The key to beautiful skin, hair and nails are minerals, vitamins and enzymes, all of which ensure correct cellular functioning within our bodies. Having a diet high in raw plant based foods is the optimal way to absorb key minerals, vitamins and enzymes.
Minerals are inorganic elements that originate from the soil and are transferred to us through fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately most of the supermarket branded vegetables, especially those that are not organic, have originated from poor soil quality. Crops that were grown decades ago were much richer in minerals than what we get today- the main culprit? Soil depletion! Due to the modern and intensive agricultural methods, the amount of nutrients from the soil have been stripped down to a bare minimal. So do we all have a mineral deficiency? It would seem so…one study in the British Food Journal found that from 1930-1980, the average iron content in vegetables has declined by 22%, calcium 19% and potassium by 14%.
The key to tackling this issue is making sure all the fruits and vegetables you consume are from a healthy soil, looking for produce that is organic is crucial. Getting your produce from suppliers such as Farm Drop which deliver straight to your door, is a great way to ensure you are consuming organic, fresh fruits and vegetables that have been grown in good quality soil.
Macrominerals (needed in large amounts): calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, phosphorus, chloride, sulfur
Trace minerals (need in small amounts): iron, zinc, iodine, selenium, copper, manganese, fluoride, chromium, molybdenum
Vitamins are organic substances made by plants and animals that are crucial to our bodily functions such as digestion, immunity and metabolism. Vitamins are classified into two groups: water soluble and fat soluble. Water soluble vitamins, such as B vitamins and C, can be absorbed into the body easier and any excess will be excreted. Fat soluble vitamins, A, D, E and K, are the opposite. They require bile acids to absorb them and an excess in your body will be stored. Excess of fat soluble vitamins can lead to toxicity so care must be ensured when taken.
Vitamin supplementation in high doses can in fact be toxic and can lead to imbalances within the body. Although some supplementation can be beneficial, they should never be relied upon for a healthy balanced diet. The optimal way to obtain essential vitamins in through a diet rich in plant based foods as well as nuts and seeds. Certain vitamins serve as brilliant antioxidants such as vitamin C, E and beta-carotene which help to slow down the ageing process and protect us against chronic diseases.
Essentially, enzymes are biological molecules, mainly proteins, that catalyse various processes within the body such as aiding in digestion and metabolism, purifying blood, breaking down fats and enhancing mental capacity. All veggies include live enzymes that are destroyed when cooked above 118 degrees, so it is crucial to include some raw food in your diet when you can (not animal based products of course!). Having a diet full of raw greens is the optimal way to absorb and preserve these key enzymes to benefit from them in terms of your overall health and skin.