Tag Archives: organic

Foods & Habits to Maintain Radiant Melanin.

As children of the Sun, “melanated” peoples have an inherent glow that needs to be maintained. With the consumption of daily Sun, whole foods, and a useful skin care regime, this natural glow of “Black gold” will effortlessly shine. BlackHealth365 introduces foods and methods Black people can use to help maintain the natural beauty of their skin:

The Importance of Sun Exposure:

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Melanin is the pigment in our skin which makes humans the different hues we have come to be. It’s also present in the hair, eyes of not only us, but other species of animals. It is responsible for the tanning of skin exposed to sunlight. As people of African descent we have some of the highest content of melanin. In places closest to the equator, where sun exposure is more prominent, the people of such lands harbor a darker hue, giving them this glow of “Black gold” raved about. Melanin is produced as a response to UV ray exposure from the sun, so it is essentially protection from the harmful aspects of the life-giving ball of heat. The more melanin you have, the better protected you are from the sun’s harmful UV rays. This also means that in order to get essential vitamins from the sun, like the essential vitamin D, it is important for people of color to spend ample amount of time in the Sun on a daily basis. Sun rays contain rare dosages of Vitamin D, which provides humans with minimal free radical damage and maintains skin moisture and even tone.

Black people with a medium to darker hue are recommended to spend at least 35-45 minutes daily in the sun. For extra protection & moisture during time of exposure, apply either shea butter, coconut oil, or aloe vera gel on skin instead of chemical-laden, harmful sunscreens.

Foods For Skin Health:

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There are many foods that aid in the maintenance of beautiful skin. These are normally fruits high in vitamins A, E & beta-carotene or fatty nuts like almonds that the expansive organ loves. Here are a list of 10 foods to consume which are loaded with the vitamins & minerals necessary to promote beautiful skin:

1. spinach
2. mangoes
3. papaya
4. sweet potatoes/yams 5. raw almonds
6. aloe vera juice
7. carrots
8. blueberries
9. avocados
10. pomegranates

The best way to receive the nutrients from these foods listed is by way of smoothie drinks! This way the nutrients enter the bloodstream easier and can be sorted through the body accordingly without the added task of having to be broken down in the digestive system. In addition to these skin health boosting foods, water is a MUST for attaining beautiful skin. You can also add antioxidant-rich teas (green teas) & fatty fishes like salmon to your regular eating regimen to feed skin cells.

Hygiene Habits:

Screen Shot 2014-09-01 at 7.28.46 PMThis goes without saying, but showering on a daily basis, at least once a day is a must. Skin requires water nourishment inside and moisture provided on the outside. Going through this world filled with germs and bacterias, and harmful chemicals lingering in the air, especially those of us who live in cities, it is imperative that we wash that off our organ every day. In addition, remember that skin is a detoxifying organ, meaning it releases toxins collected within the body through the skin. You need to wash those toxins off or else they’ll linger on the skin and cause possible unwanted bumps & marks. You also want to incorporate sugar or coffee scrubs into to hygiene regimen to scrub off dead skin cells and help maintain your melanated casing’s youthful radiance.

Raw unrefined African Black soap is recommended for daily deep cleansing of the skin. This natural soap not only works better than commercial soaps filled with skin drying chemicals, such as Dove, but it cheaper, rich in real nutrients, and lasts longer. I, personally, use raw unrefined African black soap for facial and body cleansing.

 

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Keeping the skin moisturized on a daily basis is very important! Throughout the day the skin gets dry from movement an exposure to the outside world and needs replenishing. The best time to give the skin moisture it needs is right after a shower or nice bath. Literally as you’re soaking wet out of the shower, apply coconut oil (my favorite) or a shea/mango/avocado butter mixture of some sort and let it air dry into your
skin. Towels drying is unnecessary unless you want to pat dry. An ideal skin oil mixture for appliance after bathing would be a mix of vitamin e oil, almond oil, and coconut oil. I only typically use heavier butters in my hair or during “dry seasons” like winter.

