Food Pairings for Optimum (and Delicious!) Nutrient Absorption

Did you know that certain foods go well together not just flavor wise but nutritionally as well?

Take your healthy eating habits up a notch by making the nutrients in the food you eat more bioavailable with proper food pairing.

Pair: Leafy Greens with Healthy Fats


Have you ever enjoyed a real and proper salad? We don’t mean a sad side salad of iceberg lettuce that essentially becomes an afterthought as you devour your main dish. We’re talking about freshly chopped romaine, crisp arugula, shredded purple cabbage, roasted vegetables, steamed sweet potato, caramelized onions, roasted garlic, crunchy sunflower seeds, hearty walnuts, juicy sundried tomatoes, perfectly ripe avocado and parmesan cheese shavings all tossed together in cold pressed extra virgin olive oil and whatever acid, herbs, or creamy component you want as a dressing.

When done properly, there’s a reason salad can take center stage as a complete meal in itself; it’s so healthy and ingredient-wise it’s one of the easiest ways to absorb a wide variety of vitamins and phytonutrients. Pairing leafy greens with healthy fats optimizes the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.

Try this supercharged salad which is full of ingredients loaded with fat-soluble vitamins like Vitamin D from the mushrooms, and Vitamins A, E, and K from the variety of nuts, roots, and leafy greens.

Mix and toss:

  • 1 handful of romaine leaves, 1 handful of lettuce, and 1 handful of arugula
  • 1 steamed sweet potato, sliced
  • ½ cup steamed green beans
  • ½ cup sautéed mushrooms
  • 1 onion, caramelized
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon toasted walnuts
  • ½ avocado, sliced
  • 1 good chunk of feta cheese, crumbled
  • 4 slices fresh tuna sashimi (optional)

For the dressing:

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon honey
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Pair: Berries with Whole Grains


A common and delicious breakfast, pairing berries with whole grains like oatmeal not only makes your breakfast bowl Instagram worthy they also complement each other nutritionally. The high vitamin C content found in berries such as blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries optimize the absorption or iron and B-vitamins found naturally in whole grains. Pairing berries with whole grains first thing in the morning gives you fiber, B-Vitamins and an iron boost, which is why this particular breakfast is so energizing and ideal to start your day on a healthy note.

Try making this delicious yet simple berry and chocolatey breakfast bowl to give yourself a nourishing start to the day:

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 generous teaspoon of cacao powder
  • Fresh berries of choice. We like strawberries as they go so well with the chocolate!

Method:

  • Place the banana, oats, and coconut milk in a bowl and bring to a gentle simmer. Mash the banana as the oatmeal cooks.
  • Add the cacao powder
  • Place the oatmeal in a bowl and top with freshly sliced strawberries.

Pair: Eggs with a glass of Orange Juice


Another winning breakfast combo, the logic behind pairings eggs with orange juice is to pair Vitamin D with Calcium. These nutrients go hand in hand for ensuring strong bones, and teeth. Eating Vitamin D rich eggs, found in the egg yolk and drinking calcium rich orange juice acts as a great nutritional pairing.

Try making this calcium and Vitamin D rich breakfast omelet. You get Vitamin D from the mushrooms and egg yolks, while the broccoli and cheese add another dimension of calcium. Enjoy it under the morning sun with a glass of orange juice to give your body an amazing dose of these nutrients.

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 handful broccoli, diced
  • 1 handful mushrooms, sliced
  • Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Method:

  • Sautee your broccoli and mushrooms in olive oil until soft, set aside.
  • Beat your eggs with parmesan cheese and add mixture to a pan on low heat
  • When the eggs are almost cooked, gently add the broccoli and mushrooms and gently fold in.
  • Serve with orange juice.

Pair: Green Tea with Lemon


Pairing green tea with lemon is perhaps the easiest way to sip your way to lowering your chances of cancer, with the added benefit of kickstarted weight loss. The antioxidants found in green tea, catechins, are famous for their antiaging and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Maximize the bioavailability of catechins by squeezing fresh lemon juice into green tea to optimize absorption of this antioxidants its benefits.

Pair: Rosemary with Beef


Have you noticed that on cooking shows or gourmet recipe books, you find that fresh rosemary and beef always seem to pop up together on the same recipe? This is likely of course because rosemary brings such a bright, clean and earthy dimension to the taste of red meat, but other than complimenting the taste, rosemary also helps to protect you from the carcinogens you consume when cooking meat.

Whether creating a lovely stew or grilling up a juicy steak, have fresh or dried rosemary on hand to counteract and neutralize carcinogens that form when you cook red meat, especially when it’s cooked over 325 degrees F. Rosemary is rich in rosmarinic acid which is a phenolic compound that makes it also an antioxidant and is what protects you from carcinogens in meat when cooked at high temperatures.

Try this simple and delicious marinade to enjoy your steak and rosemary pairing by simply adding freshly chopped rosemary to olive oil, salt and a squeeze of lemon juice and rub all over your choice of grass-fed beef before throwing it on the grill.

Don’t let your body lack in nutrients. On top of a healthy diet, plug any nutritional gaps with a quality multivitamin. Try our Complete Multivitamin, made with over 23 Essential Vitamins and nutrients in one convenient capsule.

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Why Do We Need Digestive Enzymes?

Digestive enzymes are necessary for life. They act as the bridge and facilitator between turning the food we consume into the energy and nutrition we need. It turns your salad into the fiber you need for regular bowels, that steak you indulged in into the protein in your muscles, the fruits you eat into the antioxidants that protect your body from free radicals, that beloved avocado toast into healthy fats for your body’s hormone balance etc.

