Raw green vegetables are amongst the most effective type of food to eat for boosting your complexion, improving your digestive health and building a lean, strong body. They’re some of the most alkalising and nutrient-rich of all foods, packed with minerals, phytonutrients, living enzymes and amino acids.
Their green pigment, chlorophyll, actually shares almost the same molecular structure as the haemoglobin in your own blood, making it a powerful tool for cleansing and reinvigorating your blood and body cells. I try to incorporate greens into each meal, and love to start the morning with a green smoothie, to deliver all of those nutrients to my body cells at the beginning of the day.
However, it’s also a good idea to eat a rainbow of different vegetables everyday to benefit from their wide array of phytonutrients, minerals, enzymes and vitamins.
Bell peppers contain over twice the amount of vitamin C found in citrus fruits, with a cup of chopped raw peppers offering over 200 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C and A. The vitamin C is needed to build the collagen to keep your skin firm and plump, and it increases your skin’s ability to fight the damage caused by free radicals, promoting healthy and younger-looking skin. Peppers also contain a mineral called silicon, which also increases your skin’s suppleness and reduces fine lines and wrinkles. All bell peppers are a great source of vitamins A, C and K, but the red ones deserve special mention because of their high carotenoid content.
Tomatoes are a particularly rich source of lycopene, which is considered to have the strongest antioxidant capacity of all the carotenoids, and studies have indicated that it may reduce the risk of prostate and pancreatic cancer. Lycopene helps to scavenge the free radicals that cause lines, wrinkles and other signs of premature ageing, and tomatoes contain the three major antioxidant vitamins, A, C and E.
While eating some raw veggies each day is recommended, roast and steamed vegetables are also a super option. Lightly steaming or stir-frying broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green beans and asparagus can make them easier to digest while still keeping some of their vitamins and living enzymes intact. Roasting portobello mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers, onions and carrots can make a delicious and satisfying component to an evening meal.
Starch-based veggies like squash, pumpkin, parsnips, turnips, and sweet potato, need to be cooked well to be at their most digestible, and they’re bursting with fibre, minerals and beta-carotene for glowing skin.
It may not be everyone’s favourite, but broccoli is a particularly powerful vegetable. Low-calorie and fibre-rich, it’s high in the antioxidant vitamins A, C and E to fight free radical damage, build collagen and protect against UV damage to skin. Broccoli and other cruciferous veggies contain a special compound called glucoraphanin, which gets converted into sulforaphane, a phytonutrient shown to have powerful properties for protecting your cells. The selenium, calcium, copper, zinc, potassium, chromium and phosphorus in green veggies like broccoli, protect your cells and promote growth and repair.
Broccoli is especially important for women, as its calcium, magnesium and zinc content protect and strengthen your bones, and its high levels of iron and folate promote healthy blood and help to prevent anaemia. As broccoli also contains vitamin C, needed for iron absorption, it perfectly combines both nutrients for a healthy body and glowing complexion.
This Pineapple Passion Smoothie is a fruity, refreshing way to enjoy all the benefits of spinach in a green smoothie.