Yum Chai Smoothie

The Beauty Chef - Yum Chai Smoothie

 

SERVES 2

To celebrate the relaunch of our BODY Inner Beauty Powder, we’ve created the ultimate Yum Chai Smoothie. Now containing fermented hemp and shiitake mushroom, we’ve supercharged our favourite protein and wellness powder – for even more gut-loving goodness. Enjoy for breakfast for the perfect protein hit, or sip mid-afternoon to help curb any sweet cravings.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 frozen banana, sliced
  • 2 scoops vanilla BODY Inner Beauty Powder
  • 2 cups almond milk (or non-dairy milk of your choice)
  • 1/4 cup macadamia nuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1 pinch turmeric
  • 4 ice cubes, made using filtered water

METHOD

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth and serve.

 

What’s your favourite smoothie combination? We’d love to know!

The best anti-ageing nutrients

The Beauty Chef - The best anti-ageing nutrients


There’s no shortage of topical lotions and beauty potions promising age-defying results. But there are no shortcuts. Radiant skin requires robust inner health and a lacklustre complexion can be a sign we need to pay more attention to what’s happening on the inside.

The speed at which our skin and other cells age is influenced by both extrinsic and intrinsic factors including sun exposure and ultraviolet radiation, smoking, environmental pollution, stress, inflammation, sleep deprivation, and poor nutrition. This means that we can help protect our skin from age-related damage by exercising regularly, avoiding excessive sun exposure, maintaining a healthy weight and having a balanced, low-stress lifestyle.

But to look healthy and radiant for our age, we also need to feed our skin from within. Research shows that nourishing your skin with a nutrient-rich, anti-inflammatory diet can help to minimise some of the visible signs of ageing. In fact, a study conducted by Dutch researchers and published in the Journal of American Academy of Dermatology found a correlation between a healthy diet and fewer facial wrinkles.

Cultivating radiant, well-hydrated and healthy skin therefore requires a well-balanced, wholefoods diet rich in phytonutrients (plant compounds), antioxidants (from brightly-coloured fruits and vegetables), vitamins, minerals and macronutrients such as healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, lean protein plus prebiotics and probiotics.

Here are some skin-loving vitamins and minerals to eat daily …

 

Vitamin A: Everyone knows vitamin A is essential for healthy vision, but it’s also a powerful antioxidant that’s important for skin renewal and can help to protect our skin from free radical damage, UV radiation and deliver a healthy glow. Animal sources of vitamin A include cod liver oil, liver, egg yolks, and organic butter. While plant sources of vitamin A include orange and yellow fruits and vegetables such as mangoes, papaya, pumpkin, carrots, sweet potatoes and also green leafy vegetables. As vitamin A is fat-soluble, make sure you eat these foods with a little healthy fat. And remember, wholefood sources are always best.

 

Vitamin C: Found in citrus fruits, rosehip, strawberries, pomegranates, broccoli, spinach and parsley, vitamin C is famous for boosting our immunity. But vitamin C is also essential for collagen production, which supports skin structure and helps repair age-related damage.

 

Vitamin D: This vitamin is actually a hormone that we synthesise through safe sun exposure (remember, you only need a few minutes a day). It keeps our bones and teeth strong, plus our skin cells and hair follicles healthy, all of which help to keep us looking and feeling youthful. Dietary sources of vitamin D can be found in fatty fish such as salmon, sardines and mackerel, egg yolks and fortified breakfast cereals and dairy products. The Beauty Chef’s bio-fermented BODY Inner Beauty Powder also contains organic shiitake mushrooms which provide 50 per cent of your daily intake of vitamin D!

 

Vitamin E: Vitamin E is a powerful family of fat-soluble antioxidant compounds which may help to protect skin cells from free radical damage caused by excessive sun exposure, and assist in wound healing. Find vitamin E in walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, legumes, leafy greens, avocados, vegetables, and sunflower seeds.

 

Vitamin K: Another fat-soluble vitamin, vitamin K is essential for blood clotting, but research has also linked vitamin K deficiency to skin wrinkling because it plays a role in protecting elastin. You can find it in green leafy vegetables, lacto-fermented foods such as sauerkraut and natto as well as grass-fed butter, ghee and animal foods.

 

Minerals.

While minerals don’t get as much attention as vitamins, they’re also important beauty nutrients. Key minerals to include in our diet include calcium – from green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds and tinned fish with bones – for beautiful hair, skin, nails and bones.

Magnesium is involved in more than 300 enzymatic processes in the body, including DNA replication and the synthesis of glutathione – our body’s master antioxidant. Some of the best sources of magnesium include green leafy veggies, nuts, seeds, seaweed and raw cacao.

Another powerful anti-ageing mineral is zinc which assists in wound healing and collagen synthesis, as well as calming inflammation – all good reasons to eat oysters, red meat and pumpkin seeds.

While slow-healing wounds, saggy skin, brittle nails and fine hair may indicate you need more of the trace mineral silica in your diet (found in celery, asparagus and strawberries), selenium also supports glutathione production, aids healing and may have photoprotective benefits. Find selenium in brown rice, eggs and Brazil nuts.

 

What are your favourite beauty nutrients? Let us know in the comments below!

