Top 5 Superstar Summer Fruits

Many people take the benefits of summer fruit for granted. When it comes to “health food,” veggies, leafy greens and herbs seem to get all the attention. Fruit may be sweet, but that doesn’t make it any less healthy. These summertime faves are just as wonderful for your body as they are for your tastebuds.

1. Cherries: Bite-Sized Body Protectors

Cherries are fun to eat and irresistibly delicious. There are many varieties, including Rainier, Bing, Morello and black cherries. Some are sweeter, others are on the tart side, but all have fantastic health benefits.

Tart cherry juice can reduce soreness, alleviate inflammation and joint pain, and speed up wound healing. It can also help you sleep better, thanks to high melatonin levels.

Cherries are a filling snack that helps you avoid the munchies, with 2 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber per cup. They're amazing for lowering uric acid levels, which is a huge help (a 35% reduction in gout attacks!) for people with gout problems.

2. Watermelon: The Ultimate Refresher

This juicy summer favorite may be mostly water, but it also has many antioxidants, including lycopene and carotenoids. Lycopene is famed for protecting the heart and lowering blood pressure.

One of the best ways to use watermelon is as a post-workout refresher. Watermelon can improve circulation, physical performance and muscle recovery after exercise, plus help restore your body’s electrolytes.

Watermelon juice is a breeze to make in a blender. You can even add sparkling water or mint for extra pep.

3. Lemons: Tangy Little Recipe Helpers

The great thing about fresh lemons and limes isn’t just the abundant vitamin C they have. It’s how versatile these tart superstars are. Lemons work wonders in a variety of dishes:

  • Homemade vinaigrettes
  • Grilled salmon with basil and lime
  • Roasted lemon chicken
  • Pasta with seafood and lemon sauce
  • Lemon-garlic sweet potatoes
  • Lime-marinated fajitas
  • Garden salad with lime and cilantro
  • Zesty spiced pears

As far as health benefits go, citrus fruits can lower cholesterol levels, help some people avoid kidney stones, lower the risk of certain cancers and help you get more iron in your diet.

4. Passion Fruit: The Perfect Juice Fruit

This tropical fruit has a hard shell filled with gel-covered seeds. It’s rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, fiber and antioxidants, all with just 17 calories per fruit. These nutrients support eye health and healthy aging.

Instead of eating the seeds directly (though you can), most people use them to make refreshing juices. All you do is add the seeds/gel to your blender with some water, juice them and strain the seeds. Passion fruit is an excellent addition to green smoothies.

5. Blackberries, Raspberries, Strawberries and Blueberries: Anti-Inflammatory Powerhouses

Berries are the poster children of antioxidants. They’re some of the healthiest foods you can eat — period. In case you haven’t heard, antioxidants are special nutrients from plants that help strengthen your body’s defenses. As a result, they support smoother skin, better eyesight and a healthier heart.

Many scientists think that eating more berries helps you avoid brain fog. The same antioxidants that give berries their dark colors are great for long-term brain health, improving mental performance and memory and lowering the risk of dementia.

Eat Fruit Now!

Summer is the perfect time to sink your teeth into these juicy, tasty, healthy fruits. If you can't find fresh (or prices are crazy), remember that frozen fruits retain most of their nutrients.

Stop Using Body Lotion on Your Beautiful Face!

Do you use body lotion on your face? If so, stop!

Body lotions can easily clog your pores and make you feel uncomfortable, especially if you already have oily skin. Trust me on this — you would literally be better off using nothing at all. Fortunately, there are great alternatives that still make you feel sexy, don’t cost an arm and a leg, and don’t take long to apply.

Why Body Lotion Is a Bad Choice for Your Face

Body lotion and facial moisturizers are two very different products with completely different goals. Think about it for a second — Your face has to deal with things during the day that the rest of your skin normally doesn’t, including intense sun rays, makeup, dirt and sweat.

