with almond oil, take it in a cup and place it in a bowl containing hot water. This helps to pre-heat the almond oil such that it becomes more potent to penetrate skin and strengthen deeper layers. This helps to enrich skin with vital Vitamin E and other nutrients. Also, almond oil is non-sticky and will be absorbed easily, leaving your skin supple and soft in the morning.

Almond oil smells sweet and nice and also helps you relax at night. Try this four-step skin whitening treatment with almonds at home. To learn more about almonds and their benefits, click here.

Can Glutathione Pills Whiten Your Skin?

Can glutathione pills whiten your skin? Does it work?

The answer is….it does work for some people but not all. I’m honestly not a fan of glutathione pills because when I took it before, it didn’t work for me. I gave it a fair amount of time (about 4 months) and it didn’t change my skin tone at all. I got better results using topical whitening products (soap, lotion, cream) and when I took this kind whitening supplement (read about it here) everyday. I can honestly say that it whitened my skin about two shades.

A little information about glutathione:

I know that most of you probably know that glutathione is a tripeptide, which means it contains three amino acids namely  L-cysteine, L-glutamic acid, and L-glycine. I’m not going to write a lot about glutathione’s history because I am more focused on its effect in skin whitening.

For those of you who still wants to take glutathione pills, here’s what do you need to look for before buying it:

You have to look for the “reduced” glutathione form. The label or the ingredients panel should say “L-Glutathione Reduced.” Why do you need the “reduced” form? Because “reduced” means that this is the kind of glutathione that does not oxidize quickly after taking it. Oxidize or oxidation means that it loses its effectiveness after taking or using it. It’s important to keep in mind that glutathione does oxidize after taking it orally. But when you buy the “reduced” form, you’re basically taking the kind of pills that have a much better effect because it doesn’t lose its effectivness right away after hitting your bloodstream unlike the regular form of glutathione.

What can you do to see the whitening results a lot faster:

Take your glutathione pills with a high dose of Vitamin C. Since glutathione oxidizes, you need to take a “back up” supplement and your best choice is Vitamin C. Vitamin C is a very good antioxidant and has a skin brightening effect as well. So you’re basically getting skin whitening plus skin brightening at the same time! You’re going to have a whiter and glowing skin just like a celeb in no time!

How much glutathione and Vitamin C should you take:

You have to take a minimum of 500 mg of glutathione per day to see skin whitening effect, however, I would take twice this amount of more due to the fact that it has the tendency to oxidize.

For example, if you’re taking 1000 mg of glutathione, you need to take twice the amount of Vitamin C. This means that if you’re taking 1000 mg of glutathione, then you must take 2000 mg of Vitamin C to guarantee skin whitening. I know it sounds a lot but don’t worry – this isn’t toxic. Why? Because Vitamin C and glutathione are both water soluble. There are no studies that shows Vitamin C or glutathione overdose.

(Friendly reminder: this is not a medical advice. Please contact your physician first before taking any kind of supplements.)

What brand of glutathione and Vitamin C should you buy:

I would suggest to stick with USA-made brand of glutathione pills. Why? Because if the glutathione supplement is made in the US, this means that if the product claims to have 500mg of glutathione, then this is more than likely 100% correct. The USFDA requires all manufacturers to indicate the exact amount of ingredients per capsule. There is no way to get around this policy in the States.

Also, when shopping for glutathione pills, please make sure that you’re getting 1 serving per capsule of at least 500 mg of Reduced L-Glutathione. I’ve seen many companies who promote that their glutathione pills have 800 mg of glutathione in the front of their labels but it turns out that this is actually for 2 servings. This means that you’re only getting 400 mg of glutathione per capsule – don’t be fooled by this marketing tactic.

There are a lot of glutathione supplement brands that are being marketed both online and in store and I’m still searching for the best brand of glutathione until now. I will update you guys when I find the right one.

How long before you see skin whitening results after taking glutathione and Vitamin C pills:

This really depends on your body. I can’t tell you when you’re going to see results because everyone is different. One thing though – please be diligent. You have to keep on taking the pills everyday, otherwise, you’re not going to see any results at all. There are reports that the average time before seeing results is about 12-16 weeks (3-4 months) of continuous use – but again, this isn’t the case for everyone. Some of you will probably see the results faster and some needs to take it for several months before seeing any results.

Is there an alternative to glutathione in terms or whitening the skin?

Absolutely. Here’s the article.

 

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Fight Your Skin Problems With Food

1 / 7

Before you open another jar of skin cream, find out which foods can help your skin look younger, fresher, brighter, and just plain better. Keep reading to learn what the experts say you should eat for a glowing, youthful complexion.

 

Eat Healthy Fats

 

Pick the Right Protein

 

Include Power Plants

 

4 / 7   Include Power Plants

Fruits and vegetables contain the building blocks for soft, smooth, healthy skin. Blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries, as well as pomegranates, are rich in skin-friendly antioxidants, which, says Dr. Murad, “assist in cellular renewal and help cells stay plump with water.”

