10 Nourishing Foods for Healthy Skin

Many foods have been found to have healing benefits for the skin. Here are 10 of my favorite plants, nuts, seeds, veggies and fruits that heal the skin both inside and out:

Aloe Vera

aloe barbadensis

Aloe vera, or aloe barbadensis, is a powerful healing plant that helps you achieve and maintain healthy skin. Most of us remember aloe vera as the processed gel from our childhood that our mothers would put on our back after a sunburn. Sometimes this processed gel will contain synthetic additives that can irritate our skin. The best aloe vera is taken directly from the plant and is used in a pure and unprocessed form. Aloe vera isn’t just used to treat sunburns, but it also helps to reduce burning, itching, scarring, and even digestion.

The Anatomy of Aloe Vera

The leaves of an aloe vera plant produce two substances that can be used on your skin or ingested orally. The inner leaves of aloe vera plants produce a fluid than can be extracted and dried into powder. The powder is typically taken in pill or powder form to help with digestion. The dried fluid has been recognized for its powerful laxative effects.1 The gel extracted from the inner part of a leaf is most commonly associated with skin care. In fact, this is what most of us think about when we see aloe vera. This part of the plant has been used for centuries to treat wounds and burns.2

Benefits of Aloe Vera

There are many options available with regards to healing our bodies and cultivating wellness. Aloe is one of the natural ingredients that you can grow right in our home and use to repair your skin. The skin care benefits of aloe vera have been largely attributed to a polysaccharide called Acemmanan. This complex carbohydrate is found in the aloe leaf ’s gelatinous structure that can be found after separating the leaf from the rind. As a powerful anti‐inflammatory and an activator of immunomodulatory activity, aloe vera has strong wound‐healing capabilities. If you have skin that is damaged from sun or radiation, then aloe helps to repair your skin by increasing fibroblast formation and collagen.3

How to Use Aloe Vera Gel

Make sure that the affected area of your skin is clean. You can lightly rinse and dab your skin with cool water if it’s still sensitive. Lightly rub aloe vera gel onto the affected area. The aloe will dry on your skin and become crackly. Let sit for at least 15‐20 minutes for the most benefit. After the aloe had dried, rinse off with cool water. If you get a rash after using aloe vera, discontinue use and consult your doctor if the rash persists.

Cultivating Aloe Vera At Home

Aloe vera is a common indoor plant that easily grows in a sunny window. It’s easy to make your own aloe vera at home. This is a great way to make sure that all the ingredients in your aloe skin care products are organically grown. You should grow your aloe vera plant indoors if you do not live in a mild climate. As a succulent, aloe vera is very sensitive to frost. You don’t want to lose your aloe vera plant before you are ready for harvest. The plant enjoys seasonal variations in watering. It stores water in its spongy leaves, which means the plant does not need water every day. Make sure to allow the soil to dry between watering.

How to Harvest Aloe Vera

When your aloe vera plant has multiple strong leaves, then you are ready to harvest. Cut or tear off a leaf at its base, where the leaf meets the stalk. Slice the stalk in half and use a spoon to scoop out the aloe gel. You can puree the gel in a food processor and place it in the refrigerator for storage. Fresh aloe vera gel will keep in the refrigerator for up to a month.

Almonds

prunis dulcis

Almonds are a great source of protein and healthy fat in your diet. For people who do not eat large quantities of meat, almonds are a great substitute for some the nutrients commonly found at the dinner table. This small nut has several health, as well as skin, benefits. Almond oil is naturally occurring fatty oil that can help maintain soft and supple skin. There are several other parts of the almond that are great for your skin. These different parts have an abundance of antioxidants, magnesium, and Vitamin E.

