Emu Oil: An Ancient Australian Skincare Secret

It seems the pursuit of skin-friendly oils knows no end. Jojoba, argan, pomegranate, and rosehip oil have all surged in popularity as skincare remedies over the past few years.

But have you heard of emu oil?

Hailing from the southern hemisphere, this oil is on the more exotic end of the spectrum, and it’s making a name for itself as an effective addition to skincare regimens.

You see, emu oil – which is sourced from emus – is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and essential fatty acids. All of these nutrients work together to soothe, moisturize, and even help delay the aging of the skin.

Ready to get exotic with your skincare regimen? Then read on to get the scoop on emu oil benefits.

What Nutrients Make Emu Oil So Great?

So, what exactly is in emu oil that makes it so great for the skin? The answer lies in its abundance of healthy fatty acids and antioxidants1:

Oleic Acid

Also found in olive oil, shea butter, and coconut oil, oleic acid is an omega-9 essential fatty acid that easily penetrates the skin.The unique ability of oleic acid to penetrate the skin is invaluable. It acts as a carrier for all the following nutrients and compounds, allowing them to also sink in deeply.2

Linoleic Acid

An omega-6 essential fatty acid, linoleic acid helps maintain the structure of the top layer of the skin – the epidermis.3

Carotenoids

Often found in brightly colored fruits and vegetables, carotenoids influence skin tone and color.4

Polyphenols

As potent antioxidants, polyphenols fight off the effects of free radicals. Free radicals are harmful molecules that are generated by environmental toxins, such as UV rays, air pollution, pesticides, and cigarette smoke. These harmful molecules can damage multiple body systems, including the skin. In fact, it’s thought that free radicals play a significant role in the development of the visible signs of aging.5

Tocopherols

Commonly derived from vegetable oils, tocopherols are a form of vitamin E. They contain antioxidant properties which offer multiple benefits for the skin.6

Emu Oil Benefits For The Skin

Emu Oil | Princeton NutrientsSo, what can all the nutrients found in emu oil do for your skin? Turns out, quite a bit! Here are a few of the ways emu oil can work in your skin’s favor:

Moisturizes Dry Skin

Do you go through moisturizer like it’s going out of style? Then you might want to try emu oil. Emu oil can hydrate rough, dry skin, thanks to the presence of vitamin E and linoleic acid.

Vitamin E effectively improves moisture levels and helps strengthen your “skin barrier.”7 What’s your skin barrier? It’s the outermost layer of skin, and one of its functions is to help your skin retain moisture.

And linoleic acid is also great for dry skin. Studies have shown that linoleic acid is especially good at moisturizing advanced, aging skin.8

Helps Slow the Signs of Premature Skin Aging

Emu Oil | Princeton NutrientsFree radicals are a prime suspect when it comes to the visible signs of aging in the skin. Many of the free radicals that cause this aging are generated by harmful UV rays.9 If your skin is damaged by free radicals caused by UV rays, you’re bound to experience wrinkles, fine lines, and dark spots.10

The good news is, antioxidants can combat the effects of these free radicals, and help slow the signs of aging on the skin.11 Emu oil contains powerful antioxidants – like polyphenols and vitamin E – that can help prevent the signs of premature aging.12,13

Diminishes the Appearance of Dark Circles

Dark circles under the eyes can make you look perpetually tired. But a study has shown that a topical application of vitamin E for 8 weeks can diminish the appearance of dark circles under the eyes.14 So, if you struggle with dark circles, you might want to try a little vitamin E-rich emu oil under your eyes.

Helps Decrease Acne

Do you break out regularly? Then there’s a good chance that the oil your skin produces inadequate levels of linoleic acid. Scientists have found that low levels of linoleic acid in skin oil are associated with acne breakouts.15

Further studies have shown that a topical application of linoleic acid, as well as vitamin E, can work to help prevent whiteheads and blackheads.16,17

Improves Skin Tone

Carotenoids are responsible for giving skin a rich, robust color. In fact, research shows that skin with high levels of carotenoids is actually perceived to be healthier and more attractive.18

Since emu oil contains carotenoids, it may be useful in preventing a pale, wan appearance.

Soothes Irritation

Itchy, red, and irritated skin can be downright annoying. But emu oil may be of some help. A study done in 2013 showed that emu oil can work to soothe skin prone to redness and irritation.19

An Unusual Oil With Unusually Good Benefits

Emu oil may seem exotic to us, but it’s actually been a reliable skin care remedy for thousands of years in Australia. This nutrient-dense oil can work to improve the quality of your skin by helping to increase hydration, reduce breakouts, improve skin tone, and soothe irritation. It just may be time to make some room in your medicine cabinet for emu oil!

