Since we were young, we’ve been told to eat our vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables—and for good reason. Calorie for calorie, they are the rock stars of nutrition, offering a bonanza of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, including lutein. But how good would it be if you could eat foods that may help reduce acne?
Turns out, vitamins A and E are basic antioxidants vital for health, but studies show that when combined with zinc they may help support treatment measures to get rid of acne.
Vitamin A helps our vision, genes, immune function and gives us great skin. Vitamin E helps prevent oxidative stress, protects our eyes, may help reduce inflammation and acts as an antioxidant to help prevent cancer and heart disease. Zinc helps build our body’s proteins and immune system and acts as a neurotransmitter to help cells communicate throughout our body.
The current percentage daily (%DV) for vitamin A is 5,000 IU, and you can get good doses in butternut squash (22,868 IU per cup), Swiss chard (10,717 IU per cup cooked) and cooked spinach (18,865 IU per cup). Paprika, sweet potatoes and carrots pack even more. Current %DV for vitamin E is 20 milligrams and good sources are found in cooked spinach (6.7 milligrams per cup), Swiss chard (3.31 milligrams per cup) and sunflowers seeds, as well as paprika, almonds and peanuts. Current %DV for zinc is 15 milligrams. Good plant sources are roasted pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, roasted peanuts, fortified cereals, rice bran and even cooked spinach contains some zinc.
Super-Duper Easy Recipe: Gingered Spinach, Chard and Butternut Squash
Makes 6 Servings – Serving Size: ½ cup
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided into 2 teaspoons, 4 teaspoons
2 cups butternut squah, peeled, seeded and small dice (about 1 ½-pounds squash)
½ teaspoon salt, divided
½ teaspoon black pepper, coarsely ground, divided
4 cups spinach, stems removed, firm packed
4 cups Swiss chard, ribbing removed, julienne or chiffonade cut, firm packed (about 2 bunches)
2 tablespoons fresh garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
In 6-quart pot, heat 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, add butternut squash and season with half the salt and pepper. Sauté until tender, about 10 minutes, remove from pan and set aside. Using a low flame, heat remaining oil. Then add garlic and ginger. As soon as the garlic and ginger begins to become aromatic, about one minute, add spinach and Swiss chard, stirring to coat the greens, and season with remaining salt and pepper. Sauté greens while stirring frequently for about 5 minutes or until tender. Then add squash, mix together and serve.
Not only will this recipe help banish acne, but it will also power your body with a treasure trove of nutrients to keep you looking and feeling great.
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