The Anatomy of Almonds

Incorporating almonds into your diet gives you a wide range of nutrients that benefit different parts of your health. Almonds can be added to your diet as a healthy snack throughout the day or chopped and sprinkled into your favorite salads. For your skin, almond oil and milk are most commonly used as a moisturizer. Almond oil is a powerful moisturizer because it has a healthy amount of Vitamins E, A, and D. It is typically extracted via cold pressing and is most helpful when applied to an area of dry or scratchy skin. Researchers have found that almond oil helps to prevent structural damage caused by UV exposure and has a wealth of anti‐aging properties.4

Benefits of Almonds

If you are looking to snack on a nut that will help your skin, then tuck almonds into your bag for when you need something healthy on‐the‐go. Almonds are rich in antioxidants, which have been proven to protect your skin from sun damage. This tiny nut is also a great source of protein, which is used to repair damaged skin. By eating almonds and incorporating them into your skin care ritual, you can keep your skin healthy and vibrant. Almonds are not only rich in antioxidants and protein, but they are also a great source of Vitamin E. This nutrient, as an organic biological antioxidant, has been shown to help protect the skin against cell damage following UV light.5

How to Use Almonds

There are three great ways that you can incorporate almonds into your life. Raw almonds, almond oil, and almond milk are some of the most popular ways to achieve glowing skin. If you have a patch of dry skin, then consider gently rubbing almond oil into the effected area. Almonds and almond milk can be incorporated into smoothies, salads, and even as a dairy replacement.

Storing Almonds

If you are using almonds in your favorite recipes or on your skin, then you will want to store them to preserve their freshness. Shelled almonds should be stored in a cool dry container that is not exposed to sunlight. If you want to extend the life of your almonds, then place them in the refrigerator or freezer. They can last for 2‐4 weeks in your cabinet. Light and heat are the two main factors that damage natural oils, like almond oil. You can keep almond oil in a cabinet or in the refrigerator and a dark, airtight container. After opening or making almond milk should also be stored in the refrigerator and generally lasts 5‐7 days.

Almond Milk Recipe

  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tbs of honey
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch of sea salt

Pour one cup of raw almonds into a container. Fully cover with water and let them sit in the refrigerator over night. Remove from the refrigerator and drain. Place almonds, water, honey, vanilla extract, and sea salt in a blender and puree until smooth.

Broccoli

brassica oleracea var. italica

Broccoli is a cuniferous vegetable that has many beneficial properties for overall health and skin care. This delicious vegetable is easy to incorporate into your diet. Broccoli can be steamed, sautéed, baked, and even consumed raw. Broccoli sprouts are most popularly used for skin health because they contain sulforaphane, which is a powerful antioxidant. Aside from sulforaphane, broccoli can help with minor skin irritations, like redness and puffiness.

The Anatomy of Broccoli

Broccoli plants are made up of the leaves, stalk, and head. The leaves and stalk are typically tossed out after harvest, but they are actually packed with nutrients. Broccoli leaves contain phytonutrients and beta‐carotene, which can help make your skin glow. Broccoli florets pack a similarly powerful amount of beta‐carotene. The stalk contains rich amounts of Vitamin B and fiber.

Benefits of Broccoli

Sulforaphane is one of the greatest skin benefits available from eating broccoli sprouts. Glucoraphin is released while eating broccoli sprouts and mixes with a naturally‐ occurring stomach enzyme to produce sulforaphane, which has been shown to help repair damaged skin.6 Aside from sulforaphane, broccoli and broccoli sprouts are also high in phytonutrients,7 which have substantial skin care benefits. Beta‐carotene is one of the most powerful nutrients present in broccoli and broccoli sprouts. It stimulates collagen production, which is responsible for tight and supple skin.8 Elastic and resilient skin shines beautifully and enhances overall skin tone. If you chronically experience redness, puffiness, and irritation then you may want to consider using broccoli sprout extract. The topical application of broccoli sprout extract helps to reduce these common conditions and minimize overall inflammation. Less red and inflamed skin will also help to improve your overall appearance.

How to Use Broccoli

Broccoli and broccoli sprouts can be eaten at any meal or snack, as well as applied topically. Broccoli is easy to eat on its own or mixed in with other vegetables. You can shave broccoli into your salads or bake it with your other favorite cuniferous veggies. Broccoli sprouts are less easy to find in the grocery store, but easy to make at home. A broccoli sprout emerges from the seed after first planting. You can incorporate broccoli sprouts into salads, smoothies, or pop them into a bag for a delicious snack.

Sprouting Broccoli

Sprouting your own vegetables and legumes is a powerful way to enhance your diet. If you want to sprout your own broccoli at home, then it all starts from broccoli seeds. Soak broccoli seeds in cool water for 12‐14 hours in a dry place that is out of direct sunlight. Widows without direct sunlight work best for sprouting. Rinse every twenty‐four hours and you should start to see broccoli sprouts within three days.

