It’s true: “You are what you eat.” Food can’t substitute for the perfect eyeliner or lip gloss, but defying aging and looking your best even without makeup takes proper nourishment. A diet that is rich in fiber, lean proteins, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats can naturally boost your beauty:
Hair is made up of protein, so it makes sense that getting enough of it is essential for healthy, beautiful locks. Protein is also a component of collagen, which is responsible for the structure of your skin. For smooth skin and strong, glossy hair, eating lean protein is the way to go.
Protein also builds up keratin, the substance nails are made of - getting enough through your diet helps keep them strong and moisturized. Aim to get about 20 percent of your daily calories from lean protein, such as lean chicken or turkey.
Build-up of toxins in the bloodstream is the main cause of breakouts. High fiber foods act as a natural detox that soaks up those toxins and flushes them out of the body before they show up as blemishes. Go for whole grains such as brown rice, whole wheat and buckwheat.
The omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon aren’t just good for your heart; they’re also great for your skin. Omega-3s decrease inflammation and improve blood circulation, helping to prevent wrinkles and produce a luminous glow. A study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that elderly people who ate more fish and veggies over their lifetime had fewer wrinkles.
The omega-3s in salmon and other cold water fish also provide natural oil that helps prevent drying of the scalp and hair.
Sip Green Tea
One cup of green tea contains more antioxidant activity than a serving of broccoli, spinach, carrots, or strawberries. These antioxidants reduce the harmful effects of free radicals, which cause damage to the skin cells and other cells in the body.
Strawberries have more vitamin C per serving than oranges and grapefruits. Our body uses vitamin C to produce sebum, an oily substance secreted by the hair follicles that acts as a natural hair conditioner.
Vitamin C promotes healthy skin, too. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition associated vitamin C with fewer wrinkles and less skin dryness. Vitamin C also helps reduce inflammation that causes puffy eyes.
Detox With Water
Staying well-hydrated with water not only helps flush away toxins, it keeps skin plump and dewy, plus it prevents hair and nails from becoming brittle. Aim to drink eight 8-oz glasses of water a day.
Tanya Zuckerbrot MS, RD, is a nationally known registered dietitian based in New York and the creator of a proprietary high-fiber nutrition program for weight loss, wellness and for treating various medical conditions. Tanya authored the bestselling weight loss book The F-Factor Diet, and she is the first dietitian with a national line of high-fiber foods, which are sold under the F-Factor name. Become a fan of Tanya on Facebook, follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn, and visit her website Ffactor.com.
Tanya Zuckerbrot MS, RD, is a Registered Dietitian in New York City and the author of two bestselling diet books: The F-Factor Diet and The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with Fiber.