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The ACE of Eating for Beauty

Posted by Anna Mitsios on

When it comes to nourishing our skin, many of us will prioritise expensive skin care products over the foods that we are eating every day. But if you want to experience radiant and beautiful skin, the first step is in fact feeding your inside with a healthy diet! Being the largest organ in your body, your skin deserves to be nourished with the right nutrients to have you glowing – inside and out. Research suggests that there are a few key nutrients which are essential for radiant skin and for preventing many of the signs of skin aging.

  •  A for Vit. A

Vitamin A, or retinol, is one of the most widely acknowledged nutrients for healthy skin. In much the same way as topical anti-aging and anti-acne remedies rich in retinol claim to force your body to shed the old (pore-clogging and dulling) cells on your skin’s surface in favor of a healthier, younger layer of skin, eating foods which are rich in vitamin A similarly encourage your body to turn over new cells from the inside out.

Rough, dry skin is a common sign of vitamin A deficiency, which often first appears as rough, raised bumps on the back of the arms.

A diet rich in vitamin A leads to a brighter complexion that is less prone to breakouts and age spots.

Beauty foods rich in Vitamin A: Choose sweet potatoes, carrots, papaya and butternut squash and egg yolks from organic pastured chickens. I also recommend using cod liver oil if you wish to supplement, as this provides a balance of vitamin A and vitamin D that will reduce the risk of overdosing on vitamin A.

  •  C for Vit. C

Vitamin C is involved in the production of collagen (which keeps skin firm) and protects cells from damage caused by free radicals.

Increasing the amount of vitamin C in the diet can contribute to improved skin health and faster healing. Studies show that diets high in vitamin C are associated with better skin appearance and less skin wrinkling. Vitamin C may also help prevent and treat ultraviolet (UV)-induced damage by acting as an antioxidant, and may improve dry skin.

Broken capillaries, dry and rough skin and white bumps on the upper arms (hyperkeratosis pillaris) can often be a sign of vitamin C deficiency.

Beauty foods rich in vitamin C include: Bell peppers (red, green, and yellow), guava, kiwi fruits, broccoli, dark leafy greens, citrus fruits, all berries, mangoes, pineapple, snow peas, tomatoes, and watermelon. Certain fresh herbs such as cilantro, chives, thyme, basil and parsley are also high in vitamin C.

  • E for Vit. E

Vitamin E is the most abundant fat-soluble antioxidant found in the skin. It is released onto the surface of the skin through the sebum, an oily substance that coats the outer layer of the skin. This happens for about seven days after consuming vitamin E-rich foods, and acts as an important protective factor on the skin’s surface. Vitamin E also guards your skin against damage from the sun’s UV radiation. It even suppresses the formation of arachidonic acid, which could help improve inflammatory skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis and psoriasis.  Our bodies store vitamin E in our fat cells, and we depend on dietary intake of foods rich in vitamin E to keep these levels optimal.

Signs of a lack of vitamin E include dry hair and skin, slow tissue healing, hair loss and poor circulation.

Beauty foods rich in Vitamin E include: Spinach, turnip greens, chard, sunflower seeds, almonds, bell peppers, asparagus, collards, kale, broccoli, brussel sprouts and olive oil.

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Luminous Skin – Tonic Recipe

Posted by Anna Mitsios on

This juice is the perfect skin drink for the warmer months, containing beautiful glow-giving fruits and veggies. Cucumber is hydrating and is also rich in silica, which promotes collagen production.

Mango is not only fresh and delicious, but also contains beta carotene which helps to protect the skin from sun damage. The leafy green purslane is a powerful anti-inflammatory, and is high in Omega-3s which promote glowing, younger looking skin.

Lemon and coriander are also wonderful for the liver – coriander helps to chelate heavy metals from the body and lemon stimulates the liver to produce enzymes required for the body to digest and detox efficiently.

 

Ingredients

1 cucumber

½ lemon, peeled

1 cup purslane

½ mango, peeled and pit removed

Handful of cilantro

Handful of mint

 

Directions

Put all ingredients through a juicer.  Alternate between the cucumber, mango, purslane and coriander to help move everything through smoothly.

