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We love Tamarind Fruit – But what about the Seed?

Most people know about Tamarind fruit in some form, in Tamarind juice, in Indian chutney or curry or in good old BBQ sauce… Tamarind fruit pulp is the base for what most of us know as Tamarind.  The pulp which is rich in Vitamins and minerals boasts a whole list of health benefits by itself, helping to regulate digestion, improving blood glucose levels, blood circulation and cholesterol.  But did you know that hidden inside that tangy-sticky fruit pulp of a whole Tamarind are seeds (3-12 per pod) packed with proteins, amino acids, essential fatty acids and minerals?  These little morsels of nutrition have surprising health benefits on their own!

For the Body:  Joint Relief & Other Benefits

Tamarind Seed holds great anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial benefits (1) when ingested.  Amongst its traditional uses is the treatment for joint pain and arthritis by ingesting roasted Tamarind Seed Powder.  Early research suggests that Tamarind Seed does indeed reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in joints, helping with pain and protecting bone and cartilage (2).

For Skin:  The Skin Hydration Optimizer

When applied to skin, Tamarind Seed Extract helps draw and bind vital hydration to the skin by feeding the skin’s natural moisturizing factor in the skin’s surface, similar to how Hyaluronic Acid does.  The genius lies in the molecular structure of Tamarind Seed Extract, which is able to penetrate the skin surface more deeply, resulting in deeper and more long-lasting hydration.  We use Tamarind Seed Extract in our Tamarind Tea Hydrating Toner, where it is combined with Hyaluronic Acid, Green, White & Black Tea and Rice Bran Extract to draw and bind vital hydration to the skin and feed the skin’s natural moisturizing factor (NMF).

Make your own Tamarind Seed Powder!

While fresh whole Tamarind is now available in many Asian and Latin grocery stores in the US, Tamarind Seeds alone or Tamarind Seed Powder are not.  Fortunately, you can make your own Tamarind Seed Powder quite easily!

  1. Buy fresh whole Tamarind and save the seeds after eating the pulp as a snack or using it for cooking.  Wash and dry the seeds with a paper towel.
  2. Roast the seeds in the oven at 300 degrees for approximately 10 minutes. Alternatively you can also roast them in a frying pain on low heat for about 5.  Let cool.
  3. Wrap the roasted seeds in a dish towel, place them on a thick wooden cutting board and roughly crush with a hammer. The kernels are very hard so you will need to use quite a bit of force.  When the Tamarind Seed cracks, the dark brown seed skin will come off, exposing the inner white seed.  Keep the brown skin.  It has nutrients as well!
  4. Grind the crushed kernels and seed skin in a coffee grinder until it is a fine powder. You will notice a nice, nutty aroma.
  5. Store in an airtight container. Keep cool and dry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add 1 teaspoon of Tamarind Powder to your smoothie, juice or yogurt.  The powder does not actually dissolve in water, so I have found it easier to consume when it was suspended in a thicker medium like a smoothie or yogurt.

Enjoy experimenting!

Turmeric Bioavailability – Easy tricks to maximize its benefits

Turmeric is a key ingredient in Jamu, the ancient Indonesian herbal medicine.  Since the scientific community in European and American started taking an interest in this rhizome in the last 20th century, Turmeric has become one of the most studied herbs.  The key nutrient in Turmeric that has been shown anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and potential anti-cancer properties is Curcumin.  Unfortunately, the health benefits of Curcumin when ingested, cannot be fully realized because if poor bioavailability, meaning that Curcumin is quickly broken down and metabolized by the liver and intestinal walls before it can work its magic where needed.

The good news is that there are simple tricks to improve Curcumin’s bioavailability – tricks that can be done daily and easily as part of your regular diet:

1.Mix it with fat

Curcumin is fat soluble.  By combining or dissolving it with a fat, it is better absorbed into the bloodstream (1).  It’s easy:  Combine Turmeric with a heart-healthy oil in a vegetable stir fry.  Or add it to your smoothie together with coconut milk or full-fat kefir.

