By Deborrah Cooper
The skin is the body’s largest elimination organ, augmenting elimination of waste products handled by the urinary, digestive and respiratory systems. Rashes, acne, pimples and boils are the external representation of the poor health of your body. Research suggests that certain antioxidants—vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, and vitamin A beta carotene rich foods nourish skin. Juicing of fresh raw fruits and vegetables can supply your body with the nourishment it needs to regain health, and your skin its youthful tautness and clarity.
Better Skin With Proper Nutrition
Antioxidants provide protection against free-radicals (atoms which are generated as cells burn oxygen and produce energy). Free-radicals damage cells and are implicated in many diseases such as cancer, as well as aging.
Several antioxidant vitamins such as Vitamin A, C and E, B-complex vitamins, and minerals such as selenium, sulfur and zinc play an important role in maintaining skin health. Certain fruits and vegetables are extremely high in antioxidants and other nutrients, and juicing provides the most efficient way to ingest high levels of these nutrients in a natural form.
Antioxidants are found in green leafy vegetables like kale, leeks and spinach which help cleanse and purify the skin. Antioxidants are present in foods with high levels of beta-carotene, such as yams, apricots, cantaloupe and carrots. Adding nuts, olive oil or flaxseed to juice mixtures will increase intake of important Omega-3 fats. Rounding out your day with plenty of fresh water to assist your skin in not only eliminating waste, but remaining hydrated and plumped.
According to information from the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), the following nutrients are necessary for proper nourishment of skin, whether taken as supplements or ingested from food:
- Vitamin C: protects skin from sun, smoking, and pollution damage by acting as a free-radical scavenging antioxidant. When collagen breaks down and isn’t manufactured as quickly due to aging or poor nutrition, skin wrinkles and sags. Vitamin C protects against infection and assists in collagen production, tightening the connective tissue of the skin. It also helps to prevent varicose veins as well. A water-soluble vitamin not stored in the body, Vitamin C must be replenished daily. Red, green and yellow peppers have three times the vitamin C of a fresh orange. Cantaloupe, peaches, mangoes, strawberries, oranges, lemons, and broccoli are also loaded with vitamin C.
- Vitamin E: helps protect cell membranes and guard against UV radiation damage from the sun. Some research suggests that vitamin E may work in combination with vitamin C to provide an extra boost of anti-aging skin protection. However, because recent studies have raised some questions about the safety of vitamin E supplements, these nutrients should come from your diet, not from potent pills. Foods high in Vitamin E include needs and sees, wheat germ, almonds, spinach, asparagus, broccoli, peanuts, and papayas.
- Vitamin A/ beta carotene: is involved in the growth and repair of body tissues, and may protect against sun damage. High doses of commercially manufactured vitamin A can be toxic, however the natural beta carotene from foods like sweet potato, pumpkin, carrots, mangos and apricots is completely safe and wonderful for skin.
- Selenium: helps safeguard the skin from sun damage and delays aging by protecting skin quality and elasticity. Dietary selenium has been shown to reduce sun damage, and even to prevent some skin cancers in animals. Again, its best to get your selenium from food sources, not supplements. One of the natural food sources highest in selenium is brazil nuts, followed by walnuts (which are also high in heart-healthy Omega-3 fats).
Green vegetable juice has a rather strong taste and is a very potent form of nutrition which may cause diarrhea and gas. Green juices are usually combined with a bit of celery, cucumber, carrots or fruit to “cut” the taste. Drink your juice right away; once exposed to air juice begins to lose its nutritional value. Four to six ounces of juice per serving is sufficient.
There are essentially three different types of juicers (masticating, triturating and centrifugal which is the most popular with consumers), which reference the method used of extracting and separating the juice from pulp. The websites listed below in the Resources section will assist you in selecting the juicer right for your needs.
Juicing Your Key to Radiant Health
Which Juicer is Right for You
Category: Beverages & Smoothies