When we think of healthy diets, we often think about them in terms of how they effect the body's major organ systems. For instance, our immune, circulatory and digestive systems. However, the food we eat can also have a significant impact on the body's largest organ system, the skin. This Heirloom tomato, basil and seed salad is not only delicious but it's chock full of key nutrients necessary to help keep your skin healthy and vibrant at any age.
Nutrition and Skin Care
I'm close to entering into my final year in my 40's (what??!!) and I can't help but notice how rapidly my own skin is changing. Signs of aging, lines and wrinkles... they're a real thing now. While I can't undo the damage that's already been done to my skin (hello 80's and aluminum foil), I can certainly try to prevent any further damage from occurring.
Boosting your intake of certain nutrients can be it's own "fountain of youth".
Nutrition can play a key role in helping to reduce the signs of aging, dry lines and wrinkles.
I'm sure you've heard a lot about antioxidants.
Plant-foods contain a multitude of them.
But one particularly powerful antioxidant called lycopene, may be particularly beneficial for the skin. High levels of lycopene are found in fruits and vegetables that have a reddish/pink hue (watermelons, guava, papaya and tomatoes for example).
In addition to antioxidants, skin cells need certain fatty acids to help them hold on to water and stay hydrated (reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles). Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are types of essential fatty acids that help keep cells hydrated, as well as promote skin cell growth and repair. We can obtain them in a plant-based diet in the form of nuts and seeds, like sunflower and hemp (seeds I used in this week's recipe).
Salad Ingredients + Substitutions
Sometimes the best meals are made of just a few simple ingredients that are in season and at their best. Perfectly ripe, juicy and fresh from the farmers market these heirloom tomatoes were delicious on their own, but together with the basil and a sprinkle of some sunflower and hemp seeds a nutritious salad was born.
Here are some other great suggestions for substituting or adding to this recipe:
- Pumpkin seeds
- Pine nuts
- Flax seeds
- Any fresh or dried herbs you prefer
You'll be sporting a healthy glow not only because this salad is good for your skin, but because it's delicious, light, refreshing, AND it takes less than 5 minutes to prepare! What's better than that especially in the summer?!
If you enjoyed this recipe you may also like Tomato and Cumcumer Salad.
Heirloom Tomato and Basil Seed Salad
- about 4-5 heirloom tomatoes
- 2 tablespoon sunflower seeds
- 1 tablespoon hemp seeds
- pink himalayan salt or other coarse salt
- dash of pepper
- handful fresh basil roughly chopped
- Remove stems and slice tomatoes lengthwise.
- Sprinkle tomatoes with seeds.
- Season with salt, pepper and fresh basil.