Have you ever thought of nutrition as a way to look after your skin and hair? We've compiled a handy list of the top foods to include on your beauty shopping list below.
It’s always worth remembering that there's an abundance of 'dis-comfort' food around; that refined sugar causes glycation and premature ageing of your skin and cells.
The one good thing a day rule is a great one to have in mind - whether that's one portion of cruciferous veg, or one meal that's a plate full of rainbow-coloured salad and vegetables.
Instead of refined sugar, try sweetening desserts with raw honey, and if you need your sweet tooth satisfied, you could whizz up an avocado and cacao mousse - which tastes as good as a more traditional chocolate mousse but is much better for your skin and hair. Friends, family and kids will love it too.
If you can add one of the following to just one meal a day over the next few weeks, you will notice a difference to your skin and hair, as well as your energy levels:
Packed with antioxidants, these tasty berries will give your skin extra protection against the skin-damaging free radicals that result from stress and over-exercising as well as protecting your skin from sun damage.
2. Green vegetables
Kale is incredibly good for you and as a cruciferous veg it's wonderful for balancing hormones. It's actually delicious lightly tossed in olive oil and oven baked until slightly crispy, and it's divine paired with fresh garlic and snuck into a stir fry. It's barely noticeable in a smoothie, if you hide it behind lots of sweet green apples (recipe below).
One serving of kale has 130 mg of vitamin C - that is one day’s vitamin C needs in a single serving! Broccoli, olives, spinach and even Brussels sprouts contain natural antioxidants that remove the harmful substances which destroy cells and lead to premature skin ageing.
3. Dairy Products
Before you cut dairy from your diet, consider the fact that kefir, yoghurt and fermented baked milk are simply irreplaceable for skin beauty. They contain beneficial bifidobacteria which are necessary for good gut health and will help slow the appearance of new wrinkles as they contain a protein that promotes the production of collagen.
4. Red & Orange Vegetables
Carrots, apricots, pumpkin and tomatoes are rich in beta-carotene which helps to protect your skin from harmful UV rays (although never skip sunscreen), prevents wrinkles and improves your health from within, as well as being vital for hair and skin beauty. A good rule of thumb is to eat the rainbow - the more colour on your plate every day, the better for your skin and hair.
There's a reason why models snack on nuts; they're known as the food of eternal youth. Brazil nuts, pistachios and hazelnuts are all packed with nutrients which are vital for skin cell renewal. They’re also rich in the shine boosting nutrient Selenium which means glossy hair too.
6. Fish & Seafood
Packed with iodine, full of protein and omega-3 oils, it's worth opting for fish instead of meat several times a week. Besides, stir fried king prawns in garlic, a spicy tuna salad or a lovely fresh side of sea bass baked in Himalayan sea salt with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice are pretty hard to beat and super-easy to make.
Seafood keeps you younger for longer and is a powerhouse of beauty vitamins, fatty acids and trace elements that will give your skin an undeniably healthy glow. Recent scientific studies even suggest that they will even help you live longer.
7. Acidic Fruits & Berries
Cherries, strawberries, blackcurrants, persimmons, cranberries and pomegranates are all rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, plus they protect the skin from free radicals and help to form collagen.
8. Vegetable Oil
Extra virgin olive oil is known for being one of the reasons that people in Italy are said to live for longer and have less disease than the majority of countries. Mix your extra virgin olive oil with balsamic vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice and smother your salads, vegetables and fresh fish with it as a simple dressing.
As an added extra, lots of people use olive oil to shave their legs!
9. Try a delicious skin food smoothie
This recipe is a nutritional powerhouse that even the fussiest eater will love. Called 'The Bodyguard' it's the easy way to ensure you're getting essential goodness your skin and hair need to look fantastic.
To the uninitiated it might sound suspiciously green and mean, but trust us, it's delicious.
Method: Take one handful of fresh spinach (or two frozen cubes), an equal amount of kale, two small sweet apples - chopped and peeled, a quarter to a half of a cucumber, some peeled and chopped ginger root plus an equal amount of turmeric. Throw in a liquidiser with a cup of coconut water, or bottled spring water and whizz until smooth. If you want to add a teaspoon of spirulina, chia seeds or any superfood powder that you have to hand then do but be careful not to throw off the sweetness of the apples.
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