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Ingredient Spotlight: Watermelon!

12 Aug

Juicy, Plump, Delicious

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Watermelon!

The absolute perfect summer barbecue food. Watermelon is sweet, sticky, and packed with hydration. But did you know that watermelon is actually good for… you guessed it… your skin? Yup, it is! Take a look at this impressive list of skin benefits:
  • Rich in Vitamin C, Amino Acids, and Antioxidants

  • Skin hydrating and conditioning

  • Aids the skin in fighting against free radicals

  • Acts as a gentle, natural exfoliator

  • Helps the skin cells retain more water, which plumps and fills in fine lines

  • Makes skin cells more receptive to other ingredients, improving the efficacy of your entire skincare routine!

Impressed by all of the amazing things watermelon can do for you, but not quite sure which products contain it? Here’s a quick list of my favorites:

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Turmeric? Tumeric? Turmer-what?

22 Jun

Turmeric. 

We’ve been hearing about this super food for months, but what is it? A powder? A root? A magical health elixir? 

Thankfully, the JUARA Turmeric Benefits Guide is here to answer all of your questions!

So, let’s start with the basics. What is turmeric?

Part of the ginger family, turmeric is a native plant to southeast India. Turmeric is most popularly used in two forms: raw and dried. Turmeric has been used for almost 1000 years in cuisine, medicine, makeup, skin care, and clothes dying. 

What are the health benefits of turmeric?

When ingested, turmeric has historically been used to heal stomach and liver ailments. Turmeric powder concoctions have been used to bring down fevers. It can also be used as an anti-bacterial salve on open wounds. Those who consume turmeric on a regular basis report a reduction in arthritis pain, heartburn, sensitive stomachs, headaches, colds, and menstrual cramps. It may also help those with diabetes, depression, Alzheimer’s, and certain types of cancer.

What can turmeric do for my skin?

Turmeric, with its anti-inflammatory and redness reducing properties, can be used to treat a variety of skin conditions including eczema, allergic hives, and even chicken pox! Turmeric is also a great treatment for acne, as it is both anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory. The JUARA Turmeric Face Mask maximizes the healing properties of turmeric by combining it with kaolin clay! 

Are there any side effects of ingesting or topically applying turmeric?

There are no known side effects for applying turmeric directly onto the skin. When ingesting turmeric, however, it is important to remember that turmeric is a blood thinner. Consuming turmeric daily makes it more difficult for your blood to clot, so lessen your turmeric intake if you take medicine that thins your blood. 

 

Do you still have questions about Turmeric and its uses? Leave a comment on our Facebook page!

Eat Chocolate For Your Health

7 Apr

“All you need is love… But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt!”

-Charles M. Schulz

Chocolate. Yum.

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You love it. I love it. Everyone loves it.
And what better way to celebrate World Health Day than with an ode to chocolate and why it’s GOOD for your health!

1. Chocolate is Good For Your Heart

Flavonoids, antioxidant groupings that help to keep blood vessels strong and flexible, are highly concentrated in chocolate! This high antioxidant concentration helps keep blood pressure down and reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke.

2. Chocolate is Key in Diabetes Prevention

In a study, it has been found that people who snack on 3oz (or 2 small pieces) of dark chocolate per day can reduce their insulin resistance significantly. High insulin resistance is a major risk factor in diabetes.

3. Chocolate Wakes You Up

Especially during that mid-afternoon slump! The higher the concentration of cocoa, the more of a pick-me-up it is… so add some dark chocolate to your afternoon snack!

4. Chocolate aids in Weight LOSS

Munching on a small portion (2 small piece) of dark chocolate reduces cravings for unhealthy snacks- all of those salty, sweet, and fat-filled snacks that our bodies long  for in the early stages of switching to a healthier diet.

5. Chocolate Reduces Stress

Adding chocolate to your daily diet helps to reduce stress hormones (especially Cortisol- a major contributor to stress acne!)

But Let’s Remember: Not All Chocolate is Created Equal

Just because chocolate has all of these amazing benefits doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have its dangers. Chocolate can also be high in sugar, butter, and calories.  To get the most out of your chocolate habit, look for chocolate with a high concentration of Cocoa (the least fattening ingredient in a chocolate bar). Dark chocolate and unsweetened bakers chocolate have very high concentrations of cocoa (70% or above) and fiber.


So Grab Some Squares of Dark Chocolate or Bake Your Own Healthy Chocolate Dessert! 

 

Check Out This Unique and Delicious Recipe That Uses Coffee, Walnuts, and Rice!

1 Apr
Did you think we were talking about a dessert recipe?

Fooled You!

Those are actually the ingredients in JUARA’s Invigorating Coffee Scrub.

Sumatran Coffee Beans- Used in Indonesian treatments to stimulate circulation in the skin. Coffee has been clinically proven to provide antioxidant and tightening benefits when applied to the skin!

Walnut Shells- A gentle, natural exfoliant for the skin. Primes the skin for the absorption of oils.

Rice- Has soothing, softening, redness-reducing, AND anti-aging properties for the skin. Rich in Amino Acids and Vitamin E.