Experts also single out tomatoes as being effective in keeping fine lines and wrinkles in check. Says Dr. Wu, “Tomatoes are rich in the antioxidant lycopene, which has been shown to fight sunburn and sun damage that can lead to wrinkles and skin cancer.”

  • Drink to Your Skin

    5 / 7   Drink to Your Skin

    Yes, water is good for your skin, but you don’t have to go overboard. The goal is to avoid dehydration. (Hint: If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.) “If you’re dehydrated,” Wu explains, “your skin and mucous membranes will become dry, cracked, and crepey.”

    Drink six to nine glasses of water a day, and make sure you consume enough caffeine-free fluids, such as soups, juices, and herbal teas, to avoid dehydration. For optimum skin health, drink one glass of water (or other caffeine-free liquid) with each meal, and another glass between meals. Unsweetened green tea, in particular, is beneficial because it contains antioxidants that fight sun damage, a major cause of aging skin and skin cancer.

  • Find the Fiber

    6 / 7   Find the Fiber

    “Because fiber in the daily diet helps remove fat, waste, toxins, and free radicals — key factors in aging — from the body, it’s a natural anti-aging element,” says Murad. Good sources of fiber include oatmeal, chickpeas, and fruits and vegetables.

    Women should consume about 25 grams of fiber a day. Try your best to get fiber from food rather than supplements. If for some reason you can’t get enough fiber in your diet, experts recommend supplementing with Konsyl.

  • Stay Away From Sugars

    7 / 7   Stay Away From Sugars

    Your sweet tooth can really sour your complexion. Sugar and refined carbohydrates, such as sodas, white bread, and pastries, can lead to premature wrinkles and aging skin.

    “Consuming large amounts of sugar and refined carbohydrates can directly harm skin elasticity because these foods trigger inflammation and contribute to the breakdown of collagen and elastic fibers,” Murad explains. Once sugars and carbs enter the body, they’re converted into glucose, which attaches to healthy proteins and interferes with the production of collagen and elastin — thus leading to skin that’s less firm and resilient.

 

This is Why Shay Mitchell Gulps Down Aloe Vera Juice Every Night

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Actress Shay Mitchell might play the part of a “Pretty Little Liar,” but she’s all truth when it comes to health advice, particularly when it comes to her fondness for aloe vera juice.

“Aloe vera has so many great benefits, but for digestion, it’s really great,” Mitchell raved to Coveteur.com, adding that she drinks it every night before hitting the sack.

Aloe vera, which contains an abundance of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, saccharides, amino acids, and enzymes, isn’t only effective for soothing sunburns and relieving itchiness. (Fun fact: Did you know that its calming and healing properties are so incredible that hospitals use it to treat wounds?) The perennial succulent has been used in traditional Indian and Chinese medicine to treat a host of ailments, particularly constipation.

The fact that modern science supports this isn’t all too surprising (after all, it’s pretty easy to tell if a constipation remedy is working or not, so the ancients were probably quite certain about this one). These days, aloe vera—specifically, the liquid and pulp portion of the gel-like meat inside the stalky plant—is known to help balance the body’s pH levels, stimulate healthy gut bacteria, and normalize the bowels. In their book “Textbook of Natural Medicine,” naturopathic physicians Joseph Pizzorno and Michael Murray wrote that aloe vera juice operates as an effective laxative by going into the waste and softening it, while reinforcing the intestinal walls and helping to break down protein.

And while most scientists agree we need more evidence to confirm this, many credit aloe vera with improving symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). One study gave IBS sufferers 30 milliliters of aloe vera juice twice daily and found that the participants experienced noticeable improvements in their gut-related discomforts.

There’s also evidence that aloe vera is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and an antioxidant (specifically thanks to its content of polyphenols). Many people believe aloe vera can help boost the immune system as well.

It’s important to note one caveat when it comes to aloe vera — at least one part of it. In one 2008 study, aloe vera latex, the yellow portion under the skin, was shown to have a laxative effect to relieve constipation. For this reason aloe vera latex is offered in supplements that promote bowel movements. However, many experts warn against taking them in high doses, as safety is not quite definitive.

If you’re ready to try some aloe for yourself, the best option is to go to your local health-food store or farmers market and get yourself a plant! That way you can slice it open any time to alleviate your sunburns and nurture your wounds, and you can ensure your juices are pure.

To make the juice, cut open a leaf lengthwise to reveal the jelly inside. Scoop it out with a spoon, add it to water or fresh juice (like coconut), and blend. If you prefer to get a bottle, ALO Drink has been popping up on shelves everywhere—the organic, non-GMO aloe vera juice is harvested and shipped by farmers and bottled within a day to maintain freshness.

Tummy troubles are the worst — and sometimes you need more than your daily dose of probiotics and sauerkraut to keep your bowels moving along. If healthy pooing is an issue for you, perhaps Shay Mitchell has finally found your solution. Here’s to feeling “unstuck”!