Both on a macronutrient and micronutrient level, enzymes are responsible for the chemical reactions that take place in our body, and there are specific enzymes needed for the specific breakdown of nutrients. This benefits your body because enzymes convert food into smaller absorbable molecules which then become useful components for our body. This is how your body builds muscles, creates new cells, grows and repairs itself, and produce and replenish energy.

With so many different kinds of nutrients our body needs to function its best, think proteins, fats, carbohydrates, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, your digestive system needs the right kind and the right amount of enzymes to break down these various nutrients.

To help put it further into perspective, think of enzymes as the thing you need to create. As an analogy, enzymes are what turns bricks and wood into a house, cotton and wool into clothes, paint and a canvas into art.

Do you need more enzymes?


Like mineral and vitamin deficiencies, your body too can suffer from enzyme deficiency. This is an often overlooked or underestimated deficiency because our body naturally creates its own enzymes and often the foremost thought and solution for optimum gut health is solely placed on probiotics (although probiotics are great too!).

Apart from the enzymes that your body creates, we obtain enzymes by consuming raw foods, which again stresses the point for striving for a varied whole foods diet with a lot of emphasis on eating fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. This allows our body to get in a variety of enzymes to help break down the food and get all its nutrient-rich goodness.

When you consume too little enzymes, your body naturally tries to compensate for this by producing more of its own enzymes which is quite taxing on the digestive system and not as efficient at absorbing nutrients. With a chronic lack of fresh food, enzyme deficiency symptoms can crop up indicating that food isn’t being properly digested.

Look out for common enzyme deficient symptoms such as:

  • Bloat
  • Indigestion
  • Acid Reflux
  • Diarrhea and/or irregular bowel movement
  • Flatulence
  • Malabsorption
  • Fatigue
  • Brain fog
  • Dampened immune system

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, regardless if you eat healthily or not, you could be deficient in digestive enzymes. This is a cause for concern as over time, despite your hard-earned healthy eating habits, you still can be nutrient deficient simply because your body isn’t properly breaking down your food into a form that makes it absorbable and useful.

Food sources of digestive enzymes


As previously mentioned, different foods require different enzymes:

  • Amylase breaks down carbohydrates into a variety of sugars
  • Lipase breaks down fat fatty acids
  • Protease breaks down protein into amino acids

To help your body break down these macronutrients, incorporate more enzyme-rich foods into your diet such as:

  • Pineapples
  • Papaya
  • Mangoes
  • Honey
  • Bananas
  • Avocados
  • Kefir and other fermented foods like kimchi, miso, yogurt, and sauerkraut (bonus points for also being rich in probiotics!)
  • Kiwi
  • Ginger
  • Raw honey

Fortunately, digestive enzymes can easily be incorporated into a healthy diet and supplements are also available to ensure that your body gets all the enzymes it needs.

Give your body the enzymes it needs to optimize your digestion and nutrient absorption. Try our Digestive Enzyme with Makzyme-Pro Blend, specially formulated to help your body break down, fats, proteins and carbohydrates and to enhance nutrient absorption and promote healthy bacteria.

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What Causes Hormonal Imbalances?

Hormones are often associated with puberty and a healthy libido, but the truth is, there are so many different kinds of hormones that are responsible for hundreds of bodily processes. Take care of your hormones, your body will thank you for it.

Here are some key hormones that greatly influence our overall wellbeing, and common symptoms that indicate that they may be off balance:

Cortisol:
Cortisol is the hormone our body naturally creates when we’re stressed. Although frequently antagonized, this hormone is crucial for energy and for our body to remain in an active an alert state. The problem with cortisol is too much of it, all the time, is what would be considered an imbalance (like anything). Symptoms of a cortisol imbalance would be feeling restless at night and tired during the day.

Estrogen:
An imbalance in estrogen, particularly too much estrogen is called estrogen dominance. As a primary female sex hormone, estrogen helps to regulate and keep a healthy reproductive system. When there’s an imbalance, too much estrogen can cause heavy periods, moodiness, and weight gain that’s difficult to lose. Too little estrogen on the other hand can cause joint pain and dry skin.

Progesterone:
Progesterone is a steroid hormone and is responsible for a range of bodily functions such as menstruation and pregnancy. Progesterone also helps to stabilize moods so an imbalance in progesterone can be indicated by anxious moods. Look out as well for frequent periods, an chronic tiredness as this could indicate a progesterone imbalance.

Testosterone:
Testosterone, often associated as a male hormone, is actually present and needed in male and female health. Testosterone is needed for a healthy libido, bone health, and muscle development. A testosterone imbalance is associated with fatigue, moodiness and low sex drive.

Thyroid:
A healthy functioning thyroid maintains healthy digestion, regulates the body’s metabolism. Iodine is a in integral nutrient for thyroid health and those lacking could experience an underactive thyroid with symptoms such as irregular periods, mood disorders, hair loss, and chronic fatigue.

How can I balance my hormones?

Balancing your hormones is a lifestyle. While it’s difficult to navigate the complex web of hormones, how they interact with each other and affect your over health, a holistic approach always helps to improve symptoms of hormone imbalances. Seeking a doctor or a specialist, especially for extreme cases of hormonal imbalance, is ideal, but as the person living in your body, you too can take proactive steps to improve your hormone health.

