While we often think of the bathroom cabinet as the place where all our beauty essentials are kept, many of them are actually found in the kitchen and pantry instead. Eating for beauty means nourishing your skin, hair and nails from the inside out, with a balanced diet that’s abundant in nutrient-rich foods. Let’s open up our “beauty pantry” and see what delicious beauty-boosting foods are in store!
These crunchy nuts are a great source of vitamin E, which is vital to skin health. Snacking on almonds protects the skin against free radicals and oxidative damage, keeping your complexion youthful and healthy. Munch on raw whole almond nuts or spread natural nut butter over almond slices, for a wholesome skin-boosting treat.
A B-vitamin that helps to keep skin in tip-top condition, relieving rashes, eczema and dryness. As a daily supplement, biotin is particularly great for the summer months, as it helps to prevent skin damage from exposure to chlorine and salt. It’s a must-have for those who spend time in the pool or the ocean! Research also shows that biotin can improve the strength and thickness of your nails.
The US Department of Agriculture ranks blueberries number one for antioxidant activity, compared to 40 other popular fruits and vegetables. The antioxidants found so abundantly in blueberries protect your skin from premature ageing; a truly tasty way to keep your skin looking young and beautiful.
Possibly the best news ever – chocolate is a great beauty-boosting food! Chocolate in its real, raw form (cacao) is packed full of magnesium; this mineral is known for keeping your muscles healthy, but it also promotes clear, beautiful skin and prevents acne and irritation. So while ordinary sugary chocolate snacks cause breakouts, raw rich dark cacao-based chocolate actually prevents them! Cacao is also a great source of age-defying antioxidants.
These little seeds pack a big nutritional punch, with protein, fibre and omega-3 fatty acids. Omegas reduce inflammation, supporting smooth and healthy skin. Plus they absorb up to10 times their weight in water, so they keep you feeling fuller for longer, which really helps to keep your weight in check and your figure looking fab.
The unique fatty acid profile of coconut oil makes it an ultra-nourishing food that gives your skin a glow from the inside out. Meanwhile coconut water is the ultimate natural source of electrolytes, hydrating your body which means you’re left with a smooth, healthy and radiant complexion.
Broccoli, kale and spinach are a must-have for gorgeous silky and shiny hair. They’re full of vitamins C and A, which your body needs to produce sebum; the “natural conditioner” secreted by the hair follicles. More greens mean more shine and strength for your locks, while the vitamin C boosts collagen and improves skin texture.
A cup of green tea, rich in polyphenols and antioxidants, is just what your skin needs for an added glow. The antioxidant content helps to combat sun damage and free radical damage, effectively slowing the signs of ageing. This clear, clean nutrient-rich tea also helps to keep your complexion blemish-free.
Strawberries, oranges and papaya and jam-packed with vitamin C, which improves collagen production. Collagen is the structural protein found in your connective tissues; a higher abundance of healthy collagen means firmer, plumper and younger-looking skin. Vitamin C–rich foods help to keep wrinkles and fine lines at bay; plus they have great antioxidant and skin-brightening benefits.
The tomato is one of the great vitamin C-packed fruits mentioned above; but it also deserves a special mention, because of its abundance of the antioxidant called lycopene. Packed with this anti-ageing nutrient, a tomato a day keeps wrinkles, lines and crow’s feet away. Plus lycopene has also been linked to a lower cancer risk. Here’s an interesting fact; the lycopene in tomatoes is actually easier for your body to absorb when the tomatoes are cooked or processed. So enjoy fresh-squeezed juices, pasta sauces and warming soups made with luscious ripe tomatoes.
These yummy nuts are another great source of like omega-3, vitamin E and amino acids. These nutrients are all associated with glowing skin and lustrous hair.
SOME DELISH BEAUTY-BOOSTING RECIPES
Here are a few creative and tasty ways to enjoy eating for beauty:
SKIN MOISTURE SMOOTHIE:
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor; blend until smooth.
- Serve & enjoy immediately.
GREEN TEA OATMEAL:
- Combine the boiling water with the green tea bag in a saucepan; let them steep for 5 minutes.
- Add the almond milk, oats & flax meal; turn the heat up to medium, & start stirring when the liquid starts to bubble.
- Cook for 5 min until the mixture is thick & sticky; remove from heat. Add a little extra milk or water if needed.
- Stir in 1Tbsp honey & 1tsp vanilla extract; leave the oatmeal to sit for a minute.
- Spoon the oatmeal into serving bowls, top with fresh fruit or nuts & enjoy.
TOMATO MELON SALSA:
- 1½ cups red onion, chopped
- 1 cup cantaloupe melon, chopped
- 1 cup watermelon, chopped
- 1-2 ripe tomatoes, seeded & chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded & chopped
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- Pinch of salt & ground black pepper, to taste
- Simply mix all ingredients together in a large bowl; season with salt & pepper.
- Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.