Beauty and Raw Food

One of the best ways to improve the appearance of your skin is by incorporating raw food into your diet. Beautiful skin starts from the inside out. People who switch to eating mostly raw food often see an improvement in their skin and look younger.

Heating food above 105 degrees Fahrenheit destroys the enzymes as well as up to 50% of the protein and 70-90% of the vitamins and minerals. Eating cooked food overtaxes the body's enzyme reserves. Eating more raw food decreases the amount of digestive enzymes your body has to produce. Raw foods are foods in their natural state with the enzymes left intact. Enzymes are needed to perform many functions in the body including digestion, assimilation and elimination of food. A drained enzyme supply can result in vitamin and mineral deficiencies, premature aging and low energy. Raw foods high in enzymes include sprouts, papaya and pineapple.

Free radicals damage your skin and interfere with collagen production causing premature aging. Antioxidants counteract free radicals that age the skin. Berries, especially blueberries, are potent antioxidants that promote collagen which reduces wrinkles. Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons and grapefruit help rid the body of free radicals keeping the skin looking young. Foods high in the antioxidant beta carotene including carrots and apricots protect the skin against sun damage.

CoenzymeQ10 is an effective antioxidant involved in the energy process and present in every cell in the body. CoQ10 levels in the body diminish with age. CoQ10 destroys free radicals and slows aging. Spinach, broccoli and peanuts are foods high in CoQ10.

Alpha-lipoic acid is a powerful antioxidant that boosts the strength of other antioxidants such as Vitamin C and E, and assists the body's energy production. Alpha-lipoic acid can be found in spinach, brewer's yeast, broccoli, tomatoes and peas.

Sulfur is a mineral present in every cell in your body. It is needed in collagen production and for healthy skin, hair and nails. Organic sulfur levels in food are lost when processed, heated or dried. Sulfur is known to help improve skin conditions such as acne. High sulfur content foods include asparagus, broccoli, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, red pepper, garlic, onion, watercress and kale.

Silicon is an essential trace mineral needed for healthy skin, hair, nails and bones. Silicon levels decrease with age. Fruits and vegetables are the richest source of silicon including apples, oranges, cherries, grapes, strawberries, beets, cucumber, carrots and green leafy vegetables.

Phytochemicals are plant chemicals that help the body defend against damage and are said to have anti-aging properties. Phytochemicals can be found in berries, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, spinach, carrots, cocoa and bell pepper.

Raw nuts and seeds are high in Vitamin E which is beneficial to the skin. Selenium keeps the skin elastic and can be found in garlic, onions and shallots.

When the body rids itself of toxins, it passes through the skin which is the largest elimination organ. Raw food increases your detoxification rate. Drinking water helps the body rid itself of toxins. Seaweed is high in vitamins and minerals beneficial to the skin and also helps rid the body of toxins.

To achieve a healthy complexion, drink plenty of water and eat plenty of raw food. What goes into your body is reflective in your overall appearance.

Elizabeth Kiely is the owner of EK: http://www.eklbc.com

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