 

Learn More:
7 Surprising Health Benefits of Drinking Pomegranate Juice
Go Pitch A Tent: The Incredible Health Benefits Of Camping
NEWS: Mindfulness May Change or Improve Your Genes


Sources
1.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3818616
2.http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0168365995000887
3.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3650500
4.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11880562
5.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25906193
6.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8827691
7.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4277239
8.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17921406
9.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3299230
10.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3583892
11.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20399614
12.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2813915
13.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3583891
14.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17147559
15.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2936775
16.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9692305
17.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6455256
18.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3871348
19.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24250695

NEWS: People Age Better When They Have A Purpose In Life

Living a meaningful life is obviously important, whether you’re 20 or 80. But according to a new study, it could actually help older people improve their physical ability, helping them to maintain their independence and possibly even helping them live longer.

What the Science Says

Researchers looked at how a purpose-driven life correlates with physical functioning among older people. They analyzed answers from people age 50 and older who took part in the Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) survey in 2006 and 2010. The respondents answered several questions regarding their overall health, and also participated in tests meant to measure their walking speed as well as the strength of their grip.

Some of the questions on the survey involved whether or not the respondents felt they had a purpose in life. Specifically, whether they felt like they had tangible goals for the future or they were just drifting through life aimlessly. They then compared those answers to the results of the grip strength and walking tests.

You might not think that the strength of your grip or the speed at which you walk would have much of an impact on your lifespan, but the authors of the study strongly believe otherwise.

In fact, they believe they are signs of overall health. An increase in walking speed, they report, is equivalent to being nearly three years younger as your chronological age.

Finding Purpose| Princeton NutrientsAccording to the researchers, the respondents who said they felt there was a purpose to their lives were at a 13 percent lower risk for having a weak grip than those who reported feeling less of a sense of purpose. Those saying they had a high sense of purpose were at a 14 percent lower risk for having a slow walk compared to the others. The findings showed a direct connection between leading a meaningful life and improved physical ability.1

According to the researchers, people who feel a heightened sense of purpose will be more proactive in addressing their health, participate in healthier activities and have more control over their impulses.

How Do You Find Purpose in Life?

Further research will be needed in order to definitively establish a specific cause-and-effect relationship between improved physical functioning and finding happiness through a purpose-driven life. But the indications are that there is some sort of connection.

What does it mean, exactly, to have a purpose in life?

There’s no “one size fits all” answer to the question, because it will mean different things to different people, no matter what their age may be. Finding purpose may be simply enjoying your home and your family and friends. You might be aiming for social change. Or you might find purpose in doing your job extremely well. Some people believe they find purpose in creative pursuits, such as writing, music, dance or painting.

But even if you don’t feel that you have a purpose in life, that doesn’t mean you have to be resigned to being bored and miserable until you die. There are a lot of things you can do that will make you want to get out of bed in the morning.2

Here are just a few of them.

Identify Your Passions

Finding Purpose| Princeton Nutrients

You might have enjoyed a fantastic professional career and feel that you have everything. But that doesn’t mean you can’t continue finding purpose in life. Think about what you feel when you watch television, read a newspaper or magazine, or go online. W

hat images make you happy? Which ones enrage you? Think about the interests or activities you find exciting or interesting and pursue them.

Turn To The People You Trust

Hopefully, you have a close circle of friends and family members whose opinions you value. Talk to them about their interests and passions and you might find something you’ll want to pursue. It could be finally learning a new language, trying to break 80 on the golf course or even skydiving. If President Bush could jump out of a plane when he turned 90, why can’t you?

Be Patient

Purpose won’t come overnight. It will take time, patience and a great deal of courage to turn your passion into action. Take baby steps, such as finding a small thing you can do each day to make life better for someone else.

Whatever You Choose To Do …

Do something. Just because you’re getting older, that doesn’t mean you can’t still get out and wring every drop out of the years that lie ahead. Finding purpose is somewhat like a life insurance policy — it helps ensure you remain active and engaged for a healthier, happier – and possibly longer – life.

For more quality of life news, keep reading here:
NEWS: Mindfulness May Change or Improve Your Genes
A Bad Memory May Actually Be A Good Thing (here’s why)
Happiness Will Save Your Life

Sources
1.http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/article-abstract/2648692
2.http://www.aarp.org/personal-growth/transitions/info-06-2011/5-weeks-ep5-purpose.html

7 Surprising Health Benefits of Drinking Pomegranate Juice

When you think of fruit juice, orange and grapefruit juice come to mind first, right? You might also be a fan of apple juice and grape juice.

