Sometimes I think vegetables get the short end of the stick. Everyone gets excited about fruit...they’re colorful, sweet, refreshing. My childhood memories of vegetables sadly involve images of green, mushy things from the ground that were torture to eat. But now...it’s cool to eat veggies. Have you heard of the kale chip craze? Exactly! It’s amazing the vegetables that I eat as an adult that I wouldn’t dare touch as kid. Brussel sprouts….I mean, really? I love those things. So of course I couldn’t leave veggies out when compiling lists of best foods to eat for healthy skin. When selecting vegetables for skin health, it is good to look out for vitamins A, C, and E, like I mentioned in my post about fruit. I also should mention vitamin B which really are a collection of vitamins that exist together. Vitamins in the B family help with the effects of aging; keep skin, hair, and nails healthy; and help keep the skin hydrated and looking plump. Vitamin B deficiency can also lead to hair loss and eczema.
Typically big, leafy greens are the focus for getting vitamins, especially vitamin C, but I’m going to post on the less commonly known sources of these vitamins. Veggies are more prone to lose their nutritional value when cooked using certain methods so it’s best to eat them raw or steamed for short periods of time. Try some of the veggies below to promote healthy skin:
#1 - Parsley. Did you know you can cook and use parsley for more than garnish? Parsley contains great amounts of Vitamins A and C. Parsley is also a good source of folic acid, which is one of the B vitamins. Add chopped parsley to salads, soups, and sauces to get in on its nutritional goodness.
#2 - Bell peppers. A recent study looking at antioxidants in commonly-eaten foods found that only two vegetables had at least ⅔ of these nutrients in a serving--one of the veggies was bell peppers! Bell peppers don’t get a lot of shine because they usually play a supporting role in meals, but they have excellent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, and they are packed with nutrients.
#3 - Tomatoes. Tomatoes, similar to bell peppers, are full of nutrients that help protect against all kinds of diseases. The nutritional benefits and cancer-fighting abilities of tomatoes have been studied for a while now. They are a great source of vitamin C and also include vitamins A and E. They have excellent antioxidant benefits and also help fight heart disease.
#4 - Broccoli. Broccoli is probably a vegetable that most people will eat, including kids. Among the most common vegetables, broccoli has hands down the most concentrated amount of vitamin C. Recent research has shown the ability of a component in broccoli to lessen the impact of allergy-related substances on our body. Plus they’re just fun to eat.
#5 - Brussel Sprouts. Just stay with me on this one. Though they look like mini brains, brussel sprouts surprisingly rival broccoli in the amount of vitamin C contained in one serving. They also have vitamins A and B in good amounts. Brussels sprouts are rich in glucosinolate which help to avoid chronic excessive inflammation in the body.
#6 - Spinach. Spinach is the #1 vegetable for overall nutrient richness. It’s the complete package. Spinach contains an impressive amount of vitamin A but also has excellent amounts of vitamins B, C, and E for skin health. Spinach is a part of the chenopod family which has been shown to have nutritional benefits that other food families do not have. Iron-deficiency is a common cause of hair loss, which can be prevented by an adequate intake of iron-rich foods, like spinach.
#7 - Cauliflower - I like to call cauliflower broccoli’s step-brother. Though cauliflower doesn’t have quite as much vitamin C as broccoli, it still has a large amount and can hold its own with the other nutrients it contains. Studies have shown that a cauliflower-inclusive diet has contributed to cancer prevention specifically with bladder cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, and ovarian cancer. People have used cauliflower as alternatives to carbohydrates such as mashed potatoes, rice, and even pizza crust!! I’m still working on my recipes...let’s just say I'm not a cauliflower connoisseur yet.So now you don’t have any excuses...time to eat those veggies!
- June 25, 2015
- Tiffany A