acne

Acne affects around 80% of people at some time in their life, it is usually thought of as a teenager’s affliction, however many people are suffering well into their 30s. In fact, adult acne has been on the rise in recent years with half of women naming it as their primary skin concern, according to one study.

Getting spots as an adult can be especially frustrating – just when you think you should be focusing your skincare on the first signs of ageing, and spots appear! It can make choosing skincare products a minefield as you don’t know which concern to address.

So why are we dealing with this double injustice of spots and wrinkles and what can we do about it? The rise in adult acne is thought to be down to environmental factors such as stress, poor diet and pollution – this is good news, as it means we can make changes to our lifestyle to help clear up our skin.

acne-skin

Background – What is Acne?

Acne is caused by over activity of the sebaceous glands that secrete natural oils, called sebum onto the skin. The sebaceous glands of people who suffer with acne appear to be more sensitive the hormone testosterone, which triggers the glands to produce sebum. At the same time, dead skin cells lining the openings of hair follicles may not be shed efficiently. These two effects combined cause clogging of the hair follicles, which causes blackheads and spots to form.

The build-up of oil creates an ideal environment for a bacterium called Propionibacterium acnes to grow. These bacteria normally live harmlessly on everyone’s skin but when this ‘ideal’ environment is created, they multiply. They feed off sebum and produce substances that cause an inflammatory response, inflaming the skin and creating the ‘angry’ redness and swelling associated with spots.

Contributing Factors

 

stress-man

Stress

Experts agree that stress is playing a role in the increase in adult acne. Women themselves also report getting more spots during more stressful times. Stress stimulates the adrenal glands which cause hormones such as testosterone to be released resulting in overproduction of sebum. Stress related spots tend to be on the jaw, neck and temples.

WHAT TO DO?

Finding ways to manage stress levels is the obvious but ‘not-so-easy’ solution. Next week’s post is all about stress and your skin and will include tips on managing stress.


pregnant

Hormonal Imbalances

Contraceptives, pregnancy, poor diet, stress and certain health conditions can lead to disruptions in the fine balance of hormones in the body. Hormonal spots tend to be focused around the chin and upper lip areas. If spots are accompanied by increased body hair, irregular periods and weight gain it could be a sign of a condition called PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), which affects around 5-10% of women. There is no ‘cure’ but the condition can be effectively managed through changes to diet and lifestyle such as cutting down on sugar.

WHAT TO DO?

Consult a doctor if you think you could have PCOS and discuss adjusting your contraception if you think that could be an issue – certain contraceptive pills can actually help clear up acne.

digestive

Toxin Build up

The liver is the main detoxification organ of the body, its job is to break down toxins from the diet and unwanted substances such as old hormones for elimination from the body. When the liver is not working optimally, it can result in a host of problems, including hormone imbalances and skin problems such as acne, psoriasis or dull, tired looking skin.

The digestive system is also important with its role of removing waste from the body. Slow digestion will also result in toxins remaining in the body for longer, which is not great for health in general, and can manifest as skin breakouts.

WHAT TO DO?

Try a gentle detox to give your liver and digestive system a rest and remove toxin build up from the body. Include a daily Beauty & Go Detox drink. Click here for more information on detoxing.


diet

Diet

Deficiencies of essential nutrients, insufficient fibre and excess sugar in the diet can all exacerbate acne. Fluctuating blood sugar levels caused by sugary foods lead to high levels of insulin being produced, which is an inflammatory hormone and can disrupt the balance of other hormones in the body, causing sebum glands to go into overdrive.

WHAT TO DO?

Follow my Clear Skin Diet Plan below. Your skin takes at least 28 days to recycle itself so that is the time to allow for changes to be seen.

 

Clear Skin Diet

  • Omega 3

    Increase intake of omega 3 essential fatty acids, important for hormonal balance, and anti-inflammatory.
    Oily fish – mackerel, sardines, fresh tuna, salmon
    Nuts and seeds – chia, pumpkin, hemp, flaxseeds and walnuts

  • Water

    2 litres per day, helps the body to flush out toxins and keeps skin hydrated.

  • Increase high fibre foods

    Fibre boosts digestion and aids elimination of toxins from the body. This also reduces the load on the liver.
    All fruits and vegetables, oats and whole grains, beans and lentils

  • Zinc

    Needed for skin health and healing.
    Seafood, pecan nuts, haddock, peas, turnips, Brazil nuts & eggs. Beauty & Go Detox also contains zinc.

  • Probiotic foods & supplements

    Promotes healthy digestion and ‘good’ bacteria. If avoiding dairy try live soya or coconut yoghurt.

  • Decrease/avoid sugar

    Blood sugar fluctuations can lead to hormone imbalances. Some people with acne have trouble processing sugar properly.

  • Decrease intake of saturated fats

    Pro-inflammatory, so may exacerbate the redness and inflammation associated with acne.
    Red meat, dairy, processed and fried foods

  • Milk

    Dairy, especially milk may make acne worse in some people due to lactose and hormones in milk. Try organic milk first, or switch to soya, rice, oat, coconut or almond milk for 4 weeks.

  • Beauty & Go Detox

    Include a daily Beauty & Go Detox drink which contains skin and body cleansing ingredients such as spirulina, artichoke and dandelion. For more information click here.

