Woman with insomnia

Foods That Fight Insomnia

If you suffer from insomnia, you may look back nostalgically on Thanksgiving nights falling asleep in front of the TV with the taste of sweet potato casserole still lingering on your tongue. While it’s easy to understand how the concept of self-induced food coma may seem tempting to the sleep deprived, it may not be the best health option, and there is only so much leftover turkey one can take.

However, that is not to say there is not a link between eating and sleeping. There is scientific proof that certain foods are more conducive to sleep than others. But before you establish running credit at the deli counter, you may want to know your options.

Walnuts
No only do walnuts contain heart-healthy fats, they also have been found to contain melatonin, a bodily hormone that plays a role in regulating sleep cycle. Dr. Erin Palinski Wade, RD, CDE says, “Try snacking on a small handful about 20 minutes before bed to help you relax and reach a deeper state of restful sleep.”

Walnuts

Bananas
In addition to having high levels of serotonin and melatonin, bananas are also packed with magnesium. Magnesium promotes sleep by decreasing levels of cortisol in the body, a hormone know to interrupt sleep patterns. Although eating the fruit itself has its calming benefits, most of the sleep-inducing power is in the peel. The daring may consider sprinkling banana peels with cinnamon to make them more palatable.

Tart Cherry Juice
A study published in the journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology tracked the effectiveness of tart cherry juice, which contains melatonin, on older adult insomniacs. The participants who were given 8 oz of tart cherry juice twice a day slept an average of 87 minutes longer each night than those who received a placebo. Nutritionist Kayleen St. John, RD, explains, “Other study data has shown a significant elevation in melatonin in groups consuming cherry juice.”

Basil
Palinski Wade says, ” The plant contains sedative properties, which can help you fall and stay asleep. And as a bonus, it not only helps promote sleep, but is great for reducing indigestion,” a further sleep interrupter. She continues, “Research on this shows the sedative properties come mostly form the hydroalcoholic extract and essential oil of O. basilicum.” She points out that liquid basil extracts are available at the market and can “be used to flavor food, as a supplement, or as an essential oil.

Basil

Milk
It seems the common beliefs about the sleep-promoting abilities of milk are not without merit. “Milk may control melatonin production since it is a great source of calcium, ” Palinski-Wade explains. “Milk is also rich in the amino acid tryptophan, which has a calming effect on the body.”

Vitamin B6
According to Mary Hartley, RD, ” When we fall asleep, levels of serotonin rise and adrenaline levels fall. Serotonin, the relaxing hormone, is partly made from the amino acid, tryptophan, which is activated by Vitamin B6.” Fortunately, B6 can be found in a wide variety of foods, such as potatoes, fortified breakfast cereal, chicken, fish, peanut butter, fish, bananas, and several vegetables, so deficiencies are uncommon.

Do you go to the fridge when insomnia strikes? Tell us about it. And let us know how the cinnamon banana peels turned out!

Peaches and Plums

Foods For Breast Health

We ladies sure seem to obsess about out breasts. We enlarge them, reduce them, push them up, plunge them down, stick adhesives on them, pad them, powder them, rouge them, pamper them and scent them with perfumes and after bath sprays. We even do exercises at the gym to keep them at their peak. But do we make sure they are getting proper nutrition? Maybe not.

We owe a lot to our breasts, and we know what can happen if we don’t take care of them, and usually that care entails a lot more than just picking the right bra. Cheryl L. Rock, Ph.D, RD, professor of family and preventive medicine at the University of California says, “A woman can cut her chance of cancer by as much as two-thirds with good nutrition and weight management.” If you are concerned with the health of your breasts, here are some foods that might help you out with that.

Peaches and Plums
According to researchers at Texas A and M, peaches and plums have levels of antioxidants that pose a threat to the celebrated superfruits known as blueberries. The two p’s contain two varieties of polyphenols, antioxidants that may help to destroy breast cancer cells while leaving healthier cells intact.

