As the saying goes "you are what you eat." Sure, we all know that if we eat too many fried, fattening foods we will gain weight and probably not feel too great. But did you know that by choosing certain foods, you can actually change your appearance from the inside out? Foods high in phytochemicals, antioxidants and certain fats all contribute to glowing skin, shiny hair and strong teeth and nails.
For Smooth Skin:Vitamin C found in citrus fruits, broccoli, peppers and berries activate fibroblast cells, which makes collagen. The healthier your collagen, the firmer and smoother your skin looks. Keep in mind, studies have shown that women who are deficient in vitamin C tend to bruise much easier. Eat dark orange, red or green fruit and veggies which are filled with beta-carotene, an antioxidant that converts to vitamin A, which is imperative for producing new and young-looking skin cells.
For Shiny Hair:Fill your plates with lean proteins like turkey, chicken and egg whites. Hair is made up of protein called keratin, so it makes sense that getting enough of it is essential for healthy, beautiful locks.
In addition, the mineral biotin found in eggs, almonds, bananas and strawberries helps to produce keratin, which has also been shown to prevent graying and hair loss.
For Pearly Whites:Not only does calcium create cavity-resistant tooth enamel, but it also helps maintains the enamel so teeth stay strong. Aim to consume three servings of low-fat dairy products daily, such as low-fat cheeses, yogurt and skim milk. For all you lactose intolerant people, don't fret - broccoli and strawberries contain as much calcium as their dairy counterparts.
For Nice Nails:Zinc, more commonly known as "the acne terminator" also helps keep nails strong and prevent white spots. Great sources of zinc are oysters, eggs and nuts. Load up on spinach, broccoli, lettuce and avocado - which are all filled with folic acid. Folic acid is necessary for nail growth and strength.
** Not only does water help to move toxins through and out of your body more quickly, it also keeps skin plump and dewy, and prevents hair and nails from becoming dry and brittle. For an additional bonus, drink Fiji Water which is the only water that contains natural minerals like silica. Silica improves the condition of hair and nails, the texture and resiliency of skin, and is needed to make strong healthy bones and to keep your blood vessels elastic.
Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD is a nutritionist and founder of
. She is also the creator of The F-Factor DietaC/, an innovative nutritional program she has used for more than ten years to provide hundreds of her clients with all the tools they need to achieve easy weight loss and maintenance, improved health and well-being. For more information log onto