With new superfoods and alternative health products popping up in the media every day, it’s hard to know what the cleanest, most effective product innovations really are. Dr. Jeremy Wolf N.D., Lead Wellness Advisor at LuckyVitamin.com, breaks down the trends and how to be a savvy wellness shopper this winter.
SUPERFOODS IN SKIN CARE
Superfoods aren’t just taking over the local grocery stores, they are also taking over your skin care products. More and more superfoods such as chia, moringa, camu camu, spirulina, maca, quinoa, and kale can now be found throughout the personal care and beauty aisle. Superfoods are foods which have a high content of vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants. Camu Camu is a berry that contains a substantial amount of minerals as well as a range of amino acids, organic acids and fatty acids. It is also an antioxidant power house and an extremely rich source of vitamin C. Camu Camu can be found incorporated into Alba’s new individually wrapped Fast Fix Anti-Wrinkle Mask. Another super food making its way into skin care products is chia seeds. Chia seeds have recently been reported as one of the richest botanical sources of alpha-linolenic acid, an omega 3. One study found that topical chia seed oil may be effective for neuritis (severe itching of the skin associated with a variety of conditions) and moisturizing skin. Chia seed oil can be found in products by Nubian Hertiage and CocoKind.
Let’s face it, trends in the natural beauty and personal care industry aren’t just for women. With more & more men growing beards, companies all over are outfitting all natural beard oil, washes, and balms for men. Beard oil works to soften and condition facial hair while moisturizing the skin to prevent dryness, itching and irritation. Badger’s, certified organic man care beard oil is one of my personal favorites. Beard wash is generally a combination of herbs, extracts and other ingredients intended to clean, moisturize and condition the hair and skin of the face. Lastly, beard balms offer a little hold for grooming but also condition the beard to help stop dryness, split ends, tangles and frizz. Use of these products can help any man turn their 5 o’clock shadow into the manliest of beards.
Zinc is a nutritionally vital mineral that is found in foods such as sunflower seeds, red meat, eggs, oysters and beans. It functions as anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant and is required by over 200 enzymatic reactions in the body. One of the major benefits of zinc, quite possible one of the reason it is trending right now, is because adequate zinc intake is essential in maintaining the integrity of the immune system. If you are deficient in zinc you may be more susceptible to a variety of infections agents. Researchers have also found that zinc when taken within 24 hours of onset of symptoms for example, a scratchy throat, may reduce the duration of the common cold by as many as 3 days. Taking mega doses of zinc for long periods of time is not suggested as too much zinc may actually weaken the immune system. Check out some of our top rated brands for Zinc as well as LuckyVitamin’s own Zinc formula.
White flour is unfortunately a big part of most individual’s daily food consumption even though it provides little nutritional value. With more and more individuals following specific diets free of allergens or other restrictions, limiting white flour can make baking, cooking and eating out very difficult. It’s no wonder more companies are providing alternative flour options like rice flour, coconut flour, buckwheat flour, almond flour, sorghum flour, amaranth flour and many more. LuckyVitamin has a large selection of alternative flour options from top brands such as Bob’s Red Mill, Nutiva, NOW Foods, Arrowhead Mills and more.
With gas, bloating and heart burn becoming common complaints among many individuals, more and more people are turning to remedies to help improve their digestive health. Probiotics, prebiotics, fiber and digestive enzymes are at the forefront of the digestive support industry. With gut health affecting more than just digestion, for example its role in our immune system function, it’s no wonder that this field is booming with new and innovative products. These products aren’t just found in tiny capsules these days, they can be found in bars, chews, gummy bears, wafers, powder packets and many more delivery methods. LuckyVitamin carries a wide variety of professional grade and top rated digestive support products to help support you gastrointestinal system health needs.
Activated charcoal has long been used by hospitals around the world as a safe and effective treatment for poisoning and drug overdoses. This ingredient is making its way to the beauty realm, from face masks to shampoos, tooth powders and deodorants. These products use activated charcoal, which means the coal has been heated to increase its adsorptive power, increasing the rate at which molecules bind to a surface. Activated charcoal is great at trapping chemicals, absorbing dirt and oil, absorbing 1,000 times its own weight in moisture. Some great beauty products using activated charcoal include Piperwai Natural Deodorant, Dr. Sponge Konjac Facial Sponge, Indigo Wild, Level Naturals, and Collective Wellbeing.
Wellness bloggers and celebrity chefs have been talking about this trend for some time now, and its popularity continues to grow. Bone broth, or stock, is made by boiling the bones from the animal of your choice (commonly turkey, chicken or beef) with vegetables and spices. Part of the reason it’s becoming so popular is because bone broth is easy to make, relatively inexpensive and packed with vitamins, minerals and proteins. Some of the benefits may include promoting strong bones and reducing joint pain and inflammation. It may also help inhibit infection and seal your gut to promote healthy digestion. While it’s best to try and make your own bone broth, Pacific Natural Foods, Kettle and Fire and Osteobroth are great sources of convenient pre-made broths.
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
There is nothing new about drinking apple cider vinegar, yet there is a lot of fresh buzz surrounding this popular health trend. In fact vinegar itself has a long history of use as it dates back to around 3000 BC. Vinegar can be made from almost any fermentable carbohydrate source. This includes apples, pears, grapes, potatoes, beets and more. Apple cider vinegar is traditionally sourced from crushing fresh apples and extracting the liquid. The liquid is then added to barrels where yeasts ferment the natural food sugars to alcohol. Next, acetic acid bacteria converts the alcohol to acetic acid. Acetic acid is responsible for the tart flavor, pungent odor and many of the proposed health benefits of vinegar. Popular uses for apple cider vinegar include blood sugar balancing, improving blood cholesterol levels, lowering blood pressure, weight loss, detoxification, digestive stimulant, household cleaners and as an anti-fungal. Check out our new LuckyVitamin’s brand raw organic apple cider vinegar with the mother now available online, as well as many of our other great apple cider vinegar products.
Fiber masks, bamboo sheet masks, collagen masks, eye masks, peptide masks and mud masks, are becoming increasingly popular in the personal care and beauty world. These facial masks are easy to apply and are a great conduit for delivering nutrients and other beneficial ingredients to the skin. Even trendier is the use of these in single serving pouches so the products won’t dry out and are more affordable. When shopping for any type of facial mask, look for products that are 100% organic and non-GMO as well as paraben, sulfate and phthalate free. Many masks also cater to vegans and are cruelty free. A great product to try is the Andalou Naturals Clarifying Instant Pure Pore Hydro Serum Facial Mask with Coconut Water to help hydrate and detoxify the skin, soothe inflammation and minimize pores for a clearer, healthy complexion.
Beets have attracted a lot of attention as a “functional food” meaning they not only provide basic nutrients, but may help promote optimal health and reduce the risk of disease. While this vegetable’s popularity has only recently gained back momentum, its use dates back to ancient Roman times. So why has it become so popular again? Beets are a source of nitrates and provide a natural means of increasing nitric oxide availability. Beetroot is a rich source of phytochemical compounds that include ascorbic acid, carotenoids, phenolic acids, and flavonoids. Beets also contain a group of bioactive pigments known as betalains that are thought to have high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Beet products can be found in the forms of Beet Juice, Beet Chips, Energy Bars, Sports Shots, Protein Powders, Veggie Packs, and Beet Crystals. LuckyVitamin carries a large selection of these products from top rated brands.