Probiotics are bacterial microorganisms that are well-known for their ability to alleviate certain internal issues, such as diarrhea, IBS and lactose intolerance. However, dermatologists and other skin experts have found that their benefits go beyond digestive health. Daily Beauty
This article speaks to the many benefits of ingesting probiotics. It describes how improved intestinal bacteria can reflect in better skin by improving eczema, acne and other conditions, and delivering anti-aging protection. You can read more about the beauty benefits of probiotics at the Daily Beauty site.
It’s also worth noting that bacteria play a crucial role on the skin as well as inside the body. They break down the natural oil we secrete (sebum) and convert it into antiseptic fatty acids that protect us from troublesome microbes. On its own, our sebum has no antiseptic properties.
Here’s a review of a new skincare line devoted to bringing a better class of bugs onto you face. Not a bad idea, actually.
An article in today’s Live In The Now covers 2 clinical studies that show dramatic health benefits from consuming olive oil and fresh green vegetables.
One study found that “consuming at least an ounce of extra virgin olive oil each day lowered the risk of a cardiac event by 44% compared to those who consumed a half-ounce or less.”
They also found that “women with the highest daily consumption (one serving or about 2 ounces) of raw vegetables such as spinach or endive had a 46% lower risk of developing heart disease compared with women eating less than 2 servings per week.”
The best way to eat olive oil is cold, in salad dressing. And it you have it over fresh greens, well, you get double the benefit.
Women often ask me about getting rid of cellulite. There was a time when I was troubled by cellulite, and I sure didn’t like it. The things that got rid of it for me were, first of all, dry skin brushing, and then changing the fats that I eat.
Dry skin brushing worked right away to reduce the amount of cellulite that I could see, but it didn’t stop cellulite from coming back. However, after I stopped eating fats that were bad for me, my cellulite went away, and didn’t come back.
Trans-fats are out of the question, of course, but even organic vegetable oils can turn into trouble when they are heated. So I cook only with coconut oil. And I use olive oil in my salad dressing every day. That’s it for oils that I eat. These two oils work wonders both on the body and inside it.
I use a whole range of organic oils in my moisturizer, but I do not believe they make any difference to cellulite when applied topically, even though they do amazing things for my complexion. But, when I totally changed my approach to the oils I let into my body, that’s what made the difference in my experience with cellulite. And the funny thing is, I didn’t make the change with cellulite in mind. I did it because the overall health benefits of cooking with coconut oil are so compelling, as are the benefits of eating unheated organic olive oil. Since I made the change, I’ve never felt better, and, happily, I no longer have cellulite.
Most web sites that address cellulite are focused on a particular cream or therapy, and I am not sure there is a magic bullet for cellulite reduction – something you can just put onto your skin and make it go away. The best information I found online is from a site called The Cellulite Investigation. It is not about any particular cream or treatment and it provides an unbiased, in-depth look at all of the options, including a lot of real-world case studies and reports from readers. Here is a quote from them…
The anti-cellulite industry is by nature only interested in finding a solution to cellulite that can be bottled and sold. What if the real answer is more complicated than that? The Cellulite Investigation
It could be that the answer is both more complicated (you cannot buy it in a bottle) and more simple (changes to your diet may solve the problem). I’m a big fan of natural solutions. They make beautiful skin simple.
It causes us to be unhappy and to age faster. It’s no secret. It shows on our faces. We often look like we are driven to distraction. What to do?
One of the more embarrassing and self-indulgent challenges of our time is the task of relearning how to concentrate. The past decade has seen an unparalleled assault on our capacity to fix our minds steadily on anything. To sit still and think, without succumbing to an anxious reach for a machine, has become almost impossible. Alain De Botton
The trick is to concentrate by relaxing, not by burdening ourselves with another job called “concentrating.” The results can be spectacular, for our beauty and peace of mind (as if they are different).
If you wanted to go into a more relaxed state right now, you could drop into the breathing room for five minutes. You don’t even need to leave your computer. Mindfulness meditation is easy to learn, too.
Not to add to your distraction, but Alain de Botton is a terrific read. Here he is at TED talking about a kinder, gentler philosophy of success. Who wouldn’t benefit from a little relaxation around that topic?
I love coconut oil, too. I cook with it. I use it in my products. But there are ideas on this post that I haven’t tried – like polishing the furniture (don’t do too much of that anyway) or buffing up bronze (ditto). But taming frizz, losing weight, removing makeup – if you haven’t tried coconut oil yet, give it a whirl. Check out the full post at Health Impact News for more ways to use this amazing oil.
