Chocolate = Happy Heart

164615-chocolate-chocolate-waterfallOne of Dr. Murad’s favourite sayings is “before there was medicine there was food.” This reflects the simple reality that before modern medical treatments people had to rely on eating healthily to be healthy!

However, you have to allow yourself to indulge in your favourite treats every now and then to preserve your love of food and of life! Dr. Murad recommends you stick by his 80/20 rule – eat healthily 80% of the time and indulge for the remaining 20%.

As Easter approaches chocolate is everywhere and you’d have to have an iron will not to indulge at least a little bit. The trick is not to feel bad about it! After all, what’s the point in treating yourself to something truly delicious if you feel racked with guilt afterwards?

To help you eat your 20% guilt-free, here are some health benefits of eating chocolate you may not know:

  • Chocolate is good for the heart. The cocoa bean is rich in a class of plant nutrients called flavonoids. Flavonoids help protect plants from environmental toxins and help repair damage. They can be found in a variety of foods, such as colourful, fresh fruits and vegetables. When we eat foods rich in flavonoids, our bodies can benefit from this antioxidant power, much as plants do.
  • Chocolate is full of antioxidants. The antioxidants found in chocolate (dark chocolate in particular) are believed to help the body’s cells resist damage caused by free radicals that are formed by normal bodily processes, such as breathing, and from environmental nasties like cigarette smoke and everyday stress. If your body does not have enough antioxidants to combat the amount of oxidation that occurs, it can become damaged by free radicals.
  • Chocolate is good for the blood. Flavonols are the main type of flavonoid found in cocoa and chocolate. The darker the chocolate is, the higher levels of flavonols it has. In addition to having antioxidant qualities, research shows that flavonols have other potential influences on vascular health, such as lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow to the brain and heart, and making blood platelets less sticky and able to clot.

So enjoy moderate portions of chocolate (30 grams or so) a few times per week, and don’t forget to eat other flavonoid-rich foods like apples, red wine, tea, onions and cranberries.

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Top Foods For Essential Fatty Acids

After the last post, we all know that Essential Fatty Acids are important for healthy, beautiful skin! They are the “good fats” that help to make our cell walls strong so that they can hold moisture in for firm, wrinkle-free, smooth skin. To help you on your way, here is a list of the top foods that can help you get enough Essential Fatty Acids for the best skin (and body) possible.

Get Nutty: Nuts and Seeds are high in Essential Fatty Acids

Here’s a rundown of our favourites:

sunflowerseedsSunflower seeds:  a 28g serving of sunflower seeds provides more than 9 grams of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Alpha-Linolenic Acid.

Pine nuts: sprinkle liberally on salads! They contain the same amount of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Alpha-Linolenic Acid as sunflower seeds.

brazil nutsBrazil nuts: a 28g serving provides about 6 grams of the Omega-3 Fatty Acid Alpha-Linolenic Acid.

Pecan nuts: a delicious addition to banana bread! They contain the same amount of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Alpha-Linolenic Acid as Brazil nuts.

walnuts2Walnuts: these not only contain the Omega-6 Fatty Acid Linoleic Acid but also provide approximately 2.6 grams of Alpha-Linolenic Acid per 28g serving.

Nuts also make a great healthy snack to keep you feeling full! So when you’re feeling peckish, instead of reaching for crisps or chocolate, try turning to nuts.

Nutritional findings taken from Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center

Flaxseed Oil: the go-to Essential Fatty Acid
A tablespoon of pure flaxseed oil provides a whopping 7.3 grams of Alpha-Linolenic Acid per and 100% of the daily recommended value for Alpha-Linolenic Acid (1.6 grams).

However, if you’re choosing between flaxseed oil and pure flaxseed, you may want to keep in mind that flaxseed oil doesn’t contain dietary fibre and Lingans which are key for healthy digestion. Flaxseed itself does.

Top tip: If you’re looking for pure flaxseed, opt for ground flaxseed. It’s easier for your body to absorb nutrients from ground seeds.

Nutritional findings taken from Mayo Clinic.

salmon-sushi-265x300Delicious Fish: opt for the fatty ones
Get out the grill, the pan or the baking dish and fall in love with fish. Not just any fish, though. Fatty fish types contain nutrients that you’ll need and want for what’s known as Long-Chain Omega-3 Fatty Acids. The Essential Fatty Acids that convert into these Long-Chain Omega-3 Acids can be found in fatty fish and shellfish.

