Ever hear the cliche "you are what you eat"? It turns out its true! If we consume sugars, fats and foods that don't provide real nourishment, the damage is visible on the body and skin.
Our body and organs (including skin) require a good amount of :
1. Water to flush and carry nutrients
2. Activity to keep us agile and promote blood flow
3. Fibre - only plants contain fibre so a plant based diet
4. Sleep - rest is important to assist your organs and skin with necessary repairs
5. Antioxidants to help defend your cells
So what are Antioxidants? They are compounds produced in your body and found in foods. They help defend your cells from damage caused by potentially harmful molecules known as free radicals.
When free radicals accumulate, they may cause a state known as oxidative stress. This may damage your DNA and other important structures in your cells and skin! One might say that if you have troublesome acne, dull skin, rapidly appearing wrinkles, enlarged pores etc., your skin is showing signs that your body is suffering from oxidative stress!
Fortunately, eating a diet rich in antioxidants can help increase your blood antioxidant levels to fight oxidative stress and reduce the risk of these issues.
Here is a small list, of foods (there are many), that are high in antioxidants, clear your skin, help you look younger and give you a bright complexion, but help the waist line as well!!
Oranges - they are the primary water-soluble antioxidant in the body, disarming free radicals and preventing damage to your cells. Vitamin C keeps our immune system in tip-top shape, preventing colds as well as ear infections as well as help skin to be on its best behaviour!
Berries - Strawberries, Goji Berries (in limited amounts), Cranberries, Cherries and Raspberries. We can recommend a company called Euroberry who flash freeze these berries when they are in season for your convenience! They also have their products at all Dischems in the fridge and freezer sections.
Plums - Think of plums as nature’s Jolly Rancher; a low-cal vitamin-packed candy that can help you fit into your skinny jeans. Studies suggest that plums may help ward off metabolic syndrome—a name for a group of risk factors, of which belly fatis a predominant determinant.
Pomegranate - Pomegranate seeds, also known as arils, contain three types of antioxidant polyphenols, including tannins, anthocyanins, and ellagic acid, which all help fight and prevent damage to your body caused by free radicals (molecules that have been closely linked with arthritis, heart disease, cancer, stroke and respiratory diseases.) One pomegranate also provides about 30 mg of vitamin C, which is important for skin and immune health.
Red Apples - So long as you keep the skin on, red apples are one of the most healthy fruits on the planet, beating out all the other types for top honors. Why do you have to keep the skin on? Because that’s where 80 percent of an apple’s antioxidants are found, according to studies. Not to mention, that’s where all the fiber is hiding out, too. Aside from its flat belly benefits, fiber has also been shown scrub out arterial walls, lowering cholesterol levels.
Beetroot - Beets are a great source of fiber, potassium, iron, folate and antioxidants. They contain a group of antioxidants called betalains that have been linked to impressive health benefits! Researchers have identified links between drinking beetroot juice and lowered blood pressure, reduced inflammation, and improved athletic performance.
Spinach - "Popeye Food" is one of the most nutritionally dense vegetables. It’s loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and is incredibly low in calories! Spinach is also a great source of lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants that may help protect your eyes from damaging UV light and other harmful light wavelengths! These antioxidants help combat damage to the eyes that free radicals may cause over time.
Dark Chocolate - Great news for chocolate lovers!! Dark chocolate is delicious, nutritious and one of the best sources of antioxidants. Generally speaking, the higher the cocoa content, the more antioxidants the chocolate contains. Did you know : Antioxidants in cocoa and dark chocolate have been linked to impressive health benefits such as reduced inflammation and reduced risk factors for heart disease? Now you know! Why not make a Chai Latte with Almond Milk and Raw Cacao for added boost!
It's interesting to note, that there are NO animal products that contain antioxidants! Our advise is keep your diet plant-based and make sure you get some vital antioxidants, not just for health but your skin's health too!