Superfoods for Beauty

·

by

Superfood – it’s a massive topic.

Enough information and ideas to fill a whole book (which, by the way, our lovely friends at Sol Semilla have just done).

So I’m not going to cover everything here.

For now I’ll just focus on the powerful beauty benefits of superfoods – because we all know that the best beauty products are the ones you eat.

Now, you may be wondering if this superfood lark is just a big old scam. It’s true the term ‘superfood’ does rather get bandied about willy-nilly these days, and is sometimes applied to products which are somewhat less than super.

But with a little bit of prudence and research, the right superfoods can do wonders for your looks and overall health.

Urucu-whaa?

But why, oh why do we need to rely on crazy-sounding berries, tubers and algae from far-flung countries, I hear you cry! Whatever’s wrong with good old local fruits and veg? Well, nothing, if we all ate enough fresh produce of a high enough quality every day. But unfortunately, these days, in addition to eating perhaps fewer fruit and veg, our soil is depleted, so the nutritional value of our food is nothing like that of the food our grandparents ate. It’s therefore judicious to boost nutrition with powerful ingredients that hail from the more virgin areas of the world.

And the popular argument that superfoods are bad for the environment since they’re not local doesn’t have to apply if you are careful about sourcing your superfoods from an honest and conscious supplier. We get pretty much all of our superfoods from the marvellous Sol Semilla, about whom we’ll be doing a more in depth article very soon. But suffice it to say that Sol Semilla actually contribute to the wellness and biodiversity of the planet through their superfood production. A rare find. (They deliver all across Europe from their online shop by the way.)

So, here is a run down of the whys, the hows, and the yays of my fave little beauty allies.

Starting from top right, in a clockwise snail-esque fashion:

Chlorella

A single-cell algae which is

  • Powerfully detoxifying for the liver, kidneys, blood and digestive tract
  • One of the most nutritionally dense foods on the planet
  • Five times richer in chlorophyll than wheatgrass
  • Packed with protein and beta-carotene

It’ll give you

  • Clear skin, because it detoxifies the liver (most breakouts are sign of a sluggish and toxic liver)
  • Fresh breath and a sweet-smelling bod, since it is a powerful cleanser. Think of chlorella as an internal body wash + scrub. Powerful.
  • Younger looking skin, because it’s filled with antioxidants and beta-carotene

Use it in

  • Smoothies
  • Sprinkled on top of salads

 

Acerola

A cherry-like fruit which is

  • Incredibly rich in vitamin C
  • High in antioxidants

It will

  • Even out and brighten skin tone because of its high vitamin C levels
  • Protect against damage from free radicals since the antioxidants act as a shield against pollution and UVAs

Use it in

  • Vinaigrettes
  • Sprinkled on top of anything sweet or savoury for a little touch of acidy-zing

Chia

A gelatinous seed which provides

  • The perfect balance of omega-3 and 6 fatty acids (this balance of essential fatty acids (EFAs) is rarely found in a single food source)
  • A fibrous-gelatinous goo that your intestines will love

It’ll give you

  • Stable energy, because of its digestion-slowing properties
  • Better hair, skin and nail growth because of the EFAs
  • A better-functioning digestive system – key for good skin.

Use it

  • In chia pudding, pictured below, or this breakfast recipe
  • As an egg replacer – mix one tablespoon of chia seeds with three tablespoons of water and leave to soak for 15 minutes
photo (26)

Chia pudding with almond milk, bananas and dragon fruit. Photo by Davina Wingarde

Spirulina

An algae which is

  • A complete source of protein
  • Mega high in chlorophyll and beta-carotene. One teaspoon of spirulina will provide more phytonutrients than five servings of fruit and veg, and it’s 300-times richer in calcium than milk. (And in any case, cow’s milk doesn’t even boost your calcium as we all now know!)
  • High in readily absorbable iron

It’ll give you

  • Plump and healthy skin, since collagen production is dependent on rich sources of bio-available protein
  •  Clear skin and eyes, thanks to the high level of chlorophyll, which detoxifies your body of heavy metals and toxins