 BlackHealth365 Recommended products:

-organic cold pressed and unrefined coconut oil
-raw unrefined African black soap
-Nubian heritage soaps or other shea butter/vegetable glycerin based soaps
-whipped Shea butter (belle butters, Whipped, or your own homemade mixture)
-vitamin e oil
-almond oil
-brown sugar or black coffee to make scrubs

Following these suggestions will guarantee an improvement in the health of your skin and will surely make melanin shine bright! We must not forget that the skin is also an organ and needs to be fed to be at its best, like every other organ in the body. Remember, if it’s not safe to ingest then it isn’t safe to put on the skin. The skin absorbs so if you’re loading it with chemicals, these same harmful agents will eventually end up inside your body. You don’t want that. Eat right, drink PLENTY of water, spend quality time outside under sun, wash daily, and moisturize and you will glow like the child of the Sun you are!

Pocket Pinching Health: Tips For Clean Eating On A Budget.

BlackHealth365 presents clean eating on a budget! Here is a list of tips and tricks to stay well and save money while doing it!

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  1.   The first and most important tip to eating healthy on a budget is planning! Plan your meals and write down your list of needs before shopping. Prioritize your list of needs by what you absolutely must buy at the top of the list and the items that can be spared if needed at the bottom. Organize by order of importance. This mean things like fresh fruits/veggies towards the top, chips & granola at the bottom. And most importantly, stick to what’s on your list!
  2. Check to see what sales are being offered online or in the paper at whatever grocery store/market you’ll be shopping at. It helps you better plan when you know what you’re going to buy in addition to how much it will cost for easier budgeting.

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3) Buy in bulk. Items such as rice, beans, and foods/drinks by the case typically come at a discounted price and can be stored to last you a longer time. Bulk = more bang for your buck!

4) Don’t be scared of frozen produce. They aren’t as aesthetically appealing or juicy as fresh as what you’d get fresh at the market, but most frozen produce is picked and stored at peak ripeness, which means they contain the same nutritional benefit. If frozen produce is not for you, buy local. This means going to farmers markets. Locally grown produce is cheaper in cost than what you find in stores.

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5) Reducing meat intake and focusing your diet to be more whole foods based will not only benefit your pockets, but your health as well. Buy cheaper proteins like eggs, frozen fish, legumes & nuts instead of meat.

6) Eating clean is not expensive. Eating organically, however, can be pretty pricey. This is where you may have to compromise. Ideally, we’d all eat organic all the time. However, all the food you eat doesn’t absolutely need to be. Fact is not all non- organic foods are bad for you. Here’s a list manufactured by the Environmental Working Group of what foods should always be purchased organic and which can be supplemented with conventionally grown produce: http://www.organic.org/articles/showarticle/article-214

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7) Buy in season! Seasonal fruits and vegetables that don’t have long distances to travel are healthier for your body because they don’t require as much preservation work, they’ll be more abundant which means cheaper, plus you can feel good about stimulating the local economy. Here’s a list of fruits & veggies organized by season to make the process a little smoother for you: http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/what-fruits-and-vegetables-are-in-season

8) So you’ve made it out of the store with everything you needed and only what was on your list. You even stayed within your budget. Congratulations! Now it’s time to meal prep! Cut, bag, and/or freeze produce as needed to images-138prolong usage. Make meals you planned out for the week and put in separate containers for easy grab-and-go access. Bag snacks like trail mixes, cut fruit, and veggie chips to snack on in between meals. This will speed up your metabolism, which will aid in weight loss, and more importantly, lessen the likelihood of you spending unnecessarily of junk food from snack stands/vending machines.

 

Be realistic. Coming into a healthier lifestyle a compromise of your time and sometimes personal expenses. Consider the expenses & habits that can be cut or reduced to accommodate this newly beneficial lifestyle. See it as the ultimate investment in yourself. You’re worth both the time and money.

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Plan. Stay organized. Stick to your list of needs. Prioritize. Buy smart. Buy locally. Buy in season. Buy organic when necessary. Prepare meals in advanced. Freeze the leftovers.

We want you to eat well while saving money doing so. Be consistent. All great changes take time as well as sacrifice. Again, remember you’re worth the investment.

My New Found Hair Journey

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 I must say my hair and I have had a love hate relationship these past couple of years. I went from having a perm for five years to transitioning into being all natural. After letting my natural hair grow out I decided to do the BIG CHOP and cut off my relaxed ends. Protective styles such as braids and quick weaves really helped my hair growth. If you are looking for a new protective style or even a fresh new hair style I recommend YouTube and Pinterest. After being three years natural I must say my fro had never looked so big and healthy. Personally the Cantu products really have helped my hair with growth and moisture. I always had a big issue with my hair becoming dry after I do my wash and go’s, but Cantu’s daily moisturizer really gives my fro life.

