“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy Superfoods and Healthy Skinfood.”
(Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine.)
Two thousand years later, modern medicine changes the perspective to “a pill for every ill”. Where’s food in this equation? Nutritionists try to bring it back as the fundamental of health and insist that most of our health problems can be prevented and why not, alleviated or cured with proper nutrition. This doesn’t equal a load of vitamins in a colorful jar, as nutrients are not only vitamins and minerals, but also include the antioxidants, dietary fiber and enzymes from raw food, which are crucial to the well-being of our body. Nutritionists advise: a 51% raw daily diet would be most appropriate for our bodies.
As far as beauty is concerned, an inclusive approach to skincare teaches us that good health is also reflected on the outside: “looking” healthy is a kind of beauty that no skincare or makeup product can replicate. But in today’s world where stressors and processed foods threaten our health and produce more damage than our body can take, this inclusive approach to skincare seems to be a difficult task.
Super-foods to the rescue! A minimum daily intake can provide our body with a significant amount of necessary nutrients that would make up for the chronic lack from other sources. The “super-food” term has become quite popular in the past few years and has made a huge impact on the diet considerations. Defined as “foods with high phytonutrient content that may confer health benefits”, super-foods are a daily must-have in your meals. We could very well add “beauty benefits” to the health ones.
Which are the best super-foods?
Berries – most of these berries pack more antioxidants, vitamin C and fiber than any other fruit: goji berries, blueberries, raspberries.
Broccoli – always available and one of the best everyday choices. High in vitamin A, C, calcium and fiber. It is of great help in reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease.
Garlic – known to fight cholesterol, it is also our immune-system’s ally because of its antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. Egyptians trusted garlic to give them strength and heal a lot of ailments.
Nuts – nuts and seeds make an excellent source of protein, heart-healthy vitamins and fats. Have a handful with your meals every day: almonds, peanuts, flax seed or pumpkin seed are popular choices.
Spice – cinnamon & turmeric stand out on the spice shelf nowadays and have been proven to help with diverse ailments ever since the ancient times.
Oats – always great for your body because of their high fiber and protein content.
Salmon – rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, this fish leads the battle against heart disease and guarantees our body -and our skin’s!- well-being. Rainbow trout is a great (and tasty) alternative.
Spinach – praised for its high contents of vitamin C. calcium and Iron, spinach is essential for a healthy body.
Mushrooms – often omitted in favor of vegetables and fruit, but they should definitely make the super-food list. The common button mushrooms and any other edible types are great immunity boosters and fight cancer. A significant source of selenium, B-vitamins, magnesium and potassium.
Tomatoes – they are high in lycopene (the bright red pigment called carotene) and are known to fight cancer.
|| Article by Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, a world renowned skincare expert and founder of the Inclusive Health movement. Read more about Dr. Murad.