Tag >> antioxidants

 There is no doubt, our heart is one of the hardest working organs in our bodies, and is definitely deserving of some good old fashioned TLC. While reducing stress and getting adequate exercise are two very important facets of heart-health, incorporating more heart-healthy superfoods into the diet can have incredible effects. Your heart will thank you if you start eating more of these 12 superfoods, we promise.

1. Cacao (Raw Chocolate )

Raw cacao is rich with flavonol compounds which act as powerful antioxidants and also help protect the heart. Cacao is also an exceptional source of minerals magnesium, calcium, iron, copper, manganese and zinc, which help fortify the blood.

2. Berries

The diverse range of polyphenol antioxidants within berries, such as anthocyanins and ellagic acid, help fight free radical damage and inflammation, and keep LDL "bad" cholesterol levels in check.

3. Citrus

Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes, tangerines and kumquats are rich with Vitamin C and bioflavonoids, which help protect the elasticity of our blood vessels and also act as potent antioxidants.

4. Coconut Butter

Saturated fat has gotten a bad rap, but current research shows that the saturated fat contained in coconut butter is actually one of the best for your body, your heart included. The body needs saturated fats in order to produce necessary hormones, and coconut fat burns very clean as an energy source and also helps boost the metabolism.






Nothing proves a summer well spent like a glowing tan that lingers well into the first few weeks of fall. However, for many of us, summer's golden glow might be fading fast, leaving behind another kind of gift; thirsty and flaky skin that is crying out for some TLC. While we can't help make your tan last all year, we can definitely help you get your glow back.

Start with your insides

The intense heat and UV rays of summer can zap every ounce of moisture out of your skin. While your first instinct may be to start piling on the moisturizer (while praying for a little miracle), your best bet is to focus on internal hydration. Our skin cells draw moisture and nutrients from internally, so be sure to drink up, and watch as your skin cells naturally plump up with hydration. Not a fan of plain water? Try adding organic fruit slices such as citrus or berry, or herbs such as basil, mint, lemon balm or rosemary to add flavor.

Unfortunately, UV rays can do more than just dehydrate the skin, they can also cause free radical damage and premature aging through the breakdown of our natural collagen and elastin fibers (the elasticity of our skin). Antioxidants to the rescue!

Load up on superfoods known to be have plentiful antioxidants! Antioxidants help our bodies to repair free radical damage. Here are 10 of our favorites:



Stop, drop, and exfoliate

Before your skin can actually absorb any topical moisture, you'll need to slough off that outer layer of dead skin. While summer is not an ideal time to do intensive exfoliation treatments (exfoliation can make the skin more susceptible to sun damage), fall time is ideal. We recommend keeping it gentle; exfoliating 1-2 times per week is plenty. Utilizing an organic fruit enzyme or mild alpha hydroxy acid-based peel is ideal. Stay away from scrubs as they often contain abrasive particles that may damage or irritate the skin. Once the dead skin is dissolved it's time to soak up the MOISTURE!

Topical moisture


To plump up skin cells quickly, water-binding serums or gels are great. Look for ingredients such as aloe vera, sodium PCA, or hyalouronic acid - all of which lock up moisture and bind it to the skin so that it doesn't immediately evaporate away. Seal in the moisture with a more emollient oil-based cream, such as Rawtella Skin Cream (pictured above), which also contains probiotics to help balance and restore a depleted complexion.

Utliizing a facial mask 1-2 times per week can also give the skin an amazing boost, and is the perfect step to do right after exfoliation (hello at-home spa day!). Use Manuka honey with aloe vera gel mixed in (fresh aloe if possible, but if not find the purest brand possible), or try our Rawtella Facial Mask recipe below, which will leave your skin butter soft and dewy.

Topical nourishment

While we're all aware of the damaging effects of too much unprotected sun exposure, its hard not to soak up all of that glorious sunshine while we can. To help protect and restore our skin, It's best to hit the antioxidants from the inside AND outside.

Here are 5 powerful topical antioxidant ingredients to look for in your skin care products.





















 

If you spend any of your time on food related blogs or social media you've likely noticed a trend: MATCHA MADNESS. Matcha green tea seems to be everywhere and in everything from baked goods and breakfast cereals to raw chocolates and smoothie bowls. And then there's the matcha latte. A quick #matchalatte search on Instagram will reveal thousands of artsy, frothy, and perfectly manicured matcha latte images. Those in the know…are drinking their matcha (and capturing it with a smart phone!)

What is it?