Storing Broccoli

You can store broccoli on your countertop or in your refrigerator, depending on when you plan on cooking it. If you find a delicious broccoli floret at the market and plan on eating it the next day, then put the broccoli, stem down, in a glass of water and cover with a ventilated plastic bag. This will keep the floret fresh and prevent it from drying out. If you want to make your broccoli last longer, then you can store it in the refrigerator in a damp towel. The moisture also helps to prevent them from drying out in your refrigerator. For broccoli sprouts, make sure to rinse and dry them before storing in the refrigerator. After drying them out, feel free to seal them off in a glass container.

Carrots

daucus carota

Carrots have long been recognized as a powerful root that is good for overall health, including your eyes, skin, and digestive system. Carrots are easily consumed raw, baked, and roasted. They taste delicious dipped in hummus and thinly sliced into salads. Carrots make it easy to have both great flavor and nutrition. For people who are looking to protect their skin from sun damage, then this root has been called a secondary sun screen by researchers.

The Anatomy of Carrots

 

Every carrot is made up of a root cap, skin, and central core. Each part of the carrot carries unique nutrients that nourish overall health and wellness. Aside from beta‐carotene, carrots also carry high quantities of Vitamin A, K, and C. If you want to maximize the nutritional benefits of carrots, while also enhancing the flavor, then steam carrots for a side dish.

Benefits of Carrots

Vitamin A, which is commonly referred to as retinol, is widely recognized as an effective skin treatment for day‐to‐day ailments and other more serious conditions. Carrots are rich in retinoids, which have been used to treat skin conditions like acne and sun damage.9 Also, if you’re suffering from uneven skin pigmentation, then Vitamin A has been associated with evening out skin tone. For people with photodamaged skin, Vitamin A has been shown to help reduce wrinkling, increase smoothness, and diminish hyperpigmentation.10 Just from these two nutrients, you can see that carrots have substantial healing properties that help us naturally protect and repair our skin. We often think about taking Vitamin C when we feel a cold coming on. Did you know we have large amounts of Vitamin C stored in our dermis and epidermis? It’s a nutrient that is vital to skin health, as it supports collagen synthesis.11 This means that carrots, which contain Vitamin C, not only help to repair damaged skin, but they also can have rich anti‐aging properties.

How to Use Carrots

There are plenty of ways to use carrots in every day recipes, as well as topically. You can shave, slice, or chop carrots into fresh or whole grain salads. During the winter, carrots can be roasted in the oven with a natural nut oil, like almond oil, and pureed into a smooth carrot soup. Boiled and mashed carrots can be mixed together with starch to produce a nourishing face mask. If you don’t want to spend your time in the kitchen, then there are plenty of natural skin care products that use carrots.

Cultivating Carrots at Home

Carrots are a popular and easy to grow root vegetable. You can find many different carrot seed varieties, from orange to purple carrots. Heirloom varieties are fun to cook and produce beautiful colors when sautéed or baked. Plant carrots 3‐4 inches apart from one another in the garden, or in a deep planter box if you are working with limited space.

Carrot Soup Recipe

  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 yellow onion, quartered
  • 4‐5 carrots, quartered
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened non‐dairy
  • milk, almond or cashew

Preheat oven to 325 F. Roast onion, carrots, and garlic in the oven for 30‐35 min, or until tender. Five minutes before removing from the oven, warm vegetable broth on the stove. Once the vegetables are done cooking, add to them to the vegetable broth and use an immersion blender to puree until smooth.

Strawberries

fragaria ananassa

Everyone loves spring because the warm weather and fresh fruit. Fresh strawberries always mark the end of winter and the beginning of anti‐oxidant‐rich foods. Strawberries are not only rich in anti‐oxidants, but they also have a high amount of Vitamin C, which has been correlated with healthy skin. Regularly eating foods that are high in Vitamin C nourish and support beautiful and radiant skin.

The Anatomy of Strawberries

Strawberries are a popular fruit that are now accessible in almost every market. You can easily tell strawberries apart from other fruits because of their distinct size, color, and shape. Strawberries fit in the palm of your hand and have small seeds decorating the outside. The green and leafy cap is where the fruit connects to the plant.

