I've been researching the term "superfoods" and I have once again found human marketing strategy involved in nutrition. There is no scientifically based or regulated definition for superfood, just a consideration of benefit is what we find with the use of this term. Generally, a food is promoted to superfood status when it offers high levels of desirable nutrients or is linked to the prevention of a disease:
"Superfood is a marketing term for food assumed to confer health benefits resulting from an exceptional nutrient density. The term is not commonly used by experts, dietitians and nutrition scientists, many of whom dispute that particular foods have the health benefits claimed by their advocates." ~Superfood Wikipedia
This is an example of why I promote learning about what your body's cells need to live and be healthy. If I've learned anything in my 56-years about health, it's this: LEARN PRINCIPLES AND YOU CAN DEVISE YOUR OWN METHODS--IT'S HEALTHY! The phrase, “you are what you eat” is literally true. Nutrients from the foods you eat provide the foundation of the structure, function, and integrity of trillions of cells in your body—the engines that keep you alive. The composition of a living cell points to how nutrients reach the cell and are converted to the energy for your body--that is a bit deeper subject—but listed below are the ingredients of a cell’s structure.
Give Your Cells What They Need for Healthy Radiant Skin
Ingredients of a Cell’s Structure: (percentages listed are approximate)
Water is a universal solvent-needed to dissolve substances. Water makes up approximately 90-percent of a cell’s weight. Cells, organs, and tissues use water to help regulate the body's temperature and maintain other bodily functions
Protein molecules are made up of chemicals called Amino Acids--they make up about 5-percent of cell’s structure. Amino acid chains are the building blocks of all protein made inside the human body for its functioning. Protein plays a crucial role in almost all biological processes.
Carbohydrates are starches and sugars which are converted to blood sugar called Glucose and are burned for quick energy--they make up roughly 2.5-percent of a cell.
Nucleic Acids include DNA (hereditary material) and RNA (molecule with various biological roles). These control the cells by supplying the codes for making necessary chemicals that help cells replicate and build proteins—they make up about 1.5 percent of a cell.
Fats, also called Lipids, are fats, oils, and waxes that make up approximately 1-percent of a cell. Fats store energy, insulate and protect vital organs, act as messengers that bind to proteins starting chemical reactions that help control growth, immune function, reproduction and other aspects of basic metabolism.
Cellular functions also require essential Minerals and Vitamins. Cells depend upon the action of minerals to activate the enzymes which perform bodily functions. Vitamins protect cells from damage, guide mineral utilization, regulate cell and tissue growth and help perform specific activities like produce energy.
To keep your body's cells healthy is to keep your skin--your body's largest cellular organ--healthy too!
Body organs aren't all internal, skin is our largest external organ—adults carry around 8 pounds (3.6 kilograms) and 22 square feet (2 square meters) of it. Skin, including its several layers, serves in a protective role as part of the human body. When its health is compromised, skin's ability to work as an effective barrier is impaired. To maintain the healthiest skin possible from environment, which has an atrophying affect, we must consider our available lines of defense.
What you consume regularly can significantly affect the health and aging of your skin.
One of the top lines of defense for maintaining healthy skin, next to managing what we put on it externally and regulating our sleep and life's stresses, is eating whole natural foods that contain the assortment of nutrients our body cells require and need to keep all of our tissues and organs--including skin--well. Both men and women focus on the appearance of their skin because generally we want it to look fantastic. Our society does get stuck on youthful looks, but more importantly healthy is what matters most at any age.
Food as Skincare
When I say stealth nutrition (the title of this blog of mine), it's about finding ways to be mindful of the nutrients our body cells require and getting them into our daily diets through whole natural foods. Supplements--vitamins and minerals in pills and powders are not going to supply healthy skin and healthy bodies that are made up of living cells that thrive on nature's unadulterated plant-based food supply.
Minimally processed fruits and vegetables (as close to their whole natural state as possible) contain antioxidants, which are substances that protect cell membranes from the damaging effects of highly reactive molecules called free radicals. Examples of antioxidants include vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, and carotenoids (such as beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin).
Dermatologists recommend vitamin C for its positive effect on the production of collagen, a protein that helps prevent skin from wrinkling and is often broken down by exposure to the sun and environmental pollution. The best way to get vitamin C is eating fruits and vegetables and incorporating them into your diet regularly on purpose! Not only will your body and its cellular life thank you, you'll be rewarded with beautiful radiant skin too. 5-COLORS OF PHYTONUTRIENTS IN FRUITS & VEGETABLES THAT YOUR BODY CELLS CRAVE!
