What you put inside your body for beauty is more important than what you put on it. The most expensive skin care product in the world cannot repair and restore skin that covers a body burdened by an intake of excess food, especially junk food and unhealthy sugar-laden beverages.
An overly taxed digestive system can result in equally sluggish looking skin. When the kidneys have to deal with too much waste, toxins can come out from the skin and cause blemishes and other problems. (This is why you often get breakouts after a facial, deep tissue massage or a cleansing program.)
Fruits and vegetables are great for cleansing the system, providing vital vitamins and minerals to help beautify the skin. An easy way to ensure that you get enough fruits and vegetables is from fresh juices, which are also easier on the digestive tract. Juices can help keep you hydrated and detoxify the cells. But remember it’s also important to eat your fruits and vegetables, because fiber is also key to skin and overall health.
The Top 7 Beauty Nutrients
Several nutrients play a role in the health and beauty of our physical features. Here are seven that are particularly great for skin health and found in abundance in fruits and vegetables.
Vitamin A helps maintain skin development and health. It’s a powerful antioxidant that protects the skin from free radicals, which are responsible for premature aging. Vitamin A also helps to reduce the production of sebum, which causes acne problems in some people. A deficiency in vitamin A can lead to rough, dry skin and in extreme cases cracked skin, especially around the mouth.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that also helps protect cells from free radicals. It works along with vitamin A for numerous skin benefits. This vitamin combination is often found in facial creams and other skin care cosmetics.
Vitamin B Complex
B Complex consists of eight vitamins that are essential to cell reproduction. B vitamins that are especially important to skin health are B1 (thiamine) and B3 (niacin) promote blood circulation throughout the body and help deliver nutrients to skin cells. B2 (riboflavin) contributes to healthy growth of skin, hair and nails. A deficiency in this vitamin can lead to liver spots, oily skin and cracked skin around the mouth. B5 (pantothenic acid) regulates hormone production and combats stress, which can lead to skin flare-ups. A deficiency B6 (pyridoxine) can lead to dry cracked skin, eczema and pigmentation problems such as liver spots.
Vitamin C is an essential compound of collagen, a protein found in the skin that gives it elasticity.
Beta-carotene protects against free radical damage and is converted to vitamin A in the body.
Silica (silicon dioxide) is a trace mineral found in the connective tissues (like the hair and skin) and is required in the body to keep nails, hair and skin in good health. It is also needed by the body to make collagen.
Zinc helps prevent inflammation and flare ups in the skin. It is needed in the body to help skin heal and also reduces the effects of scarring.
For these recipes you’ll need a good juicer. If you don’t have one and you’re interested in purchasing one, here is a great resource for juicing that will help you choose the right one for you.
Berry Berry Good Skin Beautifier
1 cup blackberries
1 cup raspberries
1 cup strawberries
Juice all the ingredients. Berries are high in vitamins A, C & E. I remove the stems, juice the berries and save the pulp and eat it later for fiber.
Clear Up Cheer Up
2 large carrots (tops and tails removed)
1 cup of spinach (or kale)
½ apple (cored)
1 celery stalk
1 cup of broccoli florets
Juice all the ingredients. (Alternate soft ingredients with firmer ones). Carrots are high in A, a vitamin helpful in maintaining skin cells, as well as beta-carotene and antioxidants that help prevent skin damage. Spinach contains high levels of beta-carotene, which offers free radical protection and converts into vitamin A in the body. It also has vitamins C& E. Apples are great for smooth skin and are rich in beta-carotene and vitamin C. Celery is rich in magnesium, iron, chlorophyll, folic acid, C and also has B vitamins and vitamin E.
2 large carrots
l celery stalk
Cucumbers are known to be beneficial to the skin when consumed and when used topically. Cucumbers are rich in silica, important for the complexion and skin elasticity. Try to buy organic cucumbers for juicing, so that you can juice with the peel on. Most of the silica is in the peel. If you can’t buy organic, remove the peel before juicing.
8 romaine leaves
4 celery stalks
2 green apples (you can use a sweeter apple variety)
1 small bunch of baby spinach
1 small bunch of kale
1 small bunch of parsley
1 lemon (peeled)
1-inch piece fresh ginger
Juice ingredients. Romaine and other dark leafy lettuces are rich in chlorophyll and a good source of silicon and B complex vitamins. Parsley stimulates the digestive enzymes and cleanses the kidneys, liver and urinary tract. Ginger is good for digestion, but also gives the juice a nice taste.
Ginger Orange & Berry Juice
1-inch piece of fresh ginger root
½ cup of berries (any kind)
Juice ingredients. Oranges are a source of vitamin C.
Anti-Aging Cabbage Juice
4 large or 8 small cabbage leaves
½ – 1–inch piece of ginger
Juice ingredients. Cabbage contains beta-carotene, vitamin C and selenium (which slows the aging process and encourages healthy skin).
Skin Hydrator & Cleanser
6 stalks of celery
A handful of spinach or other leafy green
*Most of these vegetables are available in Nigeria in big departmental stores such as Shoprite.
A Final Note About Pesticides
Fruits and vegetables can be contaminated by pesticides. If possible, buy organic apples, celery, strawberries, lettuce, spinach and cucumbers. If you can’t get organic, peel the skin when possible.