A PROPER SKIN CARE ROUTINE IS KEY

Although diet can visibly improve your skin, it’s essential that you follow the right beauty ritual daily. Don’t ever skip the morning and night  cleansing routine and use light-textured moisturizers to avoid adding extra oil to your skin. Regular exfoliation removes dead cells that may clog pores, and a purifying mask with salicylic acid once a week ensures deep skin detoxification.

metabolism

After the excesses of the summer, many of us have a few extra pounds we’d like to shed at this time of year. Encouraging your body to burn calories more efficiently by raising your metabolic rate can be a great help. Your metabolism is your body’s engine, which burns calories for energy throughout the day. If it’s working well, losing weight will be relatively easy, whereas a sluggish metabolism can make it more of a struggle.

While genes do play a part in dictating our baseline metabolic rate, there are plenty of ways to raise yours. Here are my top ten tips for getting that engine revving!

 

desayuno-breakfast

1. Never skip breakfast

Eating good breakfast ‘ignites the fire’ first thing, meaning that you can keep it burning and burn more calories over the day. This may be one of the reasons people who eat breakfast are slimmer than those who skip it. Missing breakfast on the other hand, after the long overnight fast will mean that the body can go into ‘starvation mode’. This involves signalling the metabolism to slow down to conserve precious energy stores. To read more on the importance of a good breakfast, including healthy breakfast ideas, click here.

get-moving

2. Get Moving

As well as structured exercise, simply moving more and sitting down less over the day makes a big difference to how many calories you burn. Ensuring you never sit still for more than an hour, by setting a reminder on your phone is the first step. Using a pedometer, fitband or phone to measure how many steps you take each day is another great way to monitor your activity levels. The aim is 10 thousand, which can burn an extra 500 calories!

In terms of working out, high intensity interval training (HIIT) is the best workout for raising your metabolism. Not only does it burn plenty of calories while you are exercising, but it continues to keep the metabolic rate up for the rest of the day.

Muscle is as an active tissue, meaning that is uses energy even while you are resting. Therefore the more muscle you have the more calories you burn each day. Muscle building exercise such as weights, resistance exercises and yoga are therefore excellent for raising your metabolism. Fit in two muscle-building workouts per week.

tea2

3. Green Tea & Coffee

Caffeine revs up your metabolism, but before your reach for that double latte, a much healthier option is green tea. It contains about one fifth of the caffeine of a cup of coffee, giving a more gentle caffeine kick plus catechins – a type of antioxidant that boost metabolism. The combination of caffeine and catechins leads to increased metabolism and fat burning and 4-5 cups per day have been shown in studies to result in weight loss (1), as well as being great for skin and general health.

Green coffee is a healthy caffeine-free alternative to coffee that some studies show may encourage weight loss (2,3). It is made from raw coffee beans, which are naturally green before they are roasted. Roasting destroys some of the active ingredients (chlorogenic acid and caffeic acid) that have weight loss benefits including reducing fat absorption, increasing fat breakdown and changing the way the body handles sugar. Green coffee is available as a drink or supplement.

drinking-water

4. Water

We already know it’s good for hydrating the skin, helping us concentrate and stay alert but water is also good for keeping the metabolism working well. Drinking cold water is best as the body uses energy (calories) to warm the water up to body temperature. Drinking 8-10 cups of cold water over the day will give the maximum benefits. An interesting study came out last week showing that simply drinking ½ litre of water 30 minutes before meals aids weight loss, so time your drinks accordingly (4).

 

healthy-snacks

5. Smart Snacking

Research shows that eating regularly – every 3-4 hours – keeps those energy furnaces burning. Of course it’s important to choose healthy snacks though, a packet of crisps is not going to do the trick! Instead choose small, nutrient-rich snacks like fruit, vegetable crudités with hummus, oatcakes with almond butter or a palm-full of almonds. Snacking on almonds has also been shown to help dieters lose more weight so they are a great choice!

fish-meat

6. Protein

You burn twice as many calories digesting protein as you do carbs or fat, so protein is the best of the three food groups for metabolism boosting. Choose lean animal proteins such as fish and chicken plus vegetarian proteins lentils, beans and tofu. As far as carbohydrates go, whole-grains require more energy to breakdown and digest that refined carbs so always opt for whole-grains.

chili

7. Turn Up the Heat

Capsaicin is the compound in chilies that gives them their kick and is a known metabolism booster. It works by increasing thermogenesis after meals, which is the rate at which the body burns calories. It can also suppress appetite after eating, reducing those desert cravings, and is an excellent source of vitamin C. One study also found that chili decreased insulin levels after meals, which is beneficial for diabetics and also reduces the chances of healthy people developing the disease (5).

thermostat

8. Turn Down the Heat!

As winter is on the horizon, it will be tempting to turn the thermostat up soon. However, scientists have found that this can actually slow down your metabolism. Cooler temperatures on the other hand, boost brown fat in the body, which is a type of fat that creates heat and burns energy. So the more brown fat we have the better for our metabolic rate and the colder the outside temperature, the more brown fat will be created. Just turning the heating down a couple of degrees may reduce your waistline, along with your bills!

 

tiroides-detox-skin-revive

9. Look after Your Thyroid

The thyroid gland is a little organ near the throat, which controls your metabolism. When it’s not working optimally things slow down. This can lead to symptoms such as fatigue, low mood, feeling cold and weight gain. So looking after the thyroid is essential. Two key nutrients the thyroid needs are iodine and selenium. Seaweeds such as spirulina found in Beauty & Go Detox are a fantastic source of iodine and Brazil nuts are an excellent selenium source. Selenium is also in Beauty & Go Skin Revive.

 

dormir-mejor

10. Sleep Tight

Good quality sleep and regular sleeping patterns will ensure your metabolism functions optimally. Poor sleep causes disrupted metabolism and an increase in the hormone ghrelin, which tells you to eat more! Aim for 6-8 hours per night and try to go to bed and rise at similar times each day.

