Eat with the Season for Better Health

seasonal fruitOnce upon a time, before refrigerated trucks and supermarkets, people ate according to what was grown nearby in any given season (or according to what they’d thought to preserve during the previous months).

While today’s agricultural and supermarket industries offer us many more choices in how and what we can eat, doing things the old-fashioned way comes with a number of health benefits. Here’s why you can do your body a huge favor by adding more local, seasonal produce to your diet.

  • Higher nutrient content. Produce has its highest nutritional value at peak ripeness, and starts losing that value as soon as it’s harvested. Many fruits and vegetables [link to ] destined to be shipped long distances are picked before they achieve optimum ripeness and lose nutrients during the long shipment process (and while they sit on your shelves). Eating locally and in season lets you avoid both problems and enjoy more of the nutrients that protect against breast cancer [link to] and other diseases.
  • Better taste. The fresher produce is, the better it tastes. It’s as simple as that. If you’re unfamiliar with the various offerings at your local farmer’s market, you can enjoy an assortment of tantalizing flavors by researching recipes designed for the vegetables and fruits available to you. Or ask the people you buy produce from: chances are, they’ll have plenty of ideas for enjoying the season’s freshest offerings.
  • Smaller carbon footprint. The less distance food travels, the less gasoline is required to get it from the field to your mouth. This creates a greener, healthier planet for everyone.
  • Better prices. When a crop is ripe, farmers have to harvest it and sell it before it goes bad. This means that prices will be lower for you—it’s a simple matter of supply and demand. Take advantage of your favorite food’s peak seasons by learning to preserve batches of whatever you want to eat when the season has passed.

Eating a diet rich in plant-based foods has been shown to be one of the most effective ways to prevent cancer of all kinds. Treat your body right by indulging in the delicacies blooming outside your doorway, and enjoy the rich flavors and high quality of life that brings you!


How to Correctly Apply Sunscreen for Maximum Protection

sunscreen applicationWearing sunscreen should be part of every woman’s daily health regimen, regardless of the weather. Sunscreen protects against the sun’s rays that increase signs of aging (UVA rays) and those that cause burns and skin cancer (UVB rays).

Shield Skin by Using Sunscreen the Right Way

Here’s a quick guide to protect your skin and keep you looking your best, no matter how hard the sun is shining.

  • Buy sunscreen for your face & body: Oil-free sunscreen for the face will prevent breakouts while protecting your skin. Sun block for the body generally has oil in it, comes in larger containers, and is less expensive. Spring for both to keep yourself protected and acne-free.
  • Choose “broad spectrum” protection: When browsing for the right lotion, be sure to choose one that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. The label should mention both types of rays or indicate that the lotion offers “broad spectrum” coverage.
  • Select an SPF of 15 or higher: The sun protection factor (SPF) measures how much longer you can stay in the sun without burning, compared to wearing no sunscreen at all. SPF 15 lotion, for example, will let you stay in the sun without burning 15 times longer than you could with bare skin.
  • Apply 20 – 30 minutes before going outside: To give your skin time to absorb the sunscreen (and thus enjoy its protection), be sure to apply about half an hour before leaving the house. To cover your whole body, you should use about an ounce, or enough to fill a shot glass. Be sure to remember the most-ignored areas (the backs of your legs, your feet, and behind your ears).
  • Replace sunscreen every year: Don’t dig up an old bottle of sun block for your first pool trip of the season. The active ingredients become less effective over time, so you’re much better off buying new lotion every season.
  • Wear it every day: Every time you leave the house, you should wear sun block on all exposed skin. For most of the year, that might just mean your face and hands, but it’s still important to protect those areas to prevent cancer and skin damage.

These days, it’s easier than ever to stay safe from the sun’s damage. If you loathe the thought of lathering up, opt for sunscreen that comes as a spray, in a stick, or in non-traditional scents that make the process of applying downright decadent!