Pomegranate juice probably doesn’t even make the list. But there are many reasons why you should consider making this beverage a part of your daily dietary regimen. This is especially the case if you have issues with your heart health or high blood pressure.

What is Pomegranate Juice?

Well, the pomegranate is an incredible fruit that produces the sweet, reddish liquid known as pomegranate juice. This fruit contains powerful antioxidants as well as anti-inflammatory properties.

Pomegranates are typically cultivated in India, Iran, Egypt, Spain, Turkey and several other countries. The pomegranate tree can grow as high as 30 feet and is known for its bright orange, pink and red flowers.1

But best of all, the health benefits of pomegranate juice appear to be vast.

Here are just seven of them.

1. Blood Pressure

If you have high blood pressure (also known as hypertension), you probably follow a very strict diet. Well, scientific evidence suggests you should consider making pomegranate juice a part of your daily routine.

Turns out, researchers analyzed several studies to see how pomegranate juice might affect blood pressure. They concluded that this drink appears to have a very positive effect on people who have been diagnosed with this problem.2

2. Heart Disease

Benefits of Pomegranate Juice| Princeton NutrientsAccording to a study of patients suffering from heart disease, pomegranate juice not only reduces blood pressure but also the buildup of dangerous plaque in the arteries.

One group of participants who drank the juice saw a reduction of 30 percent in plaque buildup and a reduction of 12 percent in blood pressure. The participants who didn’t drink pomegranate juice had an increase in plaque buildup of 9 percent.3

3. Reducing Joint Discomfort

The anti-inflammatory properties of pomegranate juice could help people suffering from joint pain. One study involved nearly 40 people with joint problems. One group drank pomegranate juice for a month and a half. The other group drank a placebo.

According to the results, the people who consumed pomegranate juice had less joint stiffness and showed improved physical functioning compared with the placebo group.4

4. Antioxidant Power

Pomegranates are filled with antioxidants. These are important because they protect the body from the effects of oxidation. One of these is the formation of free radicals, which are dangerous molecules that can cause severe tissue damage.

According to one study, pomegranate juice has more antioxidants than green tea or even red wine, a drink known for its antioxidant properties.5

5. Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Studies show that the benefits of pomegranate juice include substantial anti-inflammatory properties. In one study, researchers found that consuming as little as 250 milliliters of the beverage daily for three months lowered inflammation in diabetes patients.6

6. Erectile Dysfunction

You might have seen headlines stating that pomegranate juice could help those suffering from erectile dysfunction, or ED. That’s because of a study where men who drank pomegranate juice reported improved erectile function.7

However, this study wasn’t a “blind study.” So, it’s likely that the men knew they were drinking pomegranate juice and, as a result, expected the improvement.

There may potentially be a link between pomegranate juice and ED, but more studies are still needed.8

7. Skin Health

Benefits of Pomegranate Juice| Princeton NutrientsResearch indicates that the benefits of pomegranate juice continue into  helping protect the body against inflammatory responses that can lead to skin problems, such as acne and psoriasis. According to one study, pomegranate juice may inhibit the ability of mast cells to cause inflammation, which can lead to skin issues.9

The Bottom Line

As you can see, the humble pomegranate appears to possess qualities that can help address many types of health problems. It also contains many essential nutrients, such as vitamin E, vitamin B6, vitamin C, calcium, manganese and potassium.10

As a matter of fact, one study listed pomegranate juice as the healthiest of all fruit juices.11

So pay close attention the next time you’re in the juice aisle and consider giving pomegranate juice a try. The odds are it will be one of the best decisions you’ll make.

Just to stay on the safe side, though, talk to your doctor first before making this drink a part of your dietary routine.

Learn more about healthy beverages:
3 Detox Drink Recipes (that actually taste delicious!)
26 Beauty & Health Benefits of Drinking Hot Water
Is Drinking Coffee the Secret to Longevity?


Sources
1.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4007340/
2.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27888156
3.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15158307
4.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26804926
5.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11052704
6.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23573120
7.https://www.nature.com/articles/3901570
8.https://www.nhs.uk/news/food-and-diet/evidence-from-pomegranate-study-not-firm
9.https://journal-inflammation.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1476-9255-6-1
10.https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2359
11.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18220345

Go Pitch A Tent: The Incredible Health Benefits Of Camping

Spending time in the great outdoors is a fantastic way to appreciate the beauty that surrounds you every day, and grab some much-needed rest and relaxation. But a growing amount of scientific research shows there are some remarkable health benefits of camping.

Here are a few key reasons why you should think about getting outside with the family for a few days.

