You are what you eat. That old adage rings true even today as the outside is often a mirror for what’s going on inside. A well-balanced diet with a variety of foods and nutrients is the best approach if you want to look gorgeous every day. Here, we track down some of the best beauty-boosting foods.
When it comes to keeping skin firm and supple, two proteins – collagen and elastin – play a vital role. These building blocks for the skin structure work together to provide the skin elasticity and youthful glow that symbolise youthfulness. By choosing protein-rich foods we provide the amino acids and nutrients our skin needs for tissue repair and the construction of new tissue. Protein is also a powerful skin healer and acts as the support for skin, hair and nails.
To get your protein fix, you can eat chicken breast, white-fleshed fish, lean beef, pork loin, egg whites, shrimps, and non-meat items like tofu, Greek yoghurt, cottage cheese beans, peas and lentils. For the quickest way to increase your protein intake in your diet, east chicken breast. Chicken breast meat has one of the highest amount of protein: It contains 32.1 g of protein in 100 g of chicken breast meat.
Brittle nails and hair that breaks easily can be a sign that you’re not eating enough selenium-rich foods. For a quick fix grab a couple of Brazil nuts for your next snack. These large nuts are one of the richest food sources of the mineral, selenium, which is an essential nutrient good for repair and growth. Two Brazil nuts a day is enough to boost your levels.
Thinning hair doesn’t only happen to men, but there’s a lot you can do to keep your locks in good condition. Start by boosting your levels of biotin (vitamin B7). This little known B-complex vitamin may aid keratin production, a protein that keeps hair – and nails – strong. Without adequate levels of biotin, hair and nails become weak and prone to breaking and snapping.
Breakfast on smashed avocado and smoked salmon and you’ll be feeding your skin EFAs – essential fatty acids like omega-6 and omega-3. Our skin needs both for improved hydration, texture and softness. EFAs also encourage production of essential skin protein collagen. Without EFAs our skin, hair, and nails tend towards dryness. EFAs also are known for their anti-inflammatory and immune-regulating properties. So women who suffer from eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis may find them helpful.
DRINK: Green Tea
Have a cuppa and make sure it’s green tea, or snack on blueberries. They contain the antioxidant vitamins C and E, which help protect skin against UV radiation damage, the cause of fine lines and discolouration. Vitamin C also helps the skin to heal after an injury.
DRINK: Coconut Water
Coconut contains kinetin which keeps the fruit young despite the fact that it’s under the sun all day long in tropical countries. Kinetin has the exact same effect on our body and keeps us young longer. To help the body absorb its properties, try drinking coconut water, which contains naturally-occurring electrolytes. Coco Life offers the convenience of drinking coconut water extracted straight from the nut in an all new 1-litre packaging.
EAT: Raw Cacao
Rich in antioxidants, raw cacao can protect your cells from free radicals and the aging process. It also contains magnesium, iron, chromium, manganese, zinc, copper and phosphorus, which are all very important minerals in supporting healthy skin and hair.
Keep your blood sugar stable, your cortisol under control and inflammation at bay by eating plenty of the healthy fibre found in apples and beets, and you’ll also keep your skin taut and youthful. As an added bonus, fibre also helps regulate digestion and aid the elimination of toxins, so you can be light, bright and beautiful.
EAT (or apply): Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is a powerful anti-inflammatory that can be used in your food preparations and topically on your skin. Used in your food, it will heal your gut and promote good general health. Used directly on your skin, it has impressive healing properties. You can apply it on wounds, cuts, sunburns, and other skin issues to notice the benefits quickly.
EAT: Colourful Fruits and Veggies
That’s because fruits and veggies get their vibrant colours from the antioxidants and phytochemicals they contain. Eating a wide variety of colourful foods won’t just make your plate look beautiful — it will also ensure you’re getting the full spectrum of beautifying nutrients like vitamins A, C and E, in your daily diet.
Text: Bauersyndication.com.au / Additional Reporting: Natalya Molok and Simone Wu