Foods for skin, overall health and some tips on how to use them.

1:56 PM

I thought it would be a great idea to post a list of some tasty fruits, veggies and maybe some spices that are great for skin and overall health.  Lucky for you I have taken Organic Chemistry and Botany, and actually remember this information.  What you consume is basically how you look.  Your skin is an outer reflection of what is happening internally.  It is crucial to avoid consuming a lot of sugar and carbs, as they can lead to wrinkles.

Lets start with the anthocyanins, polyphenols and flavonoids  These are usually lumped together.  Anthocyanins are what give the purple, red or blue colors of some fruits and vegetables. Polyphenols are found in grapes and wine. Anthocyanins, flavonoids and polyphenols are packed with antioxidants that are not just great for skin, but for other organ systems as well.  Antioxidants fight off free radicals, which are particles with unpaired electrons that are dying to bond with something like Oxygen to get an equal number of electrons. These free radicals are highly reactive and basically cause a chain reacion. Simply said, this is not good for us as it can cause cancer and increase the rate of aging and the diseases that go with it. 

Anthocyanins, and other antioxidants, work to make these free radicals neutral.  The best anthocyanins, polyphenols and flavonoids include blueberres, grapes, acai berries, blackberries(any kind of berry, really) olives, eggplant, and even in avocados.  So you wine drinkers are doing your body some good.

Certain types of nuts are also good for your skin, and energy.  Almonds are the best as they are low in fat and have vitamin E.  They are also great for cardiovascualr health. Pistachios are also amazing. These are my favorite, but they are pricey Especially if you go for the best brand, Wonderful Pistachios. These tiny little powerhouses have a lot of nutrients including potassium, viatmin B and copper.Pistachios are a great snack for those trying to lose weight, and they are also good for your heart. Great information and studies about pistachios can be found at pistachiohealth.com. You can also compare the nutrition values among the most common news. Note: there is bad news for you cashew lovers; almost no nutrition and a lot of calories.

Tea: all types of tea have antioxidants, but Green Tea is the absolute best.  It contains tons of antioxidants, most notably catechins. Green tea is great for eczema. I notice a reduction in redness, dryness and itching.  Drink two cups a day.  It also is a good alternative if you don't like coffee.  It contains small amounts of caffeine, but without all of the jitters. But black coffee has numerous benefits as well. Like green tea, it has a lot of antioxidants.  Studies have linked coffee to many positive benefits such as a lower risk of diabetes and better cardiovascular heath. Coffee has also been shown to reduce Alzheimers risk. Coffee lovers rejoice! More information can be found on WebMD. They have a lot of great resources.

Fish Oil:  We all know how great Omega 3's are.  They are important for skin, brain, eye and heart function.  I cannot speak for results of most fish oil supplements as I am allergic to many types of fish.  Sockeye salmon is the best form of fish oil.  Finding a good fish oil supplement requires a lot of research and knowing the right amount of EPA and DHA you need(different sources say different numbers).  One of my favorites is GNC Salmon Oil.  The only downside is you have to take 6 capsules a day.  I did notice an overall improvement in my mood and even in memory function.  My eczema did seem to get better.  Perricone MD also has a good  fish oil supplement.  I cannot speak from personal results, but I have seen it work wonders on my family.  My mom and step-dad had more energy, the appearance of their skin improved and the lost some weight.  If you are allergic to Tilapia, avoid the Perricone fish oil.  I have also taken Nordic Natruals fish oil with vitamin D, but I didn't see any changes after taking it for a few months.  If you do eat fish, you need 2-3 servings a week to get a good amount of fish oil.

Leafy greens such as kale, spinach, broccoli and collard greens.  Most people think of kale as a garnish, but it tastes amazing when cooked.  Cook in some beef or chicken broth to add a little flavor.  Kale chips also make a great snack.  Sprinkle with sea salt, pepper and drizzle some olive oil.  Bake in the oven until the chips are nice and crispy.  Beats potato chips anyday =) All leafy greens are a great source of calcium and phosphorous.

Beans, especially kidney beans and black beans.  They are an excellemt source of protein and fiber. Black beans are also good for heart health.

Cinnamon is a great anti-inflammatory.  This is more challenging to use in daily life.  I use cinnamon sticks, which are more expensive than ground cinnamon.  I cut each stick in half, or in thirds, with kitchen scissors.  I use them in green tea and coffee. I don't use ground cinnamon because it does not mix with hot tea and coffee.

If you are trying to lose some extra weight, try adding cayenne pepper to your diet.  I love adding it to Mac and Cheese, or pasta with olive oil and sea salt. Cayenne pepper gives metabolism a boost, and clears up the sinuses.

Instead of using chemically derived artificial sweetners, use something from the Stevia plant, such as Truvia.  While you want to avoid artifical sweetners, Stevia is the lesser of evils in this group because it is naturally derived isntead of being full of chemicals.

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2 comments

  1. I love tea :) i mix it with lemon and honey and it works so great with my afternoon break. it's great for the skin as well :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Tea is pretty amazing =) I forgot about that combination; my grandmother used to give me tea with lemon and honey when I was sick to ease coughing. Thanks for mentioning it =)

    ReplyDelete

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