2.  Fresh Turmeric vs. dried Turmeric

Dried Turmeric powder is more widely available than the fresh rhizome, but fresh Turmeric actually has better “built-in” bioavailability (2) because is about 10% fat content.

3.  Heat it up

Bioavailability of Curcuma is even further improved, when Turmeric is lightly heated in oil (3), which is why Turmeric is ideal to incorporate into your daily cooking, whether it is a stir fry or a curry sauce.

4.  Add a dash of Black Pepper

Black pepper contains piperine, which blocks the body from rapidly metabolizing Curcumin.  In fact, consuming fresh black pepper together with Turmeric, can improve bioavailability of Curcumin by 2000% (4).

5.  Combine it with Quercetin-rich fruits & vegetables

Quercetin is an antioxidant that gives certain fruits and vegetables their dark, blue-ish color.  Research shows that Quercetin blocks an enzyme that would metabolizes Curcumin, thus making it more bioavailable (5).  Quercetin-rich foods include blueberries, red grapes, red onions, green tea but also red apples.

 

In Skincare – Proven Effective

Turmeric has a long tradition in Indonesian beauty rituals as well, most famously in the Lulur bridal spa treatment.  While it is an age old recipe to boost skin radiance and luminosity, there is a growing body of recent scientific evidence that underscores topical Turmeric’s benefits in helping prevent and reduce oxidative stress, inflammation, acne, and signs of premature aging such as irregular skin tone and sun damage.  When we at JUARA craft formulations, we draw our inspiration from Indonesian tradition, but we also ensure that we select botanicals that have been tested for efficacy and safety according to today’s standards.

Several of JUARA products are formulated with Turmeric, including our

Clove Flower & Turmeric Anti-Aging Serum, Turmeric Antioxidant Radiance Mask, Radiance Vitality Oil, Sweet Black Tea & Rice Moisturizer and Miracle Tea Complete Eye Creme, but also in body treatments such as our Kartini Body Oil.

To explore JUARA treatments that feature Turmeric and other active Jamu botanicals, click here.

Tea Synergy: The Benefits of Togetherness

Antioxidants are supposed to be good for us, and most of us try to consume antioxidants through food, drinks or supplements. But ever wonder if a specific form of antioxidant is better? Like if I love to drink tea, should I drink green, white or black tea? Or should I cut to the chase and load up on antioxidant supplements?

First, what’s the difference between the teas?

Tea, first introduced as a traditional medicine in Asia, is from the Camellia sinensis plant and can vary by processing steps: Green tea and white tea are non‐fermented and minimally or lightly oxidized while black tea is fully fermented and oxidized. (Herbal teas are any teas not made from Camellia sinensis.) The different processing results in different bioactive compounds. Green tea has flavan‐3‐ols (catechins), proanthocyanidins (tannins) and flavonols. Black tea contains theaflavins and thearubigins while white tea contains l‐theanine and gamma‐aminobutyric acid (GABA), among others. The health benefit of teas has been correlated with these bioactive compounds, which have anti‐inflammatory, anti‐diabetic and anti‐cancer activities.

Why does it matter that there are different antioxidants? Don’t they all do the same thing?

Antioxidants, produced by the body or ingested, are part of the body’s defense system against damaging free radicals that are formed during the body’s normal cellular processes or when exposed to UV radiation, pollution or stress, etc. Different antioxidants operate in different parts of cells and participate in different chemical processes throughout the body. Some antioxidants suppress the formation of free radicals, while others “scavenge” to remove the free radicals before they do damage, or work to repair damage once it has been done.

Synergy, A theory of the whole is better than the parts

So it makes sense that combining different teas and herbs with various bioactive components might have synergistic (or antagonistic) effects in their bioactive efforts. Synergy is based on the idea that using a whole plant containing a group of chemicals working together or a combination of plants is more beneficial than using a single compound to achieve a specific effect.  For example, the equal ratio of of black tea, black pepper (Piper nigrum), ginger (Zingiber officinale) and Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum) showed higher antioxidant activity compared to that of the individuals. Research on the combination of  green and black tea showed a stronger antimicrobial effect than alone.