References
1. Nagao T, Hase T, Tokimitsu I. A green tea extract high in catechins reduces body fat and cardiovascular risks in humans. Obesity 2007;15:1473-83.
2. Thom E. The effect of chlorogenic acid enriched coffee on glucose absorption in healthy volunteers and its effect on body mass when used long-term in overweight and obese people. Journal of International Medical Research. 2007;35(6):900–908.
3. Dellalibera O, Lemaire B, Lafay S. Svetol, green coffee extract, induces weight loss and increases the lean to fat mass ratio in volunteers with overweight problem.  Phytothérapie expérimentale 2006 Nov;4(4):194-197.
4. Parretti HM1, Aveyard P2, Blannin A3, Clifford SJ1, Coleman SJ3, Roalfe A1, Daley AJ1. Efficacy of water preloading before main meals as a strategy for weight loss in primary care patients with obesity: RCT. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2015 Sep;23(9):1785-91
5. Ahuja KD1, Robertson IK, Geraghty DP, Ball MJ. Effects of chili consumption on postprandial glucose, insulin, and energy metabolism. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Jul;84(1):63-9.

 

cereals-yougurt

Did you know that your gut has a huge impact on your general health and well-being way beyond simply digesting your food? The relationship between the gut and health is complex, but much of it is related to the gut bacteria that live there. There are in fact, trillions of bacteria inhabiting the digestive tract, comprising a mixture of beneficial, neutral and harmful bacteria.

To put it simply, the more of the ‘good’ or ‘friendly’ bacteria you have and the less of the bad ones, the better the influence they will have on your health. A favourable balance of gut bacteria means you will be more likely to have a strong immune system, be a healthy weight and they may even improve mental well being. Imbalances in gut bacteria on the other hand, have been linked to many health problems including obesity, depression, anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome, food intolerances, allergies, eczema and infections.

So how do we ensure that we have more of the good guys and less of the bad? Diet of course! Although genes and other factors are believed to play a role, the composition and activity of the gut bacteria is very much influenced by our diet and we can actively improve it by making certain changes to our diet, as outlined below.

Probiotics and Prebiotics

Probiotics are live microorganisms (bacteria or yeasts) that have beneficial health effects. They are often referred to as ‘friendly’ bacteria, as they help keep the gut healthy. They occur naturally in the body but can also be taken in foods and supplements. They work in two key ways; firstly they can help restore the natural balance of the gut flora after it has been disrupted – after antibiotics for example.  Secondly they help to balance the good and bad bacteria in the gut, by literally pushing the bad guys out.

Prebiotics are carbohydrates or fibres that reach the gut relatively unchanged, as the body cannot digest them. Here they feed the friendly bacteria so that more of them grow and thrive and their numbers therefore increase and outnumber the bad guys.

Prebiotic Effects of Beauty & Go


Beauty & Go drinks contain a special type of fibre, extracted from fruits and vegetables called antioxidant dietary fibre. Antioxidant dietary fibre combines both antioxidant properties and the benefits of dietary fibre, in one substance. It passes into the large intestine undigested where it has a prebiotic effect, feeding and encouraging the good bacteria. In addition, the antioxidants attached to the fibre do their magic here as well, helping to keep the environment of the gut even healthier.

Regular, daily intake of Beauty & Go drinks, over time may therefore contribute to maintaining a healthy gut environment and a favourable balance of gut bacteria.

beauty-and-go

 

Other ways to improve your gut health

Include Probiotic Foods

  • Live Yoghurt – if you do not tolerate dairy well, try sheep’s, soya or coconut yogurt instead
  • Fermented foods such as sauerkraut and pickles
  • Miso, tempeh, soy sauce, fermented tofu and natto
  • Kombucha – a fermented drink made from tea

Include Prebiotic Foods

  • Tomatoes, asparagus, onions, garlic, artichoke, chicory and bananas are the best sources
  • Beauty & Go drinks

Eat More Fibre

  • Eat plenty of plant based foods including whole-grains, pulses, fruit and vegetables to provide fibre which keeps the gut healthy

Probiotic Supplements

  • Give your levels a boost or top up, either after taking antibiotics (which kill off both good and bad bacteria) or if you have one of the health conditions discussed. Consulting a nutritionist is advisable before taking supplements.
  • People who have used antibiotics, have been eating a poor diet, or have suffered with diarrhoea are more likely to have lower levels of friendly bacteria, as all of these can wipe out the good guys.

abdomen

What the Experts Say

Research has found that the intestinal flora of obese individuals differs to that of thin people and some trials have found that probiotic supplements can support weight loss (1). In a 2013 study, participants taking probiotics from the Lactobacillus rhamnosus family lost 4.4kg in 12 weeks, compared to 2.6kg in the placebo group. The probiotic group also continued to lose more weight after the 12 weeks, while weight in the placebo group remained stable.

Probiotics help keep the digestive system healthy and can improve digestion in general as well as helping to alleviate common digestive problems such as IBS, constipation and bloating (2). Supplements have been shown to reduce abdominal bloating and flatulence in some people with IBS, and may also help relieve pain and provide general relief to sufferers. (3)

Probiotics and prebiotics may help people with food allergies and intolerances due to their ability to improve digestion and regulate the immune system (4). Probiotics have also been shown to help with other allergic conditions including hay fever (6). Other conditions that have been studied with beneficial results, include eczema, travellers diarrhoea, thrush and tooth decay.