All with the deliciously indulgent aroma of a mocha 🙂


 

 

And just in case you were really inspired by our little “April Fool”, here’s a delicious EDIBLE recipe containing these miracle ingredients:

Avocado Smoothie with Rice Milk

Ingredients:

– 1/2 Avocado

– 1/2 Cup Rice Milk

– 1 Teaspoon Walnut Shavings

– 2 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder

– 1 Tablespoon Molasses

-A Dash of Your Favorite Coffee

-Ice

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Tweak to your taste 🙂

Does your diet affect your skin? – Melanie Jakuttek

9 Jan

Chocolates and junk food give you zits, water and fresh fruit give you a glowing complexion – you’ve probably all heard that before. But are these beliefs actually true? Some people swear by it, some think there is no truth in it at all. Let’s try to shed some light on this matter.

Dermatologists have long declared many of these beliefs as myths, but a recent study by the Colorado State University shows that there might be a fraction of truth in them after all. In course of their study, researchers compared the diet of Western cultures with that of the indigenous people of Papua New Guinea. While the Western diet consisted greatly of processed sugary foods, such as potato chips, doughnuts, soda, etc., the people of Papua New Guinea mostly ate fresh fish, fruit and tubers. Not a single case of acne was found there, while it is common, that 80 to 95% of American teenagers suffer from breakouts and even adults aren’t immune.
The researchers believe, the main reason is that the islanders rarely ate any food with a high glycemic load, which causes the blood sugar level to rise. High blood sugar levels lead to more insulin being produced by the pancreas, therefore releasing male hormones and growth factors. As an overall result, more oil is produced by the skin and pores are clogged up, causing breakouts.

To give you a rough idea on the glycemic index, I have listed a few foods and their glycemic load:

Food Glycemic Index
Potato chips 51-57*
Mars Bar 62-68*
Coca Cola 53-63*
Cherries 22*
Grapefruit 25*
Grapes 46-49*
White bread Averages 70 and 73*
Wheat bread made with 50% cracked wheat kernels 58*

*Eating pure glucose is given a ranking of 100 – all other foods are in relation to this. This means, that a food with a glycemic index of 95 raises blood sugar almost as much as pure glucose, but a food with a glycemic index of 20 doesn’t raise blood sugar much at all.

You can find a complete list and more information on the glycemic index here: http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/whattoeat/a/glycemicindlist.htm

The glycemic index does not take portion size into account, though. It is therefore ok, to eat even the foods with a high glycaemic load every once in a while.

Now that we have figured out, which foods we should mostly try to avoid, let’s see, which will benefit our skin.

Research done by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, suggests that eating foods that are high in Vitamin C may help to treat dry skin, leaving it soft and supple. Vitamin C also has antioxidant properties, which can neutralize free radicals that damage skin cells. Foods that contain high amounts of Vitamin C are for example strawberries, papaya, citrus fruits, bell peppers, sprouts, red berries, etc.
Seafood, especially oysters and salmon, is said to be rich in omega-3 fatty acids and zinc. Omega-3 may help to reduce inflammation and dryness of the skin, while zinc can help fight acne and assists in new cell production.
Nuts – especially almonds – are a great source of Vitamin E, which may help to hydrate skin and relieve dryness.

Overall, I believe, that a balanced diet is the best you can do for your body, your skin and your general well-being.

What do you think? Do you find that your diet affects your skin? Do you have any foods that you feel gives you breakouts? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Skin Facts: Coffee or Tea? I’ll Take it All! – Lauren Lang

9 Sep

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Coffee or Tea?

Oh, which do I choose… Can I have both?

Ever thought about putting coffee and tea on your face and body? My usual form of coffee or tea intake comes in the style of iced coffees and teas, adding to the 400million cups that are drank per day in the states. Although I might think twice (or thrice) about splashing a bit of that (possibly overpriced) latte or tea on my face before breakfast or bed, I wouldn’t rule out some pretty potent ingredients they contain to put on my skin!

COFFEE: Coffee has been used in other cultures, particularly in Indonesian body scrubs, for a number of years. For example, ‘Boreh’ (a combination scrub of coffee grounds mixed with spices) was developed by farmers in Bali to stimulate circulation and warm the skin; great after a hard day of work, or if you’re feeling the chills. Recent developments have seen the use ofcaffeine (a powerful antioxidant) in products such as eye crèmes and other cellulite appearance reducing body cremes.