Tradition in science

So perhaps that synergistic antioxidant and antimicrobial effect is the reason that people in Indonesia and Asia use a mixture of leftover teas to rinse their face. And that is why the JUARA Tamarind Tea Hydrating Toner uses a combination of green, white and black teas for that synergistic antioxidant effect post a day of stress, tiredness and pollution. Oh wait, and I will have a tea with that! Any tea, please!

Candlenut: The Balanced Nut!

Candlenut holds a special place at JUARA.  Our very first JUARA product we launched was our popular Candlenut Body Creme, a.k.a. Bali in a Jar, which became an instant hit with customers, editors and estheticians alike.  By popular demand, many more Candlenut treasures followed.

But what exactly is Candlenut?  Rarely do you ever see it sold in a regular grocery store because its consumption is usually limited to the region where it is cultivated, mostly South East Asia and Hawaii.  It looks like an oversized macadamia nut or hazelnut.  Even though it is not widely known, Candlenut is probably one of the most versatile and healthy nuts out there, having been used for medicinal purposes, cooking as well as skincare for centuries.

Omega 6 & 3 Essential Fatty Acids:  The Ratio is Key

Like most nuts, Candlenut has a high oil content (70%).  What makes Candlenut special amongst its peers is its high content of Essential Fatty Acids (EFA).  And not only that, it has what is considered an ideal ratio of Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids.  While both EFAs have health benefits, it has been shown that the typical Western diet is by far too rich in Omega 6 fatty acids relative to Omega 3 fatty acid consumption, leading to chronic inflammation.  Nobody knows what the ideal ratio exactly is, but current estimates state a ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 of anywhere between 1:1 and 4:1 as ideal.  It is estimated that people in developed countries reach a ratio of about 15:1.  It has been shown even higher in the typical American diet, where it reaches levels of 25:1 due to a high consumption of fast & processed foods and fried foods which are typically rich in Omega 6, and a low consumption of Omega 3-rich foods like fish and certain nuts and seeds.  Candlenut has a ratio of Omega 3 and 6 of about 1.7:1, which is considered in the ideal range.  As a comparison, Walnuts have a ratio of about 4:1, Pecans 22:1, Flax Seeds 1:4, Sunflower Seeds:  312:1, Corn Oil 46:1, Wild Salmon 1:12, Canned Tuna 1:30.

Other Health Benefits

Candlenut is also rich in saponin, flavonoid and polyphenols, plant compounds that have  anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting benefits as well as antibacterial effects.  Plus, it contains not only alpha tocopherol (the most familiar form of Vitamin E), but also gamma tocopherol, which works synergistically with alpha tocopherol to provide antioxidant protection.

Try it in Food!

In its native Indonesian and Malay, Candlenut is used in cooking as a thickener for curries and soups.  One easy way to incorporate Candlenuts is to roasted Candlenuts in the oven or frying pan, which brings out their aroma, before chopping or shaving them and sprinkling them over curry, soups or salad.

Try it on your Skin!

Candlenut is rich in EFA, the skincare benefits of which have been well documented.  EFAs help reduce inflammation, strengthens the skin’s own protective barrier, and Omega 6 essential fatty acid specifically helps acne-prone skin clear up clogged pores.  Candlenut’s boasting both Omega-3 and 6 as well as natural anti-microbial properties make it suitable for all skin types, ranging from dry to oily, including sensitive and acne-prone skin.

All of JUARA’s Candlenut products are formulated with Candlenut Oil, but we have added this precious oil to other treatments as well, including:

Kartini Body Oil – $58, 4 oz

The luxurious body oil fit for royalty (hence the name Kartini, named after a Princess who was also a big champion of women’s rights in Indonesia).  A truly nourishing blend of Candlenut, Plumeria, Passionfruit, Moringa and Turmeric Oil, with a silky, light-as-air texture with firming, brightening and softening benefits.

Coconut Illipe Hand & Nail Balm – $20. 2.5 oz

Pure relief and moisture for dry, hard-working hands, that stays on even after washing your hands.  A replenishing blend of oils and butters, plus soothing oat beta glucan and brightening algae Energy immediately comfort skin & cuticles.  Result:  Hands that are soft and smooth, never greasy.