1. Plug nutritional gaps:


Hormone imbalances can be linked to malnutrition. The body needs an adequate amount of nutrients in order to carry out thousands of bodily processes every day. Think of nutrients as gas and your hormone secreting organs as a car. Without gas, the car can’t move. Same for your organs, without adequate nutrients, hormone secreting organs such as the thyroid or ovaries, can’t go to make and release adequate levels of hormones.

Where nutritional gaps are concerned, assess your diet. Is it primarily a varied whole foods diet consisting mostly of plant-based foods? Or does your diet consist mostly of fast food and packaged meals? If your diet is the latter, a hormonal imbalance is a clear indication that it’s time for a change. Pair a nutrient-dense whole foods diet with a quality multivitamin to give your body the nutrients it needs to produce adequate levels of hormones.

2. Address Stress


Chronic stress puts a serious dampener on hormone producing organs due to the inflammatory effects of constant high levels of cortisol and also blocks them from being created, particularly our ovaries which is responsible for the secretion of estrogen and progesterone. This is partially why women who are chronically stressed also suffer from irregular or painful periods. Too much cortisol leads to an imbalance of female sex hormones.

With that said, it’s important to take time to relax and help your body lower cortisol levels on a daily basis to help ensure that your body is in the right state to release other necessary hormones. Whatever relaxes you, don’t only do it, but treat it as a priority. Even just 5 minutes of daily meditation, an hours worth of gentle exercise, or carving out 30 minutes for a healthy and nourishing meal can do wonders in keeping the body balanced.

3. Consider adaptogens


Adaptogens are a special group of plants that have the ability to help bring and keep the body in balance. This is done by nourishing the body accordingly to what it needs. For example, if you’re always tired adaptogens can nourish your thyroid to give you more energy whereas if you’re constantly feeing wired, adaptogens nourish your adrenals to help calm you down.

Where hormone balances are concerned, adaptogens like Ashwagandha help nourish all hormone excreting organs, helping to harmonize any imbalances and bring the body back to a healthier state.

4. Take fish oil


The omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil does wonders for balancing hormones. Not only do they lower inflammation in the body but consuming omega 3 fatty acids also improves testosterone levels, increases serotonin, and balances out estrogen levels. This is why omega 3 fatty acids are particularly beneficial for women experiencing PMS or irregular periods.

Have you ever turned to diet and lifestyle to improve your hormonal imbalances? Try our Ashwagandha, Fish Oil, Multivitamin, and Calm Anti-Anxiety supplements to give your body the nutrients it needs for optimum hormone balance.

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Clean Up Common Household Products: 4 Toxins You Don’t Want in Your Home

Your diet is a varied whole foods diet consisting mostly of vegetables, you opt for organic wherever you can, you supplement religiously, get your body moving regularly, and your skin care is all-natural and on point. What left is there to do when it comes to your clean living lifestyle? A lot actually.

Clean lifestyles are all about feeling our best and healthiest as we aim to promote longevity. A major approach to achieving this is by limiting our toxin exposure. One thing to consider is our exposure to the toxins we have in our home. Those living a clean lifestyle are conscious about what they put on and in their bodies, so it makes sense and should naturally follow to be conscious of what we surround our body with. While it’s impossible to have full control of our surroundings, you can, to a degree, have a say in this by limiting your exposure to toxins in your home.

Here are some common toxins found in your home:

1. Benzene


Benzene, a known human carcinogen is found in many household products such as adhesives used for minor home repair work, degreasers, a variety of solvents and lacquer and paint. It is the fumes that we should be concerned about as benzene most commonly enters our body through inhalation.

Alternatives
Thanks to all the proven negative effects Benzene has on the human body, there are many benzene-free alternatives to most household items. Opt for benzene-free paint and adhesives to lessen your homes toxicity.

2. Formaldehyde


Formaldehyde is a preservative used commonly in commercial products. Read the label for its other names such as DMDM hydantoin, urea, 5-Bromo-5-nitro-1,3-dioxane etc. Formaldehyde is used to preserve products to prevent any bacterial growth and to prolong its shelf life. Unfortunately, formaldehyde is linked to causing cancer, especially when exposed to high amounts. With that said, formaldehyde can be found all over the household ranging from personal care products such as shampoo and hand washes, cleaning products such as air-freshener, and home maintenance products such as paint and glue.

Alternatives
You can lessen your exposure to formaldehyde simply by keeping proper ventilation in your home as formaldehyde fumes quickly breakdown when exposed to air. Choose formaldehyde-free products which you can easily find when opting for all-natural and ‘green’ products.

3. Glyphosate


Glyphosate is an herbicide which is widely used everywhere especially for mass produced agricultural products such as cotton. That means anything from your earbuds, to tampons to t-shirts all potentially are adding toxicity through your home by the likely presence of Glyphosate. Why this is concerning is because Glyphosate was recently confirmed to be a carcinogen. Apart from potential exposure to this herbicide from your cotton products, glyphosate is sold as an herbicide as well so if you do any maintenance for your garden, front lawn, or backyard, you may want to take a look at the kind of chemicals you’re using to keep your plants bug and weed-free.

Alternatives
Fortunately, where your green thumb is concerned, there are many all-natural and even DIY alternatives to keeping unwanted pests and weeds off your precious plants. Ingredients such as vinegar, lemons, crushed peppers and essential oils like clove and citrus oils all can effectively do the same job as Glyphosate, without adding any toxicity to your home. Where cotton products are concerned, do your best to choose products made with organic cotton as this will lessen your skin contact with toxins and is also better for the environment in the long run.

