Eating a healthful diet is important not only for maintaining a healthy weight and increasing your body’s energy and vitality, but also for enhancing your natural beauty. You don’t have to buy expensive lotions and creams that promise beauty and a better life in a bottle; all you have to do is open your fridge!
Eating foods rich in antioxidants and vitamins A, C, and E are essential to maintaining a healthy complexion, shiny hair, and strong nails.
- Antioxidants “remove the free radicals from your skin and body that cause you to age prematurely.” Simply put, they protect cells from damage and heal damaged cells. There are many types of antioxidants, and they all serve a specific purpose. For example, lycopene, which can be found in brightly colored red and orange foods, protects the skin from UV rays that “causes sunspots, dryness and wrinkles.” Pink grapefruits, cooked tomatoes, and watermelon are all excellent sources of lycopene. Other foods rich in antioxidants include berries, prunes, artichokes, butternut squash, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cooked spinach, legumes, nuts, green tea, and even red wine! The darker the food’s pigment, the higher the amount of nutrients and antioxidants.
- Vitamin A “helps revitalize skin by increasing cell turnover and encouraging new skin cell growth” by eliminating dry, scaly, rough skin. Vitamin A can be found in bright yellow and orange fruits and vegetables, but are highest in sweet potatoes, dark leafy greens (like kale and spinach), carrots, butternut squash, and apricots.
- Vitamin C is a powerful anti-inflammatory antioxidant that “boosts collagen production to smooth skin.” It helps firm the skin and improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and discoloration. Foods rich in Vitamin C are often red, orange, or green. Guava, red bell peppers, kale, broccoli, papaya, kiwi, and strawberries are all excellent sources of Vitamin C.
- Vitamin E keeps skin soft and moisturized by “promoting oil production.” This vitamin can be found in: seeds (especially sunflower seeds), nuts (such as almonds, pine nuts, and peanuts), plant oils like safflower oil, wheat germ, and avocados.
Consuming plenty of fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and water also play a key role in maintaining a youthful, healthy appearance. A healthy, happy digestive system = a healthy, glowing complexion.
- Fiber detoxifies the body regularly. Without a strong digestive system, the body isn’t able to absorb essential nutrients and properly eliminate waste, resulting in breakouts and a dull complexion.
- Omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish, chia and flaxseeds, and nuts) act as a natural moisturizer for dry skin and help brighten the complexion, reducing wrinkles and acne. They also promote growth and shine in hair and nails.
- Water keeps the skin hydrated with a youthful appearance by maintaining the skin’s elasticity.
Here’s a bonus: No matter what you eat or drink, you won’t fully reap the benefits unless you’re getting adequate sleep (7-8 hours daily) to refuel and rejuvenate the body. So rest up and be ready to wake up to healthier, glowing skin. Hey, they don’t call it beauty sleep for nothing! ;)
Source: Doctor Oz