How a Raw Food Diet Can Get You Flawless Skin

How A Raw Food Diet Can Get You Flawless Skin(Source: WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The secret to Kate Middleton's luminous complexion isn't a moisturizer or makeup, but the food she eats. When recent reports revealed the Duchess started eating raw food to improve her skin, we decided to pick the brain of a raw-food expert to break down the diet, which emphasizes plant-based foods never cooked more than 115 degrees fahrenheit. Stacy Stowers, aka "The Raw Nanny" and author of Eat Raw Not Cooked, talked to us about the wonders raw food can do for your visage.

First, Stowers said to understand you can't only target one area to improve. "The skin is a mirror for what's going on inside your body," she notes. "If you are healthy on the inside, you will look healthy on the outside. Start in small doses and listen to your body." Here are Stowers' ten recommendations for clear, supple skin.

How A Raw Food Diet Can Get You Flawless Skin

(Source: Stacy Stowers)

1. Water 
"The number one thing that you can put into your body if you want great-looking skin is water. Water not only hydrates but also cleans out the body."

2. Colorful Vegetables and Fruit
"Color equals antioxidants. Antioxidants in your body increase your ability to absorb free radicals, which in turn reduce skin problems so that you have healthier skin. So fill your plate with color!"

3. Spinach and Broccoli
"These dark green super foods have a whole lot of Vitamin A, a vitamin that is great for improving the turnover of cells in the skin, renewing your skin more quickly."

4. Oranges and Grapefruit
"Citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruit contain Vitamin C, which delays or reduces wrinkles."

5. Salmon, Flax Seeds and Walnuts
"These foods are rich in Omega-3 essential fatty acids. This is the good kind of fat we want. These fats improve skin's elasticity and wards off inflammation."

6. Eggs (yolks) and Dark Leafy Greens
"Some people who have poor skin, tend to be pale or have dark circles under their eyes just may need to increase the iron in their diets. Here's a tip: If you eat iron-rich foods like these along with foods that provide Vitamin C, your body can better absorb the iron."

7. Avocados
"Avocados contain monounsaturated fats, which keep the top layer of your skin moist so it's soft-looking. Avocados also contain polyunsaturated fatty acids, which protect skin from sun damage, skin sensitivity and inflammation."

8. Unrefined Coconut Oil
"Coconut oil has well-known antioxidant properties, which help prevent premature aging and degenerative diseases. Coconut oil is also a great moisturizer, delaying the appearance of wrinkles and sagging of skin."

9. Raw Chocolate
"Raw cacao has virtually more antioxidants than any other food. Antioxidants defend your body against free radicals, which age skin prematurely and even cause cancer. Cacao increases blood flow, which promotes cellular healing."

10. Maca
"Maca is a little root grown on the mountains of Peru. As an adaptogen, maca will help us adapt to stressful situations and may increase collagen synthesis, improving skin."

How A Raw Food Diet Can Get You Flawless Skin(Source: Simon and Schuster)

Finally, try this delicious shake as a meal replacement to help you get started. It tastes like dessert but is chock-full of superfood spinach, cacao and maca.

The Happy Shake

Ingredients:
1/2 cup water
3 to 4 cups spinach
1 Tbs. coconut oil
1 Tbs. raw maca powder
2 Tbs. raw cacao powder 
1 cup frozen blueberries
3/4 cup frozen cherries
1/4 cup frozen banana
Optional: a little raw honey for those who like extra sweetness
Optional: 3 ice cubes or a small handful of ice for those hot humid days

Directions:
1. In your Vitamix or blender start with:

The Base: 
1/2 cup water

The Greens:
Use a mild tasting green such as spinach or swiss chard. Note: Kale is way too bitter.

A Good Fat:
1 Tbs. coconut oil or 1 raw organic egg. Good fat won’t make you fat, and is essential for metabolizing the spinach and keeping you feeling satisfied longer. Do not be tempted to leave out the fat. If you are using a raw egg, you will need to adjust the amount of water, meaning less water. 

The "Happy" Parts:
1 Tbs. raw maca powder 
2 Tbs. raw cacao powder 

2. Most important—do not add fruit here. In your blender, blend all of your ingredients except your fruit into a green "sludge." Your goal is to get one cup of green "sludge." 

3. Now you can add 2 cups of frozen fruit—choose from blueberries, blackberries, cherries, strawberries, raspberries and bananas. My personal favorite combination is blueberries, cherries and banana. Find your favorite combo! If you are using a traditional blender, a carrot will be helpful for pushing your frozen fruit down the sides of the blender. This will give you a more efficient blend. For a soft serve ice cream consistency, the blending time is short. Do not over blend.

Note: The blueberries are important for getting the chocolate color when combined with the green "sludge," so use plenty of blues. The best blues are frozen wild blueberries. 

4. Now decorate your Happy Shake. I like some raw cacao nibs. You can also top with goji berries, shredded coconut, mulberries or fresh local bee pollen.

Associate Editor at StyleBistro. I'm most likely writing, indulging my sweet tooth, or pretending to be Beyoncé. Follow me: Google
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