Sweet Black Tea & Rice Facial Moisturizer – $60, 1.7 oz

Energy for dry, dull skin. “Kombucha”, nourishing botanical oils and our unique Radiant Complex hydrate, firm, smooth and boost skin luster.  The perfect daily moisturizer for normal to dry skin. 

Miracle Tea Complete Eye Crème – $53, 0.5 oz

This miracle worker gives the fragile skin around the eyes the whole TLC package:  It hydrates, smooths fine lines & wrinkles, reduces the look of dark circles and under-eye bags for a refreshed look!

Radiance Vitality Oil – $70, 1.0oz

The Queen of Face Oils (Face Oil of the Year, Self Magazine 2015) addresses all signs of aging with 12 pure plant oils and extracts by helping to firm, nourish, smooth and revitalize, with results you can see and feel after only one application.

Nourish your natural beauty all over with Candlenut in JUARA products here!

Love it all! Coconut Water vs. Milk vs. Oil

When I’m thirsty in Indonesia, the first thing I look for on the menu is a fresh young coconut. There’s really nothing that beats the clean, pure, and completely satisfying thirst quench that happens when the delicious juice fills your mouth. It’s a bit of a norm where I’m from, like in the same way that in a restaurant in the US you ask for an orange juice, if I’m in Indonesia at a local restaurant, I ask for a coconut.  
 
The coconut is a pretty standard ingredient of Indonesia used in very many different ways, for inside and out, beauty and health. One interesting tidbit is that Indonesia is the world’s largest producer of coconuts. We use the coconut fruit itself to make coconut milk for curries and desserts, the actual to grate as well and season to cook in savory dishes, or to roll little desserts in (called Kueh Basah – “wet cake”) and the water to drink. We use coconut oil in cooking, to eat as a health supplement, and to use in our hair to make it silky soft – and in the US, I also cook with the oil and milk, drink the water, and even use the oil in our JUARA products – like our JUARA Radiance Vitality Oil
 
There are so many uses for a coconut, but 3 main components we all talk about: the Oil, Water, Milk… do you know the difference in their health benefits? I’m curious myself!
 

COCONUT WATER

This is the water found in the young coconut before it ripens into the coconut meat itself. Coconut water has a slightly sweet taste (so not sugar-free,) contains about 94% water and very little fat. It also contains electrolytes – important in helping your body maintain its proper fluid balance. It contains potassium, magnesium, sodium, and calcium, so next time you want to reach for that Gatorade, if coconut water is handy at the store, try for that instead! Last but not least, coconut water contains antioxidants that fight free radicals and hormone called cytokinins which help with anti-aging, so it’s a great overall health beverage that only has 45 calories a cup!
 

COCONUT MILK

Contrary to what some may think, coconut milk isn’t really a milk but water added to the grated coconut flesh. Leave it too long, and it will separate; the cream from the water – and the cream that rises to the top is also known as coconut cream. (Fun fact: Coconut milk can be made from boiling 1 part grated coconut with 1 part water. You can make coconut cream by boiling 3 parts grated coconut with 1 part water.)  It is highly nutritious and rich in fiber, vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6, and contains minerals including iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. The interesting thing is that you hear good and bad things about coconut milk. It’s high in saturated fat (bad), however the specific fats in coconut also contain a fatty acid called Lauric acid that has several benefits which may include weight loss, and may also help protect your body from viruses and illnesses (good). So as with living a balanced healthy life, consume in moderation. 
 

COCONUT OIL

The oil is what you get when you press the fat out of the coconut meat. About 84% of the calories of coconut oil come from saturated fat, vs 14% of olive oil and 63% of butter. This is why coconut oil gets hard easily at room temperature. Neat factoid, right? However, the MCT fat in coconut oil (as well as the meat) actually has the benefit of boosting your HDL, aka your good cholesterol and being burned off as energy vs being stored like other saturated fats, though it doesn’t exactly lower your LDL (bad cholesterol) either. Repeating the moderation mantra, one should limit intake to about 13 grams a day, which is around 1 tablespoon. Cooking tip – Don’t fry or cook at high temperatures with coconut oil, as it has a smoke point of 350 degrees. (Likewise, butter and olive oil have similarly lower smoke points.) Frying has a temperature of about 350-400 degrees – so select other high-temperature tolerant oils for that, like avocado oil for best results and better health!
 