A recent interesting area of research is into gut bacteria and mental health. It is know that stress has a negative effect on the balance of the gut bacteria (7,8), so scientists are now looking into whether probiotic and prebiotic foods or supplements could benefit mental well being.

So, remember… If you are really into taking care of your health, don’t forget to feed your friendly bacteria!

1. Sanchez M et al. Effect of Lactobacillus rhamnosus CGMCC1.3724 supplementation on weight loss and maintenance in obese men and women. British Journal of Nutrition 2013.
2. Koebnick C, Wagner I, Leitzmann P, Stern U, Zunft HJF. Probiotic beverage containing Lactobacillus casei Shirota improves gastrointestinal symptoms in patients with chronic constipation. Can J Gastroenterol 2003;17:655-9.
3. Moayyedi P1, Ford AC, Talley NJ, Cremonini F, Foxx-Orenstein AE, Brandt LJ, Quigley EM. The efficacy of probiotics in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome: a systematic review. Gut. 2010 Mar;59(3):325-32.
4. Kirjavainen PV, Gibson GR. Healthy gut microflora and allergy: factors influencing development of the microbiota. Ann Med 1999;31:288-92 [review].
5. Pelto L, Isolauri E, Lilius EM, et al. Probiotic bacteria down-regulate the milk-induced inflammatory response in milk-hypersensitive subjects but have an immunostimulatory effect in healthy subjects. Clin Exp Allergy 1998;28:1474-9.
6. Xiao JZ, Kondo S, Yanagisawa N, et al. Probiotics in the treatment of Japanese cedar pollinosis: a double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Clin Exp Allergy 2006;36:1425-35.
7. Huis in ‘t Veld, JH. Gastrointestinal flora and health in man and animal. Tijdschr Diergeneeskd 1991;116:232-9 [review, in Dutch].
8. Moore WE, Cato EP, Holdeman LV. Some current concepts in intestinal bacteriology

ingredient-curiosities

This week I am going to tell you about some of the more unusual and less well-known ingredients in Beauty & Go drinks, focusing on one ingredient from each drink. We have included the best of Nature in every bottle; discover its most incredible benefits!

 

hibiscus

Hibiscus

Skin Revive Drink

The flowers of the common shrub Hibiscus are rich in flavonoids and proanthocyanidins, which are powerful antioxidants with protective benefits for the beauty of the skin and your general health. Antioxidants fight damage caused by free radicals, which contribute to ageing of the skin and the body and also towards some disease processes. Hibiscus, in combination with patented MacroAntioxidants®, pomegranate, raspberry and resveratrol mean this drink provides powerful and long lasting antioxidant protection.

Hibiscus also has anti-inflammatory effects, which again make it beneficial to skin and the fight against ageing – as inflammation contributes to the ageing process. Studies show that the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of hibiscus are powerful enough to help to reduce slight pain, spasms and other symptoms of fever (1).

Hibiscus contains substances that stimulate specialised skin cells called keratinocytes (2). Keratinocytes help to form a protective barrier in the skin, protecting against environmental damage and may also promote healing of the skin.

Other health benefits of hibiscus include blood pressure lowering effects, (3) which may be as powerful as some blood pressure lowering medications (4,5). There is also some evidence from test tube experiments that hibiscus extract can lower cholesterol levels and reduce damage caused by UV light, although this has not been tested in the body (6,7).

In India, hibiscus tea has been used for centuries as a traditional remedy for Type 1 and 2 Diabetes and some preliminary research indicates that there may well the science to support it (8).

 

nettle

Nettle

Skin Detox Drink

detox-beauty-and-go-englishNettle is a common plant well known for it’s mild stings when you touch the little hairs on its leaves. The root and leaves of the plant are used as a herbal remedy with various health benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties. These are thought to be due to inhibition of the inflammatory chemical prostaglandins being formed in the body (9). Nettle leaf is also rich in flavonoids with possible antihistamine effects and may help relieve hay fever symptoms such as sneezing and itching (10)

Nettle has a diuretic effect, helping to flush out water from the body and reduce water retention. It helps keep your ‘water works’ healthy, protecting the bladder and helping to flush out bacteria and other toxins from the urinary tract. This helps reduce the chances of getting urinary tract infections (UTI’s). For men, nettle has been shown to have benefits for keeping the prostate healthy, helping to ease the symptoms associated with an enlarged prostate (11).

 rosa-mosqueta

Rosehip

Skin Brilliance Drink

Rosehips are the fruits of the rose plant, left behind on the plant after it has flowered. As well as being taken internally for its health benefits, rosehip oil is used on the skin for improving complexion.

Rosehip is naturally very high in vitamin C, containing 50% more than oranges. This makes it excellent for supporting collagen production in the skin, which helps to keep the skin supple, elastic and radiant. Rosehip also contains other nutrients beneficial for the skin including vitamin E, vitamin A and selenium.

Rosehip is a good source of bioflavonoids, natural plant substances with strong antioxidant powers. Again, this helps to protect the skin from ageing and damage and has benefits for general health.

Other health benefits of rosehips include contributing to the natural defences of the body by supporting the immune system. It has also been shown to benefit joint health and mobility and to reduce pain and stiffness in arthritis sufferers (12).

 

BAOBAB-cuadrado

Baobab

Skin Vitality Drink

Baobab is a superfood, which comes from the fruit of the African baobab tree. Its flavour is described as citrus with a hint of pear and it is used by the Africans both as a food and a traditional remedy for diarrhoea and coughs.

vitalityBaobab is one of the richest known sources of vitamin C, containing six times more than oranges, making it great for supporting healthy collagen formation in the skin. It also has exceptionally high levels of antioxidants (66 times higher than orange pulp according to an Italian study (13)), to help protect the skin and body from environmental damage, disease and ageing. Other nutrients include vitamins B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin) and fibre.