Benefits of caffeine can give us a more youthful, healthy look! Here are some ways how:

– Increasing circulation: Helps reduce bags under the eyes in eye cremes, and stimulates healthy blood flow in body scrubs, helping remove toxins. Our Invigorating Coffee Scrub, also stimulates circulation in the skin whilst offering some tightening benefits for younger looking skin. Smell AND feel good – why not!
– Anti-inflammatory & diuretic effect: Good for creams that claim to reduce the appearance of cellulite (because sorry ladies, no amount of skin cream alone can break down this type of fat cells…)
– Helps constricts blood vessels which can reduce the appearance of dark circles under the eyes, and can also give the skin a smooth, glowing appearance.
– Contains antioxidants, which also help reducing toxins in the skin

Now on to my British favorite – TEA: You guys have ‘Lipton’, us Brits have ‘Tetley’, Tea was first originated in China and has been said to date back to the 10th century BC! Tea can be much more beneficial for your skin than you might think. Green tea contains powerful polyphenolic antioxidants called catechins, which have been proven to fight viruses, slow aging, and have a beneficial effect on health.  Some benefits of tea on the skin include the following, all which make skin look more youthful:

– Antioxidant protection: the catechins and vitamin c in a lot of green tea can help fight free radicals (which can lead to faster skin aging). Our Tamarind Tea Hydrating Toner contains all black, green, and white teas.
– Tones skin/refines pores: You can even use real tea for this – an Indonesian traditional secret handed down from mother-to-daughter till today: After cleansing and rinsing, splash your face with your leftover tea (at room temperature, please!) to tone and brighten skin.
– Rejuvenates skin cells: Gives skin a brighter, healthier look. Some studies show it even extends the life span of the skin cells as they near the end of their life cycle; doesn’t do a miracle job on your face overnight, but every little thing counts!
– And don’t forget Kombucha, a fermented sweet black tea with organic compounds that help slow down your skin’s aging process, keeping it plumper and smoother for longer! Read about this fun beverage here and about all its health benefits. Also, the main anti-aging ingredient in Kombucha can also be found in our Sweet Black Tea & Rice Facial Moisturizer, the oil-free version, and our Sweet Black Tea Eye Creme.

So next time you’re feeling a little under the weather, or fancy treating your skin and body to some naturalness, remember that your daily dose of coffee and tea can do more for you wake you up from that sleepy state!

For more coffee and tea facts visit: http://www.bellybytes.com/foodfacts/coffee_tea_facts.html

And if you like cool coffee foam art, this is a fun site! http://www.womansday.com/Articles/Food-Recipes/Cool-Cappuccino-Foam-Art.html

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Cold? Meet Herbal Magic in a Ketchup Packet – Metta Murdaya

20 May
My cold cure in a ketchup packet.

My cold cure in a ketchup packet.

About 2 days before I was supposed to get on a flight to be the maid-of-honor of JUARA girl Tami’s destination wedding (read: lots of duties!), I woke up in the morning feeling like a truck had rolled on me – and forgot to roll off. I took stock: Sore muscles, Runny nose, sneezing, headache and sinus pressure, sore throat: CHECK. As I was curled up shamelessly and miserably on the doctor’s examination table later that day, he breaks it to me that I have a really nasty, mean, vengeance seeking cold virus. Since there was nothing he could really prescribe that would kill a virus, I got sent home with a prescription for some OTC sinus relieving medicine and a ‘just rest and good luck!’ Not even a ‘take an aspirin and call me in the morning.’ Gee.
But he did not know of my secret weapon in my medicine cabinet, my staple friend: the good ol’ Indonesian Singkir Angin herbal tonic in a concentrated single-dose packet. It’s from the company called Nyonya Meneer (Madam Meneer) today a 4th generation jamu (Indonesian herbal tonic) company started by woman healer (Mrs. Meneer herself) in her home. It’s basically like a liquid Ricola shot with a bazillion good-for-you herbs specifically formulated to help get rid of colds, achey bodies, and general malaise. The one I have is specifically good as it includes echinacea to help boos the immune system. It’s sweet, tasty, and minty and sold in single servings packets, it’s so easy to keep at home and at the office.
So what else is in this wonder drug cutely packaged in oversized ketchup sachets? Here’s a cute little commercial for it.
Although different brands may have variations, the core ingredients are the same. It contains fennel extract which helps relieve colds and pain associated with cold illnesses, combined with clove leaves, ginger, mint and menthol, valerian, echinacea and ginseng to basically soothe the symptoms of the cold while calming your digestive system, helping you be relaxed and comfortable while your body heals. Naturally sweetened with honey, which is also anti-bacterial, it’s not just the ingredients used, but the combination together that makes this a synergistically more powerful concoction, traditionally drunk in Indonesia for centuries. This recipe from the old healers of Indonesia hasn’t been passed down for centuries for no reason, their combo works!
Just tear it open and take a single chug when feeling down, it’s my happy place when I get sick. I take it and give it to all my sick friends and feel OK doing so because I know the ingredients are natural and safe. My sister came up with a brilliant way to drink it – pour the contents into a cup, (there’s only like, 2 tablespoons worth,) add a little hot water in it and, and feel the aroma of sweet menthol cutting right through your sinuses like a ray of clear sunshine through the clouds. The most important part: Did I make it to the wedding? With rest, several Singkir Angin sachets a day, I did! I felt pretty good, good enough to make through all the late-night parties and no one even knew I was a total wreck just a few days before. Amazing what a few little plants can do!

For more information/articles on Jamu and Indonesian herbal/beauty tradition, search “JAMU” on this blogsite! Do you have any favorite at-home cold remedies?