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Kale For Health and Beauty by Judith Dorian

KaleWearing a shirt with the word kale sprawled across it may not be your idea of high fashion, but consider eating the green veggie as part of your beauty regimen. By now, you may be familiar with its health benefits—high in vitamin K and calcium, it helps to prevent cardiovascular disease, bone fragility, as well as arterial and kidney calcification.  It lowers cholesterol, especially when cooked. It’s a great source of lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids that help to filter high-energy light, shielding eyes from damage and reducing the risk of cataracts.  Kale provides B vitamins, notably pantothenic acid, that supports your body in converting carbs to glucose and as a fuel for energy. The list goes on: kale is rich in fiber, antioxidants,  magnesium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, copper, manganese, sulforaphane, omega 3 fatty acids, and glucosinolates.

A study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association in 2011 linked a higher intake of kale and other members of the Brassica family (think  mustard greens, broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens, arugula, watercress and cabbage) with a decreased risk of colon cancer.

So what does kale have to do with beauty—makes it such a star? Credited for keeping us youthful? Plenty, it seems.  Skin— our largest organ—requires high quality food, rich in vitamins and minerals for optimal function. Kale is loaded with vitamins A and collagen-producing vitamin C. Retinol, derived from vitamin A, diminishes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Abundant in fiber, and therefore improved digestion, kale helps skin to glow. It also contains chlorophyll, a detoxifying antioxidant which reigns supreme in the anti-aging department by combating the free-radical damage that causes visible (and hidden) signs of aging such as wrinkles, fine lines, dullness, and discoloration. Antioxidants increase the effectiveness of sunscreens in preventing sun damage; they promote cellular repair and healing.

Aside from its benefits for the skin, consuming kale is valued for beautifying hair. Do you have a show stopping mane of hair?  Or is it thinning? Bald patches? Hair reflects the state of your overall health.  Strong hair relies on the capability of your body to create a proper hair shaft as well as on healthy skin and follicles. If you experience hair breakage, try drinking kale juice or smoothies to increase your hair’s elasticity and strength. Moreover, your hair will grow at a faster rate. But it may require time and patience to repair the damage.

Your age, ethnicity, and genetics all play their part. Kale is not the only food that can restore the luxuriant head of hair that you may recall having as a child. But kale is in the forefront, providing the above mentioned folate, iron, and vitamin C (to assure that there’s enough iron in red blood cells to carry oxygen to hair follicles. Vitamin C also forms collagen, a structural fiber that helps our body to hold everything together. Hair follicles, blood vessels, and skin all require collagen to stay healthy for optimal growth. On the head, even minor vitamin C deficiencies can lead to dry, brittle hair that breaks easily.

Dr. Jessica Wu, a dermatologist and creator of Dr. Jessica Wu Skincare, wrote in Feed Your Face, her guide to eating for beauty:

“I tell my patients that what they put in their mouths is as important as the products they apply on their skin. Foods get digested and broken down into vitamins, minerals and amino acids that your body can use to build healthy skin. If you crash diet or eat highly processed foods, your skin won’t be as strong and supple as it could be.”

Cautionary: if you have a thyroid problem, it’s advisable not to overdue consumption of kale which is a goitrogen and cook it briefly rather than eating it raw. Too much kale can prevent proper absorption of calcium and iodine. So moderation is advisable. And if you’re doing a juice cleanse, be sure to supplement with calcium and iodine-rich foods simultaneously.

If you haven’t yet tried eating kale—most commonly seen are the curly or lacing (Dinosaur) in the supermarket, although there are several other varieties—it can be steamed, sauteed, roasted, eaten raw or turned into a smoothie which can be made from any combination of fruits and vegetables.

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Natural Beauty Tips for Hair From Grandma’s Kitchen 

After cruising the aisles of the drugstore, don’t forget the kitchen. It is a beauty counter unto itself.

For more beautiful hair:

Although mayonnaise is  often-recommended for conditioning hair, many prefer Olive oil. Heat some extra virgin olive oil in the microwave for 10 seconds and apply to DRY hair. Leave it on for about 10 minutes, then shampoo so you are not left smelling like a salad.

Flat beer. Be sure to use beer that has lost its zing, or else heat fresh beer and allow it to cool. Wash your hair, pour it on, and comb. I guarantee it will not smell after it dries.

37th AFI Life Achievement Award - ArrivalsVinegar is a marvelous rinse. Cider vinegar is good for brunettes, white vinegar for blondes. Add four tablespoons to 16 – 20 ounces of warm water. Then use lots of cool water to remove the salady smell.

Lemons are a blonde’s best friend! The juice of two lemons in two glasses of lukewarm water should do it. If your hair does not tend to be dry, you can skip the rinse and let the sun add some highlights.

Sometimes, those products stored in your kitchen cabinets can do wonders for your hair – and your pocketbook!

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Just click here.

19 Best Hair Care Secrets

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As soon as summer arrives, with its high humidity here on Long Island, my hair fights back with more than its natural curl. Shall I be honest and say the dreaded word? Okay, here it is – frizz.

All summer  I have been going to the Local Access Cable TV studio to do live shootings of intros for my Tales2Inspire™ authors’ inspiring stories. This is a good thing, except that unfortunately for me and my hair, these shootings are scheduled for Tuesday mornings. Now, here’s the rub! My hair salon is closed on Sundays and Mondays and doesn’t open again until 9:00 AM on Tuesdays. I’m already on the road by 9:00 AM. This means that the best I can do for my hair is get it washed and blow dried – flat ironed with lots of products and spray – late Saturday afternoon. In the winter, my hair would still look pretty decent three days later. But in the summer, it’s a disaster waiting to happen! And to be quite honest, I was a bit appalled by my fly-away topsy hair on some of those videos!

Yes, I tried Keratin once, but for reasons I won’t go into now, decided it wasn’t for me. I’ve begun to read about amino acid hair straightening products and will investigate that further. In the meantime, I love to learn from the experts, and often find Web MD a great source of information. Here is a slideshow quiz they have put together not just for those with frizzy hair, but to address many hair problems and solutions. Take the quiz here. One additional tip I can add to their quiz is the use of a ceramic hair brush. I recently bought one (after watching the video runs) and see a noticeable difference.

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But nonetheless,  I’m so proud of my authors that if you promise not to make fun of my hair, you can watch their video introductions to their winning stories: The Man From Nowhere by  Cami Ann Hofstadter and Garden of Miracles by Heidi DuPree.  Look for their story titles on the Winning Tales channel.

And if you enjoy them, please leave a quick comment to let them know!