Tag >> plant based

Photo credit Derrick Brutel via Flickr Commons

Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland, which is responsible for energy use in the body, becomes overactive. Since it’s functioning at a higher than normal rate, metabolism speeds up. This can cause symptoms such as sudden weight loss, rapid heartbeat, increased appetite, nervousness, sweating, and fatigue, among others .

Common treatment for hyperthyroidism is through medication, but recent research shows changes in diet may also be an effective treatment plan. As hyperthyroidism is often caused by an auto-immune disorder, scientists looked to societies where auto-immune diseases are rare, such as rural populations. These people generally follow a plant-based diet.

A study published in Public Health Nutrition, as part of the Adventist Health Study, examined the diets and medical histories of 66,000 vegetarians.

Researchers found that those who were Lacto-ovo (including eggs and dairy) and pesco- vegetarian (including fish) diets showed only moderate protection, and semi-vegetarian diets showed no protection against hyperthyroidism. Vegetarians that excluded ALL animal foods had HALF the prevalence of hyperthyroidism when compared to those who did consume animal products.

There are other things that contribute to the development of hyperthyroidism such as BMI. Even after making statistical adjustments for these factors, a plant-based diet still showed a significant reduction in risk.

The study suggested that the benefits of a vegan diet may be due to the absence of animal products which tend to contain high amounts of estrogen, often linked to autoimmune disease.

The benefits could also result from increased intake of phytonutrients and antioxidants found in plant foods. These nutrients have a significant immune-boosting effect and could be contributing to protection from hyperthyroidism.

A great way to increase antioxidant intake is to follow a raw food diet, meaning processed foods are eliminated and one focuses on alive, vibrant and fresh natural produce.

Advocates of a raw food diet, such as myself, claim that eating foods in their most natural raw state ensures a multitude of vitamins, minerals, digestive enzymes, antioxidants and phytochemicals are available to the body for optimum functioning.

If you are interested in exploring a plant based diet check out my website where there are free raw food recipes and lots of tips. I also have a raw food diet plan to assist people in their transition into a raw food diet .


 

Farmers markets are booming, so take advantage of the backyard fruits and veggies to try these amazing raw recipes perfect for summer.

1. Green Smoothie

Start your day off right by blending up this perfect breakfast smoothie from Raw Family.

Ingredients

 2 granny smith apples

 ½ avocado

 3 kiwis

 2 cups fresh spinach

 1 cup water

2. Cucumber Crackers and Cashew Cheese

Going to a party? Instead of making the typical unhealthy finger food, bring this delicious raw vegan recipe by Gena Hamshaw.

Ingredients

 2 cups cashews, soaked overnight

 ½ tsp sea salt

 ¼ cup lemon juice

 3 tbsp. nutritional yeast

 ½ cup water

 ¼ cup packed fresh dill

 One cucumber

Instructions

1. Rinse cashews and dump out soaking water.

2. Process cashews, salt, lemon, and nutritional yeast.

3. Once combined, slowly add water with the processor running. Blend until the consistency resembles a

creamy cheese.

4. Add dill and combine.

5. Thinly slice a cucumber and top with a dollop of cashew cheese.

3. Cauliflower Popcorn

Swap greasy popcorn for this clever cauliflower recipe from Julie’s Lifestyle for your movie marathons.

Ingredients

 1 head of cauliflower

 1 tbsp. lemon juice

 1 tbsp. nutritional yeast

 ½ tbsp. raw extra virgin olive oil

 ¼ tbsp. paprika

 ¼ tbsp. sea salt

 2 pinches of turmeric

 Chili powder to taste

Directions

1. Chop cauliflower into bite-size “popcorn” pieces

2. Mix lemon juice, nutritional yeast, olive oil, paprika, salt, turmeric, and chili powder, in a large bowl.

Blend well.

3. Add cauliflower to the bowl in portions, mixing to coat.

4. Line a dehydrator sheet and set cauliflower onto the tray. Add extra nutritional yeast if desired.

5. Dehydrate at 115°F for 8+ hours or until crispy.

4. Raw Pina Coladas

Get into the summer spirit by blendingthis piña coladas recipe from Fully Raw.

Ingredients

 3 cups ripe, diced pineapple

 1 to 2 cups coconut water

 2 cups kale, hold the stems

 1 tsp. Rose water

5. Banana "Ice Cream"

Just thinking about the sun and heat of summer can make you crave something cold, but stay away from sugary ice cream stands and whip up this easy, delicious recipe from Fully Raw instead. That way you can still get your cold sugar fix without breaking your healthy eating plans .

