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Posts Tagged ‘antioxidant’

Our skin is a reflection of our inner health.  Clear, moist and glowing skin is the sign of good hydration and diet, whereas excessively dry or oily, scaly or blotchy skin may signify a poor diet.  There are many authorities that advocate the importance of food nutrients such as antioxidants, omega oils and anti-inflammatory compounds which is one of the reasons we see them showing up more and more in personal care products. Clearly, there is an interconnection between eating foods that maintain our overall well-being as well as healthy, radiant skin.

acerola berries

The list of nutrients that benefit skin is almost endless.  For one, Vitamin C helps build collagen, the framework between the tissues of our body. Poor intake of this vitamin can cause bruising, loss of skin strength and elasticity, and poor healing of cuts.  The small bright red acerola berry that is native to the West Indies and looks like a cherry, is one of the most potent sources of natural vitamin C and bioflavanoids known to scientists.

Over 200% of RDI of Vitamin A

We incorporate the juice of organic carrots and acerola berries in our Carrot Essence to create a power-packed natural source of Vitamin C, Vitamin A (as beta-carotene), antioxidant drink that our fans love – especially during the warmer months when our skin needs the greatest protection from the sun.

One of the country’s top dermatologists, Dr. Nicholas Perricone, has been recommending Green Foods products like Green Magma to his patients for years to support them with numerous health benefits, including: enhanced metabolism, anti-inflammatory action, cellular regeneration, detox, and cardiovascular benefits.  In his latest best-selling book, Forever Young, he also emphasizes Green Magma as a great source of Vitamin K, which is important for blood clotting and bone formation.

In addition to organic green foods, carrots and acerola berries, here are some other foods that contribute to radiant, beautiful skin:

Avocados:  Abundant in omega-3 fatty acids, supporting strong cell membranes; B-complex vitamins; lecithin, to protect cell walls; potassium; and anti-inflammatories that soothe and renew skin and tissue on a cellular level.

Green Tea:  Infused with age-defying antioxidants.  Minimally processed, it offers the most antioxidant polyphenols of all teas.  It also include a specific catechin believed to inhibit cancer as well as beautify the skin.


Blueberries:  With very high antioxidant phytonutrients, called anthocynanins, these little guys are shown to improve the integrity of collagen in skin and inhibit photoaging (sun damage) according to a study in the Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology.

Omega Oils:  Uncooked oils are teeming with benefits for our skin because many their nutrients aren’t damaged or destroyed by heat.  Foods rich with omegas include chia seeds; flax seeds and oil; olives and olive oil; walnuts; and pumpkin seed oil.

Raw Honey:  We have a beekeeper neighbor who brings us raw honey from her 36,000 bees.  It is not only heavenly to taste, but so nourishing for our skin with many vitamins and minerals such as antioxidant vitamins A, C and E; D and K for the skin; reparative B complex vitamins.  Also a wonderful way to help keep allergy symptoms at bay!

And finally, the key to ageless beauty is not just about drinking plenty of water, eating wholesome, natural foods and getting your Carrot Essence or Green Magma in each day.  It’s about maintaining a positive outlook with where you are right now – being kind and gentle with yourself and your body.  With intention and commitment we will all get to where we want to go, so let’s do it with a smile and enjoy the process.

Keep shining!  And enjoy a safe and happy 4th of July!!

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It was just two years ago that I heard about chia seeds, and I immediately thought of my old clay Chia Pet rabbit that sprouted grass hair when I was a little kid in the 70s.  Most of us don’t realize that chia seed is incredibly nutritious and has been used for centuries for its healing properties.

Chia is a seed from the salvia plant native to Mexico and was once used as a “running food” for the Aztec warriors, known for its high protein and endurance properties.  The Aztec and Maya cultures all used chia as a staple in their diets.  In fact, “Chia” is the Mayan word for “strength.”

Today, chia seed is being rediscovered as a super food thanks to the help of Dr. Wayne Coates, research professor at the University of Arizona, Tuscon, who states that chia seed is 15% protein.  This is a much higher percentage of protein than found in other grains, such as oats, wheat, corn, and rice.  Not only does chia seed contain a higher percentage of protein than other grains, but they are also gluten free. Most of its fat is made up of essential omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid or ALA, according to the USDA.

Chia seed (magnified)

Dr. Andrew Weil, well-known health and wellness advisor, considers chia to be an excellent source of omega-3 fattyacids, even better than flax seed.  Chia is rich in soluable and insoulable fiber – a 25-gram portion of chia contains about 7g, as well as other important nutrients, such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, niacin, and zinc.

Ground or Whole?

I wondered if it is necessary to grind chia seed (like we need to with flax seed) to make it more bio-available*, and Dr. Coates’ response in an interview was “Not really. With flax you have to grind it, because it has a hard seed coat.  Chia doesn’t, so you don’t need to grind it.”  He goes on to mention that grinding won’t hurt anything because chia has natural anti-oxidants, so it won’t go rancid like flax seed.  You would think grinding the seed should allow the nutrients to be more available for the body to use, but there is no scientific proof that this is the case with chia.

Green Foods Organic Chia is grown in its native lands of Central America, sourced primarily from Mexico and Guatemala.  Green Foods chooses to provide chia in whole seed form which allows Green Foods fans the option to grind them or use them whole.   Some prefer to soak chia in water to form a gel which basically just brings out the soluble fiber.  Clearly, there is no right or wrong way to enjoy chia seed!

Personally, I love to throw mild-tasting chia in salads at night and steel-cut oats or smoothies in the morning.  It is a surprisingly uplifting and healthy addition to my diet.

Keep checking in for more exciting ways to use chia and further discussion about its benefits.

Happy Chia-ing!

* What does bio-available mean? This is a term used to describe availability of nutrients in a food to the body. The more bio–available a food is, the more complete and faster the body can absorb the nutrients.

References:

Anderson, William.  “Chia Seed – The Ancient Food of the Future.” October, 2009.  Living and Raw Foods.

Mendosa, David.  A Blog on the Latest Developments of Diabetes.  December 13, 2007.

USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 23 (2010).

Weil, Andrew M.D.  “Chia for Health.” May 15, 2006.

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