We like herring, oysters, sardines, trout, crab, tuna and our favourite is salmon. If you aren’t a lover of fish when you were younger, try it again. Your body tends to crave what it needs for health, and as we age and need more Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids, our body learns to crave the taste of fish more.

Vegetable Oil, Vegetable Oil, Vegetable Oil
Put down the butter and substitute with walnut, canola, soybean or mustard oil! Not only are these alternatives better for your overall health and, particularly, your cholesterol levels, but they provide 0.8 to 1.4 grams of Alpha-Linolenic Acid per serving.

You can also get Linolenic Acid from safflower oil (10.1 grams per serving), sunflower, soybean or corn oil (6.9-8.9 grams per serving) or sesame oil (5.6 grams per serving). There are many reasons to avoid saturated fats like butter, palm oil or coconut oil – healthy skin is just one of them!

While great skincare products give great results, truly healthy skin begins from the inside out. Make sure that your diet is rich in Essential Fatty Acids by incorporating some of the foods above into your diet. Not only will your skin look better, but you’ll also feel better.

Why Essential Fatty Acids are Important for Healthy Skin

Regardless of your age, gender or skin type, there’s no getting away from it, a diet rich in Essential Fatty Acids is essential for healthy, beautiful skin. You may not have considered diet as a path to great skin but the truth is, what you eat is as important as the products you use! The best results come from Dr. Murad’s Inclusive Health® system of skincare. This combines cell-saving topical formulas to help you Look Better with targeted cell-building nutrient to help you to Live Better, plus strategies for coping with cell-killing Cultural Stress® to help you Feel Better.

So what Is an Essential Fatty Acid?

Essential Fatty Acids are the “good fats” your body needs to keep cells healthy. They help maintain healthy cellular walls and promote the transference of waste and water on a cellular level. All of those cellular functions are important parts of having healthy skin as well as general health.

Essential Fatty Acids are called “essential” because they are not produced by the human body, yet are essential for our survival. As we don’t produce them, the only way to ensure you have enough of them is through diet and supplements.

Essential Fatty Acids & Younger-looking Skin
There are many factors that contribute to the ageing process of your skin, including a loss of collagen and elastin. However, one of the most important differences between youthful skin and older skin is youthful skin is much better at holding on to water.  That’s why anti-ageing skincare products contain more moisturising ingredients; they’re trying to get that youthful level of hydration back.

Murad Youth Builder SupplementsNow here’s the technical bit! At a cellular level, the ability to stay hydrated and plump depends on a healthy cell membrane that can hold water, take in nutrients and allow waste products to pass out of the cell. Essential Fatty Acids are great for improving the strength and the function of the cell membrane.

Cellular membranes weaken with age so we need a steady stream of Essential Fatty Acids to enable the body to replace old, damaged leaky cells with new, younger, stronger cells with thick, fully functional membranes.  Having strong, youthful cells is the key factor that distinguishes young, healthy, firm skin from saggy, loose skin.

We recommend: Murad Youth Builder Supplements for youthful skin from the inside out.

Essential Fatty Acids & Cellulite

People often think of cellulite as a “fat problem”, but the truth is that cellulite is actually a skin problem. Cellulite is caused by a weakening of skin’s structure which makes it unable to hold back the underlying layer of fat. When that happens, the underlying layer of fat becomes visible as bumps, which is what we know as cellulite.

As we now know from combating ageing skin, a rich supply of dietary Essential Fatty Acids helps the body build stronger cells and it’s these stronger cells which can better hold fat in place. The result? Smoother skin!

We recommend: Murad Firm and SONY DSCTone Dietary Supplement Pack
In addition to helping to build strong cells that can stay hydrated, the Essential Fatty Acids in this formula hydrate the skin by helping it to attract and bind water to its surface.  Connective Support Complex in this formula encourages the appearance of smoother skin and helps improve skin’s elasticity.

