In an ideal world organic and/or biodynamic foods are hands down the best source of nutrition for health. But as people are becoming more informed about what goes on our plates, the health industry is heaving with products taking this to the next level. We now have foods that have been activated, sprouted, stabilized, fermented, fertilized with unicorn sneezes etc. As a naturopath I find this stuff all great with definite benefits, but the price tag attached to some of these foods can be a bit much for some. If these options aren’t affordable for you, whether being due to currency or time, never dismiss good old fashioned wholefoods, food that comes from a natural source and has not been processed. Here are three of my favourites for general skin health that are easy to source and great when you are on a budget:
Pumpkin Seeds: Pumpkin seeds are one of the richest sources of zinc, an important mineral for skin and lesion repair and also healthy hormone metabolism. Pumpkin seeds are also a good source of essential fatty acids which help provide our tissue with lipids and hydration. Find them in your nuts and dried fruit section of the supermarket or at your local wholefoods store.
EAT THEM: Raw, toasted, tossed in salads, sprinkled in museli & porridge, add them to your burger mix, ground them and add them to your baking or bliss balls.
Carrots: Carrots are a fantastic source of beta-carotene, a natural colourant that gives them their orangey colour but also has fantastic health benefits. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant that has photoprotective and antiaging properties. Eating a decent amount of carrots has been linked with a healthy glow, after a study in Scotland found that carotenoid deposition in the skin enhanced aesthetic skin vitality and attractiveness.
EAT THEM: Steamed, roasted, stir-fried, grate them and add to salads, sandwiches and bolognaise sauce, and juice them.
Lemons: Lemons are a good source of vitamin C an important antioxidant neccesary for healthy collagen synthesis. Without vitamin C we would end up with scurvy – the condition where your skin basically falls apart and you rot away like a sea-lost pirate. Lemons are also an excellent purifier, drinking lemon juice in water is a good way to support liver detoxification and in turn, organ and skin health.
EAT THEM: Sliced into wedges and squeeze the juice onto salads, stir-frys, dressings and healthy treats and add to a glass of water.