So the saying goes that 'Beauty Is Only Skin Deep', but the importance of our skin is a lot deeper. We often only think of our skin as an outer layer, but the skin is our largest organ and has many important functions. For example, the skin plays a key role in protecting the body against pathogens and excessive water loss, it's other functions are insulation, temperature regulation, sensation, and the production of vitamin D folates. For these reasons it is essential to keep our skin healthy.
So I decided to try and come up with some recipes and ingredients that will help keep our skin healthy. Now that it is a little cooler I thought a soup in the slow cooker would be perfect. If you don't have a slow cooker than just use a large pot on the stove top.
If you can get your veggies from the local farmers market or organic market even better!
Healthy Skin Soup
4 Medium Tomatoes 1 Cup Broccoli 1 Cup Chick Peas
1 Cup Sweet Potato 1 Cup carrots 1 Cup Lentils
1 Cup Pumpkin 1/2 Cup Quinoa 1 Cup Zucchini
3 Cups Water 1 Teaspoon Cumin 4 Chillies
1. Soak your fresh chick peas (or you can used tinned ones) and lentils overnight in water
2.Roughly chop up all the vegetables, and combine with water, cumin, chick peas, lentils and quinoa in your slow cooker or on the stove top.
3.Cook on low in the slow cooker for 6 hours, or 3 hours on high. If using a pot on the stove top simmer for 2 hours.
Skin Benefits of These Ingredients
Tomatoes -Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C, which helps to keep the skin firm and taut by aiding collagen production. They also contain lycopene: the red pigment which not only gives them their bright red colour, but also stimulates skin circulation.
Sweet Potato - Their high levels of Vitamin A and beta-carotene means sweet potatoes are a skin super food. The substances on many pricey skin-care products like retinol and retinoic acid are actually derived from Vitamin A. Plus beta-carotene combats the free radicals which result skin ageing.
Quinoa-high levels of magnesium promote skin elasticity and regenerate skin cells, while vitamin B2 (riboflavin) builds up connective tissues and is integral to cell reparation
Chickpeas-The manganese in chickpeas helps skin cells produce energy and fights wrinkle-causing free-radical damage and they also contain large amounts of folate - a B vitamin that skin cells need in order to repair damage from sun and toxins.
Pumpkin -Pumpkin’s orange colour is from carotenoids, wrinkle-fighting plant pigments that help neutralize free radicals in the skin, keeping them from damaging the cells that fast-forward ageing, it is also filled with vitamins C, E, and A, as well as powerful enzymes that help to cleanse the skin.
Carrot - Carrots are high in beta carotene, an antioxidant that is converted to vitamin A inside the body. It helps repair skin tissue and protects against the sun's harsh rays.
Broccoli -This cruciferous veggie is high in antioxidants, including vitamins C and E. The vitamin C in broccoli aids in collagen production and keeps your skin healthy and supple, while vitamin E protects your skin cell membranes and guards against UV radiation damage.