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Make the Most of Your Skin Diet with Phytochemicals.

The New Year is a good time to re-visit your overall health plan. Millions of people will set out to eat healthier and increase their physical activity this year. Achieving these goals will help you look and feel your best. Did you know that nutrition also plays an important part in the health and appearance of your skin?

Protein, Carbohydrates, Fats, Vitamins and Minerals are all categories you routinely hear about and look for on your food labels. Phytochemicals also play an important part in your skin health.

What is a phytochemical?

Phytochemicals

Translated, “phytochemicals” means plant chemicals. Phytochemicals represent non-nutritive plant chemicals that may contain protective, disease-preventing compounds. The research involving phytochemicals showing their beneficial effects is promising.

  • Flavanoids or Bioflavanoids

Found in most fruits and vegetables, as well as nuts, seeds, grains, and soy products, they are also present in tea, coffee and red wine. The flavonoids in red wines are phenolic compounds that have antioxidant properties. Both green and black tea contains polyphenols that are potent antioxidants, especially those found in green tea.

  •  Polyphenols

Recently been shown to be powerful antioxidants, a type of polyphenols is a group of compounds known as flavanoids or bioflavanoids which are found in green tea, most fruits and vegetables, as well as nuts, seeds, grains and soy products. They are also in coffee and red wine. Studies have confirmed that flavanoids have the ability to counteract free radicals that are produced by sun exposure.

  •  Carotenoids

Nutrients that convert mostly to Vitamin A in the body. Beta carotene, lycopene, and lutein are examples and are found in tomatoes and peppers. Cooked tomatoes may have even a higher concentration of lycopene since heating may release more lycopene.  See Table (below).

 

PHYTOCHEMICAL FOUND   IN
Flavonoids 

Carotenoids

 

Isoflavones

 

Lycopenes

 

Phenolic compounds

Citrus, tomatoes, onions, berries, carrots, pumpkins, peppers, grapes, parsley, red wine, green teaCarrots, sweet potatoes, nectarines, mangoes, apricots

 

Soy products, whole grains, chickpeas

 

Tomatoes, peppers

 

Red wine, citrus fruits, tomatoes, peppers

Try this recipe from The Beautiful Skin Diet for a light, skin healthy dinner.

Fish with Tomatoes and Grapes

Per serving
Calories 380
Vit A IU 830
Vit C mg 53
Vit E mg 3

Ingredients:

4 4-oz. white fish filets or steaks, preferably striped bass or halibut

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 cup white wine

3⁄4     cup peeled  diced tomatoes with juice

1 tbsp. fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

1 tsp. tomato paste

1 tbsp. onion, diced

1 cup tomato, diced

2 cups red seedless grapes, halved

1 lemon, sliced for garnish

1 tsp. lemon zest, minced

Black pepper

Salt and white pepper

 

Method:

Pour oil into a large, heavy bottom sauté  pan over medium heat.  Add cilantro, tomato  paste,  onion, black pepper  to taste,  tomato  juice, and chopped  tomato. Bring the mixture to a simmer and continue  to cook for 5 minutes.  Season with salt and white pepper  to taste.  Place fish in the simmering sauce. Cook fish for 8 minutes,  turn, and cook for 8 minutes  more. Add the grapes  and cook until the fish is firm.

4   SERVINGS

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