EASY HOLIDAY RECIPE

So – coconut is an all year treat – and my current obsession perfect for holidays – making my own coconut milk pumpkin spice latte! How? SUPER EASY: 
  • Combine 2 teaspoons of pumpkin puree from a can (like what you make pumpkin pies out of with 1 teaspoon of agave/sweetener and a pinch of cinnamon. Stir. 
  • Add to a hot cup of coffee – best be a stronger dark roast for a rich flavor; it just blends better with the pumpkin. Trader Joe’s has a great Gingerbread Coffee that’s just a dark roasted coffee blend mixed with holiday spices, but a good French roast will do too.  
  • Add the puree to the coffee and mix, add more sweetener as needed. 
  • Add warmed coconut milk (not from a can, but in the dairy-substitute section of milk, where the have Almond, Soy and other alternative milk) and stir. Enjoy!

Cinnamon: For Health & Holiday Cheers!

‘Tis the season for all things Cinnamon!  Ahhh…what would the holidays be without Cinnamon’s signature aroma.  Whether we’re talking aromatic cookies, spiced cakes or hearty stews, Cinnamon is one of the most popular spices, loved and revered around the world.  Its use originates as far back as Ancient Egypt as a key ingredient in the embalmment ritual.  While Cinnamon is readily available in regular grocery stores today, it was so highly prized and considered so precious in the past, it was a gift reserved only for royalty or deity.

Not surprisingly, like many popular spices, humans began using Cinnamon primarily for medicinal purposes first, before it became a popular flavoring agent.  Native to South Asia and South East Asia, Cinnamon has a long tradition in Jamu, Indonesia’s traditional herbal medicine.  What ancient healers have known all along, modern medicine has only begun to discover are the many health benefits of Cinnamon.

CHEERS UP YOUR METABOLISM

While Cinnamon has well-documented antimicrobial and antioxidant properties (…hence a key preservative-like ingredient when the Ancient Egyptians embalmed their kings & queens), a particularly exciting discovery has been that Cinnamon can improve metabolic diseases such as glucose intolerance, high cholesterol and triglycerides (1).  While more studies are necessary, in one study volunteers ate half a teaspoon of Cinnamon daily for 40 days, which cut their cholesterol by about 18% and blood sugar levels by 24% (2).  The theory is that Cinnamon increases insulin sensitivity while also reducing the amount of glucose that enters the bloodstream after a carbohydrate-rich meal.  And unless you have an allergy Cinnamon or liver disease, this spice can be consumed safely daily in food, drink or as part of a meal.

GOOD FOR SKIN INSIDE & OUT

A healthy glucose metabolism is crucial for healthy skin from the inside since high blood sugar causes inflammation and premature aging in the skin in a process called “glycation”.  What about applying Cinnamon  topically?  Cinnamon is rich in polyphenols and antioxidants, which makes it a great ingredient to prevent skin aging.  Its antimicrobial properties also help break-out prone skin, where proliferation of acne bacteria cause acne blemishes.  JUARA Sweet Black Tea & Ginger Oil-Free Moisturizer combines anti-aging, oil-control and break-out-fighting benefits all in one refreshing gel-crème that contains a potent Jamu combination of Kombucha, Ginger and Cinnamon plus Hyaluronic Acid.

EASY TO INCLUDE IN YOUR DAILY LIFE

Having gone through gestational diabetes and fluctuating blood sugar issues myself, I try to stick to a balanced diet that avoids blood sugar spikes and dips. Cinnamon has become part of my daily ritual – not just in my skincare.  A dash on my morning oatmeal combined with nuts and apples – delicious!  A dash in a cup of Ginger Tea – so soothing!  And in the occasional cookie to indulge…because it’s all about balance!

