Get Healthy Beautiful Skin from the Inside Out – Women’s Health Week

On May 10th, Mother’s Day kicked off the 16th annual National Women’s Health week. It’s a week to celebrate health and empower women to make their health a priority, something that often takes a backseat to being the main healers for their families. Here at the Food Studio we want to help you create a brighter you by showcasing some rainbow foods, packed with nutrients to help you glow from the inside out! Everybody wants beautiful skin!

Vitamin A

Vitamin A promotes cell turnover in skin and inhibits sebaceous gland activity. It is one of the most widely acknowledged nutrients for healthy skin. Deficiency can appear as dry, scaly skin, and one of the first symptoms is reddish bumps on the back of the arms.

Where Can I Get It?

Sweet potatoes  are not only a rich source of vitamin A, but some studies show their superior ability to also raise blood levels of this vitamin, meaning it is well absorbed by the body. Nutritional benefits may be easier to achieve if sweet potatoes are lightly cooked (steamed or boiled). Sweet potatoes come in many varieties with flesh that can range from orange to white and even purple. The orange variety is highest in pro-vitamin A, while the purple-fleshed ones have outstanding antioxidant activity. Whatever variety you can put your hands (and mouth) on, you can be sure it’s going to do wonders for you.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an umbrella term for eight different natural occurring nutrients known as tocopherols and tocotrienols, which are fat-soluble vitamins and potent antioxidants. It offers protection to our body membranes, with skin obviously being the largest! It is the most abundant fat-soluble antioxidant in the skin, where it prevents damage from sun exposure, helps to reduce aging and skin cancer risk from excessive UV radiation.

Where Can I Get It?

The foods with highest in vitamin E tend to be foods rich in fat. One of primary source is sunflower seeds. The best way to consume these seeds are in raw form to preserve these nutrients, as snack (trail mix anyone?) or sprinkled on a salad.


Zinc is an essential mineral that helps a number of critical enzymes do their job in our body. Even mild deficiency can have a negative impact on skin health surfacing as acne flare-ups and increased susceptibility to stretch marks. In skin, zinc assists in the proper structure of protein and cell membranes, improves wound healing, has anti-inflammatory effects, and protects against UV radiation. Zinc has been shown to increase the vitamin A levels in the blood, doing double duty for skin health.

Where Can I Get It?

Lentils are high in zinc and are easy and fast to cook! Lentils don’t require soaking before cooking but a good soak for 2-4 hours in cold water, then followed by a rinse, will eliminate the phytate covering which increases nutrient absorption and improves digestion. You can eat them in soups or cook them to add to a lentils salad or rice bowl.

Vitamin C

Probably best known as an antioxidant, vitamin C is a highly important nutrient for collagen production, a structural protein necessary for the stability of skin. Inadequate amounts of vitamin C manifests as rough, dry skin and keratinized (hardened) hair follicles. Increasing the amount of vitamin C in your diet can contribute to improved skin health, faster wound healing, and decreased water loss (maintaining hydration).

Where Can I Get It?

The best way to get vitamin C is to increase our intake of fresh fruits and vegetables. Exposure to heat degrades vitamin C in foods, so eating them raw or lightly cooked will maximize intake. Strawberries are a great source of this vitamin, and now that they are abundantly in season and delicious, there’s no excuse to not eat them by the handful! Did you know you can also score their skin benefits by applying strawberries on it?


Silica is a trace mineral, essential for maintaining the health of connective tissue, promoting skin cell production and skin hydration. A deficiency in silica could result in reduced elasticity and slow healing, so it is another tool for keeping skin youthful and slowing down the signs of aging.

Where Can I Get It?

Leeks, those thick spring onions, are a source of this mineral. Other than in leek soup, another great way to eat them is on this one pot meal.

Interested in learning more about how to get your glow? Try one of our upcoming Easy Raw Food at Home classes or the whole series where we cover the basics of how to make raw food prep in your home a breeze!

Curried Spiced Mashed Sweet Potatoes

What’s in it?

2 medium sweet potatoes, washed and pierced in the centre with fork

1 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely grated

½-1 teaspoon madras curry powder

½ teaspoon turmeric powder

Pinch of cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

How it’s Made:

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Place sweet potatoes on a low sided roasting pan and bake for 30-45 minutes or until soft (cut in half lengthwise and place down on pan).
  3. Remove potatoes from oven and allow to cool.
  4. slice in half, lengthwise and scoop out center flesh, leaving ¼ inch rim of sweet potato attached to skin (to hold it together).
  5. Place flesh in bowl and mix the remaining ingredients. Stir until soft and creamy.
  6. Serve hot.

You might also like