Matcha powder comes from green tea leaves (Camellia sinensis) that have been covered from the light prior to picking (to increase chlorophyll levels) then stone ground into an extremely refined and delicate powder. Instead of steeping green tea leaves in hot water then disposing of the leaves, matcha utilizes the whole leaf, retaining 100% of the valuable nutrition within it. In fact, one serving of matcha powder is equivalent nutrient-wise to roughly 10 cups of traditionally steeped green tea. In laymen's terms - you get more bang for your buck. Speaking of nutrients…

Antioxidants galore!

Matcha is awash with potent plant compounds called polyphenols which benefit our bodies in amazing ways: they fight free radical damage, protect our cells, decrease inflammation, have been shown to protect against heart disease , lower blood pressure, and slow the aging process. Matcha holds a score of 1573 on the ORAC (antioxidant) scale, with fellow antioxidant rockstar blueberries coming in at a mere 93 (sorry, blueberries, we still love you…)

But wait, there's more!

The health benefits of matcha do not end with its rich array of antioxidants. Matcha offers the same benefits of green tea, but in a much more concentrated and potent form. Green tea has been proven to:

*Boost metabolism and burn more calories
*Cleanse the body of toxins (detoxify)
*Offer a good supply of Vitamin C, selenium, chromium, zinc, and magnesium
*Lower cholesterol levels
*Fight chronic inflammation
*Energize the body
*Enhance concentration

What about taste?

Matcha has an earthy, almost grass-like flavor that is very "green", slightly sweet, and a little bit bitter. While enjoying it on its own might be best reserved for the hard core fanatics, incorporating it into recipes will likely result in a life long love affair.

I'm ready to use it! But how?!

Matcha can be used in a myriad of ways: baked into cookies, muffins or granola, infused into raw cheesecake fillings, overnight oats, chia puddings or even ice cream, blended right into smoothie bowls, and of course - made into creamy, picture perfect lattes. Not all matcha is created equally, so be sure to choose the grade that is best suited for your intended use. We recommend always choosing organic, but look for food-grade if you intend to use it in recipes such as baked goods, and save the more expensive, delicate traditional Japanese tea-grade for your tea rituals and lattes.

Ready to make your own nutrient-rich matcha latte? We have an incredible recipe hack for you! You can make a creamy, dairy-free base for your latte by blending Dastony stone ground almond and coconut butters with water to create an instant nut milk.  So easy it's redic. Keep scrolling for the recipe…

Dastony Coconut and Sprouted Almond Instant Matcha Latte



Ingredients:

12oz pure water

1 tsp Dastony almond or sprouted almond butter

1 tbs Dastony coconut butter

1 tsp tea-grade matcha powder

1 tbs sweetener - raw honey works well

1/4 tsp vanilla (optional)

Steps:

Heat 12 oz of water on stovetop. Place matcha in mug and pour in enough hot water to dissolve matcha. Blend the rest of your hot water with remaining ingredients to make a frothy nut milk, and pour over your matcha. Done!


Sources:

http://news.health.com/2015/03/27/what-is-matcha/
http://matchasource.com/health-benefits-of-matcha-tea/
http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART02735/green-tea-benefits


Written by Anna Speaks - Resident Blogger and Social Media Manager for RawGuru and Windy City Organics


 
A raw food diet is based on the consumption of unprocessed, plant-based foods, usually fruits and vegetables (preferably organic). This diet has numerous health benefits, and it is widely believed it can prevent cancer. 

Why has raw food?

The greatest advantage of raw food is in the fact it retains the complete nutritional value. On the other hand fried or overcooked foods lose a significant portion of their nutritional value and the person doesn’t get all benefits from that food then. The very first get you notice when you start with raw food died is increased energy level that also positively affects your sleeping pattern as well. 

Due to a high amount of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that our body needs to retain healthy functioning, your skin will restore the healthy glow. Another great benefit of raw food is the positive effect on digestion. Fruits and vegetables have high levels of dietary fiber and high fiber diet is associated with blood sugar control, weight loss management and many other health benefits.

Moreover, according to the report published in Food Technology in October 2012, plant-based diets have the ability to significantly reduce or completely eliminate individual’s genetic predisposition to develop chronic diseases like Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and even cancer. 

Additionally, various epidemiologic studies have associated raw food consumption with decreased risk of cancer. Animal studies and experiments using isolated cells also showed same results. After all, raw and uncooked fruits and vegetables are the best sources of nutrients.

Raw food for everyone

Raw food diet can be fun as much as it is beneficial for our health. The key is to know what foods to eat and how to prepare them to include the variety of meals to your diet in an easy manner. For example, the book raw food for everyone written by leading raw foods authority and teacher Alissa Cohen offers 300 different recipes for the raw diet. 