1. Your Face Is More Sensitive Than Your Body

Women have far more sweat-producing glands in the face than any other part of the body. These glands are sensitive to hormone changes and irritation, meaning that you have to treat them with extra care compared to the rest of your skin. Also, your facial skin is thinner than flesh in other areas of the body, so it’s more delicate.

What this means is that products that don’t normally irritate your arms or legs can often irritate your face. This is especially true for those luxurious body butters that smell so good. Irresistible fragrances are amazing when you’re giving your legs some TLC, but they’re often a problem for the sensitive skin of the face.

2. Body Lotion Isn’t Designed To Protect or Nourish Your Face

Body lotions generally focus on minimizing spider veins, reducing the appearance of cellulite, or toning and firming your skin. They contain ingredients designed to add moisture to dry skin and smooth rough areas such as your elbows or toes.

On the other hand, face lotions almost do the opposite. They focus on moisturizing your face while also keeping pores clear. The goal is to minimize wrinkles, dark spots and the appearance of pores.

3. Face Moisturizers Avoid Irritating Your Skin

Even the ingredients on facial moisturizers are better for a gorgeous complexion.  To avoid irritating the delicate skin of the face, these products should have natural extracts that are gentler on you.

Other ingredients may help specifically with wrinkles, such as hyaluronic acid and peptides for collagen production. Many facial moisturizers have sunblock to help protect your face against UV rays during the day.

What You Should Use for Facial Care and Moisturizing Instead

There are many good options for facial care, and they don’t have to be expensive. You can even improvise face moisturizer using natural ingredients. Here are a few favorites:

  • Aloe gel: Great moisturizer that soothes irritated skin.
  • Shea butter: Luxurious butter for your face but also lightweight.
  • Rose essential oil: Gentle oil that softens and hydrates your face.
  • Rose water: Calming liquid that helps with inflammation and redness.
  • Jojoba oil: Anti-inflammatory oil that repairs and firms facial skin.

Don’t get me wrong, I love silky-smooth body lotion just as much as the next girl. It helps me sleep like a baby when I massage it into my tired feet. But I don’t use it on my face.

The Benefits of Vitamin C For Your Skin: A Simple Guide

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory; it is these underlying advantages that result in comparisons of Vitamin C to the holy grail of skincare. The question: is there evidence to support the rumors? According to the research, vitamin C can brighten complexion, repair skin damage, prevent premature aging, heal wounds, and improve the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. If vitamin C is the holy grail, how do you take advantage of it?

Benefits of Vitamin C for Your Skin

Your body cannot make vitamin C on its own, which is why it is necessary to include the vitamin in your diet through foods or supplements. Vitamin C is capable of incredible things, including:

  • Counteracting sun damage
  • Improving overall immunity
  • Treating skin conditions, like psoriasis, acne, scars, wrinkles, and fine lines

How To Take Advantage of Vitamin C

If you have heard enough, it's time for you to make your skin glow. What you eat and apply can help you achieve that happy, glowing complexion of your dreams. Vitamin C can be found in sources such as oranges, grapefruits, papaya, lemons, limes, berries, and fortified cereals, like yogurt and granola. The highest food sources of the vitamin are found in citrus fruits. It is these foods that are particularly powerful when used as skin-care ingredients, which leads to the other source of vitamin C in topical treatments.

What Skin Conditions Can Vitamin C Help With?

In general, vitamin C can help reduce the effects of several conditions, including acne and premature aging. However, the full impact of vitamin C is achieved when you consume or use enough of it, and there are plenty of ways to get enough of the vitamin. If you want to consume vitamin C in your diet, focus on fruits and vegetables; if you want to include it in what you drink, look to orange juice. However, if you want to use vitamin C at high and effective levels, look to supplements and topical treatments. 

Vitamin C, when applied topically, accelerates collagen and elastin production. Using topical treatments helps to keep skin firm and plump, ensuring a youthful appearance and preventing premature aging. 