Ingredient Spotlight: Avocado – Inside & Out!

Oh the weather outside is snowing… well almost. Wherever you are this holiday season. One thing for sure is winter can bring about dryness and dehydration – whether it’s the cold air or the cozy heaters inside. Humidity goes down, dehydration goes up! What’s one ingredient we all know and love which helps with hydration and rich fatty acid nourishment? It’s one of humanity’s favorite foods (for both body and skincare)… the avocado! This particular fruit has been used for centuries in Indonesian food and beauty traditions. Avocados are affordable and abundant in Indonesia, used for anything from the famous “cremebath” hair treatments to avocado juices and beyond. In fact, avocado drinks are a staple in Indonesia. And we LOVE it for JUARA. No matter how it’s used, avocados are renowned for their wealth of health benefits for not just your body, but your skin and hair too… here’s a rundown of all sorts of benefits – inside and out! 
 

FOR SKIN

  • Rich in fatty acids that deeply moisturize the skin.
  • Potassium, lecithin, and more to nourish on a cellular level.
  • Antioxidants that soothe dry, irritated, and flaky skin.
  • Prevents (and even treats) acne, thanks to avocado’s superb anti-inflammatory effects.
We give hats off to the great uses in this skin softening, hydrating leave-on mask, our JUARA Java Plum & Avocado Mask, our Radiance Vitality Oil, our Sweet Black Tea & Rice Facial Moisturizer, and the Miracle Tea Eye Creme! Curious? Details below…
 

FOR HAIR

  • Rejuvenates and moisturizes the scalp – where healthy hair begins.
  • Vitamins A, D, E, and B6 nourish hair and scalp while promoting speedy growth.
  • Antioxidants rescue hair from free radicals.
  • Unclogs follicles and stimulates new hair growth from dormant follicles.
There is a traditional and common treatment we regularly partake in at the salon called the creme bath where you get a legit amazing deep conditioning hair treatment that includes a 45 minute (yes 45 full minutes!) of a head, neck and shoulder/arm massage while undergoing deep conditioning. You can choose which kind of ingredient is used in the deep conditioner based on hair needs: Rich Candlenut for shiny black hair, Hydrating Avocado for dry hair, Protein-filled Egg for fine hair, and Aloe Vera for thin hair. If you’re even in Indonesia, you MUST ask for a cremebath at the spa or salon!
 

FOR BODY

  • Keep your weight in check: Munch on avocados daily to maintain a healthy weight and boost digestion.
  • Prevent heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even obesity thanks to avocado’s dietary fiber.
  • High in Fat. Low in Carbs: Avocados are nutritious and delicious, packed with vitamins and nutrients that have even more potassium than bananas!
 
Honestly, we could go on all day – but we’re sure you get the picture. If you don’t, follow in Indonesia’s footsteps and let avocado into your life today. The nation continues to choose sweet over savory, unlike Westerners, blending it into just about everything – shakes, milky drinks, coffee, and even chocolate syrup. Indonesians also fill their bathtubs with avocado to boost circulation and soften the skin. So, next time you stock up on avocados, reimagine what you can do with them. We at JUARA certainly did and we love them in our products! See what we do with Avocado in our products, and experience what they can do for your skin!
 
Java Plum & Avocado Moisture Mask – $38, 3.0oz
Moisturizes, soothes, strengthens, plums, softens & is age-delaying. Give your skin an extra moisture boost and renewed vitality! Replenish dry, parched skin with this rich, nutrient-packed combination of Avocado Oil, Java Plum, Banana & Mango that deeply hydrates, soothes and plumps skin, leaving behind a soft, dewy complexion.
 
 
Miracle Tea Eye Creme – $53, 0.5oz
Firms, brightens, minimizes fine lines & wrinkles, reduces puffiness & dark circles. Our multi-tasking eye treatment is the complete package! Featuring our Radiance Complex and “Miracle Tea” a.k.a. “Probiotic Kombucha”, this eye cream boosts Radiance, firms and hydrates while minimizing the appearance of fine lines, dark circles and puffiness. Don’t trust us? Ask Drew Barrymore – she thought so!  
 