Walnuts
Research in the Nutrition and Cancer Journal suggest that walnuts may help to impede the spread of breast cancer. Studies on mice found that the rate of tumor growth in walnut -eating mice was half of that in a group that was not fed walnuts. Experts believe that it is the anti-inflammatory properties in walnuts that give them the ability to fight tumors.

Broccoli
Broccoli contains sulforaphane, a compound shown to reduce breast cancer stem cells in mice, according to the University of Michigan. Although it is unclear whether the amount found in broccoli is sufficient enough to have the same effect, make sure to get the most of it by eating broccoli raw or steaming or stir frying. Boiling can lower the level of sulforaphane.

Salmon
Fish oil supplements are known for their cancer fighting characteristics. Ten years of regular consumption can shrink risk the of ductal carcinoma, the most commonly found type of breast cancer. Omega-3 fats in fish oil prevent inflammation, a known contributor to breast cancer. However, if you eat about 8 ounces of fish like salmon daily, you can skip the supplements.

Coffee
Need another reason to go to Starbucks? A May 2011 study in Breast Cancer Research finds that drinking two twelve oz cups a day can lower great cancer risk. According to study author, Jingmei Li, Ph.D, “One possibility is that coffee’s antioxidants protects cells from damage that can lead to cancer.” However, these findings are not confirmed, so you may want to wait until you become a fixture at your local coffee house.

Beans
You know what they say about beans- the more you eat…. the more your risk of breast cancer decreases. A new report from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that increasing fiber intake can lower the likelihood of great cancer. The research found that eating 10 grams of fiber a day (about 1/2 cup of beans) decreases risk of breast cancer by 7%.

So the next time your spending money on your lovely assets, you may want to do it in the grocery store. Let us know what you’re doing to support your breast health. We love to hear it!

A Diet for Better Skin

When it comes to your skin, the old adage that “you are what you eat” is completely true. The link between what you eat and how healthy your skin appears is inextricable. All of the foods that you eat have an impact on the appearance, and health, of your skin. If you aren’t happy with your skin, before turning to completely new skin care regimens or the latest cosmetic trend to fake better skin, try modifying your diet instead. A well-balanced diet provides your body, including your skin, with everything that it needs to work at maximum capacity. Starting from scratch with a diet for better skin can be a bit overwhelming, so Resveralife is providing you with five of the best foods to eat when you begin.

Strawberries.

Strawberries
When you think of vitamin C the first fruit that comes to mind is probably an orange. However, strawberries actually contain more vitamin C per serving than oranges. Vitamin C is necessary in a diet for better skin because it is an antioxidant that fights against free-radical damage. Free radicals attack your skin by damaging the cells and breaking down collagen, resulting in more fine lines and wrinkles. Research has shown that those who eat foods rich in vitamin C experience fewer wrinkles and less dryness associated with aging than those who skip this vital vitamin.

Dark chocolate

Chocolate
Chocolate can help give you glowing skin, but only if you are consuming dark chocolate with a high cacao content . Renowned skin expert, Dr. Nicholas Perricone, notes some of the benefits of dark chocolate saying, “…dark chocolate contains high levels of flavonols, a potent type of antioxidant.” Cocoa also helps hydrate your skin, making it more supple. Look for chocolate that is 70% cacao or higher to reap the benefits while satisfying your sweet tooth.

Pumpkin pie.

Pumpkin
Pumpkin is the quintessential fall flavor and in addition to being delicious, it can provide your skin with significant benefits. Like carrots, pumpkin gets its orange hue from carotenoids, which are pigments from plants that neutralize free radicals in the skin. Additionally, pumpkin is an excellent source of vitamins A, C and E and it contains enzymes that cleanse your skin. With vitamin E, the pulp from pumpkins is a great hydrator for your skin.

Walnuts.

Walnuts
Walnuts have several ingredients that make this nut a great choice when you want to put together a diet for better skin. Walnuts are the only type of nut that contain a high level of omega-3 fatty acids. In addition the the omega-3s that walnuts provide, they are also high in copper. Copper is a mineral that boosts collagen production, leaving your skin firmer and smoother.