Use it in

  • Smoothies
  • Vinaigrettes

Aguaymanto

A berry (eaten dried or fresh) also known as ‘physalis’ which is

  • Incredibly high in vitamins A(nn) & C(hloe). Haha.
  • Rich in calcium

It’ll give you

  • Healthy hair, because of the high levels of calcium
  • Glowing skin thanks to the vitamins A & C (and, of course, protection from winter colds)

Use it

  • On the go, as a snack
  • In salads, for a sweet and zingy lift

Urucum

Urucum is a seed which is über high in

  • Beta-carotene
  • Iron
  • Vitamin E

It’s great at

  • Protecting your skin from sun damage, because of the high levels of beta-carotene
  • Giving you a natural ‘fake’ tan from the inside out – I’ll be using it this winter to combat my English pastiness.

Use it

  • Dissolved in water. Soak one tablespoon of urucum seeds in one litre of water overnight and sip on the mixture throughout the day. You can chew on the soaked seeds too.

Lucuma

A fruit, typically consumed as a powder, which has

  • High levels of beta-carotene
  • A very low glycaemic index, despite its delicious sweet and vanilla-y flavour

So it’s

  • Great for combatting signs of aging, since the beta-carotene plumps out fine lines and encourages healthy cell renewal
  • Useful for weight control and digestive health as a sugar replacement since it’s a low-calorie, low-glycaemic-index sweetener

Use it

  • As a sweetener in porridge, chia pudding, raw chocolate…
  • Mixed with a little nut milk to make a deliciously sweet and delicate paste for a cheeky snack/dessert

Cacao

Raw cacao can be enjoyed as a bean, powder, or paste and is

  • Incredibly rich in antioxidants
  • High in sulfur
  • Rich in the bliss molecule anandamide

So it will

  • Make you euphoric and smiley, because of those lovely bliss molecules, and also because it is a powerful aphrodisiac… And aren’t you more beautiful when you smile?
  • Give you shiny hair and strong nails, thanks to the sulphur

Use it in

  • Superfood Raw Chocolate
  • As a snack on the go – I always have cacao beans in my handbag, just in case
  • In chocolate ‘nice’ cream – blend up two frozen bananas with a tablespoon, or three, of raw cacao powder
IMG_7764

Raw cacao banana nice cream with maca and lucuma

Açaí

A Peruvian berry, generally eaten as a powder, which is

  • Again, incredibly rich in antioxidants, but you can’t have too many of those
  • A powerful anti-inflammatory

So

  • It’ll help you maintain gorgeous and young looking skin thanks to the antioxidants
  • It’ll help fight acne, because of its anti-inflammatory power

Use it

  • In smoothies
  • In ‘nice’ cream – simply blend up two frozen bananas with two teaspoons of açaí and hey presto!

acai

Cherry açaí banana nice cream with maca and vanilla bean

Carob

A bean from Peru, usually consumed in powder form, which is

  • Highly energising
  • Calming for the digestive system

So it will

  • Help to give you stable energy, and therefore better skin, and more energy

Use it

  • In smoothies
  • As a replacement for cacao, if you’re worried about the stimulating effect of cacao.

 

So there you have it, some ideas for true beauty that shines out from the inside.

Let us know in the comments below what your favourite superfoods for beauty are!

p.s. Parisians: To procure your favourite new beauty products visit:

Sol Semilla, 23 rue des Vinaigriers – 75010 Paris

They also have a stand at the Raspail and Batignolles markets, and some of their products are carried at Naturalia.

And also:

Guyapi, 73 rue de Charenton – 75012 Paris

Sign up for Magnifique surprises and updates!

10 November, 2015 | facebook | tweet | pin

3 thoughts on “Superfoods for Beauty

  1. Celia says:

    Ah. Now I know what to do with those chia seeds in my cupboard.

    1. Chloe says:

      Yay! Enjoy. They’re soooo full of goodness xxx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

As Seen In