Sweet Black Tea & Rice Facial Moisturizer – $60, 1.7 oz
Maintains elasticity, boosts radiance, hydrates, firms, smoothes. Re-energize dry, dull skin. This silky antioxidant-rich moisturizer featuring our unique Radiance Complex, “Kombucha” and nourishing botanical oils, boosts hydration and Radiance and helps reduce the look of fine lines & wrinkles for smooth, healthy-looking skin.
 
 
Radiance Vitality Oil – $70, 1.0oz
Brightens, firms, nourishes, revitalizes. 
After just 1 use: 
97% felt the oil nourished and hydrated their skin, and loved the texture of this gentle but powerful oil.
90%+ felt their skin was protected, soft, silky smooth, healthy and hydrated.
Radiance redefined! Light-as-air, smooth-as-silk, this award-winning* face oil addresses all signs of aging by boosting Radiance, increasing elasticity, and minimizing fine lines and wrinkles with its 12 pure & precious oils and extracts.

 

Get your avocado on with JUARA in in our FACE PRODUCTS here!
 

4 Fast Facts to Add Ginger to Your Diet!

 Ever since I learned that ginger is one of only a few spices that has proven anti-inflammatory benefits after consumption. I have been avidly trying to figure out how to add it, and it’s other anti-inflammatory spice friends into my cooking. Don’t like reading articles, watch this video. So let’s get to the point. Why is it exciting to add ginger to your food regimen?

1.It’s anti-inflammatory…

Not sure what’s great about being anti-inflammatory? It means that when your body faces stress or pain – ginger can help stop it. It’s been shown to be effective against osteoarthritis, muscle pain and soreness and even pro-inflammatory cancers like colon, ovarian, or pancreatic.

 

2.  It’s an anti-oxidant!

By now, we all know anti-oxidants help slow down aging or damage of our cells, but ginger’s 6-gingerol’s antioxidant ability is posited for being the reason ginger helps to slow down cognitive decline or even improve brain function in some.

3.  It can help with nausea, menstrual pain, stomach discomfort etc.

1-1.5 grams was shown to be as effective as medication against sea sickness, morning sickness, and pain from the menstrual cycle.

4.  It may be slimming!

Ginger activates the same slimming pathway as sleeping in a cold room or eating capsaicin in peppers. How cold? 62 F degrees cold. Cayenne pepper, like ginger, increases energy expenditure by activating brown fat tissue which helps to burn calories and thus lose weight.

Don’t get me started on the budding research showing ginger’s effects on diabetes and heart disease risk factors.

Convinced?!? Let’s do this!

Tips on how to use ginger…

  1. Crush it! Release the juices and increase the surface area. If you like the spiciness of ginger, but don’t want to eat it, take a large piece and crush it with the side of your knife, sharp side away from you of course. Then you can use the piece of ginger for soups, sautéing, etc. but fish it out since it’s still one big chunk.
  2. Add a chunk to your morning smoothie – wakes up your senses and potentially keeps that blood sugar down. My smoothie this morning: banana, apple, fingertip of ginger, strawberries, and kale with cold brewed hibiscus green tea and crushed flax seeds.
  3. Remove the skin with the side of a spoon. Then grate, julienne or mince it. Use it to make tea, spice up soup, add it to almost every stir fry, or brighten up anything sweet. Or try making ginger beer – a probiotic gingery drink!
  4. No fresh ginger? Or don’t want to bother with the root? (I buy mine in bulk and freeze it), ground ginger from the spice rack works too. Ginger tea is just 1/4 teaspoon with hot water, and a touch of honey.

I hope you find more ways and reasons to keep Ginger around! Please share your tricks!

Recipe Spotlight: Coffee & Coconut Creamy Chia Pudding

Healthy, sweet, and special – that’s how I like my snacks and desserts, and not to mention, easy to make if I’m the one dishing out the goodies! Lack of time and a small pantry shouldn’t stop anyone from being able to whip up something delightfully yummy, so here’s a go-to treat I whipped up just last week. Inspired by tropical theme, but perfect for a city girl, this pudding combines energy boosting coffee, healthy fat and electrolyte filled coconut milk, and omega-rich chia seeds to give you instant – and sustained – energy through the day!

