Ginger Root Extract’s Benefits for the Skin

The ginger root, Zingiber officinale, has a long history of medicinal use. Early American colonists concocted ginger beer to ease nausea and vomiting. The ginger root, botanically called the rhizome, comes in various forms, such as tea, extract or pills. Research on the benefits of ginger for skin is relatively new. Before trying ginger extract as a remedy, consult your doctor first.

About Ginger

The ginger plant flourishes in tropical climate and is grown in Jamaica, India, China and as southern parts of the United States. Many health benefits derive from its rhizome, a thick, underground stem that stores starch and produces both roots and shoots. Though ginger rhizomes are not a source of vitamins or fiber, they hold antioxidant properties thought to offer health benefits.

Inflammation Treatment

Ginger may play a role in reducing acne and skin inflammation. The University of Maryland Medical Center cites a study in which a combination of ginger and other medicinal plants reduced skin lesions. Through laboratory studies, scientists S.C. Penna and coworkers explored the potential benefits of ginger extract on skin disorders. In their 2004 publication in “Phytomedicine,” authors found that ginger extract reduced skin edema, a type of inflammation.

Garlic Supplement Benefits

Garlic’s distinctive flavor makes it a popular ingredient in many recipes, but this edible bulb may have health benefits, too. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, garlic’s benefits come from its high antioxidant content, which gives it the power to fight off free radicals that cause infections and cellular mutations. Garlic supplements are safe for most people, but the University of Maryland Medical Center warns that taking garlic supplements can cause stomach problems, bad breath and body odor.

Improved Cholesterol

There’s good scientific evidence that garlic supplements can lower low-density lipoproteins, or LDL, the type of cholesterol that can build up in your arterial passages to cause serious cardiovascular problems over time. Medline Plus, the online health information resource maintained by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, says that garlic can lower LDL and total blood cholesterol levels over a period of less than 12 weeks, but more research is needed to determine whether the benefits are long-lasting ones.

Wet Sauna Benefits

Wet saunas are also known as steam saunas. In dry saunas, heat is generated by heated rocks or an infrared heater. Wet saunas use heated rocks as well, but water is poured over the rocks to produce steam. According to the experts at Go Ask Alice! from Columbia University, saunas are not for everybody. People with heart problems, the elderly and those taking certain medications should not use a sauna, or use it with caution.

Lower Stress

While all types of sauna are relaxing, wet saunas allows you to introduce aromatherapy. According to the Health and Sauna website, adding a few drops of essential oil to water and then using the mix to throw on the rocks will cause the fragrance to be diffused throughout the room. You can choose invigorating or relaxing scents, depending on what you’re trying to achieve. Because wet saunas also help your muscles to relax, it can be a good choice after an intense workout or if you have achy joints or suffer from arthritis.

Benefits of Shea, Mango & Cocoa Butter

Mother Nature bestowed many gifts upon mankind — and she didn’t leave out skin-care ingredients among her wonderful gifts. Shea, cocoa and mango butters all deliver benefits to the skin that work to nourish and hydrate. Each of these butters can be naturally derived from the earth and provide the skin with nourishment and moisture — things that every type of skin needs and appreciates.

Shea Butter Benefits

Shea butter is chock-full of vitamin A and is deeply moisturizing. Shea is derived from nuts that grow on trees in West and Central Africa, and it is known for being so nourishing to the skin that even in Africa’s dry climate it works to soothe thirsty skin. The American Shea Institutes notes that shea butter possesses the ability to improve pesky skin blemishes, eczema, wrinkles and dermatitis. Shea is also known to soothe insect bites, sunburn and frostbite. This butter packs a powerful punch for an array of skin ailments.

Health Benefits of Applesauce

While the whole health picture is more complex than eating an apple a day to keep the doctor away, fruits and vegetables undeniably supply nutrition vital for good health. Apples, whether whole or as applesauce, contain fiber and vitamin C. Applesauce naturally contains no fat and few calories per serving if you choose unsweetened varieties or make your own. Enjoy it by itself or substitute it for fats in baked goods to keep them tender.

Calories and Fat

A cup of unsweetened applesauce contains about 100 calories, yet feels substantial enough to act as a filling snack all by itself. Combined with a handful of almonds or a dollop of peanut butter, applesauce provides a balanced miniature meal rich in protein, carbohydrates and healthy fat. Like the apples it comes from, applesauce contains no fat. While most of applesauce’s calories come from sugar, the sugar in question is naturally occurring fructose. Look for unsweetened varieties; sweetened applesauces can contain hefty doses of high-fructose corn syrup or sucrose.

The Benefits of Chlorella & Lemon Juice

The blue-green algae chlorella, a form of seaweed, may contain a wide variety of health benefits, from delivering helpful nutrients such as vitamins B, C and E, to helping the body ward off debilitating diseases. Lemon juice similarly contains essential nutrients, such as vitamin C, and may also have a number of positive effects on overall health, such as promoting gall bladder health, reducing cellulite and improving circulation.

