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6 Simple Steps to Healthy and Beautiful Hair and Skin During Winter

6 Simple Steps to Healthy and Beautiful Hair and Skin During Winter

It’s winter time, and our hair and skin are feeling that winter blues. Wind, cold air and exhaust fumes negatively influence both our beautiful skin and our luscious hair. In order to keep your glowing skin and shiny hair in top condition, you’ll need to adjust your grooming routine to the winter season. These 5 steps are the most important in your mission to stay healthy and fabulous during winter.

1. Fight skin dryness with moisturizers

Whatever type of skin you have, it will become drier in winter, which will lead to various skin problems. As it will be dry and sensitive, it will be prone to cracking. To prevent cracking and dryness, you need to moisturize your skin. If your skin is dry and sensitive, you have probably found the right moisturizer for you. However, during summer and spring we use water-based moisturizers, which won’t work in winter. You need to adjust your skincare to the season if you want to keep your skin healthy. In these winter days, you should use oil-based moisturizer, because oil creates a protective layer on the skin, which will protect you from external factors such as smog, wind, and cold.

Except for external factors, your skin can become more sensitive and dry due to aging. It’s perfectly normal, and everyone is going through the same process. Make sure you take a good care of your skin, so it can stay elastic and soft for years to come. If you have some changes on your skin such as age spots, scars or even sunspots that you don’t want to keep as a memory of a wild summer vacation, you have probably considered skin bleaching, which will make your imperfections less visible, or even make them disappear completely.

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2. Don’t use curling and flat iron

Nowadays, we all dye our hair, and use curling and flat irons. Throw wind and cold into the mix, and you’ll get the worst combination of negative factors that your hair won’t be able to endure. No matter what products you are using, it is simply impossible to keep your hair healthy while attacking it with so many things that are damaging it and making it dry.

Therefore, as it is winter, and our hair desperately needs to become shiny again, you should focus on keeping your hair moisturized. To prevent breakage and split ends, try leaving the irons aside for the season, and change your hairstyle so that you won’t have to use them. On the other hand, if you really need to use a flat iron, make sure you are providing your hair with all the right vitamins, and keep it moisturized.

You can make various homemade masks for your hair, which you can make by just taking a few basic ingredients from your kitchen. You should also include a thick moisturizing conditioner with a few key ingredients in your daily hair care routine. The products should contain humectants and fatty acids, as they hold the moisture in your hair, which is essential during this romantic season.

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3. Put an end to your bad habits

What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger, but bad habits are actually ruining your health slowly, and your skin and hair will be the first to go. Smoking and drinking a lot of alcoholic beverages will certainly lead to hair and skin dryness, and make them both sensitive. Therefore, the best solution is to quit smoking, and have just one glass of wine instead of the whole bottle.

Another bad habit is lack of hydration. The only way to keep your skin hydrated and avoid dryness and redness is to drink enough water throughout the day. Instead of a soda, take a glass of water, and your body will be thankful. Not so hard, is it?

4. Start healthy diet

Vitamin C is definitely your best friend during this cold season. Firstly, it boosts your immune system and secondly, it improves the production of collagen, which keeps our skin elastic and healthy. Great sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, strawberries and leafy greens.

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Except for vitamin C rich foods, you should also consume food that contains omega-3 fatty acids, which will benefit both your skin and your hair. They will keep your hair and scalp conditioned, while also making your skin wrinkle-free and more elastic. The biggest source of these fatty acids are definitely walnuts, but they can be found in oily fish, other nuts, olive oil and salmon. Add these to your diet, and you’ll be able to enjoy the holiday season stress free.

5. Don’t stop exercising

As we want our body to be in shape and bikini ready for the summer season, spring is the time for exercising. Moreover, most of us do a good job of staying active during the warmer months, but somehow when winter comes, we all tend to become hermits. Don’t stop exercising, be strong and don’t fall under the winter blues spell.

By exercising you will help your body get rid of toxins more efficiently, which will give your skin that glamorous glow. If you feel like you don’t have enough energy, than get a little help from healthy nutritional supplements, which will provide you with more energy and allow your body to absorb the necessary nutrients it needs to fuel the workouts much faster. This energy boost is very important, as you might become unwilling to work out due to SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), and feel like you have no energy for any physical activity.

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Also, as exercising boosts the production of endorphins, you will be able to fight winter depression, and finally be happy and satisfied during the cold winter days.

6. Get more sleep

We have heard so many times that we need to get more sleep in order to look pretty in the morning, but is beauty sleep a myth or a fact? Actually, an experimental study has shown that beauty sleep is nothing less than pure science. The study found that if we sleep for only a few hours, we will look unhealthy, whereas well-rested people will look more attractive and healthier.