4. Lead


Lead has long been busted as a dangerous chemical. As a neurotoxin and an endocrine disruptor, exposure to this chemical should be eliminated as best as we can. Unfortunately, lead can be found in our homes, especially with older products. Used in many other things other than your lipstick, you can find lead in paint, stained glass windows, varnishes and protective coatings on various surfaces and appliances.

Alternatives
Although many manufacturers still use lead to create products, you can start by choosing lead-free products such as lead-free paints and adhesives. If lead is already in your home such as the paint on your walls, you can call a professional paint stripper to remove the paint and to cover it with lead-free paint instead.

How can I protect my body from toxins in my home?

There’s a long list of chemicals that can be found in our home, and regardless if it has been scientifically proven to be toxic or not to our body or if there isn’t enough information yet on a given household chemical, it’s always best to err on the side of caution where your body’s overall toxic load is concerned. We get enough exposure to toxins on a daily basis from the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the things we touch. While this is a normal part of modern life and a healthy body can effectively filter out and protect from the negative effects of these toxins, it’s still important to consider the cumulative effect of all the toxins that surround us and to eliminate them when and where we can.

Keep your body on toxin-eliminating mode through a healthy functioning liver, our ultimate detox organ. Try our Liver Care supplement, which is specifically made with liver supporting ingredients to help rid your body of toxins that you can accumulate on a daily basis.

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The Definitive Guide to Using Face Oils

Face oils are important for your beauty. Think of it as a concentrated cocktail of skin-loving vitamins and antioxidants that work hard to nourish, protect, and restore your skin to its best state.

Thanks to their tried and true efficacy, there are so many face oil products available to us to help round up a truly good-for-your-skin regimen for your most vibrant skin ever.

Nature has graced us with a plethora of herbs, plants, seeds, nuts, and flowers, and each one can be extracted for their oils, each with their own unique molecular structure that will benefit all skin types, issues, and seasons. This is good news for us because you can be sure there’s a right facial oil for everyone despite different skin types that change with the seasons and individual lifestyle.

Finding the right oil, albeit perhaps needing a bit of trial and error, can be fun and act as the hand-picked crowning cherry on top of your own carefully curated skincare regimen.

The right oil for your skin type:

Normal Skin:


Finding the right oil for normal skin types is actually quite easy as most oils will work well. Those with normal skin don’t have overly oily skin where certain oils can’t penetrate and it’s not too dry where using certain types of oil won’t be moisturizing enough. Good for you!

Balanced skin types can pick any oil, but we’d suggest trying Marula Oil, Boabab Oil, and Argan Oil.

Dry Skin:


People with dry skin benefit from oils greatly thanks to their inherent moisturizing and moisture-sealing properties. Dry skin tends to drink facial oils right up, resulting in plump glowing skin and leaving dullness and flakiness behind.

Those with dry skin will benefit from oils that are particularly thick so opt for oils like Avocado, Macadamia, Rosehip, and Coconut oil.

Oily Skin:


Applying oil to oily skin may seem counterintuitive and putting your skin even more off balance with more oil, but even those with oily skin can go from oily to dewy looking with the right facial oil. The idea is to provide necessary moisture without clogging the pores and to bring balance and nourishment to skin.

Opt for lighter oils that are non-comedogenic and are high in linoleic acid so that it absorbs more easily into skin. Jojoba, Tamanu, Grapeseed, Sunflower, and Evening Primrose oil are all great facial oils for oily skin types.

How to Make the Most of your Face Oil

Due to the purity in ingredient(s) of facial oils, you’re likely to spend a small investment for a bottle of the good stuff. To make the face oil work and to maximize all its beautifying benefits, firstly find the right face oil for your skin type, then follow the below tips:

1. Apply to a clean face:
Face oil works best when applied to clean skin. Don’t let the precious goodness the oil has to bring sit on top of dirt, sweat, grime and makeup as it won’t make it to your actual skin.

2. Tone your face:
Toners are meant to get rid of any excess dirt and surface buildup on your face, balance your skin’s PH, and preps your skin to more thoroughly absorb what follows next. If you want your face oil to be well absorbed, you’ll need to tone your face prior.

3. Use a serum:
If oils are a cocktail of nutrients that feed your skin, serums are like a concentrated juice shot of vitamins. Oils and serums go particularly well together because of their different consistency and molecular size.

Serums, which should come before face oils, absorb into the skin immediately and go deep, giving an instant boost in nourishment. Think of oils as something your skin ‘sips throughout the night’, helping to seal in all the goodness a quality serum has to offer. Using both compliments each other as serums are made to penetrate and nourish the deeper parts of your skin while facial oils moisturize and protect the outer layers.

4. Do a facial massage:
Facial oils and facial massage go hand in hand (pun intended). Doing a daily facial massage enhances the benefits of the facial oil and also helps it sink into the skin. Not only that, the boost in circulation aids in lymphatic drainage, which is what you need if you want to de-puff your skin and promote a flush of fresh blood to boost your skin’s radiance.

There are many options for facial massage ranging from crystal rollers, to gua sha blades, but know that you can also use your own hands for an effective facial massage. Whatever tool you decide to use, the main idea for the massage is to depuff your face and help your skin further absorb all the skin care you put on it. Simply start from the center areas of your face and work outward and upward for a rejuvenating, skin-care absorbing facial massage.

If you’ve got your face oil selection down, we suggest complimenting its benefits with the right serum. Try our Skin Bright Vitamin C Serum which gives your skin an instant brightening boost. Like face oil, serums work best when used correctly, find out how here.

