Thursday, September 23, 2010
Sunday, September 12, 2010
We all crave beautiful, shiny, manageable tresses and our consumption of thousands of hair products stands as a testimonial to this common desire. As slaves to hype, we spend countless dollars on hair conditioners, often throwing away formulas after a first disappointing try. Instead of continually searching for the perfect manufactured product, we can turn to what the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians used in their tried-and-true beauty regimens: a simple dose of extra virgin olive oil to create shiny, healthy tresses.
What Hair Needs
Hair needs protein, moisture, and essential nutrients. As a dead protein, the more our follicles are nourished with these elements, the greater the chances our hair will be strong, elastic, and healthy. When hair is excessively dry, due to an overuse of products, chemicals, and dryers for example, extra conditioning with a reliable, natural product can help repair the damage. When weather conspires to sap the moisture from our follicles, extra conditioning with an additive-free product that hydrates and smoothes dry or splitting ends is the answer.
Why Olive Oil
Olive oil contains a generous amount of vitamins A and E, which are known to repair and renew cells. Additionally, it is chock full of Omega 3 fatty acids, which are powerful anti-oxidants that work to strengthen and heal any cells that have undergone damage. Because olive oil is hypo-allergenic, it is an ideal treatment for any type of hair, be it course or fragile.
Mayonnaise is a combination of egg yolk and olive oil. Because of the nutritious elements in olive oil combined with the protein found in egg yolks, mayo helps to strengthen damaged, overworked hair while providing extra shine and elasticity. Because of their nutritious elements, both mayonnaise and olive oil help to control dandruff by lubricating the cells of the scalp. Mayo is also used topically to rid the scalp of head lice by suffocating the creatures with its inherent oil and fat.
Using Olive Oil and Mayonnaise Directly on Hair
Both of these excellent foods are natural moisturizers, while also providing UV protection. Adding a few drops of olive oil on damp or dry hair helps keep down the frizz in humid weather while adding shine in dry winter conditions. Giving your hair a hot oil treatment by warming up a few tablespoons of olive oil or mayonnaise in the microwave and then massaging it into the scalp helps to lubricate the skin while saturating hair follicles with nutrients and protein. Place a shower cap over your hair, wait twenty minutes to let the oils do their work, and then wash your hair thoroughly. Or cover your hair in plastic wrap and keep the natural conditioner on while you sleep. Using olive oil or mayo on the hair in addition to including it in the diet also helps prevent hair loss due to both ingredients' power to fortify and nourish the entire system.
Adding Olive Oil and Mayonnaise to the Diet
Including olive oil and natural mayonnaise in the diet helps maintain a healthier head of hair by nourishing the body, cells, and hair follicles with needed nutrients, such as vitamins A and E, along with Omega 3 fatty acids. Be sure to get the finest quality ingredients you can, meaning in the case of olive oil, a cold, first-pressed virgin and preferably organic brand. In the case of mayonnaise, you can make your own using extra virgin first cold pressed olive oil, or you can select a brand that provides you with the natural ingredients and no additives.
Note: Because heating olive oil destroys many of its properties, its best to use it over salad or steamed vegetables rather than cooking with it. For cooking, use coconut oil or ghee for the most flavor and vitamin content. (More about this in future articles.)
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Monday, September 6, 2010
One granny (green) apple
A large handful of spinach
About a quarter of a teaspoon-full of cayenne pepper (less or more according to taste)
Optional: maca, flax seeds, pollen)
Spring water to cover - less if you want a thick smoothie, more if you want it really liquid
Blend until smooth.
Delicious and full of iron and vitamin C, plus all the batteries you need to get you through the day!
Friday, September 3, 2010
- 1 ripe pear (any type will do)
- a fistful and a half of fresh, organic Italian parsley
- a sliver of chopped fresh garlic
- half a lemon
- enough pure spring water to liquify the mixture (less if you want it thick)
Place all in a blender and blend!
2 pears, a little more parsley, and a whole lemon make enough for two people.
Looking around online a few years ago, I came across an article on Goji berries and how they are considered to be one of the most nutritious foods in the world. Also known as Wolfberry, with the scientific name, Lycium Barbarum, Goji berries are members of the deadly nightshade family along with tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, and chili peppers.
Grown in temperate and sub-tropical areas, Gojis are found in abundance in China, Mongolia, and the Tibetan Himalayas where they have been used for over 6,000 years to fortify the body in numerous ways. With purple flowers, the berry itself is a reddish orange and is eaten dried, like a raison. The most well known region for growing Goji berries is in the Ningxia province in China. One wonders if the abundance of centegenerians, amounting to 16 times more than anywhere else in the rest of China, is connected with the daily consumption of these miraculous little bundles of nutrition!