Benefits of Strawberries

Vitamin C is abundant in strawberries and has been recognized for supporting your body’s ability to heal and maintain healthy skin. It helps to eliminate free radicals, which can damage your skin and overall health. Sunlight and environmental pollution also deplete Vitamin C from your skin, but strawberries can help replenish your storage.12 Aside from eliminating free radicals and reducing signs of aging, Vitamin C can heal skin damage caused by the sun, like wrinkles. In a many studies, Vitamin C has been shown to help reduce wrinkles and other signs of photoaging.13 Since strawberries are rich in Vitamin C, they’re a great addition to your diet if you’re looking to reduce wrinkles caused by the sun.14

How to Use Strawberries

Incorporating strawberries into your diet and skin care routine is easy and enjoyable. Although the best time to eat strawberries is during spring and summer, most markets carry strawberries all year round. You can eat strawberries as a snack, side, or even dessert. Raw strawberries are great on their own or in smoothies. Spinach salads taste greatwith a sprinkle of strawberries and you can never have enough strawberry gelato. There are also topical solutions that use strawberries. Since the application of Vitamin C to a photo damaged area has been shown to reduce wrinkles,15 incorporating strawberries into your skin care is a great idea. Strawberries are also a natural source of salicylic acid which helps remove dead skin cells and may improve mild acne.

Cultivating Strawberries

Homegrown strawberries are the most flavorful. There are two different types of strawberries that you might plant in your garden. The first is a day neutral plant that generally produces fruit all year long. Short‐day types generally produce fruit in the fall and early spring. Strawberries can also be grown in planter boxes if you are short on space. After harvesting strawberries, or buying them from the market, you can store them on the counter or in the refrigerator. Store them at room temperature if you plan to eat them the same day, otherwise make sure they are dry and place them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Strawberry & Papaya Smoothie

  • 1/2 papaya, seeds removed
  • 8‐10 strawberries
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 cup cashew, non‐dairy milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1 tsp milled flax seeds

Chop papaya in half and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Run a knife along the inside of the skin to peel the papaya. Mix together in your blender with chopped strawberries, avocado, non dairy milk, water, cashews, and flax seeds. Serve with a topping of dried dates and flax seeds.

Sweet Potatoes

Ipomoea batatas

Sweet potatoes are not only a delicious dish served during the holidays, but they are also great for your skin. This seasonal root vegetable has a surprisingly high level of nutritional value, including stores of carotenoids and Vitamin C. You can incorporate sweet potatoes into your diet or even use it in your homemade health and beauty products. It might be hard to find sweet potato products in stores, but you can easily get many of the benefits of sweet potatoes by making this root vegetable a staple in your day‐to‐day diet.

The Anatomy of Sweet Potatoes

The sweet potato is actually the root of lpomoea batatas. They are typically a little larger than your hand and are oval‐shaped. They can come in many different shapes, which is impacted by how they’re grown. You can actually eat the entire root vegetable. The skin is rich in nutrients like fiber and potassium, while the inside carries a healthy amount of carotenoids.

Benefits of Sweet Potatoes

If you are worried about protecting your skin from the sun, then sweet potatoes are an excellent form of photoprotection. Sun exposure can cause everything from mild to severe skin damage. Sweet potatoes, like other vegetables, act a second that helps to protect your skin against UV light. The carotenoids in sweet potatoes are what has been shown to protect against ultraviolet radiation damage.16 If that’s not enough to get you baking a sweet potato, then you should also know that sweet potatoes are high in Vitamin A. In multiple studies, Vitamin A was shown to help synthesize collagen and leave skin looking young and fresh. It has also been associated with evening out skin tone across the body.

How to Use Sweet Potatoes

Aside from mashing sweet potatoes to use as a face mask or side to an entree, many people don’t know what to do with this delicious root vegetable. Roasting sweet potatoes in the oven with olive oil, salt, and fresh herbs, is a great way to fit a few more of them into your diet. If you’re not a fan of baked potatoes, then you can whip them up into a pie or make a twist on a traditional wrap, using ancient grains and dark greens. Once you start incorporating sweet potatoes into your diet, then you will be able to increase the amount of carotenoids and Vitamin A in your diet.

