Post-thanksgiving, which we recently celebrated in San Francisco, we are always in need of a detox. We usually steer clear from meat for a few days and stick to nutrient dense vegetables that help your body cleanse itself of all the sugar, dairy, meat, and alcohol that make thanksgiving so decadent. This would be a typical next-day meal for us after a week of binging! We also like to do a clay face mask (detoxifying) with the family. You can read about how we make it here (it’s bentonite clay mixed with apple cider vinegar).
This colourful arrangement is more than just beautiful, it’s PACKED with essential anti-antioxidants to help speed up your post thanksgiving detox, reduce inflammation, and make sure your skin stays clear of any blemishes.
Red cabbage (also called purple cabbage)
Yellow and orange bell peppers
Kale + arugula
Nutritional Overview- The ABC’s of Skin Food.
We’ve listed the primary nutrients in each of these detoxifying ingredients (except the cheese of course). For the most important skin enhancing vitamins (A, B, C) you can refer to the description (below) to see how they help your body detox and skin glow!
Dark/Leafy Greens: Primarily sources of vitamin C and vitamin A. We don't typically think of our greens as sources of even healthy fats. But kale is actually a great source of alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), an essential omega-3 fatty acid. ALA is a powerful antioxidant and prevents glycation which causes lines, wrinkles and the loss of firmness. These also contain Vitamin K which helps the body heal faster. One cup of chopped kale has 134 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C, while a medium orange fruit has 113 percent of the daily C requirement. Gram for gram, kale has more than twice the vitamin C as an orange, without all the extra sugar. Why is Vitamin C essential for your skin? It is key to the development of collagen and helps the skin repair itself. It is also a powerful antioxidant that combats free radicals which harm the skin. Kale also has 133% of a person's daily vitamin A requirement -- more than any other leafy green.
Yellow/Orange bell peppers: High in vitamin C. In addition, bell peppers are very high in Vitamin A (Beta-Carotene) and Vitamin B6 and folate (part of the B-complex)
Endives: High in in Vitamin E and vitamin K. Endive also provides a whopping 289 percent of the recommended daily value for vitamin K n a two-cup serving. Other B-vitamins in endives include folate (the natural form of this vitamin – not the synthetic form called folic acid), B1, B3, B5 and B6.
Purple cabbage: High source of vitamin C and K.
Radishes: An alkaline-forming food that will help balance your pH. These are low is calories and high in nutrients like folate, vitamin C, B-6, manganese and potassium.
Pomegranates: Mainly vitamin K and vitamin C but also contains folate, potassium, B-6 and phosphorus. Pomegranates contain hundreds of different bioactive compounds, including ellagic acid, ellagitannins, punicic acid, flavnoids, anthocyanidins, anthocyanins, estrogenic flavonols and flavones. All that being said, they have many benefits including anti-bacterial properties.
One of the most important skin vitamins for skin health. It is a key component in repairing and maintaining vital skin tissue. Without it, your skin would be dry and course. Other names for vitamin A include retinal, retinol, retinoic acid, and beta-carotene. Vitamin A also helps prevent the overproduction of cells in the skin's outer layer. This is where dead cells and sebum often combine and clog pores causing acne.
These are essential vitamins for skin cells and give you a healthy hydrated glow. Deficiencies in Vitamin B can lead to dry, itchy, irritated skin. It has also been shown to reduce inflammation. The B vitamins all work together to ensure a healthy metabolism and we need to get these from an outside source (not produced by the body) so it’s key that you include a nice variety of vegetables in your diet. MOST of the B-vitamins also can’t be stored in the body so you need to keep eating healthy! There are 13 vitamins that our body needs, eight of which make up the B-group (or B-complex) vitamins. The 8 B-vitamins include:
pantothenic acid (B5)
folate (B9 called folic acid when included in supplements)
This is a key vitamin required for the synthesis of collagen. Collagen is an important structural component of blood vessels, tendons, ligaments, and bone. Its importance to skin health relate to its ability to act as a very powerful antioxidant. Even in small amounts it can protect molecules like proteins and lipids, that are essential for skin health, from free radical damage. This damage is sometimes naturally occurring and other times comes from external pollutants and toxins like smoking. These free radical cells threaten to damage and age your skin. Vitamin C may also be able to regenerate other antioxidants like vitamin E. In other words, vitamin C is a warrior for your skin and will protect and repair it. It has been shown to reduce scarring and fine lines, improve skin texture, and diminish dark spots.