Scalp and nail infections are becoming increasingly difficult to treat as new strains develop that are resistant to anti-fungal drugs. Annoying as they are on the skin and scalp, fungi can cause serious problems if they enter the blood stream. And, even as anti-fungal drugs lose their effect, they still come with side effects and expense. Fortunately, lavender oil appears to work better at getting rid of fungi, and at a fraction the cost.
According to a study published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology and reported in Science Daily, lavender oil could be used to combat the increasing incidence of antifungal-resistant infections.
The researchers found that lavender oil killed the fungi that give rise to ringworm, Athlete’s foot and common nail and scalp infections, as well as various strains of candida – with minimal side effects.
Some bugs are good on your face. Others, not so good.
On its own, the oil (sebum) we secrete through our skin has no antiseptic power. We need helpful bugs to convert it into antiseptic fatty acids. Without them, we are exposed to invasion by harmful bacteria and fungi, and we can suffer breakouts and worse.
When we deplete our natural oils, the good bugs don’t have anything to work with. This can happen naturally, as we produce less sebum over time. We can also deplete our natural oils by dissolving them with products that contain alcohol and other harsh ingredients. That’s one of the ways extra dry skin develops.
Coconut oil, palm kernel oil, and palm oil are all treated the same way as sebum by beneficial bacteria that live on our skin. They are broken down into fatty acids that protect our skin from marauders. It’s one of the reasons these oils are so healing. And that’s why I use them on my skin and in my products.
This is in addition to their moisturizing and softening benefits. Quite a deal, really.
More about the difference bacteria can make to your skin.
I’ve always enjoyed drinking tea. Tea is definitely stimulating, of course. But I never feel wired from it, like I do if I drink coffee. Somehow, it seems more complex and relaxing than coffee. I’ve never quite known what to call it. Today’s Science News calls the effect from tea “wakeful relaxation.” Yes! That’s exactly how I feel – more awake and more relaxed at the same time. Perfect.
It turns out tea has more in it for boosting your brain than just caffeine…
Tea, which people worldwide drink more of than any other beverage except water, is a major dietary source of caffeine. Unlike coffee, it contains another potentially powerful ingredient for brain activity: L-theanine, an amino acid that can alter alpha brain wave rhythms, inducing wakeful relaxation. Science News
Tea has been found to increase executive function, which is defined as “the ability to perform complex tasks that rely on planning or decision making.” That’s quite a bonus for a drink that’s just packed with health and beauty benefits.
You can read about other ways to boost your brain in the Science News post. I’ve decided to put the kettle on.
Coconut oil can help you to lose weight. Studies have shown these weight loss benefits of cooking with coconut oil…
- When you eat coconut oil, your metabolic rate gets a boost for 24 hours, so you burn more calories even while you are sleeping. That’s huge in the weight loss department.
- You get instant energy when you eat it. Unlike vegetable oils and other fats, coconut oil is converted right away into energy just like when you eat carbs – except it doesn’t cause a spike in blood sugar. So you get energy without the come-down. People find it helps with sugar cravings and hypoglycemic symptoms that cause them to eat carbs and go up and down on the blood sugar roller-coaster.
- Coconut oil supports thyroid activity, while vegetable oils suppress it. You’re more likely to be active if your thyroid is ticking along nicely.
- Coconut oil has fewer calories per gram than vegetable oils.
The trick is to use coconut oil in your cooking. Research has shown it really helps people to lose weight. And that’s just one of the health benefits of coconut oil. If inspiration strikes, here’s a recipe for amazing, 5-minute chocolate coconut macaroons (just for special occasions if your goal is to lose weight).
Meanwhile, if you want to keep cooking with your favorite vegetable oil, I encourage you to use cold pressed oil.
Last week, I asked Is Chocolate Your Language Of Love? A report in today’s Science Daily takes our heart relationship with chocolate to a whole other level – and it’s all good.
It turns out chocolate’s main ingredient, cocoa, boosts production of HDL, the “good” cholesterol that protects against heart disease.
Credit for those heart-healthy effects goes to a cadre of antioxidant compounds in cocoa called polyphenols, which are particularly abundant in dark chocolate. Until now, however, nobody knew exactly how the polyphenols in cocoa orchestrated those beneficial effects. Science Daily
Gotta love that chocolate!