Superfoods for beautiful skin and healthy bodies

Cassie Brewer shares the pros and cons of consuming ‘superfoods’

superfoods-for-beautiful-skin-and-healthy-bodies-350x350It feels like every few weeks or less we’re told there’s a new superfood contender. Although you might feel weighed down with the superfood overload, these foods really do have that extra edge to make you healthier. If you want to maximise on the benefits, choose superfoods that simultaneously do a lot of good for your inner and outer wellbeing.

You need a range for maximum nutrition

Even though superfoods are considered to be really good for you, they should form part of a balanced diet. If you think that eating just one superfood is going to make you healthy or cure an illness, you’re mistaken. However, eating a diet filled with various types of superfoods is a good way to increase your energy, top up on vitamins and look good.

Sometimes these nutrient-rich foods are found in unlikely places, momentarily stealing the limelight from commonly known superfoods like spinach and kale. An example is acai berry juice, although you want to avoid acai berry juices that contain lots of sugar. While their miracle claims might not always be factual, there’s no denying that these berries do contain anthocyanins and antioxidants, which are great for ensuring a healthier heart. Another food is watercress. Although it is regarded as nothing more than a weed in some regions, it actually contains high levels of iodine that can keep the thyroid gland in great condition.

So it’s worth staying up to date on the latest superfood news and being open-minded about the different kinds.

Unprocessed is the way to go

What many superfoods have in common is that they are unprocessed—they are often fruits, vegetables, grains and seeds. Foods that are unprocessed contain greater amounts of nutrients in them because they are more natural, so they are worth adding to your diet.

  • Choose steel-cut oats instead of the rolled variety as this ensures that the food has undergone less processing. When compared to rolled oats, they contain less sugar and are lower in calories.
  • Buy yogurt that contains minimal sugar and is low in calories to get the best benefits. Remember to read the ingredients before buying!
  • Opt for the purest olive oil to reap the most benefits. Oil extracted from 100 per cent pure cold pressed olives has a longer shelf life because it has antioxidants that haven’t been tampered with. So, you get all the good stuff—nutrients, polyphenols and minerals—in their purest form.
  • When buying coconut oil, your best bet for the most nutrients is virgin coconut oil that has been made with minimal chemicals or heat, while containing many antioxidants and fatty acids, along with Vitamin E that makes it great for your skin.

Choose bright colours

When choosing superfoods from the produce aisle pick the ones that have the brightest colours like—kale, sweet potatoes, spinach and blueberries, for instance. Their rich colour points to their high antioxidant levels. Of course, cauliflower is the exception to this rule because one cup gives you a massive 73 per cent of your recommended daily Vitamin C consumption!

Double-duty superfoods

It’s great when your food not only keeps your insides healthy but also gives you the bonus of more beautiful skin. Some of superfoods include  omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, walnuts and flaxseed that not only maintain the health of your heart but also give your skin a more supple appearance. Omega-3 fatty acids also keep your skin healthy because they strengthen the cell membrane. This prevents harmful things like bacteria from entering the skin, while also allowing nutrients to enter.

A bright and even skin tone also forms part of healthy skin, so eating superfoods that are rich in natural whitening ingredients can be beneficial. These include red and yellow fruits, such as oranges and papaya, which often find their way into skin lightening creams.

As for healthy hair, your diet plays an important role! Foods such as eggs and pumpkin seeds contain biotin to give your hair a boost of shine, making your tresses glossier and healthier.

Whether or not you believe in the superfood hype, there’s no doubt that eating a diet filled with lots of natural foods, as well as ensuring you eat many servings of fruits and vegetables daily, will boost your looks and health, making you feel like a million bucks.

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