Its high vitamin C content makes baobab great for supporting the immune system. In addition to this it contains bioactive compounds with antiviral effects, which help neutralise both flu and cold sore viruses (14). Taken in concentrated form baobab may even help relieve minor pain.

Baobab has a prebiotic effect in the body, which means it stimulates the growth of friendly bacteria in the gut and aids a healthy digestive system. This has many benefits to health including supporting the immune system. To read more about the benefits of prebiotics please click here.

Research has found that drinks containing baobab can help balance blood sugar and insulin levels, which is great for having good energy levels (15). Baobab drinks are also extremely effective at hydrating the body – as effective as rehydration salts – so make a great post- exercise drink.

In addition to these ingredients all Beauty & Go drinks contain MacroAntioxidants®, collagen and hyaluronic acid to help you achieve beautiful, glowing skin.



References1.    Dafallah AA, al-Mustafa Z. Investigation of the anti-inflammatory activity of Acacia nilotica and Hibiscus sabdariffa. Am J Chin Med 1996;24:263-9.
2.    Brunold C, Deters A, Knoepfel-Sidler F, et al. Polysaccharides from Hibiscus sabdariffa flowers stimulate proliferation and differentiation of human keratinocytes. Planta Med 2004;70:370-3.
3.    McKay DL, Chen CY, Saltzman E, Blumberg JB. Hibiscus sabdariffa L. tea (tisane) lowers blood pressure in prehypertensive and mildly hypertensive adults. J Nutr 2010;140:298-303.
4.    Haji Faraji M, Haji Tarkhani AH. The effect of sour tea (Hibiscus sabdariffa) on essential hypertension. J Ethnopharmacol 1999;65:231-6.
5.    Herrera-Arellano A, Flores-Romero S, Chavez-Soto MA, Tortoriello J. Effectiveness and tolerability of a standardized extract from Hibiscus sabdariffa in patients with mild to moderate hypertension: a controlled and randomized clinical trial. Phytomedicine 2004;11(5):375-82.
6.    Zheng MS. An experimental study of the anti-HSV-II action of 500 herbal drugs. J Tradit Chin Med 1989;9:113-6.
7.    El-Saadany SS, Sitohy MZ, Labib SM, el-Massry RA. Biochemical dynamics and hypocholesterolemic action of Hibiscus sabdariffa (Karkade). Nahrung 1991;35:567-76.
8.    Alam MM, Siddiqui MB, Hussain W. Treatment of diabetes through herbal drugs in rural India. Fitoterapia 1990;61:240-2.
9.    Obertreis B, Giller K, Teucher T, et al. Antiphlogistic effects of Urtica dioica folia extract in comparison to caffeic malic acid. Arzneimittelforschung 1996;46:52-6.
10.    Mittman P. Randomized double-blind study of freeze-dried Urtica diocia in the treatment of allergic rhinitis. Planta Med 1990;56:44-7.
11.    Safarinejad MR. Urtica dioica for treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia: a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study. J Herb Pharmacother 2005;5:1-11.
12.    Ginnerup-Nielsen E1, Christensen R1, Bliddal H1, Zangger G1, Hansen L1, Henriksen M2. Improved gait in persons with knee related mobility limitations by a rosehip food supplement: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Gait Posture. 2015 Jul 19.
13.    Besco E, Braccioli E, Vertuani S, Ziosi P, Brazzo F, Bruni R, Sacchetti G, Manfredini S. The use of photochemiluminescence for the measurement of the integral antioxidant capacity of baobab products. Food Chemistry 102; 2007;1352–1356
14.    Hudson JB, Anani K, Lee MK, de Souza C, Arnason JT, Gbeassor M. Further investigations on the antiviral activities of medicinal plants of Togo. Pharm Biol. 2000;38(1):46-50.
15.    Coe SA1, Clegg M, Armengol M, Ryan L. The polyphenol-rich baobab fruit (Adansonia digitata L.) reduces starch digestion and glycemic response in humans. Nutr Res. 2013 Nov;33(11):888-96.

post-summer

80% of us gain weight on our summer holiday with an average gain of 3.5lbs per week of holiday! Going on a ‘diet’ can be tempting when you return but overly restricting yourself or cutting out food groups is never a healthy solution. Instead making sensible and achievable changes to your diet and lifestyle that you can maintain long term is the key to successful and permanent weight loss.

reloj-clock

Timing is Everything!

desayuno-breakfastEating at regular intervals is absolutely key to weight loss. This means starting every day with a healthy, filling breakfast as people who do are slimmer and better at losing weight than those who skip it. (LINK to breakfast blog for ideas) Eat about every 4 or 5 hours over the rest of the day, having lunch, dinner and one or two small snacks. This regulates your appetite and reduces the chances of over eating.

Turn your meal pattern upside down! Adjust your meals so that you eat a substantial breakfast a decent lunch and a little less at dinner – you will find your appetite adjusts accordingly after a couple of weeks. If you think about it, this makes more sense as food is for fuel, which we need during the day, not just before we go to sleep!

Plan your meals in advance. This means you are less likely to make unhealthy choices when you are tired, hungry or emotional. Build in some flexibility, but have a rough idea of what meals you will eat and factor in things like working late, when you might want something prepared in advance. Do an on-line shop to save time (and avoid the temptation of the biscuit aisle!) and have all the ingredients you need at home.