Ingredients

 8 frozen bananas

 1 cup raspberries

 1 cup strawberries

 Pinch of cinnamon

 Pinch of vanilla bean

Instructions

1. Cut frozen bananas into slices.

2. Blend on a high speed and add in cinnamon and vanilla bean until it has the consistency of ice cream.

3. Pour into a bowl and rinse your blender.

4. Blend most of the strawberries and raspberries and drizzle juice on top of banana ice cream.

5. Garnish with whole strawberries and raspberries.

6. Cucumber Salad

Salads are light and refreshing, not to mention the perfect summer snack. This simple recipe is adapted from Paula Deen’s.

Ingredients

 3 tbsp. raw apple cider vinegar

 2 tbsp. raw olive oil

 3 cucumbers, peeled and sliced

 1 cup sliced grape tomatoes

 ½ medium sliced Vidalia onion

 2 tsp. fresh, chopped dill

 Sea salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

1. Whisk apple cider vinegar and olive oil together in a large bowl.

2. Mix in cucumber, tomato, and onion slices, dill, and season with salt and pepper.

3. Let sit for 20 minutes before serving.

7. Salad in an Avocado

Here’s another easy salad you’ll want to add to your recipe book. Vegan Bandit says it also gives you 60 percent your recommended daily fiber intake, plus it’s full of antioxidants and healthy fats.

Ingredients

 One lime

 1 tsp. minced garlic

 1 pinch cayenne

 ¼ cup diced yellow bell pepper

 ¼ cup sliced baby tomatoes

 3 diced radishes

 1 avocado, halved and seeded

 1 tbsp. raw cheese

 1 tbsp. chopped cilantro

 1 tbsp. chopped scallion

Instructions

1. Squeeze lime into a small bowl and mix in cayenne and garlic. Whisk.

2. Add in pepper, tomatoes, and radishes, coating with dressing.

3. Place avocado onto a plate and use a spoon to fill in pit with dressing and veggies.

4. Garnish with raw cheese, cilantro, and scallions.

8. Raw Gazpacho

Cold soups like gazpacho are perfect for summer, and so is this recipe adapted from Oh She Glows, that does an excellent job of making this Spanish favorite raw and vegan-friendly.

Ingredients

 1.5 lbs. tomatoes

 1 medium chopped red pepper

 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped

 ¼ cup chopped sweet onion

 1 garlic clove

 1 tbsp. lime juice

 2 cups tomato juice

 Sea salt to taste

 Crushed red pepper and black pepper to taste

 Chopped cilantro to taste

Instructions

1. Blend tomatoes, pepper, cucumber, onions, garlic, lime juice, and tomato juice.

2. Add salt, pepper, crushed red pepper to taste.

3. Chill in a closed container overnight.

4. Serve with chopped peppers, green onion, and black pepper.

9. Post Workout Smoothie

After running around all day in the sun, blend up this recovery smoothie adapted from Simply Quinoa.

Ingredients

 ¾ raw coconut water

 ½ cup pineapple

 1 small frozen banana

 ½ cup blueberries

 ½ cup spinach

 1 scoop raw vegan protein (optional)

 ½ tsp. cinnamon

Enjoy these raw recipes all summer long to fuel your activities; just don’t forget the importance of sunscreen while you’re out in the sun!

Author Bio

Vaileria Dennis is a Health and Beauty expert, having 10 years of experience in Beauty industry and providing healthy living tips. She is also passionate about fitness, women’s issues and more. In recent years, she has had an opportunity to learn about Food and Nutrition. She always excited to share her ideas related to beauty tips, healthy food recipes, and diet plans. Join Vaileria on Twitter , Facebook and G+


 

 Image credit: Magdus Hagdorn via Flickr Commons

Kiwi fruit is exotic in both taste and color. The flavor and fragrance of this fruit are both very inviting and refreshing. There are many reasons to get attracted to this wonderful creation of nature and those topping the chart are its health benefits. This sweet and sour fruit can work as the power house of vitamins and minerals with its rich properties. It is a wonder in itself and here are the reasons why you may include this fruit in your daily diet.

