The path to beauty starts at the grocery store

The path to beauty starts at the grocery store

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.

Foods for Skin Care

STRAWBERRIES: A cup of strawberries a day keeps the wrinkles away
·         Defends against wrinkles
·         Prevents age-related dryness
·         Fades dark spots caused by sun exposure

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: Never again let the summer sun turn you red as a tomato
·         Protects against sunburns

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.
GREEN TEA: Acne - an unwelcome guest to tea time
·         Calms acne
·         Protects against sun damage
·         Tones skin

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.
COFFEE: Energize tired eyes and skin with a cup of joe
·         Protects against sun damage
·         Fights against sagging skin
·         Guards against wrinkles
·         Decreases visibility of cellulite
·         Decreases puffy eyelids

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.
DARK CHOCOLATE: A girl’s two favorite things: chocolate and flawless skin
·         Hydrates skin
·         Decreases sensitivity to sun

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: Just a spoon of cocoa makes the sun damage go down
·         Protects skin from sun damage

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: Lunch on this leafy vegetable for less lumpy legs
·         Prevents cellulite

“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.
AVOCADO: Avocados might have rough skin but they make yours smooth
·         Keeps skin plump and smooth
·         Prevents skin from becoming dehydrated

Loaded with essential fatty acids and antioxidants, avocados help replenish skin, keeping it smooth and moisturized. 
APPLES: Get a golden delicious glow
·         Protects against sunburns

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: Let your body run on oil
·         Makes skin more supple
·         Protects against UV damage

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: Build up skin-firming collagen by eating up tofu
·         Preserves collagen
·         Protects against wrinkles
·         Helps create smoother skin

Tofu is rich in isoflavones that help preserve skin-firming collagen from breaking down.
TUNA, SALMON, SARDINES, & TROUT: Scaly skin? No thank you.
·         Preserves collagen

Rich in omega-3 fat eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), these fish keep skin youthful.
WATER: Quench thirsty skin
·         Moisturizes skin
Water is a major part of skin cells. To protect against dry skin, drink lots of water throughout the day.
Foods for Weight Control

CHILE PEPPERS: Chile peppers for a hot and spicy new you
·         Reduces hunger level
·         Increases an appetite suppressing hormone

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.
Foods to Stop Graying Hair

ALMONDS: Stop gray hair by going nuts
·         Slows graying hair process
Almonds contain an enzyme, catalase, that slows graying by preventing hydrogen peroxide from building up in follicles.
Foods for Teeth, Nails, and Eyes
LOW-FAT MILK: Milk this beauty food for all it’s worth
·         Cavity-free teeth
·         Healthy nails

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.
KALE: Garnish yourself with sparkling eyes and healthy skin
·         Keeps eyes healthy and sparkling
·         Provides sun protection

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.
All-Around Beauty Foods

WALNUTS: Crack open an all-around beauty food
·         Shiny hair
·         Vibrant eyes
·         Skin moisture

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.
UNSWEETENED YOGURT: A beauty secret that's easy to digest
·         Decreases skin problems like psoriasis, eczema, and acne
·         Protects against cavities
·         Unclogs pores
Yogurt has active bacteria cultures that keep the digestive tract strong. The health of your digestive tract directly impacts the appearance of your skin. Be wary of sweetened yogurt, however, as refined sugars are counterproductive. Yogurt also has calcium that can protect against cavities.
Heal Dry Skin with a Banana Face Pack
Ingredients needed: ½ ripe banana, ½ cup plain yogurt, 1 tbsp honey,
  1. Mash banana
  2. Combine banana with plain yogurt and honey
  3. Apply on face and neck
  4. Leave mask on for 10 minutes
  5. Rinse thoroughly  
Decrease Pimples with Pimple Tea
Ingredients needed: Green tea, honeysuckle
  1. Mix green tea with a little honeysuckle
  2. Apply to acne
Strengthen Hair with a Protein-Rich Hair Mask
Ingredients needed: 1/2 cup full-fat yogurt, 3 tbsp honey, 1 egg yolk
  1. Whisk yogurt, honey, and egg yolk together
  2. Apply to hair
  3. Cover hair with shower cap
  4. Leave hair covered for 15 minutes
  5. Rinse hair and wash as usual
Protect Skin from Sun Damage with Cocoa Bath Soak
Ingredients needed: 1/8 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/3 cup instant fat-free dry milk
  1. Add unsweetened cocoa powder and instant fat-free milk to bathtub
  2. Soak in bathtub as desired