The book includes basic recipes that can be prepared as well as more demanding ones. Moreover, there are also recipes for delicious smoothies, juices, and you-won't-believe-they’re-raw chips and crackers. What makes it perfect for every person who wants to try out raw food diet is the fact it contains step-by-step instructions, charts on sprouting and soaking, and thorough and accurate information about raw ingredients. In a short period of time this book became the culinary classic and is a perfect guide for all people who want to improve their health with raw diet and eat delicious meals that will provide various health benefits and aid in detoxification of their organism.

Cancer-killing nutrients in vegetables and fruits

Researchers isolated and identified many chemicals in vegetables and fruits that may prevent or aid in cancer treatment.  For example:

•    Carotenoids – they are pigments that give fruits and vegetables their bright colors.
 
There are different types of carotenoids such as beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin, etc. Carotenoids act as antioxidants with powerful cancer-fighting characteristics. They protect cells from free radicals and lower the risk of different types of cancer, including lung, skin, breast, prostate cancer, etc. Found in sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, spinach…

•    Vitamin C – found in citrus fruits and juices, green peppers, cauliflower, and many other fruits and vegetables. Consumption of Vitamin C can lower the risk of mouth cancer and other cancers. However, it only works for Vitamin C consumed through the diet, not supplements.

•    Vitamin E – acts as an antioxidant and deficiency of Vitamin E is associated with increased risk of getting cancer. This vitamin decreases a risk of colon, prostate, and lung cancer. Also, it can be found in cilantro, broccoli, avocados, blueberries, etc.

•    Folic acid – prevents colon and cervical cancer and high concentrations of folic acid are found in green leafy vegetables. 

•    Fiber – most fruits and vegetables are a great source of fiber. Therefore, raw food can be considered as high fiber diet. Diet improves our digestion and aids in detoxification that reduce a risk of colon cancer and other types of stomach cancers. 

•    Dithiolethiones and glucosinolates – found in cruciferous vegetables and prevent cancer by an elimination of carcinogens before they damage DNA.

•    Phytoestrogens – act like weak versions of the hormone estrogen. Consumption of foods with this nutrient (bean sprouts, peas, etc.) decreases the level of estrogen circulating in woman’s body. High levels of estrogen that circulate in the body are associated with increased risk of breast cancer.
 
 Fruit juices
 
If you like making delicious fruit juices, then their cancer-fighting properties are the additional reason for continue with your juicing habit. For example, raw pineapple contains bromelain that is an enzyme that proved to be more successful than chemotherapy in cancer treatment according to the research published in the journal Planta Medica. 

Do you like grapes? Then consumption of grapes and making fruit juices with these lovely fruits can aid in the prevention of cancer as well. They contain natural chemicals that have a great potential to prevent cancer cells from spreading. This was confirmed by the study conducted at the University of Illinois. This study also adds to the consumption of raw food as cancer-preventing components from grapes are more effective than the usage of supplements. 

Cancer-fighting foods

Due to their structure that includes a lot of vitamins, minerals, and other health-boosting nutrients, fruits and vegetables can prevent and fight cancer as well. Here are some of them:

• Nuts – study published in the journal BMC Medicine reveals consumption of nuts reduces the risk of getting cancer by 40%.
 


• Carrot – according to scientists, carrots could be key to successful cancer treatment. 

They contain powerful cancer-fighting properties including compound falcarinol that reduced tumors in rats by a third.
 
• Sweet potatoes – are rich in antioxidants, especially beta-carotene, which helps in detoxification , eliminates toxins from the body and protects from various chronic diseases and cancer.

• Sunflower seeds – great source of selenium that improves detoxification and is associated with cancer prevention. Selenium enhances DNA repair and synthesis in damaged cells. 
 


• Garlic – various studies showed that garlic and its compound allyl sulfur are effective inhibitors of the cancer process. Of 37 studies in humans using garlic and allyl sulfur, 28 studies showed cancer-fighting properties. Garlic’s positive effect on preventing cancer isn’t related to only one carcinogen or particular tissue, but the entire organism.

Raw food diet has numerous health benefits, including improved detoxification of the body and cancer prevention. Plus, it is versatile; fruits and vegetables can be consumed through juices, smoothies, and delicious meals. 



 
Author:
 
  
 
Vaileria Dennis is a Health and Beauty expert. She has written various articles on Beauty and Makeup. In recent years, she has had an opportunity to research about Solvaderm Skin care routine. She is always excited to share her ideas related to Beauty care and Makeup Tips.