Why is this so good for you:

Benefits of Coconut Milk:

There is a reason the coconut is a staple in Indonesian cuisine – from being cooked in curries to freshly grated in desserts. And the water – we drink it straight out of the coconut! The electrolytes, including potassium and magnesium, and fatty acids in coconut milk help you, contrary to what intuition says, build muscle and lose fat. It also helps fight fatigue and sustain your energy. The healthy fats also curb your appetite, reducing the desire for snacking. It also is rich in lauric acid, which contains natural anti-bacterial properties. Lauric acid is also linked to improved cholesterol and overall heart health.

Benefits of Coffee:

Indonesia is known for its famous coffee regions: Sumatra, Bali, Sulawesi, the list goes on. This energy boosting cup of java we love contains antioxidants and other nutrients including Riboflavin, Pantothenic Acid, Manganese, Potassium, Magnesium and Niacin. It also has shown to have protective effects on the liver and may also reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes when drunk in moderation. Other studies have linked coffee to a decreased chance of developing Parkinson’s and Alzheimers.

Benefits of Chia Seeds:

Chia seeds are a superfood loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals (calcium, potassium, magnesium to name a few,) and of course, are a chock-full of omegas to help skin, hair and nails remain lustrous and smooth – a great anti-aging benefit. Chia seeds are also shown to help reverse inflammation, regulate cholesterol and lower blood pressure, all elements that contribute to a healthy heart. Also loaded with fiber and protein, a lot is packed in this tiny seed!

Recipe time! Coffee & Coconut Creamy Chia Seed Pudding

Coffee & Coconut Cream-ChiaSeed PuddingServes 2:

4 heaping tablespoons Chia Seeds

3/4 cup coconut milk (or other coconut creme or milk blends.)

3/4 cup hot coffee (or I like to take an espresso shot and add water)

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon molasses

To add for variety (Mix and match to taste):

  • Chopped, dried figs  (medium to fine pieces – I prefer medium so it keeps its texture.)
  • Finely chopped almonds or walnuts
  • A Splash (or 2) of Rum to taste
  • Toasted coconut

Directions:

Spoon 4 tablespoons of Chia Seeds into a bowl or a large cup. Slowly add in the coconut milk, stirring so the seeds don’t clump on the bottom of the bowl.

Add honey and molasses to the coffee separately, until completely dissolved. It’s much easier to dissolve the thick sweeteners in warm-to-hot liquid than in the cold coconut milk. If accessible, you can use palm sugar or coconut sugar instead of honey if available. But if using honey or agave, I like the molasses because it adds a bit of a rich flavor to the sweetness.

Pour the sweetened coffee into the chia seed-coconut milk mixture and stir. Add the extras (nuts, rum, figs , etc…) and stir some more. Wait about 2-3 minutes, and stir the bowl to keep the chia seeds from sinking as they soak up the liquids. Once you see them starting to suspend in the coffee-coconut cream mixture, cover the top and refrigerate for 30 minutes or more.

Garnish with chopped figs, coconut pieces, or just dig right in! (For sheer decadence, if you want to go for a dessert vs snack, this pudding tastes great with a side of coffee or coconut ice cream!)

Beauty Beat: Coffee & Creme on you!

If you don’t have time to make the pudding, but a huge fan of coffee & creme, I highly recommend the JUARA Skincare Coffee & Creme Skin Smoothing Body Ritual. It is a duo of a rich, dark roasted coffee scrub that cleanses and exfoliates in the shower, followed by the decadent Candlenut Body Creme  – its fluffy, buttery texture and deep hydration with a signature velvety, non-greasy feel. It’s like a dessert in the shower!

Coffee & Creme Set - Invigorating Coffee Scrub + Candlenut Body Creme

Best Selling: Coffee & Creme Skin Smoothing Body Ritual

You can see the JUARA products here.