The power of medicinal mushrooms

The Beauty Chef - The power of medicinal mushrooms

 

You could call mushrooms the original superfood – as they’ve been used to support human health for thousands of years. The Ancient Greeks believed mushrooms gave their warriors strength in battle, the Romans called them the ‘food of the gods’, the Chinese believed they were the ‘elixir of life’, while the Egyptians thought they promoted longevity and Japanese emperors used them as aphrodisiacs.

 

Today, mushrooms are also widely used in Western medicine including in the antibiotic penicillin, the immunosuppressant cyclosporine and also in anti-cholesterol drugs.  

While research into exactly how mushrooms support and modulate the immune system is ongoing, it’s thought that certain chemical compounds such as bioactive polysaccharides (plant chemicals) in some mushrooms may help to stimulate the immune system. It’s these high levels of polysaccharides that give medicinal mushrooms their superfood status as they exhibit a broad range of bioactivities including anti-inflammatory, blood sugar regulating, anti-ulcer and immune-stimulating effects.

 

Of course, the benefits vary widely as mushrooms contain a huge diversity of biomolecules with medicinal properties – and there is still much to learn. It’s estimated that so far, scientists have only identified 10–15 per cent of the 140,000 species of mushroom that are estimated to exist on earth. That means there could still be thousands of undiscovered species of mushrooms which could be beneficial to human health.

WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR

Shiitake, maitake, porcini and oyster mushrooms all contain high concentrations of powerful antioxidants including ergothioneine (ERGO) as well as glutathione (our body’s master antioxidant) – making them an excellent dietary source of antioxidants.

 

Recent research also suggests that edible mushrooms may act as prebiotics that feed our good gut microbiota. In fact, in a recent study of mice, it was found that the humble white button mushroom increases microbial diversity and reduces potentially pathogenic bacteria – for example Clostridia – in the GI tract.

 

And, in another study published in Nature, it was suggested that a medicinal mushroom used in Chinese medicine called Ganoderma Lucidum (also known as Reishi or Lingzhi), helped to reduce body weight, inflammation, and insulin resistance by altering the composition of gut microbiota in mice fed a high-fat diet.

 

While around 380 species of mushrooms have been proven to possess medicinal properties already, even the more common, non-medicinal mushrooms we can buy in our local supermarket offer a multitude of health benefits.

 

Edible mushrooms are highly nutritious, rich in protein, essential amino acids, fibre and carbohydrates – plus, they’re low in fat and cholesterol-free. They also contain significant amounts of vitamins B1, B2, B12, C, D and E and minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, iron, zinc and copper.

 

If you’re vegan or vegetarian, mushrooms also provide a non-animal, unfortified food source of vitamin D. Just make sure you source mushrooms that have been grown in sunlight or exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation – or, leave them outside in the sun for half an hour to charge them with vitamin D.

 

With so many benefits, it’s no wonder why mushrooms are turning up in everything from smoothies and hot chocolates to raw desserts!

 

Have you added medicinal mushrooms to your wellness routine?

Get gutsy with Carla | How did you start The Beauty Chef?

The Beauty Chef - Get gutsy with Carla: How did you start The Beauty Chef?

 

My whole philosophy – that beauty begins in the belly – truly stems from my own story.

 

The evolution of The Beauty Chef was a very organic one. It’s interesting how one can veer off into a career that wasn’t planned, but naturally develops through a personal need, interest and passion.  And now, I find myself deeply immersed and in love with what I do – and born with the last name of Oates, it feels like working in health and wholefoods was always meant to be!

 

Nearly 20 years ago, 10 years before launching The Beauty Chef, I had been working as a beauty editor for a mainstream newspaper and I became concerned with the number of toxic chemicals in skincare. I had always been interested in holistic health and wellbeing, so I started researching natural alternatives and the benefits of looking after your skin with clean ingredients and plant compounds that can rejuvenate the skin from the inside, out. I made the decision to start writing only about natural and organic health and beauty.

 

As a child, I’d also had eczema and allergies and as a teenager, I worked with a naturopath who dramatically changed my diet. This had a profound impact on my skin so early on, I began to understand the link between what we eat and how it can affect the skin.

 

Then, about 12 years ago, my own daughter began experiencing similar skin issues as well as allergies so that led me to research what might be causing them. After investigating various studies that looked at what we eat and how food affects the gut as well as our skin, I put my family on a gut-healing protocol. As part of this, I started including probiotic-rich, lacto-fermented wholefoods in our diet regularly. This had a huge impact on my daughter’s skin and the wellbeing of the whole family. When my friends began to ask why my skin always looked so ‘glowy’, I realised the power of the gut/skin connection.

 

This was really the birth of The Beauty Chef, as from there, I began experimenting with different ingredients in my kitchen at home, lacto-fermenting a selection of skin-loving superfoods, and eventually, I created my first inner beauty product – GLOW Inner Beauty Powder.

 

GLOW was born from a need for a real solution to skin and health issues. While what we put on our skin definitely influences its health (and within topical skincare there is a huge difference between products that are healthy for the skin and those that are not), I am a big believer that beauty comes from within.


What we eat has an incredible medicinal effect on our bodies and glowing skin is basically a reflection of healthy cells and what’s going in our gut, so by nourishing ourselves from within, we can experience a radiance that no amount of cosmetics can replicate.

 

The Beauty Chef products are designed to do just that, nourish our gut, our cells and our skin. I work closely with an amazing team of microbiologists, nutritionists and naturopaths to bring to you products that are complex and efficacious, but delicious and easy to take. I hope you enjoy them.

Best, Carla x

 

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