They say that youth is often wasted on the young and that we can’t appreciate great skin and a fast metabolism until we get older, both of which eventually move in a direction we wish they didn’t. So, in the wide world of nutritional benefits, it doesn’t hurt to add some foods to enhance our beauty as well, right? In addition to the expensive skin creams, treatments and potions, food can make a huge difference on your complexion, hair and nails. In this article, I want to share five foods that you should include in your “eating pretty” diet!
You may already been spending lots of cash on vitamin C to put on your body, but what about putting it in your body as well? In 2007, a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that a higher dietary intake of Vitamin C was associated with a decreased likelihood of wrinkles.
To get more Vitamin C on your daily menu, think beyond your morning glass of orange juice and go for some additional (yet excellent) sources of Vitamin C such as papaya, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and bell peppers. You could throw all of these in a stir-fry for a tasty meal. Or, toss them in a salad. Also, even frozen fruits make delicious tropical smoothies.
Oysters are a fabulous source of the trace mineral zinc. While zinc is important for proper growth and development, as well as wound healing, it may also play a key role in helping to promote great skin by boosting collagen production.
Additionally, studies have found that zinc may help prevent or improve acne by controlling excess oil production as well. During the summer months, oysters can be grilled for a different, yet satisfying BBQ treat.
This tasty green leafy vegetable is highly versatile and can be a useful ingredient in many recipes. It may also have a beautifying effect on both hair and skin as it contains high amounts of biotin, a b-complex vitamin that has been associated with positive beauty attributes.
Swiss chard is also high in vitamins A, K and C, which all happen to be vitamins associated with anti-aging agents.
If you’re a fan of edamame, you’re in luck! While most of us correlate omega-3 fatty acids with fish, you could get plenty of plant-based omega-3 in walnuts, flax seed and soybeans.
It has been well documented that soybeans can help lower cholesterol and reduce both waist size and the risk for high blood pressure. Did you know that they can also provide radiant, glowing skin? The omega-3 fatty acids in soybeans have been shown to help fight against inflammation (a real beauty bummer) and help skin look younger as well by avoiding dryness.
Brazil nuts are a goldmine of selenium, a trace mineral essential for good health in many ways and great skin. But don’t eat gobs of them. One of the most important things you should know about selenium is that only a small amount provides powerful antioxidants shown to help prevent the formation of free radicals (free radicals can make us not too pretty).
On the other hand, too much selenium can cause hair loss, discoloration of skin or blotchy fingernail beds. You only need small amounts of selenium to prevent a deficiency, and most Americans are getting plenty in their diets. A couple Brazil nuts or a serving of salmon should be all you need to reap the benefits.
Kristin Kirkpatrick, MS, RD, LD is a Registered Dietitian and wellness manager for the Cleveland Clinic’s Lifestyle 180 program. Besides working with individual patients, she supports projects of community- and workplace wellness. For more information, please visit the Cleveland Clinic Lifestyle 180 program.
This article has been reposted with permission by the Huffington Post
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