One of the first questions we ask our customers who are suffering from rosacea, or wanting to improve the health of their skin is – tell me about your diet. There’s a very simple reason for this; - good digestion is linked to clearer skin.
And leafy green vegetables play a significant role in this, so let's talk greens.
What Do Green Leafy Vegetables Do For You?
Green leafy vegetables contain the following -
Chlorophyll is what makes green leafy vegetables green. You probably already know that chlorophyll is at the heart of the process of photosynthesis which converts sunlight into energy.
But chlorophyll isn’t just good for plants. It’s good for us too –
- It’s a potent anti-oxidant so protects our cells from free radicals from the likes of EMFs from mobile phones, computers and other devices; environmental pollution; and smoking. It reduces aging and boosts cell repair.
- Chlorophyll slows the rate at which bacteria produces, which speeds up healing (especially important for rosacea, pustules, and wound care).
- Research out of Chicago also cited that at least one daily portion of green vegetables slowed the rate of decline in memory and thinking skills.
- Just 5 grams of chlorophyll per day also does wonders for weight loss, as it suppresses appetite and desire for sweets.
Vitamins A, C & K –
Green vegetables are often rich in vitamins A, C & K. All these vitamins contribute to healthy bones, skin and our body’s ability to heal itself.
Minerals like Magnesium and Calcium –
These minerals are essential for muscle health as they help muscles to expand and contract. They’re also extremely good for nerves and reducing anxiety.
Fibre helps to speed up the metabolism so make it easier for our bodies to digest what we consume.
And just to reiterate - digestion and skin are totally linked. A good digestive system and a good metabolism show in our skin.
Can Green Powders Be Used As A Substitute?
An important thing to note is that powdered greens are not the same as fresh green leafy vegetables and although they can be used to supplement your intake of green leafy vegetables, they cannot be used to replace it.
You need the enzymes present in fresh green vegetables to be able to convert all the goodness into something your body can process and use.
What About MicroGreens?
If you’re not really into green leafy vegetables you may want to consider microgreens, such as small sprouts – which are super potent. Microgreens can be 40 times more nutritious than other leafy greens which have more time to grow. They’ve still got all the nutrients in there as they sprout to help them grow – amazing goodness and nutrition.
In fact, when I travel to India I grow sprouts while I’m there to ensure I get the nutrition I need, as many of the vegetables there are low in nutrition.
Are You Getting Enough Green Leafy Vegetables?
If you really want healthy skin (and body) you should be eating at least a couple of portions of fresh green leafy vegetables every day.
The reality is that dark leafy vegetables are a nutrition powerhouse. You get almost all of your vitamins from them, and there’s even some evidence that they help to reduce skin cancer because of their healing attributes.
One of the pieces of information that we collect in our Free Rosacea Skin Assessment is information on diet and nutrition including consumption of green leafy vegetables. Based on the data we have to date nearly 80% of rosacea sufferers are not consuming enough green leafy vegetables – and this is not by coincidence. The two are most definitely linked.
The Magic Of Kale And Spinach
Kale and spinach are great ways to get your anti-oxidants, as well as vitamin A which works brilliantly to correct or avoid dry flaky skin. They also contain vitamin C which can undo some of the damage to our collagen and elastin from the sun, and vitamin E which helps to fight against inflammation.
One of the best things to do with kale and spinach is to have them in a smoothie so they’re really ground up and easier to digest. Sometimes in salads spinach and kale can be harder to digest – so juicing any dark leafy greens helps to fight inflammation and detox the liver, which in turn is great for the skin.
Again – good digestion is linked to clearer skin.
Ideas For Boosting Your Intake Of Green Leafy Vegetables
So, what are some of the ways we can have green leafy vegetables?
Boiling and Steaming – these are fine, but we can certainly be a little more creative
Juicing & Smoothies – you might want to make a yummy breakfast smoothie with some kale, spinach, cucumber (including skins) and spirulina. Have you seen the recipe for The Ultimate Skin Smoothie?
Roasting – broccoli and peppers taste great roasted in some olive oil with a few almonds sprinkled on them
Stewing – especially if you’re stewing in a bone broth with the vegetables
Crisping – kale crisps are divine, and cabbage bites can be even better. Try baking kale in a low heat oven for 15 minutes with olive oil, lemon juice and salt. I actually LOVE baking slices of cabbage with some salt and pepper, olive oil and parmesan cheese in an oven for 20-30 minutes – turning them once during baking. I confess to not really liking cabbage, but these are sooooo delicious.
Try getting creative. Green vegetables are your friend, and they could be among your best of friends if you have a skin condition. I know many of us have had a childhood of disliking our greens but I couldn’t go a day now without them.
Once your body gets used to them, and you see the benefits of them you’ll really start to crave them. They’re often inexpensive (not always for sure), easy to find, easy to grow even if you only have pots to grow them in.
In a Nutshell –
Green leafy vegetables in your diet are critical part of any skin care regime if you want to overcome skin conditions such as rosacea, acne or aging; or simply if you want to have beautiful healthy glowing skin.
Before I sign off please remember - good digestion is linked to clear healthy skin.
PS Here's the link again for the Free Rosacea Assessment if you'd like to discover a personalised natural and holistic approach to treat your rosacea.
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