We all know that many food products can nourish our bodies, but there are tons of products that make us beautiful on the outside just by eating them! No messy mixes or chunky green masks, just yummy additions to your daily munchies that leave you looking your best!
There is nothing better in this world than chocolate. Well, not many things. People used to blame breakouts on eating chocolate, but studies show that chocolate actually contains high levels of flavonoids, potent antioxidants that actually protect your skin and don’t cause breakouts. Not only does it increase blood flow to your tissues, leaving skin nourished and glowing, it also protects skin from sun damage. Higher levels of cacao contain more antioxidants so look for chocolate that’s at least 70 percent cacao.
Antioxidants called anthocyanins protect you from fine lines and dryness in skin by neutralizing free radicals that age your skin. Anthocyanins are found in blueberries and pomegranates. These fruits also contain high levels of vitamin C, which increases collagen production, keeping your skin smooth and plump.
Beta-carotene is found in orange vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash. Your body converts beta-carotene into retinol just by eating these vegetables. Retinol is known to smooth skin and protect it from past and present sun damage. If you’re known to enjoy long days at the beach, be sure to pack your diet full of these powerful protectors!
Lycopene protects skin from environmental damage as well as sun damage. You can get your lycopene from raw tomatoes, but it’s actually highest when tomatoes are cooked. Stewed tomatoes, marinara sauce, simmered, or sliced they guys are your new best friend. They are also most easily absorbed with a little healthy fat, so drizzle over a little olive oil or eat with a slice of avocado for best results.
Want healthier hair, smoother skin, stronger bones, and brighter eyes? Eating just one ounce of walnuts daily will give you your daily amount of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E, which aid in all of these things. Mix into a salad or eat them on their own! Other nuts with similar healthy benefits include almonds, pistachios, and hazelnuts.
I’ve already discussed the importance of calcium in my article “More Than Milk”, but eating just one cup of plain, low-fat yogurt daily includes about 450 milligrams of the nutrient. Calcium is necessary for building strong nails and teeth. Yogurt also contains about 25% of your daily-recommended amount of zinc. Zinc can calm skin inflammation, treat rosacea, and encourage cell regeneration.
Spinach contains an antioxidant called lutein as well as vitamin A (beta-carotene). These help eyes stay healthy and bright and skin supple by speeding up skin cell turnover. Eating spinach also helps your body to create retinol, which makes skin more firm and resilient. It’s also almost calorie free. With one cup weighing in at seven calories, I find ways to sneak it in all the time. I sauté spinach and mix it in with my morning omelette, add it to my salads, and even mix it in with pasta dishes. There’s no reason to not get the benefits from this rich, leafy, green veggie!
Kiwis throw you off because of their fuzzy skins? Get passed it. One kiwi holds nearly all the vitamin C you need in a whole day! This means that eating a kiwi can stimulate collagen synthesis, repair damage to skin-cell DNA, and strengthen blood vessels and hair follicles! That means that adding a few slices to your frozen yogurt, morning cereal, or yummy smoothie can seriously boost your natural beauty!
Antioxidants called catechins have been shown to actually prevent skin cancer and keep you from getting sunburns. Catechins are found in green tea, with the highest concentration in a tea called matcha. Try drinking two cups of green tea daily to get the full benefits. If you don’t like tea, you can purchase a matcha powder at any health-food store, which can be added to any smoothie or yogurt blend for the same results.
Stock up on all of these foods on your next grocery visit to get all of your pretty perks! After all, beauty comes from the inside out in more ways than one. Taking care of your body and its needs will make your body take care of you. A girl who loves herself radiates confidence and self-respect!