Superfoods: Super Skin or Super Fail?
Many scientists agree, and we do, too, that our eating habits can either help or hinder our skin's most vital functions. If you eat pizza and burgers all the time, no matter how delicious they are, won't support your skin in the way a healthy, balanced diet will (with an occasional pizza or burger thrown in).
Some dermatologists even suggest that the wrong diet can trigger inflammatory processes in our bodies, which causes our skin to break out. However, it's important to note that there's not much scientific evidence out there that dietary habits, nutrients, or superfoods have a real, measurable effect on breakouts, overproduction of sebum, or aging. Clinical studies have resulted in very vague answers as to whether these things work or not, but all you can do is try it for yourself and see if it works. What do you have to lose?
Why eat superfoods, then?
Even though the scientific evidence connecting superfoods to breakouts is minimal, there is a growing number of studies saying that the hype behind superfoods is real... at least in other ways. A lot of superfoods are packed with antioxidants, which can provide us with save, healing remedies. And at the very least, they're yummy and are great to add to smoothies.
There are so many superfoods right now (it seems like every week there's a new one), so a comprehensive list would be really, really (really) long, so here are three of our absolute favorite superfoods and why we love them.
Chlorella is a nutrient-dense algae, which may have some pretty awesome physiological effects on humans.
It has been shown to provide our bodies with antioxidants and detoxifying properties by binding heavy metals and toxins.
Some studies have shown promising results that chlorella can boost your immune system, help control blood pressure, and even support your metabolism.
Algae might not sound like your number one, go-to food, but trust us, it's awesome.
Note: Please be aware that the nutrition levels of chlorella can vary from brand to brand, so make sure to read the packaging if you're shopping for chlorella.
Moringa (moringa oleifera)
Moringa is a plant that's packed with healthy antioxidants. The leaves of the moringa oleifera tree are very nutritional, and an excellent source of vitamins and minerals.
For example, it contains beta-carotene and Vitamin C, and may also help keep blood sugar levels in check.
Additionally, some tests show that moringa could have anti-inflammatory and radio-protective properties.
Note: Moringa is used in powdered form or in capsules, which means that some of the nutrient levels of this superfood has been lowered during the production process.
How to Incorporate Chlorella and Moringa into Your Diet?
Chlorella and moringa may be new to you, but don't be afraid of incorporating them into your diet. It's super easy to do! Here are some of our favorite ways.
- In a smoothie: Chlorella has a very strong taste, so if you don't want it overpowering the taste of all those yummy fruits and veggies you put in your smoothie, just add 1/2 teaspoon of chlorella powder. Moringa doesn't have as strong a taste as chlorella, so it can also be added to salads, soups, etc. We personally love our morning smoothies with these two wonderful additions!
For an awesome smoothie, combine banana, coconut water, almond milk, lime juice, honey, and either chlorella or moringa powder in a blender. Blend until smooth and enjoy.
- As supplements: You can find both of these superfoods in supplement form at your local health food store. Take these as supplements in line with the instructions given.
Turmeric has really launched itself into the health food scene in the last few years. And there's definitely a reason why. It's delicious, and it's great for you!
Its benefits are well documented in many scientific studies. The major component and active ingredient of turmeric is curcumin, which contains bioactive compounds with powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Chronic inflammation is detrimental to us, and can affect the health of our skin as well. Turmeric and curcumin also have powerful antioxidant properties, neutralizes free radicals, and protects our cells from oxidative damage.
Note: Most studies have used extracted curcumin in large quantities, and it's very difficult to reach these levels of curcumin if we just use turmeric as a spice. However, we firmly believe that every little bit helps!
How to Incorporate Turmeric into Your Diet?
There are so many ways you can incorporate turmeric into your diet to benefit from its delicious nutritional goodness. Here are just a few.
- Eggs: Do you love making eggs or a frittata for breakfast, lunch, or dinner? Sprinkle in some turmeric to get those eggs tasting great, and even better for you than they already are. Add in your favorite vegetables like tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, or bell peppers, and you'll have a meal you come back to again and again.
- In smoothies: Just like chlorella and moringa, turmeric can also be used in smoothies. It has a pretty distinctive flavor, so it works well with banana, coconut milk, cinnamon, and honey.
- "Golden Milk": I know so many yogis that swear by Golden Milk. They say that it helps to boost their immune systems, and I figured that it's at least worth a shot and at the very, very least, it's bright yellow color makes for a fun drink!
Here's how to make it:
- Take 2 cups of a milk of your choice (cow, almond, coconut, etc), 1 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, a pinch of ground black pepper, a tiny piece of fresh, peeled ginger or 1/4 tsp of ginger powder, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and 1tsp raw honey or maple syrup and blend until smooth.
- Pour the liquid into a saucepan and heat for 3-5 minutes.
- Drink immediately
There are so many good spices and ingredients, and it's so tasty, that it's no wonder all my yogi friends swear by it!
There are so many ways to take care of your body and your skin, and food is just one aspect of this. Incorporating new, healthy foods into your diet will help you to feel better from the inside out, and it will show on your skin! Being happy and healthy is really the best recommendation for good skin that we can give, after all.