But how does it affect your skin and hair? When you are tired, your skin is the first to show signs of unhealthy habits. When you sleep for 8 hours, even the products you are using will work better. And no matter how tired you are, always clean your face and never go to bed with your makeup. Also, change your pillowcase more often, because the acne and irritations you have might be caused by that little bacteria nest of yours, i.e. the pillowcase that hasn’t been changed for a long time.

Being constantly exhausted will negatively affect your overall health, and your hair and skin are going to be the first to show signs of damage and fatigue. This leads to split ends, breakage and dry hair, as well as irritable, dry and flaky skin, particularly during the cold and dry winter months. However, it’s not that difficult to keep your body in good health using the simple tips outlined in this article, you just need to be persistent and adopt a few good habits.

Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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Katarina Milovanovic

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power

Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power

Your brain is the most intricate and powerful organ in your entire body. It’s essentially a super-computer with brain power like a Ferrari.

If you have a Ferrari, would you put cheap gasoline in it? Of course not. You want to put in high-octane performance fuel to get the most out of your investment.

When it comes to the brain, many people are looking for the top foods that will supercharge the brainpower to help focus better, think more clearly and have better brain health.

In this article, we’ll look at the top 9 brain foods that will help create supercharge your brain with energy and health:

1. Salmon

Salmon has long been held as a healthy brain food, but what makes this fish so valuable for your brain health?

It’s important to understand that your brain is primarily made up of fat. Roughly 60% of your brain is fat. One of the most important fats that the brain uses as a building block for healthy brain cells is omega-3’s.

Omega-3’s are essential for building a healthy brain but one of the most important omega-3’s for your brain is DHA. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) forms nearly two-thirds of the omega-3’s found in your brain.[1]

Omega-3’s and DHA in particular help form the protective coating around our neurons. The better quality this coating is, the more efficient and effective our brain cells can work, allowing our brain power to work at full capacity.

Studies have shown that being deficient in DHA can affect normal brain development in children, which is why so many infant formulas and children’s supplements are beginning to include DHA.

Being deficient in DHA as an adult can cause focus and attention problems, mood swings, irritability, fatigue and poor sleep.

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2. Blueberries

Blueberries top the list as one of the most beneficial fruits to maximize your brain health and performance.

Blueberries have some of the highest content of antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins, than any other fruit, which helps protect the brain from stress and promote healthy brain aging.

Blueberries antioxidant content also help reduce inflammation, which allows the brain to maintain healthy energy levels.

Blueberries have begun to receive attention for their connection to brain performance.[2] Studies have demonstrated that eating blueberries on a regular basis can not only improve brain health but also brain performance as well including working memory.[3]

Blueberries not only taste great but are low in calories, high in Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Manganese.

3. Turmeric

Turmeric is a very impressive spice that has well-researched and proven to have tremendous benefits for your brain. Turmeric’s main compound that benefits the brain is called curcumin, which is responsible for turmerics bright yellow appearance.

Curcumin has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-cancer properties.[4]

Curcumin increases the production and availability of two important neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, two important neurotransmitters involved with happiness, motivation, pleasure, and reward.

Curcumin has been well documented to have powerful anti-depressive effects. In one study, it was found to be as effective for depression as popular medications such as SSRI’s like Prozac.[5]

Curcumin has also been shown to:

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  • Increase blood flow to the brain.[6]
  • Increase BDNF production, a powerful stimulator of neuroplasticity.[7]
  • Increase DHA availability and synthesis in the brain.[8]
  • Increase antioxidant levels in the brain to prevent brain aging and inflammation.[9]

4. Coffee

Coffee is the wonderful elixir of energy that many people cherish every single morning. The biggest reason people drink coffee is to get a dose of caffeine.

Caffeine is a natural neurological stimulant that not only gives you energy but also prevents adenosine, a neurotransmitter involved with feeling tired, from binding in the brain.

Many people are surprised to find that coffee actually contains a large quantity of antioxidants called polyphenols, which are important for reducing inflammation in the brain and keep your brain energized. The antioxidants in coffee also provide a neuroprotective effect, protecting the brain from stress and damage. [R]

Coffee can also:

  • Improve alertness and concentration.[10]
  • Help with neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s disease.[11]
  • Reduce your risk of depression.[12]
  • Improve your memory.
  • Provide short-term boost in athletic performance.[13]

5. Broccoli

What was your least favorite food as a kid growing up?

Most likely, broccoli was your answer.

Broccoli may not have been your top choice, but it might be the top choice for your brain.

Broccoli contains a compound called sulforaphane. Sulforaphane has been shown to promote the proliferation and survival of brain cells by reducing inflammation and boosting production of BDNF. It has also been shown to boost neurogenesis, the production of new brain cells.[14]

Broccoli is also loaded with important nutrients Vitamin K and Folate. Vitamin K plays a vital role in protecting brain cells.[15] Folate plays a crucial role in detoxification and reducing inflammation in the brain.

