So before getting into it I’ll make the usual challenge of $5 off any purchase to anyone who names the song and artist that title is from. I make that type of offer a lot and I’m continually surprised when no one takes me up on it. (I find chastising is an effective way to begin so as to engage the reader.)
Now let’s get into the meat of this article (calm down veggies). They say “beauty’s but skin deep”. I’m not sure exactly what that means but I’ve heard it and using quotes is another way to engage the reader and to make yourself look intelligent. They also say that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” so according to these two sources it can be found either in the skin or the eye. Of course I’ve misunderstood things before. But there’s one place I know it can’t be found and that’s wolfing down half pound angus burgers from Mickie D’s every day or so. Yes, we’re a beauty obsessed culture. But I believe there’s a big difference between real beauty and the cookie cutter, surgically enhanced ideal put forth by pop culture. There is beauty in all of us and unfortunately, most often it is our own attitude and lifestyle that restrains it. Fortunately there are some very simple ways you can go about choosing the right foods that can give you clear skin, shiny hair, a brighter smile and bring out the most beautiful you possible.
Omega-3 fatty acids help decrease inflammation, aid in treating psoriasis (an inflammatory skin condition) and improve blood circulation which produces a healthy glow. One study in Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that elderly people who had eaten more fish and veggies over their lifetime had fewer wrinkles. The best source of omega-3s is fish; Wild salmon, sardines, Atlantic mackerel and herring.
Fill your diet with color. Dark orange, red or green fruit and vegetables like carrots, butternut squash, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and spinach all contain a high level of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that converts to vitamin A in your body and switches on DNA that’s in charge of producing new skin cells and shedding old ones. This keeps the surface of your skin smooth, fresh-looking and resistant to irritants and damage. Beta-carotene also destroys free radicals that cause DNA mutations that can lead to wrinkles. Many of these fruits and veggies can be juiced or blended while maintaining their nutritional integrity.
Dairy products, especially yogurt, are a great source of calcium but did you know that all green, leafy vegetables contain calcium. Great sources are kale and collards, beets and turnip tops and of course broccoli (all of which can be juiced). Calcium is important for teeth and a beautiful smile. It creates cavity-resistant tooth enamel when you’re young and maintains it as an adult to keep your teeth strong. Studies show that people who get enough calcium are less likely to have severe gum disease.
Zinc is a critical beauty enhancer, contributing to nearly every enzyme in your skin, including those that help create collagen and produce new cells. It also aids in healing wounds and there’s some evidence that the anti-inflammatory properties in zinc supplements play a role in calming skin conditions such as acne. Both zinc and iron are key to cell production in hair follicles so a deficiency in either nutrient could also cause hair to thin or even fall out. Your nails benefit from zinc and iron as well. Whole grains, fortified cereals, lean beef and oysters are great sources of zinc and iron.
Dark chocolate, sunflower seeds and green tea are packed with antioxidants that protect skin from free radicals. Sunflower seeds have tons of vitamin E which blocks free radicals from attacking the membranes so cells stay alive. Compounds found in green tea can suppress agents that trigger inflammation and both green tea and dark chocolate provide powerful antioxidants known as polyphenols. Regular intake of polyphenols found in cocoa may keep skin hydrated and lessen the effects of a sunburn; researchers aren’t sure why but speculate that it has to do with the polyphenols’ ability to increase blood flow to the skin.
Strawberries, citrus, red bell peppers and broccoli are all loaded with vitamin C which triggers fibroblast cells that make collagen, the support system under the skin’s surface. The healthier your infrastructure of collagen, the firmer and smoother your skin will look.
Now… go be gorgeous.