Sweet Potato Skin Care

When you eat sweet potatoes, your body absorbs antioxidants, like beta‐carotene, which helps produce new skin cells and get rid of old ones. If you are concerned about whether the products you use are organically grown, then you can always bring the process into your home. Sweet potatoes, like carrots, are easy to grow indoors or in the garden. These root vegetables provide a great source of nutrients for the little effort it takes to care for them.

Baking a Sweet Potato

Whether you are making a face mask or a side for your next meal, baking your sweet potato will most likely be the first step. Without heating a sweet potato, the inside is tough. Baking a sweet potato softens the inside and sweetens it up so you can enjoy the flavor and smell.

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Place your potatoes on a baking sheet/ Poke multiple holes in the surface of the sweet potatoes using a fork. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes. If you are using the sweet potato for skin care, then allow it to completely cool before mixing with other ingredients that moisturize your skin. If you develop a rash, discontinue use. If rash persists, consult your physician.

Tomatoes

solanum lycopersicum

Summer is always a celebration, partly because it’s the season when fresh tomatoes are most abundant. Tomatoes are not only great for your health, but they are fabulous for your skin. Tomatoes have amazing protective power to lend to your skin in order to ward off sun damage. Not only can tomatoes help you fight off skin damage caused by the sun, but it also works to reverse the effects of long‐term sun exposure. Small quantities of tomatoes have been shown to make a noticeable difference in people’s skin health.

The Anatomy of Tomatoes

Most people misclassify a tomato as a vegetable, but it is actually a fruit. In fact, the fruit is very similar to a berry with its fleshy walls and large number of seeds. The tomato fruit is rich in powerful nutrients, like lycopene and bioflavonoids. It helps to detoxify and has even been recognized for its unique ability to help with skin cell replacement.17

Benefits of Tomatoes

Lycopene, which is naturally found in tomatoes, has become a popular ingredient in many skin care products. It has been found to reduce skin damage and aging.18 Aside from helping you to have your best skin, lycopene is also a natural antioxidant that slows the growth of cancerous cells. Tomatoes are also a great source of Vitamins A and C, which have been routinely recognized for their skin healing properties. These two vitamins work together with beta carotene to help eliminate free radicals in the blood, which have been known to cause skin cancer. If you want to optimize the amount of Vitamin C, then make sure to eat raw tomatoes. Heating tomatoes can destroy some of the Vitamin C naturally found in the fruit.19 Vitamin A also helps with collagen synthesis and is naturally found in tomatoes, as well as in carrots and sweet potatoes. This vitamin helps to smooth out your skin tone and gives your skin just the right glow.

How to Use Tomatoes

The best way to get the most benefits from tomatoes is to regularly eat them in your diet. Consuming raw tomatoes gives you access to essential antioxidants and Vitamin C.20 There are many different ways that you can eat raw or cooked tomatoes. Small heirloom tomatoes are delicious chopped on top of a salad or to snack on throughout the day. You can cut up large beefsteak tomatoes and drizzle with olive oil and spices for a light afternoon dish.

How to Grow Tomatoes

Tomatoes are one of the most exciting fruits to grow at home because they taste significantly better than store‐bought tomatoes. Make sure to give your tomato plants plenty of sun and water. You can plant them in the sunny part of your garden or in a window planter box.

Other Health Benefits

Tomatoes are some of the most powerful fruits when it comes to nourishing your body and achieving a state of wellness. Lycopene, which is available in both raw and cooked tomatoes, has been shown to be protective against the risk of cancer.21 They also have Vitamin B and potassium, which both help to lower high cholesterol and blood pressure.

Chipotle Salsa Recipe

  • 3‐4 large tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 1 dried chipotle pepper
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 tsp cayenne

Boil 2 cups of water. Pour over dried chipotle pepper and let rest for 15‐20 minutes, or until soft. Puree tomatoes, onions, cilantro, lemon, and cayenne n a blender or food processor. Once the chipotle pepper is soft, puree with the other ingredients until smooth.

Pumpkin Seeds

cucurbita pepo

Nothing says Fall more than freshly roasted pumpkin seeds. Fortunately, pumpkin seeds are available year‐round so you can benefit from their effective healing properties. Pumpkin seeds aren’t just something to toss out every October. They are densely packed with nutrients that are great for your skin and health.

