- Fashion and Beauty
Super Skin Foods: What are Phytonutrients?
Years of research has revealed that there are various foods that contain an abundance of vitamins and minerals that could have health-enhancing and therapeutic properties. These foods are known as superfoods, they contain biologially active substances known as phytonutrients or phytochemicals. What are phytonutrients and what foods contain these exceptional health boosting substances?
What are Phytonutrients?
Phytonutrients are plant based compounds that act as antioxidants in the body when consumed. These chemicals offer protection from things that jeopardise the plant's survival. For example pollutants, bacteria and various infections that can be found in the envrionment. The following plant foods are known contain a high number of phytochemicals. They can produce exceptional health benefits and they could provide the key to beautiful glowing skin.
Algae might not look very attractive but it contains an abundance of vitamins and minerals. There are two species of algae in particular that are excellent and provide an array of phytochemicals. These species are:
This is a green-blue type of algae and it is rich in amino acids and essential fatty acids. It also contains beta-carotene, chlorophyll, gamma-linolenic acid, trace minerals and various enzymes. If you are looking for vitamins there are plenty found in spirulina. You can find vitamins B1, B2, B6, B6, D, E and K. Spirulina is also known as the plant that contains the highest amount of vitamin B12.
Chlorella is a green algae and it also has a whole array of health boosting nutrients which are excellent for the skin. It also contains essential amino acids, vitamins, minerals and chlorophyll, Chlorella is also great for repairing the cells because it contains something called CGF which is a growth factor which is similar to DNA which is the cell's genetic material. This is great for repairing skin tissue and for healing after, and during illness.
Almonds are used in Indian remedies because they are one of the few nuts that are considered alkaline. They are rich in magnesium which is known to have a calming effect on the skin and body. Magnesium is often referred to as a natural tranquiliser because it has an exceptional calming effect on the nerves. They are also high in vitamin E, and they contain plenty of calcium, zinc and potassium. They also contain folic acid, vitamins B2 and B3. When used in homemade skin remedies almond oil and crused almonds have softening properties.
Pears and Apples
Apples and pears are known as orchard fruits, they are rich in vitamin C , B1, magnesium, potassium, calcium and folic acid. Pears are very high in iodine too which is excellent for balancing your energy levels. They also have anti-bacterial properties because the substance that causes the sour taste in both apples and pears, malic and tartaric inhibits the fermentation of bacteria in the gut. Which helps to keep your gut healthy and it reduces the risk o infection. Apple juice actually cleanses the liver and pears can aid in the soothing and alleviation of eczema. When you applied apply apples and pears to the skin they can have exceptional moisturising properties.
Avocado is known for having amazing moisturising properties and it is rich in vitamins, A, B, C and E. They also contain plenty of potassium and small quantity of vitamin K and iron. The oil in avocado has anti-ageing properties and can help to relieve eczema and other skin ailments. If you take one avocado and mash it up and apply the pulp to your skin it provide a naturally nourishing and moisturising mask.
Carrots are known as the “see in the dark” food however, they have many other benefits. They contain an abundance of beta-carotene. They also contain alpha carotene which is a caroenoid that can help prevent cancer alleviate the symptoms of cancer. The phytochemicals found in carrots can help to protect your skin from the sun as they boost the skin's natural sun protection factot (SPF) Carrots are also rich in vitamin B1, B2, and minerals such as potassium, sodium and silicon. If you drink carrot juice and eat carrots raw it can help to clear the skin and give you a brighter complexion. If you apply carrot oil or raw carrot juice to the skin it can give help to smooth wrinkles and give you a brighter complexion.
Lemons and Limes
Lemons and limes are known as citrus fruits, and they have many skin-beautifying properties. They are high in vitamin C which is excellent for maintaining the collagen in the skin, the substance that maintains the skins elasticity. There is a small amount of calcium contained in lemons, as well as potassium. Lemon juice is antiseptic too, it can aid in the cleansing of the blood and the liver. This is why lemons are often used during detox programs. If you are detoxing then it is advisable for you to sip on lemon juice and hot water first thing in the morning as it helps to cleans the liver and the kidneys. The pith is very rich in bioflavonoids which are phytochemicals that strengthen the blood and can help to prevent varicose veins. If you use lemon juice raw on the skin it can help to alleviate pimples and brighten the skin. It also said to smooth out wrinkles.
Limes can help to soothe stress and can help you to sleep and relax. Research has shown that it can help to lubricate the skin and encourage cell regeneration. If you have eczema then you could try drinking two to three cups of lime with hot water every day.
Wheatgrass has become one of the most popular superfoods, and is often found in juice bars in the form of nourishing shot. Wheatgrass contains plenty of chlorophyll and a whole array skin health boosting nutrients. It contains plenty of vitamin C, beta-carotene and vitamins B and E. It also contains over 90 different minerals including calcium, magnesium, potassium and iron. The enzymes in wheatgrass can also aid digestion and cleanse the colon. Wheatgrass is also a cleanser with powerful antiseptic properties. It purifies the blood and can remove ingrained toxins that can be found in the blood. Therefore, aiding the body in staving off infections and bacterial viruses. Wheatgrass cleanses and clarifies the skin from the inside out, it can also help to treat acne, rashes, eczema and various other skin ailments. Try pouring the juice over you while you relax in a tub of warm water. Soak in the tub for about 20 minutes and then rinse off with cold water.
These superfoods are excellent when consumed but they are also very beneficial when applied to the skin. Try applying raw carrot juice, wheatgrass juice and mashed up avocado to the skin. If you want that healthy glow without all the chemicals that come with commercial products try out some of the above superfoods on your skin.