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All-Natural Ways to Promote Youthful Skin

Getting back or preserving your skin’s youthful appearance is all about improving your complexion. This can be done by focusing on restoring and slowing down the breakdown of your skin’s elasticity, firmness, hydration and plumpness.

While aging skin is generally taboo, know that it is a natural process of life and laugh lines, wrinkles and other signs of aging are beautiful too. Nevertheless, we want to focus on keeping your skin as healthy as possible, with the added benefit of looking younger.

Here are some all-natural ways you can promote youthful skin and prevent premature aging:

1. Be happy


As we all know, stress, especially chronic stress, negatively affects our physical and mental wellbeing, and our skin is no exception. It’s important to reduce stress because cortisol, the hormone our body creates under stress, dulls our complexion by breaking down collagen.

As we age, our skin creates less collagen, so it’s important to optimize collagen production by caring for ourselves the best way we can. Stress is essentially a mental issue that carries over into our physical body so it’s important to live a life that makes you happy, while having the right tricks up your sleeve to adapt and manage stress, thus keeping those cortisol levels down!

Do things that make you happy, where possible, as much as possible. Hug your loved ones regularly, treat yourself to a good meal on difficult days and don’t beat yourself up over any extra calories, take a moment to enjoy the morning sun, talk to your support system when things get overwhelming, indulge daily in self-care rituals, etc. Happiness is a choice, and a proactive one at that, so choose happiness and get that youthful glow.

2. Hydrate


A simple but often overlooked skincare practice is to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. If you’re wondering how much water you should be drinking, simply half your body weight (in pounds) and drink that amount in ounces. So for example, if you weigh 120 pounds, you should be drinking at least 60 ounces of water daily.

That coveted youthful glow is partially thanks to plump skin with a healthy moisture barrier that our body gets from adequate hydration. Don’t forget to pair your water with an adequate amount of minerals and electrolytes which you lose from sweat and exercise.

3. Exercise


There’s a reason why our skin glows after exercise. Apart from toxins coming out and increased circulation (hello all-natural pink flush), inflammation is lowered as collagen-breaking stress and cortisol is lowered due to the release of endorphins. Exercise overall makes our skin look younger, so if you haven’t prioritized exercise as a regular habit, know that your skin health benefits greatly from it.

4. Eat Skin-Healthy Anti-Inflammatory Foods


Here we are again with inflammation and bad skin. Where diet is concerned, following a skin-healthy anti-inflammatory diet could help turn back the clock on prematurely aged skin.

Incorporate antioxidant-rich foods such as berries, leafy greens, turmeric, and skin-plumping antioxidant rich essential fatty acids like fish oil. All these foods, and a healthy varied whole foods diet provides the body with the necessary antioxidants to combat free-radicals that age our skin faster.

On the other side of an eating an anti-inflammatory diet, is to restrict or eliminate inflammatory foods, which could negate your healthy efforts. Trans fats found in fried and packaged foods, alcohol, sugar and refined carbs are all inflammatory foods best avoided to keep skin looking young.

5. Use Vitamin C


Vitamin C is a popular vitamin marketed for immunity, but this vitamin is also well known for its beautifying benefits. Vitamin C stimulates our skin to create collagen and protects existing collagen from breaking down.

Lucky for anyone looking to eat their way beautiful, Vitamin C is present in most brightly colored fruits and vegetables. Have yourself a serving of bell peppers, berries, mangoes, lemons and limes for a daily vitamin C kick. Take it a step further by applying Vitamin C to your skin to reap all the collagen-boosting and youth promoting benefits of this beautifying vitamin.

6. Incorporate Collagen


Collagen is having a moment in the beauty industry right now and for good reason: supplementing with collagen has shown improvement in overall skin hydration, elasticity, and density, meaning collagen genuinely improves skin health from the inside out and those supplementing with collagen can look forward to more youthful looking skin.

 7. Sleep


There are many professional opinions on how many hours of sleep an individual should get, but generally we recommended getting in a minimum of 7 hours of quality sleep every night and to not have a bedtime past midnight in order to reap all the skin-restoring benefits of a good night’s rest.

The logic behind this is you want to work with your body’s natural circadian rhythm, and not against it. Staying up late disrupts the natural release of your sleep hormone, melatonin, and results in producing more skin-aging cortisol.

Have you got any youthful skin health tips? Share them in the comments below! And for anybody looking to promote youthful skin, we’ve got the anti-inflammatory and skin plumping supplements you need for that fresh and youthful appearance. Try our Skin Bright Vitamin C Serum, Turmeric with Ginger and Omega 3 Fish Oil , all of which work synergistically together towards your best skin.

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4 All-Natural Recipes to Ward off Infections

Try these all-natural nutrient dense recipes that are specifically made to enhance your immune system straight from the kitchen thanks to the antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral and Vitamin C rich ingredients.

Turmeric Immunity Shot
Makes 3 servings
This turmeric shot contains all the anti-inflammatory viral and bacterial busting ingredients to help your immunity fight back when you start feeling an infection taking hold. Take it 2-3 times a day with or in between meals.

Ingredients:

  • Freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 apple, sliced into quarters and deseeded
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 generous pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2-inch knob fresh turmeric
  • 2-inch knob fresh ginger

Method:

  1. Run all the ingredients (except the orange, honey and cayenne pepper) through a juicer.
  2. Pour the juice into a bottle and thoroughly mix in the honey, cayenne pepper and orange juice.
  3. Pour into a shot glass for each serving.