You can also have this drink as a smoothie – just blend up all the ingredients with ½ cup of water.

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Edible Beauty Skin Care Essentials

Posted by Anna Mitsios on

Ensuring the skin is kept healthy and radiant is all about ensuring that we are looking after our bodies in a wholesome, loving and nourishing way – both inside and out. And this need not be complicated or expensive.

The skin is the largest organ in the body.  It is important to provide our skin the many nutrients it needs to build a strong and healthy barrier, both from the nutrients we eat and products we use. We are all entitled to radiant luminous skin, and it is as simple as turning beauty inside out.

The three principles I promote when it comes to daily skin care routines include:

1. Hydration:

  • Our skin cells have an external barrier that is made of fat, known as a double lipid fatty layer. This means that our skin loves fat. So do not be scared to aid pure oil such as coconut oil, cacao butter, shea butter, sunflower seed oil, vitamin E and jojoba oil onto the skin. The oil will not be greasy as you may be inclined to think. In fact the oil will actually absorb quickly, balance the skin’s oil production and hydrate the skin to diminish fine lines and wrinkles for a youthful and healthy complexion!
  • To ensure the skin is hydrated both inside and out, go beyond just lathering your favourite oils onto the skin. EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), one of the omega-3 fats, has been shown to preserve the skin firming protein collagen which promotes firm, ageless skin.  DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), another omega-3 fat, has shown to reduce inflammation for smooth, healthy skin.
  • Plant based fats, such as coconut oil, olive oil, avocado and nuts and seeds as well as fish are rich in Omega-3s, enabling your skin to remain healthy supple and firm. Try to incorporate healthy fats into your diet on a daily basis for optimal benefit.
  • Hydrating the body with water is a wonderful way to combat the dehydrating effects of the weather, air conditioning and our modern diet. Aim to have at least 1.5 to 2 litres of water daily to keep both the body and skin hydrated.

2. Antioxidants:

  • Antioxidants work on protecting the skin by limiting the production of free radicals, which can damage skin cells.
  • Antioxidants taken internally are thought to decrease the risk of sun and other environmental damage by neutralising wrinkle-causing free radicals.
  • Interestingly, a recent study  of healthy men and women in the Netherlands found a significant link between the level of vitamin A in the blood and skin condition.
  • Foods which are particularly good to look out for when it comes to antioxidants include berries, cherries, carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, kale and superfoods such as kamu kamu, macqui, pomegranate and acai.
  • Antioxidants in skin care products can do a lot for the health and appearance of the skin, including reducing fine lines, calming inflamed skin, and tightening and toning. Vitamins A, C and E and the mineral selenium are of particular benefit. In addition to helping fortify cells against free radicals, vitamins A and C also encourage cell and tissue growth, assisting the body in repairing itself.
  • When purchasing skin care products ensure there is a variety of anti-oxidants within the ingredients list, as the skin loves antioxidants which come form a variety of sources. Ingredients particularly high in antioxidants include Acerola, Rosehip, Pomegranate. Australian extracts including Kadadu Plum, Wattle Seed, Desert Lime and Davidson Plum are known to be some of the world’s highest plant based sources of antioxidants.

3. Best Skin Care Practice:

  • When it comes to maintaining the skin externally, having a daily routine which includes cleansing and moisturising is critical. Cleansing ensures that impurities are removed from the skin on a daily basis whilst moisturising locks in hydration and ensures the skin is kept firm and supple.
  • Choosing products which pledge to be pure is critical as the body absorbs over 60% of what is placed on the skin.
  • My philosophy is built on the “edible beauty” principle. That is that you would not place on your skin anything that you would not put in your mouth.
  • If you can abide by this practice and look out for products which are rich in natural oils and antioxidants you will reap the benefits of a healthy, natural and radiant glow both inside and out.
About Anna Mitsios
Anna’s love of herbal and natural ingredients provided her with a vision to create a luxurious botanical product range including teas, herbal elixirs and skin care, to promote beauty both inside and out. As a naturopath, Anna is a strong believer in the incredible power of herbs and natural foods to transform, nourish and revitalise our lives.
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Five Tips to Make 2016 Your Best Year Ever

