Castor oil may get a bad rap for its less-than-yummy taste, but it has tons of significant health benefits that mean you shouldn't turn your nose up at it. While it's most widely known as a laxative, its healing properties can be felt in tons of other ways as well. We already covered how castor oil can be used as an effective but delicate natural cleanser for your face, but some of its most powerful benefits are felt beneath the skin. The amazing benefits of castor oil include:
Summer is fast approaching, which means many of us are starting to come out of our wintertime hibernation in search of lighter foods and fitness tips that will get us into bikini season shape. Smoothies and juices are nutrition-packed and super energizing, making them both great warm weather additions to your diet.
Choosing between the two can be tricky, since each has its own undeniable health benefits. Whether you stop by the local juice bar or fire up your blender will depend on your personal preferences and requirements, as well as what you need at any given moment. Next time you’re asking yourself “to blend or to juice?” consider how smoothies and juices stack up against each other across these essential categories:
Are you one of the millions of people who are rocking a Paleo diet these days, yet not seeing any results in your body? Let’s talk about some of the deeper reasons as to why you’re not making the progress you’d like, and what you can do about it. A number of causes could be at play, but here are some of the most common culprits:
You’re Toxic. Because we women carry more body fat than men, we make better storage houses for toxins. Fat is where they like to hang out. And the more toxic we are, the more fat we store in an effort to dilute those toxins. Work with a nutritionally-oriented MD to get a workup done if you suspect you’re toxic.
You’re Intolerant. In simplifying your diet and purging processed carbs from your pantry, you can overexpose yourself to staples like meat, eggs, and fish, and then develop intolerances to those foods. This can cause low levels of inflammation throughout the body, making it difficult to drop body fat. Eggs, nuts, soy, corn, wheat, and dairy are the most common allergens found in food, but make sure you rotate all your proteins, fats, fruits, and vegetables as much as possible to avoid developing intolerances.
Growing up, we had a small pond in the backyard. It was murky and bacteria-filled, and the thought of eating anything out of it was repulsive—which makes me wonder what younger me would think if she knew I pay a lot of money to eat pond scum now!
Spirulina, a single celled cyanobacteria (often mistakenly called a blue-green algae) that grows on the tops of ponds and is otherwise known as pond scum, is quite the superfood. While most people take it solely for detoxification purposes, more and more research is showing that its benefits reach much further than a detox.
Whether you've been using spirulina for years, or this is the first time you've heard of it, it's a truly fascinating superfood. Not only does it have unique and powerful health benefits, but it also has a long and interesting history, and has been used for a wide range of purpos—some of them pretty surprising!
Here are 7 things I bet you didn’t know about spirulina:
Tired of rice? Bored with barley? Does even quinoa or teff seem passé? If so, we'd like to introduce you to freekeh. Pronounced freek-ah, this little super grain is new to the West, but has actually been around for thousands of years. In fact, it was discovered in the Eastern Mediterranean region around 2300 BCE, and has been a favorite crop in Australia for many years. It’s only recently begun to pop up in U.S. health food stores, prompting many people to ask the question: So what is freekeh?
Unlike its celebrity sister, quinoa, freekeh is wheat, so it’s not advisable for folks with celiac disease. However, because it’s harvested while still young and green, it contains less gluten than other grains and may be easier for those with gluten intolerance to digest, according to Australian studies. This early harvesting also means that freekeh retains key nutrients and fiber, making it super nutritious.
The flavor of freekeh is very unique. The grains are roasted, which creates a nice crunchy texture and nutty flavor, different from any other common grains.
Now that you know what it is, you may be asking yourself why you should add freekeh to your pantry. Well, here are just a few of the many reasons :
While yoga has been practiced for centuries in some cultures, Pilates is a relative newcomer to the fitness circuit. Named after creator Joseph Pilates, the system was designed in the early 1900s to offer resistance training and muscle toning for optimal health. It first caught on with ballet dancers as a way to stretch and warm up muscles, and then gained in popularity among people looking for low-impact, effective, and functional exercise. Through simple modifications to each exercise, you can make your Pilates workout as easy or as challenging as you like.
The health benefits of Pilates cannot be overstated. Some of the major ones include:
Somewhere between a boring olive oil & vinegar combo and store bought dressing with suspicious ingredients lies the perfect salad dressing recipe to jazz up your healthy dish.
For even more healthy tips and delicious salad recipes, check out Integrative Nutrition's Spring Salads Recipe Guide!
The weather is finally warming up and the flowers are blooming, which can only mean one thing: spring cleaning time is here! I have mixed feelings when it comes to spring cleaning. On one hand it feels so great to throw open the windows and scrub down my home from top to bottom. It’s a fresh start for the new season. On the other hand, home cleaning products can be very toxic and have strong, unpleasant odors. Even the all-natural brands leave my hands feeling itchy and dry.
This year, I decided to take a more natural approach to cleaning by challenging myself to clean my entire home using just three ingredients that I already had in my kitchen: lemons, baking soda, and distilled white vinegar. Though some nooks and crannies in your house might require you to use other cleaning products, these three ingredients do the trick almost everywhere else. It’s a chemical-free clean-stravaganza!
What You’ll Need:
1 spray bottle filled with distilled white vinegar
1 spray bottle filled with half vinegar, half water
1 box of baking soda
6 to 8 lemons
Hi, I’m Maria Marlowe, a Certified Health Coach and author of Detox without the Deprivation. This is my weekly “Ask Health Coach Maria” series, in which I answer frequently asked questions that relate to health and wellness. Have a question? Ask me here.
I switched to a raw vegan diet about two years ago, and at first I lost a ton of weight and felt great. Now, though, I feel like I am starting to look older than I am, and while I’m thin, I don’t feel like I look “healthy.” Lately I’ve noticed that I have phlegm in my throat in the morning, which I used to get from drinking dairy, but now since I don’t drink dairy, I don’t understand why I’m getting it. What’s going on?!
-Linda, New Jersey
Atkins. South Beach. Jenny Craig. Weight Watchers. Gluten-free. Vegan. Vegetarian. That one my best friend is doing.
I don’t know about you, but for me all of these different diets, trends, and fads make my head spin. And with all of the celebrity-endorsed books, it can be easy to fall prey to the age-old, “I’ll have what she’s/he’s having.”
While it’s important not to succumb to societal pressure to look a certain way, it is crucial for your health and overall well-being that you understand different dietary theories so that you can better understand your body and its needs.
I spent a long time navigating the “I’ll have what she’s having” diet, comparing the food on my plate and in my lunch box to what my peers were having. My mind would be filled with questions like, “She has a salad every day for lunch and looks awesome, so should I be having a salad every day for lunch?”