Every skin treatment requires adherence to the instructions to achieve desired results. However, before using any skincare supplement, check with your dermatologist to ensure your skin is capable of the regimen.

After following the basic steps of the vitamin C topical application, how do you ensure that you are getting the most out of this little beauty treasure? No matter the technique, choosing the right Vitamin C-based skincare products, the proper application technique, and making sure you are adding the proper amounts to your diet, you will be rewarded with improved, smooth, and glowing skin.

Obviously, vitamin C is not the only thing you need to ensure healthy and beautiful skin. A dermatologist can help you determine the right creams and treatments to achieve your best skin. However, vitamin C is a highly effective vitamin, and it does provide several research-backed benefits when applied or consumed correctly.

What do you think of vitamin C as a skincare holy grail?

The Unique Advantages of a Humidifier

Humidifiers work by vaporizing liquid to add to the moisture level in your home. While these devices might not be paramount in the warmer, more humid months of the year, they play a critical role in your house and even health during the winter. 

People often undervalue the significance of moisture levels in their homes, often equating moisture with problems, such as mold. Still, despite moisture causing some complications, at adequate levels — no higher than 50% — moisture content can help maintain the house's structure and the people, pets, and plants inside. 

The idea of bringing a tool into your home to add moisture to specific areas can seem a bit strange, but it is beneficial. Before you decide to forego purchasing a humidifier, consider the advantages of using one.

Prevent Dry Skin 

Did you know that it is normal for moisture levels in your home to dip below 30% when using forced air heating? Your skin begins to lose its moisture at such levels, resulting in dry, tight, itchy, and flaky skin. 

Your hands and lips are especially vulnerable to losing moisture and becoming dehydrated. The hands have fewer oil glands than other parts of the body, so they have less protection against dry air. The lips are more sensitive with more tender skin, making it easier for them to become chapped and cracked. 

A humidifier helps return some of the lost moisture in the air, providing relief for your skin. Applying hand lotion and chapstick can also help mitigate damage in the colder, drier months.

Ease Sinus Symptoms 

The winter and drier climates are notorious for drying out sinuses and nasal passages. The excess dryness can lead to sinus pressure, headaches, bloody noses, and discomfort. 

While many people believe that humidity will only worsen stuffiness and sinus issues, the contrary is true. Maintaining optimal humidity levels throughout your home contribute to healthy sinus and mucus function, reducing the risks of sinus-related problems. 

A humidifier permits the ease of breathing because it encourages the free movement of mucus. Additionally, it reduces the risks of a bloody nose and sinus headaches.

Reduce Spread of Germs and Bacteria

The National Academy of Sciences found that dry conditions promote the survival and transmission of the influenza virus. Therefore, using a humidifier to maintain optimal moisture levels can reduce the risk of spreading viruses, germs, and bacteria. 

Humidity does not permit the spread of bacteria through the air as much as dry conditions. Moisture in the air makes it heavier and harder to navigate at a molecular level. With appropriate moisture levels, viruses cannot spread as far and wide, meaning humidifiers can reduce the risk of infection. 

However, do not count on humidifiers to eliminate all risks. You will still need to focus on hygiene — regularly bathing and washing your hands and taking necessary precautions like receiving vaccinations. 

Provide Additional Warmth 

Aside from the health benefits of using a humidifier, the device also provides environmental advantages, such as providing greater warmth. Research suggests that dry air typically feels chillier than moist air. 

HVAC professionals recommend using humidifiers in combination with forced air heat to combat feeling overly cold. Additionally, using a humidifier can help reduce the strain on your HVAC system. 

While the general principle of homeownership is to avoid moisture in the house, it should be changed to the avoidance of excess moisture. Humidifiers add a beneficial amount of moisture to an otherwise dry space, helping to relieve wintertime ailments. 

Do you use a humidifier? Why or why not?