Immune-Boosting Smoothie
Makes 1 serving
This smoothie acts as the perfect cold-prevention thanks to all the nutrient-dense fresh fruits. Paired with a quality yogurt, you get all the immune boosting benefits of probiotics and Vitamin C. This smoothie is best enjoyed during cold season or when you just want to up your body’s defenses amidst a rise in illnesses.

Ingredients:

  • Freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 4 oz. pack of yogurt, plain or flavored. We recommend a peach flavor.
  • 1 cup fresh/frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup fresh/frozen raspberries
  • ½ cup fresh/frozen pineapple

Method:

  1. Place all the ingredients in a blender and blitz until smooth. You can add more orange juice till you reach your desired consistency.

Lemon Elixir
Makes 1 Serving
This easy recipe may be minimal with its classic cold-fighting ingredients, but it does the trick for helping to detox a body getting bogged down with germs while providing a good immunity boost. You can take it cold, warm, or hot and drink ideally first thing in the morning.

Ingredients:

  • 1 glass of water
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Method:

  1. Stir together all the ingredients and pour into your favorite mug.

Roasted Vegetable Soup
Makes 4 servings
This roasted vegetable soup is as versatile as it is healthy. You can essentially toss in any combination of vegetables, herbs and spices here. The idea is to get in at least 4 servings of different vegetables and warming spices to nourish a dampened immune system.

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium red bell peppers, chopped and deseeded
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium potato, chopped (skin on/off is optional)
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
    *Tip: Chop your vegetables in fairly equal sizes so that they cook evenly
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Greek yogurt to garnish

Method:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees, Celsius.
  2. Season your chopped vegetables with salt, pepper, cumin and smoked paprika.
  3. Mix the vegetables in olive oil and add to a roasting tray.
  4. Pop the vegetables in the oven and let them bake for 20-30 minutes, or until all the vegetables are cooked.
  5. Add the roasted vegetables to a blender (allow to cool) and add chicken stock and coconut milk.
  6. Blitz until you reach your desired consistency.
  7. Pour the soup into a pot and gently bring to a simmer.
  8. Pour the soup into a bowl and garnish with a generous dollop of Greek yogurt and a drizzle of olive oil.

When it comes to boosting your immunity with food, prevention is always better than cure. Try incorporate these immune-boosting recipes into your arsenal of go-to meals and drinks even on days where you feel healthy. They’re easy and the recipes are flexible enough to be altered to your preferred taste and quantities.

Keep your immune system strong with trusted supplements that you can easily take, especially when you don’t have time to cook. Try our Turmeric with Ginger capsules to act as your convenient daily defense against germs and infections.

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4 Culprits Behind Dull Skin and What You Can Do to Get it Glowing Again

Glowing skin never goes out of style. It’s a marker of good health and a reflection of how well you care for your wellbeing. Getting that coveted no-makeup, lit-from within, well rested glow can be a challenge, especially if you don’t know what’s causing your skin to be dull.

While there are a variety of factors that rob your skin of its natural glow, here, we look at 4 common culprits causing your dull skin and what you can do about it.

1. You and your skin are dehydrated

Dull skin usually means dehydrated skin. As our largest organ, our skin needs a lot of water to keep it functioning normally. Dehydrated skin can’t shed off dead skin as well hydrated skin causing a buildup of dry and congested dead skin cells.

Get glowing by: Hydrating and moisturizing

If you’ve read enough beauty interviews, asked enough dermatologists on what promotes good skin, or observed what people with glowing complexions do, you’ll likely notice that the common denominator is that they keep hydrated. This has a twofold meaning. To get your skin glowing, you have to regularly and consistently hydrate from the inside and moisturize it from the outside.

Like dry, dull and flakey skin, feeling thirsty is one of the last signs of dehydration so get your glow on by downing your 8 glasses all day, everday, and not whenever you feel thirsty.

Pair a healthy hydrating habit by moisturizing your skin religiously. The most basic step in good skincare is to cleanse and moisturize daily, so invest in a good facial moisturizer that will do the job for your skin to plump and hydrate it to its full glowing potential.

2. Dead skin cell build up

For all you know, you have bright and glowing skin, but it’s hidden underneath a layer of dead skins cells. While our first layers of skin are actually dead skin cells, as the skin naturally turns over, the skin can become dull if there is too much build up. It’s this buildup of dead skin cells that give your skin a perpetual dullness that even the best foundations can’t correct. What’s alarming too is these dead skin cells can make your skincare regimen less effective as products won’t be as well absorbed as they should.

Get glowing by: Exfoliating

Cleansing and moisturizing is basic skin care, but our skin is alive and changing and therefore its needs vary from day to day. Think of dead skin as another layer of dirt that you need to get off your face in order to reveal the healthy and bright skin underneath. Your everyday cleanser won’t be enough to do this, so pair your cleanser with an exfoliator to clean and reinvigorate your skin by sloughing off dead skin cells.

Exfoliating also unclogs pores and helps to lift off deep seated dirt, grime, and bacteria that have piled up on your face, causing dullness.

3. Pollution and environmental stressors:

Almost everyone is exposed to pollution. Ranging from carcinogenic carbon monoxide from emissions and other particulate pollutants like nitrogen oxide, pollution is usually to blame for dulling your complexion as it comes into contact with your face and even penetrates your pores, causing inflammation, congestion and also speeds up aging.

