We all want to look and feel more attractive, but expensive Botox and trips to the hair salon can leave us financially bruised. Instead try these grocery store foods that naturally enhance your appearance. Christi Reed, nutritionist at New Season’s Market, offers information about some of the best beauty foods.
Strawberries are packed full of vitamin C. Since vitamin C is crucial for collagen production, this delicious fruit helps defend against wrinkles and age-related dryness. Reed says to eat fresh strawberries because, “once we harvest that fruit, vitamin C starts to deteriorate quite rapidly.”
Strawberries also help fade dark spots caused by sun exposure. Your daily vitamin C requirements can be fulfilled by eating just 1 cup of strawberries.
Tomatoes provide a large amount of lycopene, an antioxidant that defends against damaging sun rays. Interestingly, the body more easily absorbs lycopene in processed tomato products.
“It’s great to eat your fresh tomatoes, but lycopene is actually been shown to be more absorbable if we cook it down,” Reed says. So, in addition to eating fresh tomatoes, try tomato juices, tomato sauces, ketchup, and other processed tomato products too.
Rich in antioxidants and EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), green tea helps stave off damaging sun exposure, fight off free radicals, and detoxifies the system. Used topically, green tea also can tone skin and help clear up acne.
High in antioxidants, coffee helps defend against the breakdown of collagen. Drinking no more than 8 ounces a day can keep skin elastic without dehydrating it. You can even try applying cooled coffee grounds directly to cellulite trouble areas. The caffeine can temporarily smooth cellulite by pulling water out of the skin.
Loaded with antioxidants, dark chocolate helps create softer, more hydrated, and less sensitive skin. A 1-ounce serving of dark chocolate a day should do the trick.
Cocoa's high concentration of flavanols helps protect skin from damaging sun rays. Another way to nourish skin without any extra calories is using cocoa in a bath soak. (Look for recipe below.)
“Broccoli contains alpha lipoic acid which helps prevent the hardening of collagen which is what cellulite is,” explains Reed. As a result, adding this high-fiber and low-sugar food to your diet can help prevent unwanted cellulite.
Loaded with essential fatty acids and antioxidants, avocados help replenish skin, keeping it smooth and moisturized.
The peel of an apple provides an antioxidant, quercetin, which protects your skin against UV rays. Golden Delicious, Cortland, and Monroe varieties provide the largest quercetin concentration.
Olive oil possesses essential fatty acids that help skin cell membranes lock in moisture and resist harmful UV rays. Consume 1 tablespoon of olive oil daily to reap skin benefits.
Tofu is rich in isoflavones that help preserve skin-firming collagen from breaking down.
Rich in omega-3 fat eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), these fish keep skin youthful.
The compound that gives chile peppers their hot factor, capsaicin, decreases ghrelin while consequently reducing hunger levels. At the same time, it increases a hormone that suppresses appetite, GLP-1.
“Capsaicin that’s in chile peppers helps with appetite control and it also helps increase metabolism,” says Reed.
ALMONDS: Stop gray hair by going nuts
Calcium and phosphorus in low-fat milk help protect against cavities and provide building blocks for healthy nails. To maximize the beauty benefits, drink 8 ounces of low-fat milk per day.
Containing phytonutrients that battle free radicals and prevent sun damage, kale helps replenish materials needed for great skin. Kale also contains carotenoids that help your eyes fight against destructive UV light.
Walnuts are crammed with the omega-3 fat alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) that keeps hair shiny, eyes vibrant, and skin moisturized. Just 1/2-ounce of walnuts will provide your recommended daily intake of ALA.
- Mash banana
- Combine banana with plain yogurt and honey
- Apply on face and neck
- Leave mask on for 10 minutes
- Rinse thoroughly
- Mix green tea with a little honeysuckle
- Apply to acne
- Whisk yogurt, honey, and egg yolk together
- Apply to hair
- Cover hair with shower cap
- Leave hair covered for 15 minutes
- Rinse hair and wash as usual
- Add unsweetened cocoa powder and instant fat-free milk to bathtub
- Soak in bathtub as desired