Whenever I come across an expert, I make sure I pick their brain a little! They know so much more than us mere mortals about the actual science of beauty. Their expertise is invaluable and reliable unlike biased brands, so that’s why I interviewed Nigma Talib, a Naturopathic doctor on whether green smoothies are really as good as everyone makes out to be and what her job as a Naturopathic doctor involves.
1. Do green juices and smoothies really work at clearing out your skin? Green smoothies are great for your skin. How it works is green vegetables including kale, bok choy, spinach, parsley, cilantro, basil, dill, swiss chard, broccoli, and collard greens are rich in fibre, vitamins and antioxidants. Fibre is extremely important for the digestive system. Fibre helps bind toxins and eliminate them out of the body; this is the key to healthy looking skin. Healthy digestion equals healthy skin. Secondly, greens vegetables are packed with vitamins and antioxidants which are vital for healthy collagen production and regeneration of the skin. Lastly, there is some evidence to suggest that greens help improve the pH balance in your body which has been shown to translate into healthy looking skin.
2. What foods do you recommend for blemish free, clear skin?
- Carrots: Carrots are the number one food for blemish free, clear skin. Carrots are rich in vitamin A. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, Vitamin A can help reduce acne significantly. Vitamin A is also known to be beneficial to the skin as retinoid drugs are prescribed for acne though carrots have less side effects. Some vitamin A is known to be of help but too much of it can be toxic. Consult your doctor with the use of vitamin A if you are pregnant or on medication.
- Tomatoes: Tomatoes are a fabulous source of antioxidants and contain the blemish fighting vitamin A. Incorporating tomatoes in your daily diet will help your system combat free radicals.
- Broccoli: This lovely green veggie is packed with the anti blemish nutrient – Vitamin A. A particular compound called sulforaphane found in broccoli sprouts helps in reducing inflammation and redness of the skin caused due to ultraviolet rays as claimed by researchers. The Vitamin A in this power veggie aids cell turnover and cell renewal which in turn helps you in getting fresh looking skin and help reduce the appearance of blemishes.
- Spinach: Ever wondered why Popeye, the sailor man never had any blemishes? Green and leafy spinach in your soups, salads and pastas are an excellent way to get more Vitamin A power. Spinach is also very rich in iron, folic acid, potassium, iodine, vitamin K and sulphur. Sulphur makes the skin smooth, iron improves blood oxygen levels improving skin appearance and iodine.
- Oily fish: Fish such as tuna and salmon contain Omega- 3 fatty acids, Vitamin A and D, and minerals such as zinc, phosphorous, iron, calcium and selenium. All these minerals and vitamins are extremely important for maintaining skin health and supporting the immune system thereby reducing skin break outs.
- Cantaloupe: This power fruit is very high in Vitamin A, B and B6. It is also an excellent source of beta carotene, Vitamin C, dietary fiber and has a very high quotient of Vitamin B complex. Its rich anti oxidants prevent many health problems such as heart diseases and also work very hard to make your skin look luscious and beautiful.
- Pumpkin seeds: Pumpkin seeds are a super food for anti acne treatment as they are rich in zinc. Zinc protects your cell membranes, helps maintain collagen and promotes skin renewal. Research shows that zinc is very effective for treating acne because of its healing and anti inflammatory properties. Zinc is necessary for hormone regulation and among those hormones is the testosterone considered to be one of the promoters of acne. Another thing is that, Zinc is involved in the synthesis of protein and collagen formation. Furthermore, zinc is involved with normalising production of skin oils thereby maintaining healthy skin and in doing so helps prevent acne.
- Avocados: Avocados contain Vitamin A, K, B6, C and also contain minerals such as potassium and copper. These minerals are extremely useful in treating skin ailments. The monosaturated fats and oleic acids contained in avocados keep your skin supple and smooth.
3. Does your job as a Naturopathic doctor involve? As a Naturopathic doctor, I see myself as a biochemical detective, whereby I look at the root cause of why patients have chronic conditions such as fatigue, weight gain, digestive disturbances, and skin conditions to name a few. Your body is composed of trillions of cells and each cell can affect another cell positively or negatively and that response depends on diet, lifestyle and vitamin supplementation whether from food or supplements. My goal is to treat patients at the “cellular level” in order to help them achieve optimal health and wellness.
4. Any advice for aspiring Naturopathic doctors? Always be a role model by leading by example. Walk the walk if you want others to follow.