It seems that ancient herbalists already knew that Goji berries were high in a multitude of nutrients associated with well-being and longevity. They proscribed Goji berries for ailments like poor eyesight, sexual debilitation, and stress. Modern studies now show that Gojis are indeed powerful anti-oxidants that strengthen the immune system, fortify the liver, enhance eyesight, promote sexual function and fertility, reduce blood glucose, lower cholesterol, and reduce the growth of cancerous cells.
Due to being carotenoid rich, Goji berries are able to protect the retina by absorbing light. Their anti-oxidant powers help prevent macular degeneration, or the loss of vision that occurs with age. They also work to maintain the integrity of DNA, which has everything to do with promoting longevity. Additionally, Goji berries increase HGH (human growth hormone), an essential ingredient for anti-aging. Add to this its strength as a sexual tonic due to increasing testosterone levels in both men and women, elevating stamina and mood; its power to deal with stress by balancing the adrenal glands; and its ability to balance cholesterol levels, balance blood pressure, and lower the risk of cardio-vascular disease.
In 1988 studies made at the Beijing Nutritional Research Institute revealed that Goji berries contain the following:
- 21 trace dietary minerals
- 18 amino acids
- A minimum of 4 polysaccharides
- 5 carotenoids, including beta carotene, zeaxanthin, lutein, lycopene, and cryptoxanthin
- 112 mg of calcium
- 1132 mg potassium
- 9 mg iron
- 2 mg zinc
- 50 micrograms
According to the USDA's ORAC scale rating (oxygen radical absorbency capacity), which measures the amount of anti-oxidants in foods and supplements, Goji berries are way ahead of all other foods at 25,300! Compare this with blueberries (2400), strawberries (1540), raisons (2830), bell pepper (710), spinach (1260), and kale (1770) and it is easy to understand why these little gems are called super foods.
Shopping for Goji Berries
Goji berries, with their tangy taste, make a delicious snack food. They can also be made into a tea or added to blender drinks. Goji berry juice is now commonly found in most health food stores. If you are buying the juice, make sure you buy it in glass jars rather than plastic. When buying the berries, make sure they are 100% organic and come from the Lycium Barbarum series, grown in the Ningxia province in China. These are the highest quality and will give you the maximum results by eating just a few per day.
Note: Goji berries can possibly interact with anti-coagulant drugs, so consult your health care practitioner if you are taking blood thinners. If you do have a reaction, your blood will quickly turn to normal once you stop eating the berries.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Fit for a King
Red marine algae has been used for centuries as both a powerful medicinal and flavorful food. It is even listed in the 600 BC Chinese material medica as a food 'fit for a king'. Used predominantly in the Pacific region, including China and Japan, there are many species of red marine algae, all of which are healthful.
As a sea vegetable, red marine algae contains up to 20 times more minerals than plants grown on land, in addition to being high in mineral content. It also boasts plenty of carbohydrates and is considered a complete protein that includes all the essential amino acids.
One active ingredient found in red marine algae is carrageenan. Carrageenan is a compound that helps identify dangerous proteins like viruses, preventing them from binding to cell walls. As a member of the sulfated polysaccharide family, red marine algae contains natural chemicals that help the body to produce interferon, an antiviral agent that activates the function of our T cells. T cells are important because they help to destroy cells that are already affected by viruses. Red marine algae also contains the anti-oxidants Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, which help fight free radicals.
According to an article published in the online journal, "Freedom from Herpes", red marine algae can be considered a broad-spectrum antiviral agent that costs very little to manufacture. Researchers at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel have developed an ointment made of red marine algae for use against the viral infection herpes simplex. They have found that the product not only helps to cure the virus, but also reduces discomfort while preventing it from spreading. Other types of pathogens that can be treated with marine algae are cold sores, candida, fungal infections, cold sores, and influenza.
Boosting the Immune System
Red marine algae helps to strengthen the immune system by breaking down lectins, which are proteins resistant to digestive enzymes, making them hard to break down. Lectins adhere to intestinal lining, causing problems in the digestive system. Because they can weaken cell membranes, lectins can seriously deplete the immune system.
Including red marine algae in your diet is a great way to add essential nutrients to the body, while adding a new taste and expanding your culinary repertoire. You can also buy it in capsule form.