1. Say no to stress!

All fruits are good for health as they are protective foods. Kiwi is even better as it works for both, physical and mental health of the consumer. It keeps your mind and body fresh with high serotonin levels. Higher serotonin levels are known for uplifting mood and relieving stress. It will also positively affect the memory by making your brain alert and body active.

2. Super rich in Vitamin C


 
 
Photo credit: Lee McCoy via Flickr Commons

The concept of using something delicious and sweet to help make medicinal substances more enticing is nothing new (after-all, a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down). However, using something bad for you to ingest something healthy seems a little oxymoronic, and it turns out, is also quite unnecessary. The solution? Use raw chocolate. 
 
When it comes to probiotics, it turns out that using chocolate as a delivery medium not only makes them delicious and a joy to consume, but actually improves their viability and efficacy once ingested - the best kind of win-win.

How it Works: The Prebiotic Effect

By now most of us are aware that cacao, the base ingredient in all dark chocolate, is awash with polyphenol antioxidants known as flavonols. These flavonols work hard to fight free radical damage, prevent premature aging, and reduce inflammation. But what many of us don't realize is they also act as potent prebiotics, meaning if you're a probiotic bacteria, flavonols are what's on the menu. Two flavonol compounds found within cacao - known as catechin and epicatechin - aren't readily digested and absorbed by our bodies, yet once they enter the GI tract, they're gobbled up by some of our body's most beneficial probiotic bacteria, including lactobacillus and bifidobacterium. 

Choose Raw, Go Dark

Remember, when it comes to the prebiotic benefits of chocolate, it's all about the flavonol content. By choosing raw chocolate that has been minimally processed, and with at least 65% cacao solids, you'll ensure that you're getting the most prebiotic bang for your buck.
 
Our Sunbiotics stone ground raw chocolate is made in a unique nib-to-bar, low temperature method so that all of those vital antioxidants and unique prebiotic compounds are preserved. We then infuse our chocolate with 10 billion CFU's of shelf stable probiotics per serving, and even more prebiotic goodness in the form of organic yacon root. Enhancing your digestion is now a valid excuse to indulge in some dark chocolate - just make sure it's probiotic-enhanced!
 
 

ON SALE!

Shop our SALE SECTION for 25% off our Sunbiotics Chocolate Hearts for both adults and children , as well as 15% off all 3 flavors of our Sunbiotics Probiotic Enhanced Chocolate Bars + More!
 

Written by Mark Malinsky - Resident Blogger and Social Media Manager at RawGuru.com


 

While food manufacturers everywhere have scrambled in recent years to keep up with a growing demand for clean food products, it would appear that the health supplement industry is a little late to get the memo. Many leading supplement companies, making products intended to improve their  customer's health, are actually loaded with toxic ingredients that can actually be doing the exact opposite.

What it really comes down to is consumer education. The next time you purchase a supplement, be sure to flip over the bottle and pay close attention to the list of "other ingredients". This is where you'll find a slew of potentially toxic ingredients such as:

*FILLERS
*BULKING AGENTS
*BINDERS
*ANTI-CAKING AGENTS
*COATINGS
*CARRIERS
*EMULSIFIERS
*ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS OR REFINED SUGARS
*ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS
*CHEMICAL PRESERVATIVES

You wouldn't eat any of this stuff in your food - it's time to hold our supplements to the same standards. After-all, we eat them both. 

Here are a few common additives to look out for:

MAGNESIUM STEARATE AND STEARIC ACID

Perhaps the most common of ALL supplement additives, magnesium stearate can be both vegan and animal derived. This chalky-textured lubricant has been shown to supress the immune system and even create something called a "biofilm" within our GI system which can inhibit nutrient absorption.

GELATIN

The most common material used for encapsulation, gelatin is a byproduct of meat production, and aside from being non-vegan, is most often sourced from factory farmed animals. While gelatin may be used because it's easy to swallow, animal cruelty is not. 

HYDROGENATED OILS

Hydrogenated oils are made in a lab, not in nature, and can wreak havoc on our health. They have been proven to increase the likelihood of heart disease, block the body's ability to absorb critical essential fatty acids, cause a hardening of our cell membranes which decreases detoxification and inhibits nutrient absorption, and can even upset blood sugar regulation. They are also most often derived from cottonseed and soy, two heavily GMO contaminated crops. Stay away, stay far far away. 