Recently about two months ago I became bored with my hair and decided to cut my hair. A part of me was scared to cut it because I did not know how I would look with a short cut, but the other part of me was ready for a change. I finally swallowed my pride and went to the hair salon and got it cut. But my sisters if you are going to get your hair cut make sure that it looks good both straight and natural. After wearing my new cut straight for about two weeks it was time to wash my hair and bring my curls back. I absolutely loved my natural hair with my new cut but a big part of my started to miss my big fro.

 On June 1, 2014 I went to the barbershop and cut off all my hair and decided to start all over. This hair cut has got to be the best decision I have ever made in a long time. I have so much confidence in myself now because I am no longer looking at my outside beauty but I am more focused on the beauty inside of me. This is not only a hair journey but this is a journey of self-growth. Don’t worry I will keep you updated with my hair journey, until next time my natural hair sisters, love yourself and most importantly your hair!

 

Case Study, part one: Beautiful People.

beautiful people,
    lining up streets
    taking out shrapnel 970143_267108810101875_850091147_n
    and dancing off beat
beautiful people,
    clothed with their scars
    building their bridges 
    with old prison bars
beautiful people,
    singing off key,
    ‘down with your monopoly
    on our standards of beauty!’
beautiful people,  
     opening doors, 
     walking through fires
     and coming out in four
beautiful people,
     some sages, 
     some babies,
     some meek old ladies
     
     some Martin’s
     some martyrs
     some 300 missing daughters

284357_4073283304831_726547536_n beautiful people,
     who grew amongst weeds,
     who yielded true courage
    the fruit of imperishable seeds 

-Naomie Jean Pierre 

Color Matters: The Diversity of Whole Foods.

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Nature is a varied field of infinite possibilities. With each passing day some new discovery is stumbled upon and Mother Earth tops what we assumed were her greatest creations. She always shows us the best has yet to come. What always surprises me are the many components to every fiber and layer of life created. Every thing has its purpose, it’s specific duty to the world, down to the human body and the food we eat. I’ve always known certain foods were beneficial to us based on taste, texture, and even location, but never thought twice about the meaning of its color. Each representation of the rainbow possesses it’s unique nutrient to help build immunity and fight disease, keeping the body functioning on an optimal level.

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These are foods which contain chlorophyll, the molecule responsible for the process of photosynthesis in plants. Often referred to as the “green blood of plants” because of its close resemblance to red blood cells found in humans. Used mainly for purposes of detoxification, chlorophyll binds to toxins and helps remove them from the body. This “green blood” is also known for its maintenance of the circulatory, immune, and digestive systems.

Highest sources: dark leafy greens like kale, arugula & swiss chard, wheatgrass, the blue- green algae spirulina, herbs, and all green fruits/veggies. 

 

red healthy foodRed:

The nutrient lycopene of the carotenoid family is responsible for the red color/hue found in many fruits & vegetables. Shown to protect blood vessels around the heart and in the neck better than vitamins A, E, and CoQ10, lycopene also delivers oxygen to body tissues. Also shown to prevent against various cancers, specifically prostate and breast.

Highest Sources: ripe red tomatoes, red chile peppers (cayenne), red bell peppers, watermelon, and grapefruit. 

 

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Beta-Carotene, alpha-carotene, and zeaxanthin are a few of the nutrients which give produce its yellow and orange hues. These are foods that promote good eye health, the building of strong bones, and boosting the immune system by fighting off free radicals.

Highest sources: carrots, pineapple, squash, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, yellow bell peppers, corn, and mangoes. 

 

Blue-purple-foodBlue/Purple:

Anthocyanins are the compounds in various fruits and vegetables which give them a blue/purple pigment. This antioxidant acting member of the flavonoid family is known for its various benefits such as improving brain function & memory, reducing the risk of stroke and heart disease, promote healthy aging, and protect cells.

Highest Sources: blueberries, eggplant, purple grapes, plums, blackberries, and figs.

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White fruits and vegetables are high in the compounds anthoxanthins and allcin. Anthoxanthins have antioxidant properties which lower the risk for cancer and heart disease. Allcin lowers high blood pressure & cholesterol and reduces the risk of stroke.

Highest sources: onions, potatoes, bananas, peaches, jicama, white mushrooms, and cauliflower.