Get glowing by: Cleansing and Protecting

Amidst pollution, UV rays, and exposure to all kinds of skin-dulling particles, it’s imperative to clean your skin morning and night. And we don’t mean just regular soap and water as this can be too drying on facial skin which is more delicate. We mean cleansing with a quality facial cleanser appropriate for your skin type. The kind that can cut through the dirt and grime of your skin, without stripping it of its natural moisture barrier. To get glowing skin, cleansing is first and foremost as you literally remove all the skin-dulling grime that lands on it.

On the other side of cleansing, is protecting your skin. For day time we recommend wearing SPF which not only shields your skin from ageing harmful UVA and UVB rays, it also acts as a barrier to other environmental pollutants.

4. Lack of antioxidants

With our everyday exposure to pollutants and environmental stressors, our skin, and our whole body in general, work hard to protect the damaging effects of oxidants by countering with antioxidants. Too much and frequent oxidative stress and not having enough antioxidants in our system to counter this stress, leads to dull skin. Antioxidants are needed to neutralize these free radicals, and where your skin is concerned, antioxidants are needed to keep it glowing.

Get glowing by: eating the rainbow
Fortunately, getting enough antioxidants is just a matter of plating up more colorful food. The vibrant violets of beets, the deep blues of blueberries, the bright orange of carrots etc. all bring to the table their own unique type of antioxidant to help your body combat oxidative stress and promote a healthy glowing complexion. Look for quality antioxidant rich supplements, like Turmeric to give your body an antioxidant boost, especially on days where it’s difficult to eat a rainbow.

Keep your skin hydrated, gently exfoliate and promote healthy cell turnover, and combat the skin-dulling effects of environmental stressors with our anti-oxidant rich Skin Bright Vitamin C Serum. Made with all natural ingredients to brighten and nourish skin, promote your skins natural glow with its anti-aging, oxidative damge-repairing and UV-protecting powers.

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A Beginners Guide to Popular Modern Diets

Navigating the health world and all it’s different facets can get confusing. There’s a plethora of information where health is concerned for weight loss, disease prevention, detoxing, beautifying, etc., and with these desired health goals come some kind of prescribed diet.

Here, we cover and summarize 4 of the most popular modern lifestyle diets.

Ayurveda Diet

Dating back 5000 years, Ayurveda is a holistic medical philosophy and practice based on the notion that humans are made of 3 main types of energy called doshas. It is this inherent energy that those who practice Ayurveda can base their healthy lifestyle on, that ideally would best keep the body in balance and good health.

By identifying your dominant dosha and your unique combination of energy, the Ayurveda diet can help an individual create their own custom health practices. The basic concept of these doshas are:

Dosha: Vata
Vata energy is cold and dry. Those who have this dosha would benefit with warming foods paired with healthy fats to stabilize their energy. Think warm soups and stews as well as milk and hot porridge, nut butters, baked whole wheat bread and hot beverage as herbal tea and water.

To keep Vata energy balanced, avoid cooling foods such as raw vegetables, icy drinks and unripe fruits as these foods tend to off balance the inherent cold and dry energy of an individual.

Dosha: Pitta

Pitta energy is fiery. This gives those with this energy good appetites and digestion making them efficient and eating and metabolizing most foods fairly easily without issue.

With this said, Pittas can eat cooling or warming foods, with bitter and sweet tastes as the most ideal. Seasonally, Pittas should eat cooling foods in the summer such as salad and ice tea and warming foods in the winter such as porridge. Due to the inherent fiery nature of Pitta, a vegetarian diet is most beneficial as too much read meat can heat and already warm body.

To stay balanced, Pittas would benefit from minimizing animal fats and dairy as well as avoiding alcoholic, caffeinated, oily, spicy and fried food.

Dosha: Kapha
Kaphas are known to be naturally calm. This energy allows for good sleep as well as regular digestion. However, when this energy goes off balance, Kaphas tend to gain weight, develop allergies and become bloated.

A good diet to keep Kaphas in balance is through opting for warming yet light foods. This covers lightly cooked foods, fresh and raw fruits and vegetables as well as spicy food. To stay balanced Kaphas should avoid overly sweet, oily, and salty food.

Intermittent Fasting


Intermittent fasting has gained popularity, especially in the last few years, not only for its weight management benefits but also overall cardiovascular and blood sugar benefits.

The main idea behind intermittent fasting is to regularly ‘fast’ for a given period of time. Doing so ideally should reduce the total calories consumed within a day due to a shortened eating window as well as to give your body a break by not bogging it down with a constant state of digestion.

Some popular forms of intermittent fasting include:

  • Circadian Rhythm: A 13 hour fast that starts at sunset and lasts till sunrise.
  • 16:8: A 16 hour fast with an 8-hour window to eat.
  • 18:6: An 18 hour fast with a 6-hour window to eat.
  • 20:4: A 20 hour fast with a 4 hour window to eat.
  • Monk Fast: A 36 hour fast

Ketogenic Diet


The overarching concept of the Ketogenic diet is to consume fats in place of sugars (carbohydrates) so that your body goes into an optimized state of fat burning especially when there is no sugar left to burn, resulting in having your body use ketones instead of glycogen for energy. This is known as Ketosis.

This means that the ketogenic diet follows the following macronutrient ratio of: 5-10 % carbohydrates, 20% protein and 60-80% healthy fats.

