Rakel Healthy Living

Nutrition & Health Consultation

10 BEAUTIFYING SPICES, NUTS & SEEDS

These "10 beautifying spices, nuts & seeds" will positively affect your health, support your immune system as well as increase your overall nutrition status & glow. 


Easily incorporated into your daily routine there are no excuses for not starting munching away on these simple ingredients for their overall health and beauty benefits.



Almonds

A nutrition giant containing healthy vitamins & minerals that will support a healthy and glowing complexion. Extremely rich in the beauty mineral copper along with calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc that will also help you maintain the body´s hydration levels making your skin look more supple and taut. Vitamin E will help maintain the skin´s elasticity making your skin look firmer and smoother.

Turmeric (or curcuma)

A spice known for its bright yellow color has been known and used for thousands of years in alternative medicine.  

Only in recent years has it been used with beneficial outcomes in mainstream medicine. 

Known to be detoxifying, highly anti-inflammatory and to fight oxidative stress which makes it a powerful agent in skin health. Its´ regenerative and healing properties show that wounds heal faster, especially with topical application.

Use it fresh for teas, tonics, smoothies & juices or powdered (in capsules) for regular intake.

Garlic

Commonly known and widely used for it´s gastronomical effects it also helps build up a strong immune system. A study published in 2013 in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research shows the potent anti-inflammatory effects of garlic extract counteracting the oxidative stress caused by a high-fructose diet. Consuming large amounts of sugar can cause inflammation and oxidative stress, break down collagen in the skin causing sagging and premature aging of the skin. 

Cut down on the sugar and bring on the garlic (and hold on to your precious collagen for dear life…!)

Chili (and cayenne pepper)

Extremely rich in Vitamin C that supports collagen production in the skin it also contains the active component capsaicin, a chemical that can stimulate heat and has been shown to increase blood flow, giving you a healthy glow.

An American study published in 2013 in the Journal of Dietary Supplements showed how a combination of green tea and powdered Capsicum reduced oxidative stress by more than 50% compared with 15% by the green tea concentrate alone. 

Again, oxidative stress and inflammation are the skin´s worst enemies causing blotchiness, sensitive skin, oiliness and acne. None of which are components of a healthy looking, glowing skin.

Black pepper

Studies have shown its antioxidant and antimicrobial activities therefore supporting the immune system and pushing against oxidative stress and premature aging.

Ginger

Ginger has been used for its medicinal purposes in Asia for at least 2000 years and is often recommended for aiding in digestion, relieving nausea and motion sickness and reducing inflammation. According to ancient Ayurvedic tradition ginger can aid in detoxification, supporting a healthy and clear complexion. 

Add ginger to your juices, smoothies and your oriental dishes for a pungent and rich taste.

Fresh herbs

Cilantro, basil, parsley, mint and sage are all low in calories and great in taste. Fresh herbs add that something extra to a dish without the massive calories. Herbs are high in vitamin K, a vitamin that supports the blood profile but they are also rich in polyphenols (antioxidants) and chlorophyll that supports healing & regeneration of skin cells.


Toss cilantro, lemongrass & mint into your asian dishes and basil, thyme & sage into your mediterranean dishes for a complex & exciting taste.

I always use fresh basil and mint leaves for my Green Glow Smoothie to sweeten my smoothie without the extra fructose or calories.

Pumpkin seeds

These little nutrition giants contain the beauty mineral copper, magnesium, phosphorus and iron.

A study published in 2012 in the journal Connective Tissue Research indicated copper’s anti-skin aging, skin regeneration potential  as well as copper´s antioxidant activity. 

Snack on honey roasted pumpkin seeds with a bit of sea salt instead of chips. You´ll get the same crunchy feeling but supporting your immune system at the same time (as opposed to your regular bag o´chips).

Goji berries

These little nutrition giants are rich in vitamin A, vitamin C as well as iron and dietary fibre. They are also rich in beta-carotene (a pigment found in plants and fruits) which helps promote healthy skin. They have a high amount of antioxidants, slowing down the ageing process.

Sprinkle them over your muesli, organic yogurt, salads or add them to your smoothies for a more nutrient dense meal/snack.

Acai berries

With 10 times more antioxidants than red grapes the acai berries/powder are also rich in calcium, iron, fiber and vitamin A. They contain anthocyanin compounds such as resveratrol that is a potent antioxidant. Anthocyanins give berries their distinctive deep color (same as blueberries, cherries etc).  

Add acai powder to your smoothie or porridge. Just stay away from the sugar-laden concentrate juices containing acai, masquerading as a health products. They will only add inches to your waist and spike up your blood sugar, counteracting any benefits you would get from pure acai berries/powder.



If you´re still looking for a way to nourish your skin a bit more I recommend this beautiful Skin Food Mask from Andalou Naturals. Based on aloe vera juice, cacao and fruit stem cells it soothes inflammation, oxygenates and hydrates. It´s a staple in my skincare arsenal!