 

It’s important to diversify your palate! Each fruit and vegetable contains a unique color which represents compounds & molecules present that will help aid in maintaining the body’s wellness. Don’t just marvel at the rainbow, eat it! 

Smoke Unfurling: The Hidden Effects Of Incense

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If you’re like me, incense lighting is a daily ritual. I come home from a exhausting day at work, make a pot of chamomile tea, and release the aromatic “Egyptian Musk” or “Amber” smoke into the air to unwind for the night. This practice is super relaxing, not to mention the scents are addictive, but coming home from the polluted air of a bustling city to a room filled with scented smoke can’t be good for respiratory health. Our lungs require fresh oxygen as much as possible. When this need isn’t met, an array of health issues can arise, from asthma flare ups to lung infections and many other annoyances you’d be wise to try and avoid.

Globally, incense burning has been practiced for thousands of years for various uses such as invoking gods, purifying the atmosphere, entering into transcendental states, and to drive away demons. With origins in Ancient Egypt, this ritual can be found today in highly spiritual places like China, India, Japan, Tibet, and even here in America. 
Eygptian-God-Ra-WorshipWhile the exact contents of all incense aren’t fully known, most incense is made from a combination of fragrant gums, resins, wood powders, herbs and spices. This include its various forms from powder, cone, soil, and sticks. Current clinical studies have revealed many contaminants within incense smoke, including pollutants such as carbon monoxide, sulfur, formaldehyde, nitrogen oxide, and volatile organic compounds, all of which wreak havoc in the body’s respiratory & nervous systems when overexposed and cause people to be at a higher risk for developing cancer in the upper respiratory tract. Symptoms of overexposure include, but aren’t limited to the following: nose & throat irritation, dizziness, headaches, nausea, asthma inflammation, and weakness. 

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I love incense and wish to continue safely burning the herb & spice based aroma sticks for relaxation. Avoid the symptoms of chemical overexposure by opening windows up wide and turning on fans while lighting the strong smelling mixtures in your homes or sit outside while using to avoid the negative side effects, which can mimic those of inhaling second hand cigarette smoke. Practice ventilation when lighting incense and let fresh air be the main healing substance you inhale on a daily. 

Dairy Milk vs. Alternatives: Your Bones Deserve Better

Time and time again we’ve been told dairy milk is an essential staple to the human diet, that we need it in order to be well. It has been promoted by the dairy industry as one of the only sources of calcium. Without it you run the risk of being calcium-deficient and possibly developing osteoporosis. Is there truth to this statement or yet another genius marketing strategy by a lucrative big business?

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For starters, dairy milk is in fact a source of calcium, an essential mineral for bone density. The highest source when consumed in it’s raw state. The catch is, raw milk is illegal in most places here in the U.S., so what’s sold in stores all across this country is most likely pasteurized. This pasteurization process strips the creamy substance down to a watery, non-nutritious, hormone infested pus that should not be consumed by humans.

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Raw milk from organic dairy farms is booming with nutritional benefits. The complex whole food has been used to diminish allergy symptoms, eczema, and asthma symptoms. In addition, studies show that raw dairy milk consumption promotes the production of good bacteria in the body and increases the likelihood of healthy weight gain. Dairy products sold nationwide are not unpasteurized, therefore most of the milk and calcium alternatives are safer and healthier to consume.

 

Foods like dark leafy greens, almonds, broccoli, dried figs, beans, black strap molasses, and salmon are calcium-rich alternatives to milk. With the rise of health consciousness and people converting into vegetarians & vegans, calcium/vitamin D fortified milk substitutes created from almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans, brazil nuts, coconuts, and soy are becoming more popular in delivering our nutritional needs. The Silk brand almond milk contains 50% more calcium and vitamin D than dairy milk. It is said that fig juice was used in ancient Africa, as a replacement for human breast milk because of their high calcium and potassium content which helps to reduce the loss of calcium in urine.

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Knowing the state of dairy here in the U.S. and the benefits of alternatives, it is wise to weigh your options and make the whatever decision you feel is best for you. We recommend frequently incorporating the foods listed above into your diet if raw unpasteurized milk is not an option. Your bones and overall bodily health will thank you for ceasing to pollute your being with the added toxins present in dairy, replacing the source of needed minerals like calcium from milk & cheese to whole foods.