LACTOSE

Lactose is a sugar sourced from dairy. Not only is it a common allergen for many people with milk sensitivities, it is also most likely going to be sourced from conventional dairy products extracted from factory farmed cows, who may or may not be fed GMO corn, soy, and wheat, growth hormones, and antibiotics.

TITANIUM DIOXIDE

The ingredient responsible for making pills that perfectly white color, this metal is not something we would be ingesting naturally in our food supply, and like magnesium stearate, has been shown to inhibit our immune system, likely because it is toxic if ingested on a regular basis.


Thankfully there is a solution to all of this toxicity; actually-clean supplements are available. Our Veggimins and Sunbiotics supplements are always purely formulated and free of additives. We use actual foods as the "carriers"; for instance you'll see organic Jerusalem artichoke in many of our formulas to create body and act as a nutrient-rich delivery medium for the "active" ingredients. Our Sunbiotics chewable probiotic tablets are formed using pressure, never binders or glues. Our supplements taste not only palatable, but GOOD, because they're made from actual foods - no chemical flavorants or artificial sweeteners required.

Of course eating a well rounded, plant based diet rich with plentiful superfoods and enough variety is also key. Supplements should be just that: supplemental. 

Written by Anna Speaks - Resident Blogger and Social Media Manager at Windy City Organics and RawGuru

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We’ve all heard this a million times that vegetables are healthy, and we should, at least, eat one vegetable, a day.All vegetables are packed with nutrients that can help boost our immune system and improve our physical and mental well-being. But, I’m not here to blabber about the obvious, we all know vegetables are high in protein and etc. I’m here to shed some light on a particular vegetable with a few facts you may benefit from.

Kale, being a highly nutritious leafy green, is very under rated and not widely recognized. Many of you may not have heard much about this vegetable or if you have, you might not have the right information abut its numerous benefits. So, listed below are some kale facts that may help you choose kale over a number of unhealthy options.

Cholesterol 

Cholesterol has numerous critical tasks in the body. One of them is making bile acids, which are substances that offer us some assistance with digesting fats. The liver turns cholesterol into bile acids, which are then discharged into the digestive framework at whatever point we consume a fatty meal. At the point, when all the fat has been absorbed and the bile acids have performed their job, they are reabsorbed into the blood stream and utilized again. Substances called bile acid sequestrants can prevent bile acids from being reabsorbed. This decreases the aggregate sum of cholesterol in the body. Kale really contains bile acids sequestrants, which can bring down cholesterol levels. This ought to prompt a decreased danger of coronary illness , after some time. 

Cancer

Kale is rich in 2 types of anti-oxidants: carotenoids, and flavonoids which are known as cancer preventative agents . Inside of the carotenoids exists lutein and beta-carotene which are excellent anti-oxidants. Researchers have really looked into these two carotenoids in kale by examining the human digestive system and the circulatory system; they witnessed that kale ended upraising blood levels of these carotenoid supplements. That discovery is vital in light of the fact that lutein and beta-carotene are key supplements that protect our body from oxidative stress and health issuesrelated to oxidative stress. Increased risk of cataracts, atherosclerosis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are three such issues. Additionally, among these problems, the biggest is cancer, since the general danger of cells getting to be cancerous is related to oxidative stress. 

Eyes

Apart from kale being rich in vitamins, minerals and helping you develop stronger bones ; kale is also known to prevent eye disorders! Lutein and Zeaxanthin are 2 anti- oxidants that are found abundantly in kale. Some surveys have shown that individuals who eat substantial amounts of these two anti-oxidants are known to have a lower chance of encountering macular degeneration and cataracts.These2are very common eye disorders that many people fall victim to. 

Weight loss

Kale can be used in a variety of recipes such as salads and with pasta, so it fills you up relatively faster without giving you the feeling of starvation every few minutes. It’s known to be good for your digestive system so you don’t end up storing unnecessary calories and fats. It is also packed with a bunch of vitamins that gives you the strength, you need to hit the gym or exercise. No wonder, it’s known as the queen of vegetables!

Stronger bones 

Kale contains more calcium than milk, and if eaten on a daily basis it can help to improve over all bone health. A lot of people have fragile bones and eat various medications in order to recover their bone strength. What most people don’t know is if they eat this beneficial leafy green on a daily basis their bones can be stronger without the risk of any other health issues! Vitamin K which is also present in kale is excellent for promoting bone density. 

It’s a great detox!