What to Eat

Instead of telling you all the things you can’t eat like most diets do, I am going to tell you all the things to eat more of! In my experience, this is a much better way to approach healthy eating.

  • Fill up on Fibre

    High fibre foods such as fruit, vegetables, beans, lentils and oats are filling and low in calories. Eat at least 7 portions of fruit and vegetables daily (more vegetables that fruit) and two or three servings of whole-grains and pulses. These are high in nutrients but low in calories and mean you will eat less high-calorie foods.

  • Don’t cut carbs

    But choose the right ones and limit your portion size – 50g (dry weight) of brown rice or quinoa for example, 1 slice of rye bread, a small sweet potato or 40g of oats is one serving. You don’t need many carbs in the evening for the reason I mentioned above – carbs are for energy so you need them more during the day.

  • Protein keeps you full so include some with every meal.

    This is especially important for breakfast, which tends to be carb-based. Try eggs (see below), yoghurt, and nuts and seeds on your porridge. Fish, chicken, lean meat, eggs, tofu, beans, lentils & quinoa are good choices for main meals.

  • Drink plenty of water

    This helps regulate appetite as thirst and hunger signals can get confused.

fit-ejercicio

Stay Active

Combining a healthy diet with staying active will get you the best results.  (Don’t use exercise as an excuse to eat more though, which is a common mistake many dieters make). As well as structured exercise such as the gym or sports, being more active in your daily life makes a big difference. Measuring how many steps you take using your phone, a pedometer or a wristband is an excellent way to build more activity into your day. The aim is to do ten thousand steps per day, which can burn around 400 extra calories!

 Sleepy-dormir

Sleep & Mood

When we don’t get enough sleep the body releases a hormone, called ghrelin, which increases appetite. Make getting a good nights sleep a priority, as you will find it so much harder to control your appetite if you are sleep deprived.

Stress plays havoc with our health, including our weight. Long term, low level stress (unfortunately a common feature of modern life), raises levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol acts against our weight loss efforts in several ways. Firstly, it increases fat storage, especially around the middle and secondly it increases appetite and cravings for high calorie, sugary foods. Not only that but it can reduce muscle tone and slow down the thyroid gland which controls metabolism, meaning you burn calories more slowly! Psychologically stress also makes us more likely to make bad food choices, comfort eat and not look after ourselves properly. Research shows that stress reduction techniques such as yoga and meditation help people lose weight.

 

Weight Loss Super-Foods

No single food can actually make you lose weight, however including the following regularly, as part of a healthy diet can certainly help!

 

Eggs Almonds
Very filling and help you eat less!
One study found that dieters who ate eggs every day, lost twice as much weight, another found that eating 2 for breakfast results in eating 400 calories less during the rest of the day. Eat 2 poached or boiled eggs for breakfast with a slice of rye toast
Provide healthy fats which help you feel full
People who include nuts in their diet, consume fewer calories throughout the day. Almond eaters have been shown to lose 50% more fat from their waists compared with non-almond eating dieters. Have a palm-full as a snack between meals
ChilliesGreen Tea
Raise your metabolic rate for up to 2 hours after eating
Add to curries, sauces, stir-fries and fish dishes
An especially rich source of protective antioxidants and several cups a day increases metabolism
Drink 4-5 cups throughout the day, add a squeeze of lemon if preferred
OatsNatural live yoghurt
Provide soluble fibre which helps keeps us feeling full
Make porridge with whole oats, a large pinch of cinnamon, which helps balance blood sugar and top with fruit and nuts
Low in fat and high in ‘good’ bacteria and calcium
Imbalances in gut bacteria are linked with obesity and research shows that the good bacteria may help shift tummy fat and improve blood sugar control. People on high calcium diets have been shown to lose more fat than those on a low calcium diet. Have natural yoghurt as a healthy pudding, topped with berries.
Soup
Increases feeling of fullness by delaying gastric emptying (time taken for stomach to empty)
Eat a bowl of vegetable soup as a starter and you will feel full up sooner.

stay-healthy-when-eating-out-01

As the summer is upon us many of us will be eating out more. Holidays usually involve eating out most days and lazy summer brunches and dinners with friends are one of the great pleasures of this time of year.

So how do you stay healthy when you eat out and what are the best choices to make when eating at a restaurant?

Read more

Stay-healthy-on-holidays-01

The holidays are here (yay!) but with them come some health and beauty issues such as the sun, chlorine, heat, travel and over-indulging on food and alcohol. This week I am therefore giving you some tips and advice on how to stay healthy on holiday.

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sun-defense-foodA little sunshine is good for us, stimulating the production of essential vitamin D in the skin. Too much sun however, is your skin’s worst enemy – UV rays are believed to be the single largest contributor to skin ageing. Protecting your skin from sun damage is therefore an important part of your health and beauty regime and surprisingly, certain foods can help with this.

macro-ingredientes-verticalBefore and During your Holiday

Up the Antioxidants

Antioxidants act in a similar (but weaker) way to sunscreen – when the sun’s rays hit the skin, antioxidants in the body actually move up and form a protective shield like sunscreen! Several studies have shown that antioxidant supplements provide protection against UV rays and can even reduce sunburn.1-3 The effects are not instant, so this is something to build up several weeks before you go on holiday ideally.

Include plenty of antioxidant rich foods every day such as berries, fresh herbs, broccoli, beetroot, cacoa, grapes, plums and green tea. Beauty&Go contain MacroAntioxidants, which provide more powerful and longer-lasting antioxidant protection than you can get from normal foods, so include your daily drink.

Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant found in cooked tomatoes, watermelon, papaya, red peppers and mango, which research shows is especially beneficial. In one study, participants ate tomato paste for 12 weeks and after exposure to UV light, experienced 48% less reddening than those that didn’t.4 Include, at least one serving of lycopene-rich foods per day.

Beta-carotene and lutein are other antioxidants that are good for building-up natural protection against the sun.5-6 Beta-carotene is found in orange, yellow and dark green vegetables – carrots, cantaloupe melon, sweet potato, spinach and kale are good sources. Lutein is found in spinach, kale, other dark green leafy vegetables, leeks, peas, and egg yolks. Include a couple of servings per day.

Pomegranates contain punicalagins, which have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. One study found that pomegranate extract protected skin fibroblast cells (the ones that make collagen) against damage and death from UVA and UVB rays.7 Beauty & Go Skin Revive contains pomegranate, so is a convenient way to get your daily dose!


IMPORTANT!

Dietary measures provide much weaker protection than sunscreen and are never a substitute but something you can do in addition.

WATERMELON AND CUCUMBER COOLER

Take a slice of watermelon, ¼ of a cucumber, 1 sprig of mint and blend.  Serve over crushed ice.

sandia-granizado

The sun can dry out your skin, so include plenty of essential fats before and during your holiday, which act as a natural moisturiser from within. The omega-3 fats found in oily fish also reduce inflammation in the body, which can help with heat rashes and sunburn. Building up your body’s stores of essential fats before you go on holiday will help keep your skin hydrated and glowing. Eat oily fish 3-4 times per week, 1 serving of nuts or seeds per day and 3 avocadoes per week.

 sun-defense-skin

On Holiday

As I said above, nothing can substitute wearing a proper sunscreen and this is absolutely essential to protect your skin from irreversible damage from the sun’s UV rays. Always wear a high SPF sunscreen on your body and total sun block on your face. It is important to use a separate formula designed especially for the face, as this will be lighter and less pore clogging as well as providing the extra protection your face needs. Limiting sun bathing to before 11am and after 3pm is also advisable. Sunburn accelerates wrinkling and aging of the skin, and also increases the risk of skin cancer so avoid getting burned and move into the shade during the middle part of the day when the sun is strongest.

If you are concerned about getting enough vitamin D, about 15-20 minutes per day of sun exposure to uncovered skin is enough to meet your requirements – stick to mornings and late afternoon though.

Stay hydrated – this helps keep you and your skin hydrated and prevents dehydration, which is much more common when it’s hot. Drinking plenty of water also helps flush out toxins and helps balance any extra alcohol you might be drinking! Drink plenty of water, herbal and green teas and your Beauty & Go.

Green Tea is especially good, as it contains polyphenols, powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds that can help make your skin more resistant to sunburn, inflammation and even the longer term ageing effects of the sun.8

Dark chocolate is one of the best sources of a type of antioxidant called flavonoids, which can help protect the skin. Enjoy some every day – you are on holiday after all!

Selenium is an essential mineral that protects against age spots and may even be good to fight sun negative consequences. Good sources are fish, Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, mushrooms and whole-grains. Just 3 Brazil Nuts per day and one Beauty & Go Skin Revivedrink will meet your needs.

TOO HOT FOR TEA?

Try Beauty & Go Vitality Drink instead, which contains Green tea and lots of other energising refreshing ingredients.

BEAUTY&GO-Vitality-170x

pepinoSunburn Relief

If you do get caught out, the following will provide instant and natural relief.

Cucumbers are naturally cooling and can help reduce inflammation and skin damage. Blend chilled cucumbers straight from the fridge and apply to affected areas for instant relief.

Aloe Vera provides cooling relief to sunburn, due to its calming, anti-inflammatory effects. Aloe Vera promotes healing and cellular repair of the skin and is extremely hydrating, so is great to apply after a day in the sun to restore moisture, even if you don’t get burned.

Skin Revive Drink

Beauty & Go Skin Revive contains high levels of antioxidants to protect your skin against UV and free radical damage, including pomegranate, raspberry and resveratrol from grapes. It also contains the mineral selenium and vitamin E. For more information click here.

References

1. Fuchs J. Potentials and limitations of the natural antioxidants RRR-alpha-tocopherol, L-ascorbic acid and beta-carotene in cutaneous photoprotection. Free Radic Biol Med 1998;25:848-73 [review].
2. Fuchs J, Kern H. Modulation of UV-light-induced skin inflammation by D-alpha-tocopherol and L-ascorbic acid: a clinical study using solar simulated radiation. Free Radic Biol Med 1998;25:1006-12.
3. Eberlein-Konig B, Placzek M, Przybilla B. Protective effect against sunburn of combined systemic ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and d-alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E). J Am Acad Dermatol 1998;38:45-8.
4. Aust O, Stahl W, Sies H, et al. Supplementation with tomato-based products increases lycopene, phytofluene, and phytoene levels in human serum and protects against UV-light-induced erythema. Int J Vitam Nutr Res 2005;75:54-60.
5. Lee J, Jiang S, Levine N, Watson RR. Carotenoid supplementation reduces erythema in human skin after simulated solar radiation exposure. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med 2000;223:170-4.
6. Heinrich U, Gartner C, Wiebusch M, et al. Supplementation with beta-carotene or a similar amount of mixed carotenoids protects humans from UV-induced erythema. J Nutr 2003;133:98-101.
7. Pacheco-Palencia LA1, Noratto G, Hingorani L, Talcott ST, Mertens-Talcott SU. Protective effects of standardized pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) polyphenolic extract in ultraviolet-irradiated human skin fibroblasts. J Agric Food Chem. 2008;56(18):8434-41.
8. Rhodes LE1, Darby G, Massey KA, Clarke KA, Dew TP, Farrar MD, Bennett S, Watson RE, Williamson G, Nicolaou A. Oral green tea catechin metabolites are incorporated into human skin and protect against UV radiation-induced cutaneous inflammation in association with reduced production of pro-inflammatory eicosanoid 12-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid. Br J Nutr. 2013 Sep 14;110(5):891-900.