Anatomy of Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds can be harvested from a full‐grown pumpkin once it has ripened. You can either harvest pumpkin seeds yourself, or find them at the store both

shelled and shelled. The seeds are packed with manganese and zinc. Zinc is actually contained both in the shell and the seed, so it’s not important to buy unshelled pumpkin seeds. The zinc and manganese present in pumpkin seeds are two powerful ingredients for overall health.

Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds

High levels of zinc can be found in pumpkin seeds. For people who are struggling with acne, zinc has been shown to reduce lesions. Low levels of zinc were found in some patients who were experiencing acne. Topical zinc has been effective at controlling acne lesions and helping the affected skin health with its anti-inflammatory properties.22 Like other seeds and nuts, pumpkin seeds also have essential fatty acids that help to regulate skin oil. Selenium, which is a trace mineral found in pumpkin seeds, has anti‐inflammatory properties that help to reduce puffy skin. Researchers are in the early stages of studying the effects of selenium on skin cells with UV radiation induced damage.

How to Use Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seed oil carries many of the same benefits of consuming pumpkin seeds. This is one of the most nutritious oils on the market, containing Vitamins A, C, E and Zinc. Pumpkin seeds are also rich in Omega‐3 and Omega‐ 6 fatty acids. You can moisturize your skin with pumpkinseed oil or replace it for other common cooking oils. If you don’t want to rub pumpkin seed oil into your skin, then you can easily incorporate pumpkin seeds into salads and even sprouted breads. Pumpkin seeds are delicious to eat raw or toasted.

How to Store Pumpkin Seeds

You can easily store pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed oil in your cabinet. Pumpkin seeds should be stored in an airtight container that does not have moisture. Store your pumpkin seed oil in the refrigerator to extend it’s life, or in a dark and cool cabinet.

How to Harvest Pumpkin Seeds

Gutting a pumpkin is the only way to get to those delicious pumpkin seeds naturally. You can carve off the cap of a pumpkin and begin to scoop out the guts until you hit seeds. Remove the seeds from the rest of the guts and place them onto parchment paper to roast for 10‐ 15 minutes, or until golden and toasted. Make sure to store your pumpkin seeds in a dry place.

Pumpkin Seed Quinoa Porridge

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups almond or non‐dairy milk
  • 1 tbs brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tbs toasted pumpkin seeds

Warm non‐dairy milk until simmering. Add quinoa, brown sugar, cinnamon and half of the toasted pumpkin seeds. Cook for 30‐35 minutes, or until the quinoa absorbs the non‐dairy milk. Top with roasted pumpkin seeds and your favorite seasonal fruit.

Oranges

citrus sinensis

Oranges are one of the many fruits that help your skin look radiant and alive. Unlike other fruits, you can use the entire orange for health purposes, including the orange peel. Oranges can help firm up your skin, while also reversing damage caused by photoaging. Drinking a large glass of fresh orange juice will enhance your diet by adding an unbelievable amount of Vitamin C. If you are looking to reduce wrinkles and smooth out your skin tone, then oranges are a great addition to your diet.

The Anatomy of Oranges

The pips, or the individual membranes of oranges, are rich in Vitamin C and delicious to pop into your mouth as a snack or pile onto a fruit salad. The white part, or the pith, is removed by most people; however it contains an equally high amount of Vitamin C. The pith is typically much more bitter than the pips; however, if you are making a smoothie then you can easily blend the nutritious pith with other fruits and vegetables.

Benefits of Orange

Vitamin C has been shown to contribute to reducing wrinkles and damage caused by the sun.23 The Vitamin C found in oranges helps with collagen synthesis, which fosters skin firmness and elasticity.21 You may be able to prevent early signs of aging by regularly consuming oranges. Vitamin C can be both preventative and restorative.

How to Use Oranges

Vitamin C, which is found in oranges, is especially useful for wrinkled or damaged areas of your skin. If you want to harness the stores of Vitamin C in the orange peel, then consider drying the orange peels and grinding them into a face mask or body scrub. This may help to even out your skin tone and improve blemishes and skin discoloration.22 Vitamin C, found in oranges, ultimately helps to keep your skin looking young and fresh. If you experience any irritation with this face mask, discontinue use. If rash persists, consult your physician. If you don’t want to use oranges on your skin, then you can incorporate them into your meals throughout the day. Oranges are a healthy snack that you can have in the morning or afternoon. If you want to have oranges with dinner or dessert, then consider making an orange sauce or citrus tart.