Kale can be eaten raw, in a salad, or consumed as a detox drink. It helps rid the liver of all impurities and cleanses your body. This zero fat food rejuvenates the body and flushes out all toxins from within which is essential, at times, as it effects the working of your heart and brain. An over loaded liver, sometimes, can cause severe health complications and effect the performance of your organs. You may feel lethargic at work or experience trivial heart burns at home. It can be anything ranging from something minor to something big. Thus, one should detox their bodies every once in a while. It makes your mind and body fresher. 

Kale is packed with healthy compounds that go a long way in doing wonders! Plus, there are many delicious and scrumptious recipes in which this valuable vegetable can be used. Kale can be used in soups, salads, juices, as sideline dish with your steak or eaten stir fried. There are so many ways you can play with different recipes to incorporate kale into your diet. If your kids aren’t fond of it, serve it to them with a burger or as a smoothie, something that may balance the taste for them. So quit stalling and as of tomorrow, make sure your family gets a substantial intake of this vegetable!

 Written by Alex Malinsky


 Image credit for kale: Stone Soup on Flickr

When it comes to nutrition advice, one thing is for sure: there is a lot of information and even more opinions out there. However, through all of the information overload there seems to be one truth that everyone can agree upon: eat more plants, with a heavy emphasis on greens. Eating more plants, specifically green plants, means that your body will be gaining to benefit from a plethora of important vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients by default. Green foods also happen to high in amino acids (the building blocks of protein), high in fiber (which helps clear out the GI tract and balance blood sugar), and also helps both detox and alkalinize the body.

In honor of St. Patrick's Day - the "greenest" holiday of all - we're sharing our top 8 green superfoods! - one of which might actually be growing in your very own back yard.

1. Spirulina (or other superfood algaes like chlorella and E3 Live)

The queen of all green superfoods, spirulina really offers a complete package of nutrition. Like nature's multivitamin/mineral supplement, spirulina offers a wealth of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and antioxidants as well as very high levels of protein (60% by weight), omega fatty acids, and other unique compounds that help to protect the integrity of our cells. If you're looking for one green superfood to start incorporate, start with spirulina. Check out Amazing Algae from our brand Veggimins for a very synergistic blend of spirulina, chlorella, and E3 Live blue green algae.

2. Dandelion Greens

You might want to think twice before pulling this "weed" out of your garden. While most of us still consider dandelion greens to be a bit pesky, they are actually highly medicinal and potent superfoods for our bodies. Dandelion leaves are incredible for the liver, helping to cleanse and protect this often overworked yet under-loved organ. It is also a rich source of beta carotene (which our body converts to vitamin A), Vitamin C, fiber, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and phosphorus.

3. Arugula

Arugula can give thanks to sulfur containing compound sulforaphane for its delicious, signature wasabi-like spicy flavor, however, this compound does far more than just wake up those taste buds. This compound, found in many vegetables within the cruciferous family such as broccoli and cabbage, has been shown to help protect against certain types of cancer.

4. Kale

Once a green that only hard core health foodies were noshing on, kale can now be found in many manifestations on juice bar, cafe, and restaurant menus from coast to coast, as well as in many packaged foods like kale chips. Kale is a hearty green, and helps fortify the blood and build strong bones with calcium, magnesium, iron (more per calorie than beef ), Vitamin K, Vitamin C, and plenty of protein.

5. Parsley

Parsley is FAR more than just a garnish. This super herb is rich with Vitamin C (one of the best sources!), and Vitamin K for healthy blood. Parsley is also a powerful detox herb, and even helps freshen the breathe if chewed after a meal.

6. Watercress

Want to achieve a youthful, dewy glow? Eat more watercress. This flavorful leafy green is rich with Vitamin K, Vitamin A, B Vitamins,Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and also packs in the iron, calcium and iodine - a cocktail of beautifying nutrition.  

7. Avocado

For those of us who love avo it's hard to imagine life (or a single salad) without them!  While not technically a "green", avocados do have a beautiful muted lime green hue, and by pairing them with our salad greens, actually help aid in the proper absorption of all of those critical fat-soluble nutrients such as beta carotene and Vitamin K, thanks to their high levels of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.  