Immunity Boost

Both chlorella and lemon juice may help to boost your immune system. Beth M. Ley, in “Chlorella: The Ultimate Green Food: Nature’s Richest Source of Chlorophyll, DNA, & RNA: A Learning Handbook,” explains that chlorella may enhance the immune system’s ability to fight off bacteria and viruses, as well as chemicals and other foreign substances. Chlorella, Lev notes, may prompt the body to produce higher levels of the antiviral agent interferon, as well as stimulate cellular activity that protects the body against foreign substances. 

Lemons have a history of helping to strengthen the immune system against diseases such as scurvy and rickets. Ann Louise Gittleman, in “The Fat Flush Foods,” explains that the fresh juice of a lemon contains as much as four times the amount of vitamin C as an orange. A powerful antioxidant, vitamin C stimulates circulation and combats damaging free radicals which contribute to infections. Lemon juice may help to guard against a wide range of infections, from bronchitis and the flu, to the common cold, ear infections and hives.

Benefits of Polyphenols

 

Polyphenols are chemicals found in plants that are believed to have important health benefits, according to the American Cancer Society. Some evidence exists that polyphenols help prevent health dangers such as cancer, high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. Foods high in beneficial polyphenols include red cabbage, berries, red and purple grapes, broccoli, radishes, tea and apples. So far, there is no conclusive research about the benefits of polyphenols. Experts advise consuming a balanced diet rich in fruits, beans and vegetables.

Possible Cancer-Fighting Benefits

Berries–especially raspberries and strawberries–are rich in a polyphenol called ellagic acid, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research, or AICR. In laboratory studies, ellagic acid prevented cancers of the bladder, lung, breast, esophagus and skin. Ellagic acid fought cancer by deactivating certain cancer-causing substances and slowing cancer cell reproduction. Grapes and grape juice, garlic and green tea are also thought to contain polyphenols that prevent certain cancers, the AICR says.

What Are the Health Benefits of Plantains?

Plantains look similar to bananas, but they are vegetables instead of fruits and should be cooked to eat them. Manny Alvarez says in his book, “The Hot Latin Diet: The Fast-Track to a Bombshell Body,” that plantains are nutritious and offer several health benefits in addition to their delicious flavor. Add plantains to stews or soups in place of potatoes to get the advantages they offer.

Fiber

One plantain supplies several grams of fiber to your diet, Victor Preedy, Ronald Watson and Vinood Patel say in their book, “Flour and Breads and Their Fortification in Health and Disease Prevention.” Fiber is an important nutrient because it helps decrease your chances of suffering from heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers, such as colon cancer. Fiber also helps prevent constipation by keeping your intestinal tract working the way it should.

Beta-carotene

Plantains are also a source of beta-carotene, which the Mayo Clinic says you need to produce sufficient amounts of vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for eye health as well as normal growth. A diet lacking in vitamin A can result in difficulty seeing in the dark, dry eyes, eye infection and unhealthy skin. Adding cooked plantains to your diet is one way to increase your intake of this important vitamin.

Is It Healthy to Eat Orange Peels?

Orange peels can be healthy as far as their nutrients go, but you might not want to make them part of your daily diet. Adding orange zest to recipes such as cookies and breads can offer a good way to add flavor and increase the calorie count only slightly. When eating plain peels, the tough orange peel will not be as juicy or sweet as the orange’s inner pulp and it can also come with a few health concerns.

Chemicals

A major concern with eating an orange peel is its origin. If you eat a non-organic orange peel, you could be eating a peel steeped in chemicals. Unless the orange came from a certified organic farm or orchard and displays a white and green USDA Certified Organic sticker, there is no way to know what types of chemical pesticides or herbicides invaded the peel. Certified organic farmers only use natural weed and pest control methods.

What Are the Benefits of Avocado Oil?

Avocado oil, derived from the avocado fruit, boasts some unusual and uniquely healthy properties. Avocado oil is high in vitamin E and unsaturated fats and contains more protein than any other fruit and more potassium than a banana. Avocado oil offers a variety of purported nutritional and medicinal benefits, some of which have been confirmed through scientific research.

Nutrient Absorption

Avocado oil boosts absorption of carotenoids in your food, according to a study published in the March 2005 issue of the “Journal of Nutrition.” Fat-soluble carotenoids rely on dietary fats, but most foods that are high in carotenoids are low in fat. Enter the avocado. This fruit contains high quantities of unsaturated fatty acids as well as generous amounts of carotenoids. In the study, both high and low doses of avocado oil enhanced alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and lutein absorption from a salad by as much as 15 times compared to a salad without avocado oil.