Chocolate will never cease to be a fantastic option not only for lovers but also for people in
pursuit of long-term health benefits in late years of their lives. In reference to a research that was presented at the 247th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), raw chocolate from cacao powders contain plenty of antioxidants , including epicatechin and catechin, coupled with small amounts of fiber. Also, the gut bacteria are capable of breaking down and fermenting components in raw chocolate to produce anti-inflammatory compounds that are essential for your health. Here are the best 9 health benefits of raw chocolate:

1. Healthy Brain Function

Researchers from the University of Nottingham discovered that consumption of chocolate can help in sharpening the mind and improving cognitive skills. Professor Ian Macdonald, the study author, said that chocolate is rich in flavanols, which promote the flow of blood in critical areas of the brain that determine performance and attention over a short period. Macdonald also said that consumption of flavanol-rich chocolate was associated with increased grey matter flow for up to three hours.

2. It Promotes Cardiovascular Functions

Studies have shown that moderate consumption of dark or raw chocolate can lower blood pressure while reducing bad cholesterol levels by nearly 10%. This is because raw chocolate contains antioxidants like flavanoids commonly found in green tea and red wine. Also, raw chocolate is an excellent source of potassium and copper, two minerals that are essential in maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system. However, chocolate is high in calories, and excessive consumption should be avoided.

3. Colon Cancer Prevention

About Mehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, a new animal study suggests that raw chocolate consumption may help in colon cancer prevention. Individual ingredients (flavanoids) in raw chocolate help in elimination of unhealthy cells from your body through a process called apoptosis. Through this process, flavanoids can help in destruction and removal of cancerous cells along the digestive tract, especially the large intestines.

4. Reducing Cholesterol

According to researcher Mee Young Hong, PhD, associate professor of exercise and nutritional sciences at San Diego State University, eating raw chocolate can help lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol while increasing HDL or “good” cholesterol. In Hong’s study that involved 31 men and women, she found that participants who took dark chocolate lowered their bad cholesterol by nearly 20% and increased good cholesterol by about 20% compared to those who ate white chocolate.

5. Decrease Menopause and PMS Symptoms

Most women crave for chocolate before and during their menstrual periods. About Dr. David Wolf, this is mainly because of the much needed magnesium contained in chocolate. Dr. Wolf says that women experience a decline in magnesium levels in the body during menstruation which contributes to increased premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and menopausal symptoms . Raw chocolate helps to supplement magnesium deficiencies during the menses cycle, lowering the effects of PMS for therapeutic results. Plus chocolate regulates hormonal imbalances to reduce PMS and menopausal symptoms.

6. It Improves Digestion

There are healthy bacteria that live in your large intestines that ferment both the antioxidants and fiber found in raw chocolate. Chocolate delivers high amounts of these helpful microbes that improve digestion. According to Andrew Marten, co-founder of Ohso, a company based in Britain that manufactures cocoa brands, the friendly bacteria help in positively influencing gastrointestinal functions to improve digestion and absorption of nutrients. In fact chocolate delivers higher amounts of healthy bacteria than yoghurt and milk drinks, he added.

7. It supports Weight Loss

A new study shows that eating chocolate can help you to stay slim. According to the U.S. study, regular consumers of chocolate tend to have less body fat than those who don’t. Researchers suggested that calories contained in raw chocolate increase metabolism, which prevents storage of fat. According to Dr. Beatrice Golomb, study leader from the University of California at San Diego, the composition of calories in chocolate determines the ultimate impact on weight. Chocolate also reduces appetite and lowers food cravings.

8. Increases Energy, Alertness

Apart from being packed with calories for energy production, chocolate is also loaded with anti- inflammatory compounds and magnesium, which can make you feel less pain when working out. It boosts your energy levels and alertness to make exercising more enjoyable. Caffeine in raw chocolate has stimulating effects that can make that extra mile seem like a short jaunt.

9. It Promotes Healthy Blood Flow

About a small study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, chocolate may help improve vascular health by increasing the flow of blood. Patients above 70 years suffering from peripheral artery disease (PAD) who took dark chocolate managed to walk longer distances (11%) than their counterparts who didn’t. According to study author Lorenzo Loffredo from the Sapienza University of Rome, they noted significantly improved blood flow in participants who ate chocolate.

Conclusion

The health benefits of raw chocolate may be numerous than what has already been discovered. Many studies have shown how chocolate bars and candies can improve the quality of life at present and in the future. However, chocolate should be consumed in moderation as there is nothing right in too much of anything.

References:

https://www.consumerhealthdigest.com/health-news/can-chocolate-really-help-for-weight- loss43751.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_effects_of_chocolate

Author Bio:

Vaileria Dennis is a Health and Beauty expert. She has written various articles on Beauty and
Makeup. In recent years, she has had an opportunity to research about Solvaderm Skin care routine. She is always excited to share her ideas related to Beauty care and Makeup Tips.

Connect with Vaileria on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.