6. Bone broth

Bone broth wasn’t just created to combine with soups, you can actually drink bone broth by itself.

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Drinking bone broth has become one of the biggest trends in the health and wellness industry and for good reason. Bone broth isn’t actually a new thing. Bone broth has been used for centuries as a healing tonic to promote health and longevity.

Much of the nutritional benefits and value of bone broth comes from its substantial vitamin and mineral content. Primarily calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium.

Your gut is called your second brain for a reason. Research continually shows that there is a direct and indirect connection between your gut and your brain. Your gut also houses and stores many important brain compounds involved with optimal brain performance. Therefore the health of your gut is vitally important for your brain health and performance.

Bone broth has become a go-to tool for helping heal the gut and provide the gut with the vital nutrient and resources it needs to heal and perform optimally.

With the vast amounts of nutrients that bone broth contains, it makes the list as a go-to food for your brain health.

Look for high quality, organic bone broth for the best results.

7. Walnuts

Walnuts are one of the top choices of nuts for brain health. Walnuts also look similar to a brain.

Amongst the wide variety of nuts available, walnuts contain the highest amounts of the important omega-3 DHA. DHA, as seen above, is a critical building block for a healthy brain.

Walnuts also contain high amounts of antioxidants, folate, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus, which help to lower inflammation.

Melatonin in walnuts is an important nutrient for regulating your sleep. Having low amounts of melatonin can make it challenging to get good quality sleep and getting poor quality sleep can dramatically impair brain health and performance.

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8. Eggs

For years, eggs were put on the nutritional naughty list; but now, eggs are finally getting the credit they deserve. Eggs can provide a tremendous boost to your brain health and longevity.

Eggs, particularly the yolks, contain a compound called choline. Choline is essential for building the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetylcholine plays an important role in mood, memory, and intelligence.

Egg yolks contain some of the highest quantities of choline. This is very important because low levels of choline can lead to low levels of acetylcholine, which in turn can cause increased inflammation, brain fog, difficulty concentrating and fatigue.

9. Dark chocolate

You’re about to love chocolate even more because chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, is great for your brain.

Chocolate boosts levels of endorphins, your brains “feel good” chemicals. This is why you feel so good eating chocolate.[16]

Chocolate also increases blood flow to the brain which can help improve memory, attention, focus, and reaction time.[17]

Dark chocolate contains high levels of magnesium, which has been coined “natures valium” for its ability to calm and relax the brain.

Lastly, dark chocolate has one of the highest antioxidant profiles out of any other food, including popular superfoods like acai berries, blueberries, or pomegranates.[18]

Conclusion

Your brain is a high performing organ and it uses quite a lot of energy, roughly 20% of the bodies energy demands.

In order to maintain a healthy brain, you need the right fuel to ensure that your brain has all the nutrients it needs to perform as well as adapt to the stress of life.

If you want to keep your brain performing well for a lifetime, then you want to make sure you are including as many of these brain health foods as possible.

More Resources About Boosting Brain Power

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: DHA Effects in Brain Development and Function
[2] Canadian Science Publishing: Enhanced task-related brain activation and resting perfusion in healthy older adults after chronic blueberry supplementation
[3] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Cognitive effects following acute wild blueberry supplementation in 7- to 10-year-old children.
[4] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Curcumin: the Indian solid gold.
[5] Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition.: Turmeric, the Golden Spice
[6] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effect of combined treatment with curcumin and candesartan on ischemic brain damage in mice.
[7] Science Direct: Curcumin reverses the effects of chronic stress on behavior, the HPA axis, BDNF expression and phosphorylation of CREB
[8] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Curcumin boosts DHA in the brain: Implications for the prevention of anxiety disorders.
[9] PLOS: A Chemical Analog of Curcumin as an Improved Inhibitor of Amyloid Abeta Oligomerization
[10] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of Caffeine on Cognitive Performance, Mood, and Alertness in Sleep-Deprived Humans
[11] American Academy of Neurology: A Cup of Joe May Help Some Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms
[12] American Academy of Neurology: AAN 65th Annual Meeting Abstract
[13] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of caffeine on the metabolic and catecholamine responses to exercise in 5 and 28 degrees C.
[14] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Hyperammonemia induces glial activation, neuroinflammation and alters neurotransmitter receptors in hippocampus, impairing spatial learning: reversal by sulforaphane
[15] Oxford Academic: Vitamin K and the Nervous System: An Overview of its Actions
[16] Diana L. Walcutt, Ph.D: Chocolate and Mood Disorders
[17] Health Magazine: Chocolate can do good things for your heart, skin and brain
[18] Chemistry Central Journal: Cacao seeds are a “Super Fruit”: A comparative analysis of various fruit powders and products

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