Tag Archives: Free Radicals

Let’s Talk Brain Health – Part 1

Over the holidays and spending time with aging family members, I really became aware of how forgetful they were becoming, how they had trouble recollecting memories or were experiencing general confusion.  I started reading up on these issues and discovered that this is something we really need to be concerned about.

I first found this overwhelming statistic that stated if we live to the age of 85, half of us will more than likely develop Alzheimer’s.  According to the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba there are more than 22,500 Manitobans that have Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. This number is growing at an alarming rate and by 2038 it is expected to reach over 40,700!

There are of course risk factors listed on their website and areas that we should look at changing in our lifestyle, but there is no known cure at this time.  Now this of course is alarming because we easily take our organs for granted and our brains have a 24/7 job like the rest of them!  Unlike the other organs that perhaps have a main job, our brains are responsible for multiple!! Our brain is responsible not just for our thoughts, but our breathing, our organ functions, our movements and is basically the power source of our whole body!

So if there is no cure and we need our brains to be fully functioning, I of course then looked further into preventative information.

One of the common threads I was seeing in my research all pointed towards our gut health.  Apparently, our gut is a major contributor to brain issues, cognitive decline and memory issues if we have insulin resistance (aka diabesity). Some researchers have now begun to call Alzheimer’s disease type 3 diabetes and say that our guts are actually our 2nd brain. So nutrition is the key if prevention is the focus!

The good news is that a brain diet basically consists of eating wholesome colourful foods, a rainbow of brain nourishment!  Plant pigments found in those colourful foods can feed our brains the vital nutrients they need.  Here are just some of those pigments and where you can find them.

lycopene foodsRED/PINK an antioxidant pigment that helps combat free radicals (those wayward, naturally occurring cells that cause big time stress on our bodies, which can lead to premature aging & disease) – look to tomatoes, pink grapefruit, papaya and watermelon! Lycopene’s antioxidant properties may help prevent seizures and memory loss experienced in age-related diseases, such as Alzheimer’s.

chlorophyll foods – GREEN and probably the most well known as a vital source of energy but did you know they optimize our brain function?! Yup! They say chlorophyll is the blood of plants and is comparable to our own and when we introduce them into our bodies it’s like having an energy transfusion! All green veggies contain chlorophyll however some are definitely better than others such as spinach compared to broccoli which is actually considered more white.  You want a green that goes green throughout.   Look to those leafy greens as those are the best source but also kelp, algae, spirulina and don’t forget those green tops from beets & carrots!

beta carotene foods ORANGE and long known as being beneficial for vision and skin, but carotene foods have now been thought to reduce the risk of cognitive decline in men (according to a report released in the Nov. 12 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine). Researchers found that oxidative stress, which damages brain cells, is a major contributor to the aging of the brain and associated cognitive decline.  This beautiful vibrant pigment is also found in sweet potatoes, squash, cantaloupe, peppers & apricots to name a few.  For best absorption of this fat soluble vitamin, try adding oil or nuts.

anthocyanins (a type of flavonoid)  foods – BLUE/PURPLE & RED found in the skins of glorious blueberries, blackberries, grapes, strawberries, pomegranates, kidney beans & red onions just to name a few!! They are probably the most consumed as there is such a variety of foods that offer these. Some of the many anthocyanin benefits that research has uncovered include fighting heart disease, cancer, memory loss and neurological disorders.

Besides a rainbow diet to keep our brains healthy, there are a few other suggestions such as taking time to learn something new like playing an instrument, learning to play a new sport or finding a new hobby to learn.  Keep our brains ignited through learning but be sure to also disconnect from devices!  Turn off the TV, put away the iPhone and instead start connecting with others.  Play a game of cards with a friend, enjoy a coffee together with good o’l conversation or best of all connect with ourselves out in nature.  Fresh air, exercise, laughter and some colour are the perfect prescription I think for prevention of many health issues, but certainly for brain health.

Next Up – Brain Health: Continuing the conversation – ” All Things Bubbly”

 

 

 

Facial Friday = Fresh, Fabulous, Faces!