Posted by Anna Mitsios on

We live in a culture where "busy-ness" and goal achievement are measure of our success. With the New Year comes a flood of blog posts and advice-driven articles focused on how to achieve success, monetary goals and career dreams in 2016. We are directed to "manifest" our desires with secret steps, formulas and meditations. We are demoralised for failing to achieve as it must mean we are not operating at the right vibration. I thought it would be refreshing to take a different slant on setting intentions for the New Year. What if we were to focus on what makes us and others around us happy? What if we were to measure our success on how fulfilled we feel at the end of the day rather than the dollar value of our "achievement". Perhaps we would all be operating at a higher vibration - without trying. My tips on ensuring that 2016 is the best year ever are simple but will have maximum impact

 

  1. Focus on what makes your heart sing: Rather than being "task masters" at setting goals, timeframes, resource lists and contingency plans for obstacles to monetary or tangible gains in 2016, what if we were to write a list of 100 things we would love to do in the coming year? 100 things that makes our heart sing; be it travel, food, activities, business or spending time with loved ones. If we were to focus on crossing off as many things as we can on this list, I guarantee we would be more happier than we would using a boot-camp approach to goal setting, reviews and re-evaluations. Give it a go this week - just writing this list can be so much fun!
  2. Show gratitude: Whilst being positive is often short lived, gratitude allows us to appreciate the value of people and circumstances in our lives, enabling us to celebrate the present and magnify the pleasures we get from life. There’s even evidence, including a study by psychologist Alex Wood in the Journal of Research in Personality, showing that gratitude can reduce the frequency and duration of episodes of depression. An easy method to develop the practice of gratitude is to keep a gratitude journal, which basically consists of writing down every day a list of three to ten things for which you are grateful. You can do this first thing in the morning or before going to bed at night. Another simple way is to remember to thank and be grateful for everyone in your life.
  3. Pursue your passion and work less: Five regrets people have at their death bed is that they wish they had:
    1. Not worked so hard,
    2. Stayed in touch with friends
    3. Let themselves be happier
    4. Had the courage to express their true selves
    5. Lived life true to their dreams instead of what others expected from them. 

Don't end up being someone who resonates with this list. Pursue what your heart wants, keep those who matter close, and work only to live (not the other way around!). 

  1. Give something back: Imagine a world where everyone did just one daily kind or compassionate deed for someone else. The world would certainly be a much happier place.
  2. Spend time in nature: The health benefits of time spent in the outdoors include increased immunity, lowered levels of stress and higher vitamin D levels. Spend time reading in the sun, lazing on the beach, watching the sunset or exploring some of the beautiful national parks in your local area.
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Green Goddess Detox Tea

Posted by Anna Mitsios on

Feeling a little shady post the silly season? Let’s clear things up. This herbal tisane tastes divine and has the added benefit of powerful cleansing actions. St Mary’s Thistle, Schizandra and Dandelion Root work to detoxify and repair your liver, while citrus peel and lemon grass promote lightness and radiance.

 

The botanical actives in this tea have proven therapeutic action:

  • St Mary’s Thistle is unique in its ability to protect the liver. The compounds in St Mary’s thistle work together to support healthy liver function and tissue integrity by supporting healthy cellular defenses. St Mary’s Thistle also aids in the elimination of toxin accumulation in the liver and in the support of hormonal processes in the body.
  • Schizandra is known as one of the most powerful “youth tonics” of all time and is prized by Asian cultures for its ability to prolong youth, increase stamina and prevent fatigue. Schizandra fruits or berries contain various lignans, compounds that stimulate the immune system, fight cancer cells, protect and regenerate the liver, and increase the body’s ability to handle stress.
  • Dandelion Root has been shown to improve liver function by removing toxins, re-hydrating, and re-establishing the body’s electrolyte balance. The herb also acts as a diuretic, assisting the kidneys in clearing out waste, salt, and excess water. The dandelion plant is rich in antioxidants that prevent free-radical damage to cells and DNA, thereby slowing down the aging process

Enjoy the tea iced with a slice of lime or hot with a dash of lemon.

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