What our customers say:
“Hello short shorts!!Finally something that works! I have struggled with fairly severe cellulite since i was a young teenager. I have maintained the accurate weight for my height and even exercised but I still had cellulite!! I have tried lots of topical treatments for cellulite and nothing works. After taking these vitamins for only 4 weeks I have seen a dramatic change in my skin all over my body! My cellulite is barely visible. I want to show off my thighs! My skin is smooth and firm and I have more energy too. All the little tiny bumps that I never really noticed before are gone. Firm and tone is fantastic!”

Essential Fatty Acids & Blemishes
A healthy diet is essential for reducing blemishes and acne too. While a diet that promotes healthy, blemish-free skin is more complex than simply making sure that you get Essential Fatty Acids, a diet rich in Essential Fatty Acids helps build healthy, strong skin that is more naturally resistant to breakouts.

Essential Fatty Acids also support the skin’s natural healing processes to speed the repair of any post-blemish marks or scars from breakouts or pimples.

SalmonWhere Do You Find Essential Fatty Acids?
There are plenty of foods that contain lots of lovely Essential Fatty Acids. A great place to start is by adding a touch of flax seed, walnuts, salmon and canola oil into your diet. Also, be sure to look for products that contain Omega 3s – these are the Essential Fatty Acids that you need the most!

Look out for the next post which will detail which foods are rich in Essential Fatty Acids!

Beautiful skin is about more than what you put on it. It’s also about what you put into your body. Eat a balanced diet and be sure to hydrate internally by “eating your water” as described in Dr. Murad’s best-selling Inclusive Health® book, The Water Secret. Combined with an effective topical skincare regimen to help you Look Better, and a Cultural Stress® management program to help you Feel Better, the results of eating well to Live Better will show on your face and help you face the world!

Dr. Murad’s Top 10 Skincare Tips

Cleanse Your Skin Before Bed
Without proper cleansing, bacteria can survive (and thrive) on your skin, leading to breakouts. Also, the free radicals your skin encounters during the day, from pollution, sun and environmental exposure, can build up, causing tissue damage which leads to accelerated ageing.

Toners Are Important
They help your treatment product be absorbed deeper and faster. Plus, they’re refreshing and refining pores.

Oily Skin Needs Moisture
Everyone should use a moisturiser regardless of their skin type. Moisturisers add water to the skin, not oil.

Embrace Anti-ageing Products
You’re never too young or too old to start taking care of your skin.

Eat Your Water
We challenge you to replace one glass of water a day with raw fruit/veg to hydrate your skin from within.

Exfoliate Right
One of the most common mistakes people make with their skincare is too much or too little exfoliation! If in doubt, stick to the twice a week rule.

Relax – Stress Ages You
Take care of yourself emotionally – get the rest you need, have fun, get massages, facials or other activities that help you to relax and take your stress down a notch. Did you know stress is a close second to UV for damaging your skin and making you appear prematurely old?!

Be Imperfect; Live Longer!
Don’t be so hard on yourself. Trying to be perfect everyday causes stress that speeds up the ageing process.

You Are What You Eat
Skin health is 80% internal care, so consuming the right foods and supplements is most important. Topical care reaches the remaining 20% of skin.

Smile!
When you feel your best you will look your best!

What is Hormonal Ageing?

Hormonal ageing is a natural form of ageing that happens to everyone. It occurs when levels of oestrogen decline, and starts to happen long before menopause. In fact, by the time a woman reaches her twenties, she will have already begun to age and will probably show it. The speed at which it happens differs from person to person however, adopting a healthy lifestyle, reducing your stress and taking care of your skin can greatly reduce the effects of hormonal ageing.

The effects on the skin include a loss of collagen supplies, which means the skin thinning and becoming more fragile, fine lines and wrinkles and a loss of firmness. Cell renewal slows down which means that skin looks dull and uneven and pores can get clogged. Oil production increases as skin becomes dehydrated and coarse, and you can suffer from spots and blemish breakouts.

How do you treat Hormonal Ageing?

Having a skin care regime is essential, especially one that treats the unique concerns of adult skin. Use a cleanser, like the Renewing Cleansing Cream, which not only exfoliates to restore radiance but deeply hydrates the skin, restoring the natural barrier function.  Treat and repair your skin with the Age Diffusing Serum, which will firm the skin and reduce deep lines and wrinkles. Finish with the Age-Balancing Night Cream to balance hormonally ageing skin overnight by delivering intense hydration to the skin without clogging pores and increasing cell turnover, so you can wake up looking and feeling as fresh as a daisy!