Every Friday evening I love to give myself a facial.  It has become such a self-care ritual, that I am always looking for ways to improve either the atmosphere I create to enjoy my facial, or trying out a new facial product. It’s a great way to end the week, detoxify your skin from all the free radicals we are constantly exposed to that are so damaging to our skin.

When I was first learning about the possible toxins in skin care, I made my own facials from whatever I could find in my kitchen!  This is a fun way to experiment and can even include the kids!  I have sons and taught them early on about the importance of self care and taking care of your skin. Now that they are older they often come to me asking for me to whip them up something to help with either winter dry skin, sun stressed skin or occasional breakouts.  I now of course have access to ready to use facial masks that offer amazing benefits and make “Facial Friday’s” that much easier!

Naked Skincare Apothecary: 

Locally made, Naked Skincare Apothecary currently offers two types of facial masks.  Detox Mask & Radiance Mask.

Photo Courtesy of Naked Skincare

I lovvvve both of them! They are my go to’s and available at Generation Green!

Detox Mask will help neutralize oily skin and prevent or clear up breakouts.  Thanks to the activated charcoal & kaolin in this mask, it will basically pull out dirt & toxins.  Super easy to use, simply add a small amount of  liquid to a teaspoon of the mask powder.  Play around with different liquids to add like a toner, facial oil, or even hit up the kitchen for honey or yogurt!

Ingredients: Activated Bamboo Charcoal, Kaolin Clay, Fuller Earth Clay, Papaya Extract, Turmeric Powder.

Radiance Mask will do just that! Make your face radiate!  Offering up some magical ingredients like Australian and French Pink Clay that not only detoxify and do away with dead skin, but also leave you with a refreshed look!  This one really is great for mature skin too thanks to the addition of  Mango Extract which helps prevent the decline of elasticity in the skin.

Ingredients: Australian Pink Clay, French Pink Clay, Mango Extract.

Mama Pacha : 

Another locally made favourite that we stock at Generation Green and is offered in refill is Mama Pacha’s  Daily Face Wash & Super Scrubby Face Wash.  These face washes can also be used as a face mask just by leaving on longer. They are gentle enough for all skin types, including sensitive skin.

Both offer the benefits of kaolin clay (the mildest of clays). Kaolin clay contains a high content of silica that not only can remove dead skin but also regenerate skin. Also offers purification by removing toxins and oils without drying out skin.

Both masks contain oats that offer a gentle scrub as well as the soothing benefits of chamomile.  The only difference in the two is the Super Scrubby contains jojoba meal as an exfoliator (really good scrub) without dangerous microbeads (little pieces of plastic that are not only bad for your skin but also the environment) that can be found in some conventional face scrubs.

Orgaid Sheet Masks : 

This is a new stock item that I’m anxious to try out!  

Orgaid masks are not made like other sheet masks. Not only because of the serum combination in the masks but the delivery system they use!  The unique fibre, (called Ecoderma) Orgaid uses is not only breathable and adheres well but more importantly the fibre helps absorb the serum deeper into skin, helping you to get all the benefits those ingredients offer.  The masks are made with certified organic ingredients,  all safe ingredients with no chemical preservatives.  I also love the rating they get on EWG’s Skindeep Database!

Yes, you might look a little scary wearing one (think Jason from Halloween), but makes for great selfie pics! (before & after).

Available in 3 types: (information taken from Orgaid Website)

VITAMIN C 
 Reduces the appearance of brown spots and sun damage 
 Provides potent antioxidant protection to keep firm and youthful skin 
 Improves skin’s natural healing response, resulting in skin revitalization 
+ Orange peel and pomegranate boost healthy collagen synthesis
ANTI-AGING & MOISTURIZING
+ Vitamin B3  reduces skin aging
+ Aloe Vera  helps moisturize and calm skin
+ Witch hazel  reduces swelling and blemish
+ Hyaluronic Acid hydrates skin
GREEK YOGURT
+ Organic Greek Yogurt supplements essential nutrition on skin
+ Organic Botanicals soothe  skin smoother
+ Pro-Vitamin B5  and Allantoin tightens skin
+ Beta Glucan and Vegetable Proteins condition skin