8. Hemp Seeds
 
Don't consider hemp seeds to be a "green" superfood? Look a little closer. These powerhouse seeds contain specks of chlorophyll - in fact a high quality hemp oil will even have a slightly greenish hue. Hemp seeds are one of the best sources of plant based protein, have a perfect ratio of omega fatty acids 3, 6 and 9, and offer a wealth of vitamins and minerals. They're also very hypo-allergenic, meaning they don't tend to trigger allergic reactions like many other nuts and seeds do. As a food crop, hemp is also incredibly sustainable for the environment as well, needing very little in terms of natural resources or pest control to thrive - just one more reason why they make our "green" superfood list.

Written by Anna Speaks - Resident Blogger and Social Media Manager at Windy City Organics and RawGuru




























 

Spring is right around the corner which means it's time to focus on freshening up! Spring cleaning isn't just about cleansing and de-cluttering your home, it's also something that you can do for your body to feel more energized, boost your immunity, and feel more vibrant. Internal cleansing doesn't necessarily mean nixing all food and going on a juice fast (however, those can be wonderful too!). Here are 10 simple things that you can start incorporating into your daily routine right now for a little extra self care and detoxification support

1. Drink More Water (with lemon!)

This is sort of a no brainer, but something so many of us struggle to do. Simply drinking more pure water can help improve digestion, aid in weight loss, increase energy, and provide relief for chronic headaches. Adequate hydration is also 100% necessary for flushing out toxins from the body. Make a habit of starting the day with 1 quart of water with 1/2 a lemon juiced in - this will help kick start the metabolism, digestion, and will support the liver. Shoot for 2-3 liters of water per day, depending on body size and activity level.

2. Cut Back on Sweets

While there is nothing wrong with indulging in healthy treats, sometimes we could all use a little conscious sugar reduction. Relying on sugar to satisfy cravings or energize the body can be hard on the pancreas, and can lead to blood sugar issues such as hypo or hyper glycemia, diabetes, unwanted weight gain, candida overgrowth, and fatigue. Try swapping out your usual sweet fix with another treat lower in sugar - such as a creamy Dastony nut butter . Cashew and coconut butter both have a subtle sweetness yet contain no added sugars, and the new Watermelon Seed Butter is to die for!

3. Go Blended

Swap out solid meals with blended foods and/or juices for 1 day per week or 3 days per month. This could mean smoothies (try to keep high glycemic fruits to a minimum and utilize things like avocado to help thicken), blended raw soups , and plenty of green juices (again limiting high glycemic fruits and leaning heavy on greens and non-sweet fruits like cucumber). This will give the entire digestive system a break, and promote cleansing with high water content and fiber-rich plant foods. Add into your blends and juices green superfoods like chlorella/spirulina and cleansing herbs such as cilantro for added detox support.





 There is no doubt, our heart is one of the hardest working organs in our bodies, and is definitely deserving of some good old fashioned TLC. While reducing stress and getting adequate exercise are two very important facets of heart-health, incorporating more heart-healthy superfoods into the diet can have incredible effects. Your heart will thank you if you start eating more of these 12 superfoods, we promise.

1. Cacao (Raw Chocolate )

Raw cacao is rich with flavonol compounds which act as powerful antioxidants and also help protect the heart. Cacao is also an exceptional source of minerals magnesium, calcium, iron, copper, manganese and zinc, which help fortify the blood.

2. Berries

The diverse range of polyphenol antioxidants within berries, such as anthocyanins and ellagic acid, help fight free radical damage and inflammation, and keep LDL "bad" cholesterol levels in check.

3. Citrus

Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes, tangerines and kumquats are rich with Vitamin C and bioflavonoids, which help protect the elasticity of our blood vessels and also act as potent antioxidants.

4. Coconut Butter

Saturated fat has gotten a bad rap, but current research shows that the saturated fat contained in coconut butter is actually one of the best for your body, your heart included. The body needs saturated fats in order to produce necessary hormones, and coconut fat burns very clean as an energy source and also helps boost the metabolism.






For anyone starting to think about going down the road of veganism, many of the more "seasons" veterans of the lifestyle will often extole its virtues. As one would expect, it offers many benefits, such as losing unwanted weight more easily, increasing your energy naturally, and decreasing risks of some pretty bad diseases like heart disease and cancer. Certainly these are all excellent and great benefits, and should be lauded at every opportunity. Yet, there are even more benefits that vegans tend to forget about when talking to those making the lifestyle switch.