Eating foods that are abundantly rich in skin-supportive nutrients is simple to do. Here are some suggestions, but there are so many more available. Do a little research looking for natural foods that are high in vitamin C, vitamin E, Selenium and Biotin. Don't forget to stay hydrated and drink plenty of filtered water. Not only does water hydrate the skin, it also flushes toxins out of the body.
Vitamin C (Water soluble)
Papaya, Bell Peppers, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Spinach, Tomato, Strawberries, Pineapple, Oranges, Kiwifruit, Cantaloupe, Cauliflower.
Vitamin E (Fat soluble)
Sunflower Seeds, Almonds, Peanuts, Avocados, Broccoli, Spinach, Swiss Chard, Butternut Squash, Wheat Germ Oil.
(Note: Vitamins fall into two categories: fat soluble and water soluble. The fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, K dissolve in fats and are absorbed along with fats in the diet and can be stored in the body's fatty tissue. The water-soluble vitamins C and the B-complex vitamins need to dissolve in water before your body can absorb them. They are carried to the body's tissues but are not stored in the body. Any vitamin C or B that your body doesn't use as it passes through your system is lost (mostly when you pee). Therefore, you will need a fresh supply of these vitamins every day.)
Biotin or Vitamin B7 (Water soluble)
Almonds, Cauliflower, Cheeses (Blue, Camembert, Cheddar & American), Eggs, Mushrooms, Sweet Potato, Spinach. Caution: Before taking any supplement, realize that biotin can interfere with certain medications--always check with your doctor first. Biotin can be naturally found in your body. It is manufactured in your intestines as a part of your digestive function and most people don't have a deficiency.
Selenium (Essential Trace Mineral)
Bananas, Cashews, Brazil Nuts, Brown Rice, Lentils, Fish, Beans, Eggs, Milk, Mushrooms, Oatmeal, Sunflower Seeds, Spinach. Caution: Micro or trace minerals are essential for good health if they come from an organic or plant source. In contrast, if they come from an inorganic or metallic source, such as heavy metals, they are toxic.
(Note: Essential nutrients are those that your body needs but cannot produce. Minerals are inorganic substances of natural occurance found in foods. The two kinds of minerals are: macro minerals and trace minerals. Macro means "large" in Greek. Your body needs larger amounts of macro minerals than trace minerals. The five major minerals in the human body are calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and magnesium. All the remaining elements in a human body are called "trace elements" including iron, manganese, copper, iodine, zinc, cobalt, fluoride and selenium.)
Filtered Water--Healthy Skin is Hydrated Skin
In the morning, your body and skin are always ready for pure water replenishment because overnight, as you sleep, you lose water through breathing. Also, the liver, your detoxifying organ does most of its work at night while you are in slumber to clear and release toxins. If you've ever wondered why you feel so thirsty first thing out of bed in the morning, that's why! Your body is always in motion, always working, even during your sleep: LAW OF MOTION AND BODY CELLS: HOW TO HAVE BETTER CONTROL OVER YOUR LIFE-FORCE
It's a healthy practice to drink a cup, or glass, of water in the morning after you arise to refresh your fluid level as you start your day. Throughout your day, a simple way to monitor your body's hydration, in addition to paying attention to thirst signals, is to monitor the color of your urine. A properly hydrated body will produce pale colored or near colorless urine. If you are mildly dehydrated, your urine will be yellow. When severely dehydrated expect your urine to be concentrated and dark, almost a deep gold color. In this case, begin to gradually increase your water intake until your urine is nearly colorless. (Please note that vitamins and supplements you may be taking that contain riboflavin (B2) will turn your urine a bright yellow.)
Most adults need about 2 to 3-quarts of fluid each day as a general guideline. Because 1-quart equals 32-fluid ounces x 2 to 3 quarts, it's easy to see how 8 to 12 eight-ounce glasses of water a day has become a common recommended intake. Yet, it can really vary on your individual needs. You may need more water if the weather is warm and dry, or if you are exercising, or if you are taking certain medications.
For a general understanding of how much water your body can use in a day: take your current weight divided by two which equals the amount of water in ounces you may drink, more or less based on your activity. Again, this is just a gauge you can use to be sure and have access to plenty of clean drinking water throughout your day. In order to remain hydrated, it's healthier to regularly sip water rather than guzzle it in a large quantity at a time.
By Judith Garner, Certified Health Coach
Helping people stay healthy inside & out!
Lemon Salad Dressing
1/2-cup squeezed juice from a fresh lemon(s)
1/2-cup mild extra-virgin olive oil
3-cloves garlic, minced
*1/2 to 1-teaspoon kosher salt to taste
Ground black pepper to taste
In medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Stir just before serving over mixed salad greens.
*Variation: Replace kosher salt with 1/2-teaspoon ground cumin and 1/2-teaspoon ground coriander