You Can Remove Unnatural Light Sources

Your everyday environment is filled with unnatural light. Cell phones, computer screens, light bulbs … they can all have an effect on the body’s circadian rhythm. This is the internal clock that tells us when to wake up and when to get to sleep.

So, researchers have curiously looked at how a camping trip might affect these circadian rhythms.

In one particular study, participants camped for a week during summer, getting four times the natural light during the day than they would normally experience. All sources of unnatural light, such as flashlights and lamps, were banned at night.

You Sleep Better

Researchers found that the participants started to feel sleepy two hours earlier than normal. When the participants returned from their trip, their internal clocks continued to be more in sync with the “biological day,” meaning they began to get drowsy as night began to descend.1

Researchers tracked the participants’ circadian rhythms, sleep patterns, and melatonin levels in order to get an idea of how their internal clocks were working. Melatonin is a hormone that regulates both sleep and wakefulness.

Before the participants left for their camping trips their circadian rhythms weren’t quite in sync with their sleep patterns. And the campers’ melatonin levels weren’t falling quickly enough when they woke each morning – in fact, they weren’t falling until they’d been awake for about two hours.

If your melatonin levels don’t fall when you wake up, you’ll continue to feel drowsy.2

Health Benefits of Camping | Princeton NutrientsBut, after their camping trip, researchers found that their melatonin levels began to rise an average of 1.4 hours earlier than they had previously.

A second camping group was also studied as part of the research project and its results were even more dramatic. In this study, participants also went camping for a week – but in winter. They were able to get 13 times the natural light during the day than they would normally experience during winter!

After they returned, they had their melatonin levels checked each hour for a 24-hour period. Their levels rose an average of 2.6 hours earlier than before they left.

Researchers believe that (without the interference of unnatural light) the participants “biological night” had naturally lengthened to align with the colder season – which has already been seen in animals, but never studied in humans.3

More Health Benefits of Camping

In addition to helping to get our circadian rhythms back to where they need to be, spending time in the great outdoors could actually help lower your blood pressure. When you’re outside in the sun, your skin absorbs a great deal of vitamin D through sunlight. There is some evidence to suggest that a lack of vitamin D could increase your risk of developing high blood pressure, which, in turn, could lead to an increased risk of heart disease.4

Camping Safety Tips

If you’re planning on getting some healthy time outdoors, you obviously want to be as safe as possible.

Here are a few tips that’ll help make sure your outdoor experience is something you’ll not only benefit from health-wise, but one you’ll return from unscathed.

1. Think safety when participating in any physical activity

Health Benefits of Camping | Princeton Nutrients

While there are some amazing health benefits of camping, it also comes with significant dangers. If you, or someone in your family, suffers an injury, you probably won’t have a 24-hour emergency room close by.

  • Bring protective gear when biking or hiking, and make sure you have life jackets when swimming.
  • Carry plenty of water.
  • Don’t go swimming or hiking alone
  • Be aware of not only your surroundings, but also your limits.
2. Prepare your food and water carefully

Make sure all of the food you bring is packed safely in a bag or container that is tightly secured and waterproof. Keep all food in an insulated cooler. If you plan on cooking outside and you’re bringing raw meats, keep them far away from the pre-cooked food.

  • Make sure you cook meat to the proper temperature. Ground beef, for example, should be cooked to at least 160 degrees.
  • Always wash your hands thoroughly after handling any sort of raw meat – bring a hand sanitizer to be on the safe side.
3. Protect yourself from insect bites

Nothing will ruin a camping trip faster than encountering a tick or some other bug that leads to a nasty – possibly even dangerous – bite.

Bring plenty of insect repellant and wear long sleeves and long pants if possible. The lighter the clothing the easier it is to spot a tick.

4. Use sunscreen

While sunlight is a great source of vitamin D, too much can sun exposure can, of course, cause problems. Harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays can penetrate the skin even on cloudy days, so make sure you have plenty of sunscreen on hand, as well as hats and sunglasses.

Here’s To The Great Outdoors

By taking just a few simple precautions, you can have a healthy, exciting camping trip and still be in great shape when you get back home. It may still be winter, but it’s never too early to start planning your ideal camping trip!

 

Learn More:
Why You Should Start Lifting Weights (plus, beginner safety tips)
Dog Owners Are Healthier! (6 reasons why)
How To Build Muscle The Healthy Way (5 steps)


Sources
1.http://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(13)00764-1
2.https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/education/resources/highschool/chemmatters/past-issues/archive-2014-2015/the-science-of-sleep.html
3.http://neurosciencenews.com/camping-sleep-neuroscience-6058/
4.http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-attack/expert-answers/vitamin-d-deficiency/faq-20058280