stevia-tittle

Most of us are trying to limit the amount of sugar in our diets these days, and going completely refined sugar-free is becoming more popular. Natural sweeteners and sugar alternatives such as stevia, coconut palm sugar and yacon syrup are becoming more widely available and make cutting out sugar much easier, as you don’t have to go without your favourite sweet foods.

sugarThe health benefits of reducing or avoiding sugar are many. Sugar is associated with a host of health problems, including obesity, Alzheimer’s disease and type 2 diabetes. It is also thought to accelerate the ageing process and contribute to skin ageing, and we all know its role in weight gain. As we heard last week, sugar is also an energy zapper, so there are plenty of good reasons if you haven’t already made the decision to reduce your sugar intake.

Beauty & Go drinks do not contain any added sugar at all, only natural sugars from fruits, so they are suitable for anyone going sugar-free. Stevia, a natural, calorie-free sweetener, adds sweetness and allows us to reduce the levels of natural fruit sugars and calories in each drink.

This week I am therefore going to tell you all about stevia, what is it and why we use it.

What is Stevia?

stevia-powderStevia comes from the Stevia plant (Stevia rebaudiana), a wild herb in the chrysanthemum family, native to South America. It has been used traditionally for more than 1500 years by the people of Brazil and Paraguay to sweeten tea and foods and to treat minor aliments such as burns and stomach upsets. It has also been popular in Japan since the 1970s, where it now accounts for 40% of the total sweeteners market.

Stevia is extracted in a process that involves steeping the dried leaves of the plant in hot water, like you would make tea, and then separating or purifying the sweet compounds, which are known as steviol glycosides. Because this is a gentle and natural extraction process, the steviol glycosides remain intact and chemically unchanged throughout the whole process.

Health Benefits

healthy-woman

Stevia is 200-300 times sweeter than sugar, so much smaller quantities are needed to sweeten foods. The intense sweetness comes from the steviol glycosides, which are not absorbed by the body, they simply pass through, which is why stevia contains no calories!

stevia-vs-azucar355It has a glycaemic index score of zero, meaning that it does not affect blood sugar levels, which as we discussed last week has advantages for regulating energy levels, mood and appetite. It is also great for diabetics who need to control their blood sugar levels.

Evidence from research studies has also found that stevioside, one of the sweet compounds in stevia, appears to help lower blood sugar levels, and may even improve insulin sensitivity, which would have further benefits for people with type 2 diabetes. (1-3)

Other studies have found that stevioside, can help lower blood pressure (4-5). Quite large doses were used in these studies however, so consuming normal amounts probably won’t have much of an affect.

Finally, stevia has been found to have anti-inflammatory affects, which has potential advantages in terms of the ageing process and many diseases that involve inflammation.

Safety

Stevia is an all-natural herbal product with centuries of safe usage by native Indians in Paraguay – in fact, the Indians traditionally made stevia tea for its healing properties.

Extensive reviews of both human and animal data have tested stevia and proven it to be safe (6). It has no known side effects, unlike many artificial sweeteners and has been safely consumed in other countries around the world, such as Japan in massive quantities for decades.

How can you use Stevia?

You can add stevia to hot drinks and it works well as a sugar substitute for baking. You will need to adjust recipes though, firstly because it is so much sweeter than sugar and secondly because it is much less bulky (i.e. has less volume).

It is available as either a liquid, which is good for adding to drinks and a powder great for baking. Watch out for products that mix stevia with other less healthy sweeteners or even sugar though, and instead go for purest one you can find.

apple-cake

References
1. Curi R, Alvarez M, Bazotte RB, et al. Effect of Stevia rebaudiana on glucose tolerance in normal adult humans. Braz J Med Biol Res 1986;19:771-4.
2. Søren Gregersena, Per B Jeppesena, Jens J Holstb, Kjeld Hermansena, Antihyperglycemic effects of stevioside in type 2 diabetic subjects. Metabolism 2004: 53 (1): 73–76
3. Stephen D. Anton, Ph.D., Corby K. Martin, Ph.D., Hongmei Han, M.S., Sandra Coulon, B.A., William T. Cefalu, M.D., Paula Geiselman, Ph.D., and Donald A. Williamson, Ph.D.Effects of stevia, aspartame, and sucrose on food intake, satiety, and postprandial glucose and insulin levels. Appetite. 2010 Aug; 55(1): 37–43
 4. Hsieh MH1, Chan P, Sue YM, Liu JC, Liang TH, Huang TY, Tomlinson B, Chow MS, Kao PF, Chen YJ. Efficacy and tolerability of oral stevioside in patients with mild essential hypertension: a two-year, randomized, placebo-controlled study. Clin Ther. 2003 Nov;25(11):2797-808.
 5. Chan P1, Tomlinson B, Chen YJ, Liu JC, Hsieh MH, Cheng JT.
A double-blind placebo-controlled study of the effectiveness and tolerability of oral stevioside in human hypertension. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2000 Sep;50(3):215-20.
 6. Leung AY, Foster S. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients Used in Foods, Drugs, and Cosmetics, 2d ed. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1996, 478-80.