Have you ever filled your car's tank with the wrong fuel by mistake? Your car will stutter along for a while, running with low power and giving off smoke, until the engine completely dies.
Our skin works just the same way. The wrong fuel causes all kinds of problems. Pimples, wrinkles, dark spots, dullness… It's not a pretty picture. In this case, the main culprits are sugar and meat.
But there's no need to eliminate them completely from your diet. A better approach that both your palate and skin will love is simply to include some raw foods in every meal.
It's much easier to incorporate raw foods into your meals than you might think, and they're actually quite tasty. It's worth the extra effort, as they're the best fuel on which to run your skin on to achieve that flawless and glowy complexion you crave. Here's why:
Raw Foods Are Low In AGEs
AGEs stands for Advanced Glycation End Products, a fancy name scientists give to ingredients that cause inflammation and oxidative stress in your body. Those two things put the aging process on the fast track.
Basically, the more AGEs your food contains, the sooner you'll get wrinkles, saggy skin and dark spots (not to mention, serious health conditions like heart disease and diabetes). Sugar, meat and anything fried are loaded with AGEs. Raw vegetables, raw fruits and even raw salmon barely have any. But that doesn't mean you can never have your steak or a slice of cake (that'd be a nightmare!).
As long as 50-80% of your diet is raw, your skin will look young, healthy, and radiant. Get your daily dose from: Snack on raw nuts. Eat your (small) steak with a (big) juicy salad or a nice veggie slaw. Switch from fried salmon to a raw salmon sushi roll. Whenever possible, opt for the raw alternative.
Raw Foods Are Rich In Enzymes
If you've paid attention in your science classes at school, you know that enzymes speed up chemical reactions in your body, including those involved in digestion, nutrient absorption, and detoxification. They can also help repair our DNA and RNA. These things have a huge impact on your skin and determine how well and quickly it ages.
To make a long story short and less boring, if you want to keep those pesky wrinkles and blemishes away from your face, your body needs enzymes to metabolize what you eat. And you get enzymes from your diet. Problem is, cooking destroys them. This doesn't mean you should completely stop cooking though. Everything in life is about balance.
Cooking tomatoes will make the lycopene in them easier to digest, for example. So, cooking has its uses too. We’re just reminding you that munching on your daily dose of fruits and veggies isn't optional if great skin is what you're after. Get your daily dose from: Green smoothies. Mix your raw green veggies with some fruit, protein powder, Greek yogurt and juice or almond milk to make your own anti-aging beauty elixir.
Raw Foods Hydrate Your Skin
Hydrated skin is healthy skin. When skin is hydrated, it's softer to the touch. It plumps up so that wrinkles look smaller. It takes on that youthful, dewy glow.
Hardly a surprise there. Our body is more than 60% water so, of course, our skin needs plenty of it to work, look, and feel its best. Plenty of foods are rich in water. Sadly, that's another thing that disappears when you cook them. If you want to do your skin a favor, eat them raw more often.
Get your daily dose from: Drink plenty of water. Snack on watermelon and strawberries. Add cucumbers, lettuce and tomatoes to your salads.
Raw Foods Help Detoxify Your Skin
Skin doesn't get rid of toxins. Your liver does that. But when it's overloaded and overworked, it can't do its job well. The result? Blemishes and inflammation.
Raw foods are more liver-friendly. They are rich in minerals, fibers, and enzymes that give the liver a helping hand. And they don't contain hormones, antibiotics and other toxins found in animal products, so they don't make the liver work as hard.
Get your daily dose from: Add onion, garlic and bitter greens to your salads. They're best buddies with your liver and help it to do its detoxifying job well.
So, there you go. Switching to a diet rich in raw foods doesn't have to be a painful experience. Do it slowly and watch your skin change before your eyes. You'll be amazed at how quickly those blemishes disappear when you give your skin the food it loves!