How to Store Oranges

Your orange storage should depend on how quickly they will be eaten in your home. If you think you will eat the oranges in a week or less, then you can store them in your pantry. If you want you oranges to last for two to three weeks, then you should store them in the refrigerator. Make sure to wash your oranges before consuming or applying to your skin.

Orange Peels and Skin Pigment

If your skin pigment is inconsistent because of light or dark spots, then there are various topical Vitamin C serums that can help you smooth out your skin tone. Consult your physician to discuss which products may be right foryour skin.

Banana Orange Smoothie

  • 4‐5 mandarins or blood oranges
  • 1 cup non‐dairy milk
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Peel the mandarins or blood oranges and leave the peels out to dry. (You may use these later for your face mask.) Place all of the rest of the mandarins or blood oranges, including the pip and pith, in a blender with non‐dairy milk, bananas, cashews, and vanilla. Puree until smooth.

Chickpeas

cicer arietinum

Chickpeas, which are also known as garbanzo beans, are versa‐ tile beans that can be used in a variety of cuisines. This popular bean also has many different health and skin care properties, including high amounts of manganese. You can eat chickpeas in hummus or apply them to your skin as a mask. The manganese in chickpeas fights against aging by smoothing out your skin so that you can enjoy a more youthful glow.

The Anatomy of Chickpeas

Chickpeas are a nutritious bean that provides your body with essential vitamins and nutrients. They are a great source of protein, iron and zinc. The small beans sometimes have skin that you should remove before using. You can bake chickpeas in the oven, simmer them into a stew over the stovetop, or snack on them raw. The best chickpeas are ones without preservatives. Dry chickpeas are great for your home because you can cook them up or make chickpea flour with the right food processor.

Benefits of Chickpeas

For skin health, chickpeas are all about the manganese. Some vegetables produce Vitamin C and B, which are powerful antioxidants that help to prevent skin damage caused by aging. Chickpeas are high in manganese, which helps activate enzymes that your skin needs in order to use them.24 By helping your body activate enzymes needed to use Vitamin C and B, manganese ultimately helps to reduce inflammation caused by acne and other skin conditions.25 One of the major benefits of manganese is that it works as a trace mineral to eliminate free radicals and prevent damage that they may have caused to the skin. As a powerful antioxidant, manganese helps to protect your skin against future damage.

How to Use Chickpeas

At this point, you might think that your medicine cabinet is going to look a lot more like your pantry, and you might be right. There are so many different ingredients lurking in your kitchen that can be used to benefit your skin. You can grind chickpeas into a fine flour and mix with turmeric, which has powerful ant‐inflammatory properties. Mix chickpeas and turmeric with oil or yogurt to decrease irritation and skin discoloration. These two ingredients mixed together can help reduce puffiness and protect your skin against damage. It will also moisturize your skin and leave it looking bright and fresh. If you don’t want to use chickpeas on your skin, then you can mix them into rice, bake them as a snack, or puree them into hummus. Chickpeas can also be consumed raw.

How to Store Chickpeas

There are many different ways to store chickpeas, depending on whether they are dried or pre‐cooked. Make sure that the container is dry before storing your chickpeas or it is highly likely

that they will spoil. If you have pre‐cooked chickpeas, then store them in the refrigerator after draining and rinsing them.

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

  • 2 cups chickpeas
  • 1 tbs chipotle olive oil
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 pinch of sea salt
  • 1 pinch of cracked pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 F. In a large bowl, massage two cups of soaked or pre‐cooked chickpeas with olive oil, cayenne, paprika, sea salt, and pepper. Roast in the oven for 8‐10 minutes, or until chickpeas are slightly toasted.

References

  1. Odes HS, Madar Z. A double‐blind 10. Kang S, Duell EA, Fisher GJ, et al. 18. John Shi et al. Lycopene in Tomatrial of a celandin, aloevera and Application of retinol to human skin toes: Chemical and Physical Proppsyllium laxative preparation in adult in vivo induces epidermal hyper‐ erties Affected by Food Processing. patients with constipation. Digestion. plasia and cellular retinoid binding Critical Reviews in Food and Science 1991;49(2):65–71. proteins characteristic of retinoic Nutrition: 2010; 40(1). 1‐42. acid but without measurable reti‐
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