Minerals and enzymes are key elements that contribute to beautiful skin, nails and hair. These powerful substances are critical for proper cellular functioning. Minerals originate from the soil and are abundantly transferred to us through organic fruits and vegetables, which generally have better soil quality. Green plants are the source of a wide variety of minerals you need for superior beauty and nutrition. On the most basic level, enzymes are proteins that catalyze hundreds of different processes in the body. This includes breaking down fats, enhancing mental capacity, purifying the blood, and renewing aging skin.

The trick to assimilating more enzymes into our bodies is in consuming raw foods such as leafy greens, fruits and vegetables. All raw foods have live enzymes that when consumed, work for our bodies so we can reap the beauty benefits. Heat above 118 degrees kills these active enzymes, so we want to be aware of this when structuring your meals. You need some raw food in your diet, though you don’t have to eat all raw food. Certain enzymes are not activated until the right amounts of minerals are present. Equally, we need enzymes to organize and assimilate our beauty minerals. It is in this dynamic relationship that minerals and enzymes go hand in hand with one another.

Following the guidelines outlined in The Beauty Detox Solution make it easy to provide the body with essential minerals and enzymes it needs through nutrition. Enjoying a Glowing Green Smoothie (GGS) once a day, which will give you the raw nutrition you need in a delicious form on a daily basis, and having a diet high in greens is the optimal way to retain and absorb these key minerals and enzymes. Cooked vegetables and plant foods are beneficial too, but you should get that GGS in every day to ensure you get your raw quota.

Silicon: Silicon has incredible beautifying properties. It makes our hair thick, our nails strong and it strengthens connective tissues and bones to improve flexibility. Silicon can improve the appearance of wrinkles, and increase the resilience of your skin. It makes the skin glow and the eyes bright by targeting the connective tissue in your body. This beautifying mineral is essential for radiant vitality and health.

Foods: Cucumber, Bell peppers, Radish, Light leafy greens (cabbage, romaine lettuce), Tomatoes, Apples, Onions, Unrefined grains

Calcium: Calcium is a strengthening mineral in that it helps keep our bones strong and it prevents osteoporosis. Calcium maintains healthy teeth, keeps our posture upright, and it enables us to move with poise. In addition to bone benefits, calcium cleans our digestive tract and eases premenstrual syndrome.

Foods: Dark leafy greens (such as collard greens, turnips, kale, dandelion greens and spinach), Dried herbs, Sesame seeds, Flax seeds

Zinc: Zinc is a powerful mineral that works with the skin to keep it healthy by reducing acne and quickening the healing process for cuts or burns. It plays an important role in rebuilding collagen to make skin radiant, smooth and healthy. Zinc is known to prevent signs of aging and skin damage such as wrinkles and stretch marks.

Foods: Dried watermelon seeds, Organic raw dark chocolate, Raw pumpkin seeds, Pine nuts, Sesame seeds, Pecans, Rolled oats

Magnesium: Magnesium is an important mineral for human nutrition in that it serves the body in several metabolic processes. Over 300 different enzymes in the body rely on magnesium to keep your bowels regular and to cleanse and detoxify the body. It is found in your bones, muscles and bodily fluids and is not made naturally in our bodies.  Along with the beauty value, magnesium relaxes and calms you while keeping your blood circulating smoothly.

Foods: Raw broccoli, Plantain, Spinach, Sea vegetables, Banana, Cooked lentils, Avocado, Squash, Arugula, Swiss chard

Potassium: The essence of Potassium is all about balance. This mineral is integral in balancing pH levels, maintaining proper fluid levels and the balancing of other minerals, like sodium- which in excess amounts can dry out your skin or make it look puffy. Potassium-rich foods are important for good health because healthy levels of potassium encourage responsible waste elimination from the body and the assimilation of glucose for muscle energy.

Foods: Dried apricots, Brussels sprouts, Cantaloupe, Kiwi, Pear, Dried dates, Dried figs, Banana

Iron: Iron oxygenates blood, stimulating healthy blood circulation and resulting in a highly attractive glow in the skin. Iron also energizes you because it is responsible for transporting oxygen, (our cells’ “gasoline”) throughout the body. If iron levels are low, our body is not operating at the optimal level, resulting in a lagged and tired feeling.

Foods: Spinach, Artichoke, Squash Seeds, Dried Apricots, Pistachios, Raisins, Walnuts, Asparagus, Quinoa, Mushrooms, Beans

Beauty is found in detoxification. If there are fewer toxins in your body, then there is no need for your body to express them through pimples or acne. By making sure you are getting your daily dose of these vital beauty minerals, you will see a change in the strength of your body and the resilience of your skin. For more beauty foods or information about detoxing for beauty, check out chapters 5 and 6 of The Beauty Detox Solution.

Why not try out one of my recipes with all these wonderful ingredients, one of my personal favorites is the tabouli salad recipe!