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Sweet Potato and Pomegranate Salad – Food for Your Skin (and Your Tummy)

Food for your skin

Ingredients Good for Your Skin

Sweet Potatoes

Beta-carotene is an antioxidant that gives the orange color of the sweet potato and is converted to vitamin A. Vitamin A helps skin elasticity, promotes skin cell turnover, and ultimately contributes to soft, youthful-looking skin. Sweet potatoes are also a great source of vitamins C and E – both of which keep our complexion glowing while protecting our skin from harmful free radicals.

Pomegranate

High in vitamin C and a variety of potent antioxidants, pomegranates have been used for centuries as a healing medicinal fruit known to reduce inflammation. They also protect our body from free radical damage and help preserve collagen in the skin.

Olive Oil

The good monounsaturated fats offered by the oil are associated with increased skin elasticity and firmness, keeping your skin looking younger.

Lemon

Citrus fruits like lemons are high in vitamin C, a primary antioxidant that protects cells from harmful free radicals. Vitamin C found in lemons may help decrease dry skin, skin wrinkling, and sun damage.

Red Onions

Beyond providing flavor, onions provide important nutritional value proven by various onion health studies throughout the years.

They are high in Vitamin C, a good source of dietary fiber, and folic acid. Onions also contain calcium, iron, and contain quercetin, a flavonoid (which is a category of antioxidants).

Antioxidants are compounds that help delay or slow the oxidative damage to cells and tissue of the body. Studies have indicated that quercetin helps to eliminate free radicals in the body, protects and regenerates vitamin E (a powerful antioxidant), and inactivates the harmful effects of chelate metal ions.

With all the good the onion does for your body, it’s no wonder our body sheds tears… tears of joy!

Sweet Potato, Pomegranate, and Feta Salad

2 Sweet Potatoes cut into 1/2 in cubes

1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

1/3 cup (vegan) feta

1/2 finely cut red onion or shallots

2 TBsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2-1 freshly squeezed lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Peel and dice sweet potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes. After dicing, arrange in a single layer on a lightly oiled cookie sheet, sprinkle a bit of salt, and roast the sweet potatoes in the oven at 400 F for 15-20 minutes to your liking. (I prefer a bit charred.)

Once browned, remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature.

While cooling, finely slice or dice 1/2 red onion or 2-3 shallots.

Whisk 2 TBsp extra virgin olive oil and approximately 1 freshly squeezed lemon in a medium- to large-sized bowl. Add onions and salt and pepper.

Cut pomegranate and place 1/2 cup of seeds to the side along with 1/3 cup (vegan) feta.

Mix the cooled potatoes into the bowl with the olive oil, lemon juice, and onions.

Fold in the feta and pomegranate seeds.

Best to refrigerate minimum 1 hour or overnight to absorb all flavors.

Let your waistline and skin enjoy the yummy goodness!

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Skin Commandments

food healthy wood nature

Simple rules for healthy, beautiful skin:

  1. Hydrate inside and out. Besides water, try green and herbal teas; they’re packed with antioxidants. Minimize your intake of caffeine and alcohol as they dehydrate and inflame tissue. Moisturize two times a day.
  2. Sleep is restorative and your skin regenerates and absorbs serums best while you sleep.
  3. Eat a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, nuts and fish. Multivitamins are great to supplement any nutrient gaps, but the goal is to intake most of your vitamins and minerals through fresh food. Minimize your intake of salt and processed foods/sugar.
  4. Exercise increases blood flow and gives your face a healthy glow. Don’t be afraid to sweat! Sweating rids the body of toxins and sheds dead skin cells so new ones can grow.
  5. Fresh air equals O2. Oxygen is essential to the health and maintenance of cells. It boosts blood flow, which has a domino effect on collagen and elastin tissue.
  6. Sun care 365 days, rain or shine.
  7. Hands off your face.
  8. Exfoliate weekly.
  9. If you smoke, quit. Never quit quitting smoking. Try and try again with patches, gum, hypnotherapy, or read Allen Carr’s The Easy Way to Stop Smoking.
  10. Smile! It immediately brightens your appearance and creates positive thinking.
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Collagen To The Rescue

Collagen

As the most abundant protein in our bodies, collagen is like the glue that holds it all together from hair to toenails. Collagen is found in mammals (and other animals) as the structural foundation of skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, and teeth. However, from the age of 25-30, the human body produces less and poorer quality collagen, resulting in saggy skin and weakened joints, as well as other health ailments.

Collagen is divided into several types depending on the structures they form. There are 28 different types of collagen that scientists have identified, the most common are types I through IV, with type I comprising over 90% of the collagen in the human body. Below is a chart describing the benefits of types 1 through IV, as well as types V and X.

Collagen Types & Benefits at a Glance

Collagen TypeDescriptionBenefitsSources
Type IUp to 90% of the collagen in your body is type I, which is found in skin, tendons, cartilage, vasculature, organs, connective tissues, and bones.Assists in wound healing, decreases cellulite, minimizes wrinkles and improves skin elasticity.Bovine peptides, egg whites, marine collagen, bone broth, protein-rich foods like beef and fish
Type II50% of cartilage is comprised of type II collagen as is the vitreous humour of the eye.Best absorbed through oral ingestion; benefits joint health.Bone broth, protein-rich foods like chicken, chicken cartilage, collagen protein powder
Type IIIProvides structure of organs, muscles, and blood vessels.Improves muscular structure, may aid in intestinal health and blood clotting. Bone broth, protein-rich foods like beef and fish, bovine collagen peptides, collagen protein powder
Type IVFiber-like collagen that supports kidney filtration as well as other organs.Improves multiple layers of skin health, assists also in wound healing and the digestive system.Egg whites and other protein rich foods; this type is very difficult to find in supplement form.
Type VFound in the tissue of the placenta, but also in layers of the skin and hair.Promotes eye health and supports neonatal development. Egg whites and other protein rich foods; collagen protein powder
Type XPlays a key role in bones and joints.Similar to type II, benefits bone and joint health.eggshells, collagen protein powder

Side Effects

Taking collagen is generally safe. Always talk to your doctor before starting any new supplements or increasing the use of any existing supplement. Although rare, considering every body is unique, side effects exist. Some may feel stomach discomfort like bloating, gas, or diarrhea, while others with allergies may find themselves more susceptible to reactions. People with allergies to foods like fish, shellfish, and eggs should avoid collagen supplements made with these ingredients. Otherwise, for most people, taking collagen supplements should not pose any significant health risks.

Supplementing your diet with collagen is not for the vain. As you see the benefits range from joints and bones to cell formation. Feel free to check the sources below to dive deeper into the subject. You will find, for most, collagen should be a staple in your diet just like Vitamin C.

Sources:

The Collagen Family (nih.gov)

Biochemistry, Collagen Synthesis – StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf (nih.gov)

Effects of oral administration of type II collagen on rheumatoid arthritis – PubMed (nih.gov)

Collagen peptide supplementation in combination with resistance training improves body composition and increases muscle strength in elderly sarcopenic men: a randomised controlled trial – PubMed (nih.gov)

Collagen type III deficiency in patients with rupture of intracranial saccular aneurysms – PubMed (nih.gov)

Type V collagens of the human placenta: trimer alpha-chain composition, ultrastructural morphology and peptide analysis – PubMed (nih.gov)

The role of type X collagen in facilitating and regulating endochondral ossification of articular cartilage – PubMed (nih.gov)