Beauty comes from the inside, and I’m not just talking in clichés here. Our skin acts as a reflection of what’s going on internally. Inadequate nutrient intake, low-quality sleep, and high stress can show up on the skin as acne, early aging, redness or dark under-eye circles. Yikes, that's a lot to look forward to ;).
To ensure you’re doing the best you can to look after your skin, my advice is to aim for prevention rather than cure. My favourite preventative measures for skin health include eating a nutrient-rich diet, exercise, stress management techniques, looking after your gut (hello, love your gut powder and love your gut capsules!) and lots of good quality rest.
When it comes to eating for skin health, I recommend leaning towards an antioxidant-rich diet. Antioxidants protect the skin from free radicals, which can otherwise cause damage and accelerate aging. Stress and overexposure to UV light can destroy antioxidants and increase oxidative damage.
UVA rays are not as strong as UVB rays but penetrate the skin more deeply. Unprotected exposure over time can cause genetic damage to the top layer of the skin, causing damage to cells, premature aging and immune suppression. Both UVA and UVB can deplete and suppress Langerhans and immune cells. UVA and UVB are now considered causes of cancer.
While there are plenty of different antioxidants in the body, carotenoids are one of my favourites to talk about (and eat). Carotenoids are the pigment in fruits and vegetables that give them their gorgeous yellow, red, and orange hues.
Carotenoids are potent antioxidants that help neutralize free radicals and create glowing skin. Carotenoids are a fighting nutrient, or more specifically, a phytonutrient, a ‘plant chemical’. There are over 600 different carotenoids in the body, including beta carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Provitamin A carotenoids may be the ones you’re most familiar with, as they’re converted into vitamin A; essential for growth, immunity, and eye health.
Carotenoids are abundant in some of the most delicious fruit and veg around, including sweet potatoes, carrots, yams, pumpkin, tomatoes, spinach, kale, and oranges. Carotenoids are fat-soluble compounds, meaning they’re best absorbed with fat. It’s time to face the fats; we need good fats!
So next time you're wondering about how to spruce up a plant-based dish, drizzle some olive oil on your veggies, or just eat good fats whole by enjoying an avocado or sprinkling nuts and seeds on your soups and salads.
Adding more carotenoid-rich foods to your diet can be a surefire way to supercharge your skin health. If you’re wondering which carotenoid to pick, at the moment I'm going through a carrots phase. I carrot live without them 😉
Heirloom carrots are probably one of my favourite sights when gathering seasonal produce. I love their spirally little bottom roots like tendrils, luscious green tops, and the remarkable amount of colour they can add to a dish.
When it comes to cooking, they’re such a treat to roast, and this recipe preserves their full form and flavour, elevating them with caramelized rice malt syrup. I've added Golden Gut Blend for it's anti-inflammatory ability, it also includes cinnamon which is anti-fungal, antioxidant and anti-bacterial making it useful against acne and skin blemishes.
This is the perfect dish for lunch or dinner on its own or as a side. Enjoy these beautiful carrots.
Th-th-th-that's all folks!
Sweet Lemon Thyme Roasted Carrots
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 90 g (3 1/4 oz/ 1/4 cup) rice malt syrup
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsps Golden Gut Blend or Love your gut powder (optional)
- 6 lemon thyme sprigs
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) heirloom or baby carrots, peeled and trimmed
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
- Combine all the ingredients except the carrots in a small bowl and stir well.
- Spread out the carrots in a large roasting tin, drizzle over the dressing and toss to combine.
- Roast for 25–30 minutes, until the carrots are cooked through.