Veganism brings with it one of the best treatments for your skin you could ever imagine, often turning dry, more acne-prone skin into healthy, supple and beautiful skin after switching to this lifestyle. A recent study by the University of St. Andrews in Scotland found that fruit and vegetable consumption led to significant benefits for the user's skin health and significantly more appealing skin tones . This probably doesn't come as much of a surprise to long time vegans, but it shows one of the truly great benefits of choosing this lifestyle that goes beyond the typical internal health effects we often associated with cutting out meat.

 7 Big Vegan Foods that Give Healthy and Beautiful Skin 

Out there are a variety of foods which not only help clear up your complexion, but can help you to protect your skin from dryness, make a more pleasant skin tone. Fruits and vegetables with carotenoids are those that have been identified as some fo the most useful for improving skin tone, as they are the red-yellow pigments often found in vegetables we eat every day. These make our skin naturally more supple in color, better looking and healthier. They also actually do make our skin healthier as it turns out. 

 1. Tomatoes 

Tomatoes are natural antioxidants, containing lycopene, which helps to protect skin from free radical and other aging properties that produce wrinkles. They are rich in carotenoids, helping your skin stay healthy and have a rosy tone. Though you'll want to ensure you use sunscreen as normal, tomatoes have also been shown to help reduce sun damage to your skin as they have anti-UV absorption properties as well. Slice and dice them alone or put them in a salad, tomatoes are an awesome vegan staple with some real "omph" for your skin's health. 2. Flax Seeds 

2. Flax seeds

 Flax seeds are rich in what are known as omega-3 fatty acids, which have been show to keep skin hydrated. This helps fight wrinkles and improves complexion. Flax seeds have also been used for decades to help lower trigylceride levels and reduce inflammation in the heart, helping to prevent heart disease. Flax is a common addition to many recipes, however, there's a difference in ground flax seeds and the naturally encased varieties that's important to consider. Whole flax seeds typically have more benefits according to health specialists.

 3.  Sweet Potatoes (Yams)  

Sweet potatoes offer loads of Vitamin C, which is a vitamin that's been shown to reduce the appearance of fine lines by boosting collagen in the skin. With a full serving of this vegetable, you will typically receive around 2 times your daily suggested Vitamin C and it will be yummy as well!

 4. Spinach 

As a vegan, you probably already eat a lot of spinach, in salads, as toppings on substitute meats or in quiches. Yet, there's more benefits than just the fiber and iron that we usually associate with spinach. In a recent publication in International Journal of Cancer an 11 year study was conducted that showed that consuming spinach and collard greens helped reduce the risk of skin cancers by over 40%. This is certainly no small feat, and represents one of the highest natural benefits for skin cancer reduction from food known to exist. Spinach also tastes great, so load up on those leafy greens!

 5.  Walnuts 

Walnuts have recently been described as a “superfood” due to its high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids, which help tremendously with heart health. Walnuts also have natural oils which help to moisturize the skin and give your skin a much younger appearnce. Over time, wrinkles are slowed as well due to the reduction in fine lines. Not only do you improve your heart health by lowering cholesterol but you make your outsides match your insides. 

 6. Carrots 

Certainly won't come as a surprise to many people, since carrots have often been discussed as having great benefits to your skin. Yet, these orange veggies don't always get the credit they deserve on the plate. Carrots are rich in carotenoids just like tomatoes, and give your skin a beautiful sheen and healthy color. They are also rich in vitamin A, an essential vitamin for our bodies and one that fights cancer, and antioxidants. Beta-carotine has been shown in recent NIH studies to offer UV protection of the skin as well, lowering risk of sun damage and wrinkles. Something as simple as adding some babby carrots with a hummus dip can help you capture these benefits whenever you snack.

 7. Safflower Oil  

Many vegans are probably familiar with use safflower oil to make scrambled tofu or cooking those faux bacon strips in the morning, but new research actually shows that it helps to protect and moisturize your skin as well. This oil is actually great for external uses, not just for cooking your favorite veggies. However, safflower oil also has the added benefit of helping tremendously with dermatological health in the body, helping to treat skin conditions like acne or eczema. 

There is certainly a lot of skin benefits to be had from the vegan lifestyle, beyond the health benefits we always think about. It's something to keep in mind when selecting among these seven foods as well, that they also provide these added skin benefits, helping to boost skin tone, skin health and sometimes even reduce fine lines over the long term.

More About The Author 

Timothy is a regular writer on topics related to weight gain and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. He often writes for HCG Plus on their online blog and web shop for real, non-homeopathic diet supplements. These supplements aid in burning stored fat and help people to naturally lose weight


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