There is no better way to get optimal nutrition and gorgeous skin than to add more raw foods to your diet. In fact, cooking or heating your foods to over 105 degrees can kill important nutrients, enzymes, and natural probiotics needed to properly digest and assimilate the complete nutrition that food offers naturally. The buzz surrounding a raw food or living foods diet isn’t just a fad. Eating raw has the power of peak nutrients, fast digestion and enzymatic energy to help your body not just process food, but utilize it properly for stamina, strength, healing and beauty.
Super Foods for Great Skin
Whether you eat these raw foods alone or as part of a larger dish, your skin will thank you.
CHIA SEEDS Chia Seeds are an excellent source of the omega-3 fatty acids. One ounce, or about two tablespoons of chia seeds, contains four grams of protein, 11 grams of fiber, 180 milligrams of calcium, and five grams of omega-3 fatty acids. Essential fatty acids repair cell membranes to support the skin’s elasticity. The presence of essential fatty acids also aids in the production of collagen. As the key component of connective tissue, collagen promotes healthy and resilient skin.
RAW HONEY Along with vitamin A and beta-carotene, raw honey contains all of the B-complex vitamins known to produce healthy skin. It also contains natural antibiotic and antimicrobial factors, a bonus to reduce acne, infections, and free radical damage. How do you know if your honey is raw? Look for the following words on the label: pure, unpasteurized, unfiltered, naturally crystalized, alive enzymes, vitamins and minerals.
AVOCADO Avocado is rich in vitamin C and vitamin E. Both are known for their antioxidant properties. In particular, vitamin C reduces skin inflammation and increases the production of collagen, which improves skin tone and reduces wrinkles. Don’t let the fat content of avocados deter you. They are mostly monounsaturated fatty acids, which help in reducing “bad” cholesterol.
CAROTENOID VEGGIES Carotenoids are antioxidants that help neutralize damaging free radical compounds produced by the stress of everyday living. Carotenoids are responsible for the red and orange pigments in berries, red peppers, carrots, and tomatoes. They can also be found in kale, parsley, and spinach.
ASTAXANTHIN Astaxanthin is a red pigment produced by plants and algae. Astaxanthin has 6,000 times the antioxidant power of Vitamin C for removing free radicals from the body. You can find astaxanthin in red beets, yellow peppers and sea vegetables such as spirulina and kelp. If you enjoy fish, wild sockeye salmon, which feeds on astaxanthin- rich micro-algae, is also an abundant source of Astaxathin.
GOJI BERRIES Goji berries contain two to four times as many antioxidants as blueberries. Packed with 18 different amino acids and eight essential amino acids, goji berries are also an excellent source of trace minerals.
Great skin comes from the inside out, and that’s why adding more raw veggies and fruits will help your skin glow.
Raw Beauty Smoothie
1 cup Kale (chopped)
2-3 medium Carrots juiced (about 3/4 cup)
2 tbsp Chia Seeds
1/4 Avocado (pitted and chopped)
2 tbsp Goji Berries (soaked overnight in 1/4
cup pure water. Use water & berries)
1 tbsp Raw Honey
1-3 ice cubes
Place ingredients in a high-powered blender, and blend until smooth. Add ice cubes and blend for 30 seconds longer. Enjoy!
REBECCA REYNOLDS is a raw food educator and certified health coach