“The Hives: Great Band… Terrible Skin Condition”

Really one of the best live shows ever.  I saw them once in Manhattan and was so wiped out I didn’t get out of bed the whole next day.  That’s pretty much what I wanted to do after the fires last week but I couldn’t stop scratching.  I’m not sure if it was all the stress or an allergy to something or a combination of many things but I found myself with hives… (the skin irritation that is, although they sound like fun guys to hang out with)  Some people get this frequently when they’re stressed or exposed to an allergen but for me this was a first time deal (not that I can imagine anyone getting used to it).   And what a miserable deal it was.  Now I’m not going to write an entire article on hives but along with the specific treatments, I really increased the intake of many natural “good for the skin” items that I AM going to write about.  Specifically for the hives I used anti-itch creams, antihistamines (I was itchy darnit) and the miraculous “Hives” homeopathic tablets from Hyland’s.

The cosmetics industry in this country raked in billions last year, with sales of skin care products bringing in the largest share.  What most people don’t know is that the cheapest and most effective method for preserving and healing skin comes from natural foods.  Here are just a few:

Green tea, which is rich in antioxidants that reduce inflammation and protect cell membranes, has been proven to reduce the damage of sunburns and overexposure to ultraviolet light.  Therefore, green tea reduces the risk of skin cancer. Green tea is also high in polyphenols — compounds that eliminate cancer-causing free radicals and reactivate dying skin cells.  Green tea is also high in vitamins C, D and K, as well as riboflavin, zinc, calcium, magnesium and iron.

Salmon (and many other other fatty fish as well as walnuts and flaxseed) is high in healthy fatty acids that are crucial for healthy skin. Essential fatty acids such as omega-3s help keep cell membranes healthy by keeping out harmful substances as well as allowing nutrients to enter cells and exit with waste products. Omega-3s also reduce the body’s production of inflammatory agents that can damage the skin and omega-3 fatty acid-rich foods like salmon help keep the skin supple and youthful.  Salmon is also rich in protein, potassium, selenium and vitamin B12.

Many experts believe blueberries to be the highest food source of antioxidants which target free radicals that can wreak havoc on skin cells. The antioxidants and phytochemicals in blueberries neutralize DNA-damaging free radicals, reducing cell damage which makes the skin look younger for longer. Blueberries are also an excellent source of soluble and insoluble fiber, vitamin C, manganese, vitamin E and riboflavin and all that is why load them in my blender every morning for my “power Shake”.

Carrots—my absolute favorite veggie to juice—which also contain high levels of antioxidants, are an excellent source of vitamin A, which is an essential nutrient for healthy skin. Vitamin A is required for developing and maintaining skin cells, and a deficiency of the vitamin can cause dry skin. Carrots are also a superior source of fiber, biotin, vitamins K, C and B6, potassium and thiamine.

And finally, drink lots of pure, clean water.  Drinking plenty of water will help keep your skin young and healthy. Water both hydrates cells and helps them move toxins out and nutrients in. In other words, it sweats more efficiently, which helps keep the skin clean and clear.

One last thing to consider is that many experts consider raw food juicing to be the surest way to healthy skin.  It is recommend to juice fruits, vegetables and nuts (soak them first) in a powerful blender to create superfood smoothies. People who drink raw juices on a daily basis have skin that absolutely glows.

Shine people.

Be well,

Juicy Josh

Pick-up a great juicer at http://www.877myjuicer.com

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