And while this ratio is open for interpretation, like all diets, the emphasis on high quality, fresh and unprocessed wholefoods take center stage. This means eating quality protein like pasture raised grass-fed beef, free range chicken, fresh vegetables, organic fats like coconut oil, avocados, ghee etc.

Paleo Diet


The Paleo diet follows the premise that humans can reach their optimum health by eating the same way our ‘hunter gatherer’ ancestors did before modern and farming agricultural practices came and made foods like dairy and processed grain available to us.

In summary, the Paleo diet emphasizes fresh and unprocessed foods, like the ones that were only available to our ancestors. It is by eating fresh, whole, unprocessed foods that made the Paleo diet so popular because this eliminates all the questionable refined ingredients that go into packaged foods and are linked to a variety of health issues.

Instead, those on a Paleo diet nourish themselves through grass-fed meat, fish & shellfish, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, broccoli & leafy greens, fruits, nuts and seeds as well as minimally processed sweeteners like honey all while eliminating dairy, grains, and legumes on top of packaged food.

Whether you follow a strict diet or not, ensure that you’re plugging the nutritional gaps in your day-to-day lifestyle with our Complete Multivitamin. Made with over 23 essential vitamins and nutrients in 1 convenient capsule, our multi acts as a complete dietary supplement to support your overall health.

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Skin Care? The Ugly Side of Beauty

If you follow a skin care regimen (that’s pretty much all of us) you’ve likely heard the term ‘organic skincare’ and ‘all-natural skin care’. This exponentially upward trend in the overall concept of ‘clean beauty’ has made itself known and such a big player in the beauty industry for good reason: clean beauty is all about using natural ingredients in place of synthetic and overly processed chemicals in order to care and nourish your skin without having to expose it to chemicals that are known carcinogens, irritants, and downright toxic.

If you haven’t yet made the habit of reading the labels on your packaging, here’s a little crash course on the ingredients commonly found in commercial skincare that you’re better off avoiding, because ultimately, what we put on our skin gets absorbed into our body.

1. Formaldehyde


Formaldehyde is a common preservative used in conventional skincare. Used in a range of personal care such as lotion, nail polish, conditioners etc., formaldehyde is a carcinogenic preservative best avoided seeing as it’s been linked to asthma and neurotoxicity.

2. Fragrance


Fragrance is put into most skin and haircare products to make the product smell good. Although listed as a single ingredient on the label, ‘fragrance’ is actually an umbrella term for dozens and even hundreds of toxic chemicals in order to make that specific fragrance. Another reason to avoid fragrance in products is because companies aren’t required to state what exactly comprises of it.

3. Parabens

If you flip over the label of most commercial skincare products, you’re likely to find one or more types of parabens listed in the ingredients (methylparaben, propylparaben etc). Parabens act as a preservative of a product in order to prolong the shelf life and keep the product fresh and the ingredients effective. Unfortunately, parabens are a known endocrine disruptor meaning this chemical can negatively impact your fertility, menstrual cycle, and the health of your reproductive system in general.

4. Phthalates


Phthalates are responsible for helping products, such as fragrance and lotion, stick to the skin. As a chemical known to disrupt hormonal balance and health, watch out for their shortened label on various types of skincare under the abbreviations DBP, DEP and DEHP.

5. Sulfates


Check the label on commercial skincare and haircare products that are meant to cleanse and you’ll often find sulfates as one of the first listed ingredients. You can see it listed as SLS, Sulfates, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Ammonium Laureth Sulfate, etc. Sulfates act as the lathering ingredient in skincare and haircare giving that bubbly texture. The problem with sulfates though are their link to cause skin issues such as allergies and irritation due to the harsh stripping nature of the chemical which can rob your skin and scalp of protective oils and natural bacteria.

Because sulfates are primarily a chemical used for cleansing, you can find it as well in harsher cleaning solutions such as dish soap, laundry detergent and various household cleaners. The more alarming thing about sulfates found in skin and hair care is the chemical process it undergoes to make it less harsh on the skin: a carcinogenic by product called ethoxylation, is created, and more often than not, this isn’t even listed on the label.

Are these skincare ingredients really that toxic?

Simply put, your bottle of shampoo won’t give you cancer tomorrow nor will putting on moisturizer suddenly give you asthma. The idea behind giving consumers ‘clean beauty’ alternatives is the fact that these known toxic chemicals found in conventional personal care, although present in small and ‘safe’ amounts, have an accumulative effect on the body.

This is particularly significant for women who use a wide range of beauty products. Think of an average woman’s everyday arsenal of personal products that they go through. Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, feminine wash, facial wash, toner, moisturizer, body lotion, deodorant, and makeup can expose a woman to hundreds of different toxic chemicals on a daily basis. This can slowly but surely accumulate into a significant level of toxicity with consistent and prolonged exposure to using products that contain these chemicals.

What you can do
As a consumer looking to get more into clean beauty, it’s important to educate yourself on the type of ingredients used in your selection of products. Although seemingly innocent, ignore the marketing on the front packaging of a bottle and go straight to the ingredients label to get a clearer view of what exactly you’re putting on your skin.

Secondly, choose retailers and brands that you trust to give you clean and safe personal care options. As mentioned earlier, the concept of ‘clean beauty’ has grown exponentially and finding an organic or all-natural brand is more readily available and it doesn’t mean having to sacrifice quality for safety.

Get started or upgrade your clean beauty arsenal with our Skin Bright Vitamin C Serum. Made with all-natural skin-nourishing ingredients and formulated without any parabens or sulfates, add this serum to your everyday skin care routine for a bright and healthy complexion.

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