Green tea

Green Tea
The drink of choice when it comes to a diet for better skin, green tea is incredibly high in antioxidants. One of these antioxidants, EGCG, helps reduce redness in your skin. The antioxidants in green tea also increase oxygen flow to your skin and boost your circulation and research proves that inflammation in the body.

A diet for better skin contains a range of fresh produce in addition to lean meats and fish. While green tea is an excellent choice for a drink, don’t forget to drink your water as well to help remove toxins from your body. Get creative in the kitchen and enjoy foods that provide you with healthier, better, more radiant skin.

Woman eating cereals.

Resveralife Eat Well: Eat Your Way to Great Skin

The link between diet and health is inextricable. The foods that you choose when you’re at the market affect every aspect of your body from your general health to your toenails. A nutritious, well-balanced diet provides your body with everything it needs to run at peak efficiency. The old adage “you are what you eat” is certainly true when it comes to diet and your skin. Once you decide to eat your way to better skin (and overall health) it can be a bit daunting and overwhelming to start writing up grocery lists and planning your meals. Which foods are most beneficial to your skin? Resveralife researched this question and we’ve rounded up the five best, and most delicious, foods to eat your way to better skin.

Dark chocolate

Chocolate
We figured we’d start with something that you will be delighted to add to your next shopping list. Chocolate can help give you glowing skin, but only if you are consuming dark chocolate. Milk chocolate does not have nearly the same amount of cacao that dark chocolate does. The famous skin expert, Dr. Nicholas Perricone, notes some of the benefits of dark chocolate saying, “…dark chocolate contains high levels of flavonols, a potent type of antioxidant.” Cocoa also helps hydrate your skin, making it more supple. Look for chocolate that is 70% dark chocolate or higher to reap the benefits while satisfying your sweet tooth.

Walnuts

Walnuts
Walnuts, another tasty treat, have several components that make them a great choice when you want to eat your way to better skin. Walnuts are the only type of nut that contain a high level of omega-3 fatty acids. While omega-3 fatty acids benefit everyone, they are especially beneficial to those who follow a vegetarian diet that do not enjoy fish. In addition the the omega-3s that walnuts provide, they are also high in copper. Copper is a mineral that boosts collagen production, leaving your skin firmer and smoother.

Oatmeal dish

Oatmeal
A great way to start your day, oatmeal (particularly steel cut oats or whole grain oatmeal) is a complex carbohydrate that fills you up. Choosing a sugary cereal spikes your insulin levels and that can be bad news for your face. When insulin spikes it increases production of hormones known as androgens, which in turn increase oil production and the end result is more zits and pimples on your face. Oatmeal has skin healing properties and takes longer to break down in your body, which means that it keeps your blood sugar at a steady level.

Kale on a table.

Kale
Okay, this one can be more of an acquired taste, but figuring out ways to fix it that you enjoy will significantly help your skin. A one cup serving of kale provides you with 134% of vitamin C and 133% of vitamin A. Additionally, kale contains lutein and zeaxanthin. These nutrients neutralize and absorb free-radicals that are caused by ultraviolet radiation, including those UV rays that may get past your sunscreen. There are tons of ways to eat kale, so there’s bound to be something you love whether it’s a green smoothie, a chopped salad or a snack like kale chips.

Green tea.

Green Tea
We wanted to include a healthy drinking option on the list, because sometimes you want something other than water. Green tea is incredibly high in antioxidants and one in particular, EGCG, that helps reduce redness. In addition, the antioxidants in green tea increase oxygen flow to your skin and boost your circulation. Studies have also shown that green tea fights inflammation in the body. Enjoy at least one cup of green tea daily to get the skin rewards this powerful drink offers.

It really is possible to eat your way to better skin, and not all of the foods that benefit your body are bland and boring. Strive for five servings of fruits and vegetables each day and limit the amount of refined sugar you eat. Always pick whole grains, complex carbohydrates, over simple carbohydrates that are overly processed. Combined with exercise and great skin care, your healthy skin diet will leave you looking and feeling your best.