Pumpkin– the Holiday Beauty Food

pumpkinsPlump, round and orange pumpkin are virtually synonymous with fall.  Carved into gouls for Halloween  or baked  into pies for  Thanksgiving, pumpkins are a staple  when leaves turn red and gold.

No question that pumpkins are adorable, but are they healthy?  Short answer, yes.  Pumpkins are packed  with beta carotene and vitamin A.  Even better, 4 oz of roasted pumpkin   clocks in at less than 40 calories.  By comparison, the same size portion of  roast potatoes add up to  tktk.  Pumpkin also has respectable amounts of vitamin C.  Despite  its stringy texture , it is  not a good source of fiber.

Adding Pumpkin to Your Menus

When selecting pumpkins for eating, rather than carving look for small, firm and deeply orange pumpkins. WHen making pies, most people use canned pumpkin puree.  Its good, but fresh, young pumpkin is absolutely delicious.   Here … Continue Reading…

Skin Care Expert to the Stars

Skin care expert Gayelord HauserI first “met”  skin  and heath care expert Dr Gayelord Hauser  in a dusty junk shop where I picked up a copy of his 1951 best seller, Treasury of Secrets.  His clear  writing and positive attitude was addicting   and I  trolled old bookstores to find his other  out of print books.  ( This was before Amazon, way before).

Dashingly handsome, Dr Hauser was a European nutritionist who Hauser skin care client the Duchess of Windsor promoted the idea of “living foods”– unprocessed  fruits, vegetables,  low fat dairy  and  even  meat.   He was certainly not the first natural health guru.  There have been self-styled  diet experts  who  recommended a wide range of  supplements, magic foods, and exercise programs  and equipment.  But Hauser was the first  who made the link between  a … Continue Reading…

Health Hazards of Kale?

KaleKale is the “it” food  of the year– and for good reason.  A single one cup serving of kale has just 36 calories yet delivers a payload of  5 grams of fiber, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, 45 different antioxidants and 10x the RDA of vitamin K. I think that kale can legitimately  call itself  the ‘beauty green ‘ since it offers so much fiber and vitamin C,   the two nutrients linked  to lower  levels of wrinkles in the landmark NHANES study.

But wait there is more.  Kale, a cruciferous veggie like  cauliflower and broccoli,  also contains sulfur compounds that are linked to reduced  risk of  lung, breast, colon, bladder  and prostate cancer.   There is even some evidence that these  sulfur componds,  called glucosinolates, inhibit the spread of cancer cells.  For  example  one study showed that non-smokers  who  ate cruciferous … Continue Reading…

The True Beauty Vitamin? by Deb Chase

Vitamin pillsLast week I received a simple question that did not have a simple answer– what  is the most important vitamin for my skin, the true beauty vitamin?   Just about every nutrient has been promoted for skin  health, but three  keep making the list:

1. Vitamin E-

Vitamin E is a  powerful anti-oxidant found in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds and leafy green vegetables.  Studies have shown that  it can block free radicals and  ( in theory) reverse signs of aging.    There are also  suggetions that vitamin E   can reduce scar formation. But  sad to say the impact and benefit of  vitamin E  has  been somewhat oversold. Vitamin E creams and cleansers  have been shown to  actually provoke breakouts in oily or acne prone skin.  And as for help in scar reduction, numerous researchers report  it just doesn’t happen.  In fact one study showed … Continue Reading…

Is Marijuana the Key to Beautiful Skin? by Deb Chase

marijuana plantQuestion: My friend from Holland says that  marijuana is great for the skin.  Is  that true?   How does it work?

Answer: You had me at marijuana.  While its true that marijuana ( which is legal in Holland)  contains effective antioxidants in the form of cannabinoids, that is not the whole story…..

Smoking marijuana is like smoking traditional tobacco  and  has the same harmful impact  on the heart, lungs and skin.  Some experts even say that it is more dangerous since it is drawn deeper into the longs and held in the airways for greater impact.  Smoke is smoke whether it is more a barbeque grill,  tobacco cigarette or a  hand rolled joint.  All forms of smoke contain carcinogens that raise the risk of many  forms of cancer, especaially  breast and lung cancer.

When it comes to  using  marijuana on the skin, the … Continue Reading…

Beans– The Ultimate Beauty Food by Deb Chase

beansIt woud be hard to invent a healthier food than  the humble bean.  Oounce for ounce beans are 22% protein, more than any other plant food.  Cholesterol free, salt free, gluten free and high in fiber, beans  also deliver an impressive payload of B vitamins, zinc and potassium.  But wait there’s more.  Beans have  almost as much calcium as skin milk.This profile– high in protein and fiber and low in  fat –is exactly  what researchers found when they looked at the links between diet and  skin aging.  And while   prime beef is now $10-20/pound, one pound of dried  beans is less than $2– which works out to less than 30 cents per serving. Seriously.   .

Beans From Around the World

Beans are one of the oldest cultivated foods.  They have been found in Egyptian tombs and are metioned in … Continue Reading…

Scared of Vitamins by Deborah Chase

Vitamin pills This has not been a  good  time for the vitamin industry. A recent story  in the New York Times  reported  that vitamin supplements were not what they seemed.  Some were  contaminated by rodent poop while others had 200X recommended levels of selenium.  And then there were those Ayurvedic  supplements which contained  potentially harmful levels  of lead, mercury and arsenic.

Now in December no less than three studies showed that multivitamin supplements  had no health benefits.  Research out of Harvard  Medical School gave 6000 men over 65 a daily multivitamin pill and measured their brain function.  At the end of 12 years, the multi vitamin made  no difference  in cognitive ability. The much  larger US Preventive Service Task Force followed 300,000 men and women who took multi vitamins.  The result?  No change in heart and cancer rates.  Finally researchers at  Division of Cardiology … Continue Reading…

Beauty Food: Chia Seeds

chia seedsAnyone ‘memba chia pets?  Those terracotta  dogs and  horses that “grew” fuzzy green leaves?  Now it turns out  that these chia seeds my be potential nutritional rock stars.

Chia seeds   are related to the mint family and have been around  since the time of the Aztecs.   You will  find three different types of chia seeds in the health food store. THe white and black seeds  have the same nutritional rofile, while brown seeds are not quite ripe. Gluten free chia seeds are high in calcium, fiber and anti-oxidants.  And good news, they  can  be eaten safely  if you have a nut allergy, adding crunch  to salads and baked goods.

These tiny seeds are also extremely high in linoleic acid– the  vegetable oil most closely linked to fewer wrinkles and younger looking skin. Some experts believe that chia seeds  have a … Continue Reading…