If you are concerned about deep wrinkles around the eyes, use the Renewing Eye Cream to firm and restore the delicate eye area, reducing wrinkles, under-eye puffiness and dark circles. Ensure you use a day cream with an SPF to protect your skin from damaging UV rays; Sheer Lustre Day Moisture SPF 15 provides powerful protection from the sun while restoring skin elasticity and giving it a luminous glow.

To truly treat hormonal ageing, you need to take an inclusive approach, and the earlier you start, the better the results. As well as a great skin care regime, you need to adopt a healthy, nutritious diet and eat your water. This means including plenty of raw fruit and vegetables in your diet, the juicier the better! Fruit and vegetables such as Pomegranates, Goji Berries and Kale are rich in antioxidants which defend your skin against free radical damage; ensuring skin is healthy and looking young.

Make sure you are getting enough sleep for your body to repair and rejuvenate and try to limit your stress. Take some ‘me’ time to indulge in the things you love, visit a salon for a relaxing massage and facial or take a walk in the countryside whenever you can. The happier you are, the younger you will look!

Q: Do men suffer from ‘Hormonal Ageing’?

A: Yes!

Hormonal ageing in men is called andropause and occurs as levels of testosterone decline. The effects are similar and widely visible. The hallmark signs include sagging breasts, excessive hair growth in areas such as the ears and eyebrows, and thinning hair on top of the head.

Skin can become dry, lines and wrinkles may appear and he might have concerns about ageing. Dr Murad uses the Resurgence range himself to counteract the drying of mature skin. Use the Essential-C Cleanser every morning and night and follow with the Age Diffusing Serum. Finish with a good moisturiser such as the Skin Perfecting Lotion at night and the Oil-Control Mattifier SPF 15 for daytime use.

Q: Will Resurgence help with dry, flaky skin?

A: Yes!

Resurgence was designed to help address dehydration caused by the fluctuation in hormone levels. Each product helps to introduce moisture into the skin at every step of the regime. The gentle exfoliation provided by the cleanser, along with the additional moisture from all of the products, will help to relieve the flakiness and prevent it in the future.

Reducing The Effects of Ageing

Ageing is something that happens to us all; however it is possible to slow the process down. There are three different types of ageing; genetic ageing, environmental ageing and hormonal ageing. Genetic ageing and hormonal ageing are facts of life, but how gracefully and at what speed you age is down to the topical products you use, the food you eat and how well you take care of your emotional well-being. Environmental ageing is something we all encounter every day. These can include smog, pollution, sun damage, smoking and radiation but you can lessen the effects with the right products.

 “Ageing is a fact of life. Looking your age is not!” – Dr Murad

What is ageing?

When you are born your body consists upwards of 70% water however, as we age, we lose our ability to hold water. Cell membranes are damaged, water loss is greater and we can drop to as little as 50% water.

“Water loss is the final common pathway to all ageing, disease and illness” – Dr Murad.

A reduction in the production of collagen and weakened elastin causes wrinkles to become much more prominent. Other signs of ageing are a loss of firmness, age spots, deep creases, large pores, dehydration, thinning skin and a dull tone.

How do you treat the signs of ageing?

  

To truly treat the signs of ageing you need to be using the right products for your age, skin type and skin concerns. Here at Murad we cater to every skin concern and have three anti-ageing ranges; Age Reform, Resurgence and Environmental Shield. We also cater for those who begin to experience severe breakouts as they get older with the Anti-ageing Blemish Control range.

You also need to look internally; after all, what’s on the inside shows on the outside. Dr Murad believes you should eat your water to nourish and hydrate your cells. The water you eat is structured and packed full of vitamins and antioxidants; therefore it hydrates and stays in your cells for longer. Eat a diet full of raw fruit and vegetables alongside the appropriate supplements. The Youth Builder® Dietary Supplement can help stimulate younger, smoother skin from the inside. It stimulates collagen production and elastin while treating and repairing connective tissue to restore youth and firmness to the skin, reducing and preventing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by up to 34% in just 5 weeks.*

*Individual results will vary. Study results on file.