The Essential Beauty Foods
- Written By:Bobbi Brown
- Photography:Jon Paterson
The cornerstone of beauty foods are fresh vegetables and fruits that provide your fuel, good fats like omega-3s for skin and health, and lean proteins that provide energy. By eating a diet balanced in these types of nutrient-rich foods most of the time, you will feel and look better.
Not only can the right foods increase your energy, prevent disease, and keep you healthy, they can also make you look great. When you eat foods that are packed with nutrients, you will see a difference.
Nutritionist Dr. Charles Passler has taught me a lot about food and health. I asked him to share his ultimate list of beauty superfoods. The list contains the building blocks and nutrients needed for healthy tissue support, development, and protection. “Fats and proteins are required to provide healthy tissue development, especially collagen. Nutrients called antioxidants (such as vitamins A, C, E, and zinc and selenium) provide protection against free radicals and the damage created from too much sun,” explains Dr. Passler. “It is also important to choose foods that support digestive health. Without proper breakdown, absorption, and removal of waste by the digestive system, it is impossible for your body to provide the support needed for healthy eyes, hair, nails, and skin.”
Passler notes that hydration, sleep, and exercise are essential pieces of the puzzle. “It is impossible for your cells to be healthy and vibrant without proper hydration,” he explains. “Sweating is a great way to keep your pores clean and to be sure that your circulation is optimized so that every cell gets the necessary support. Sleeping is when the majority of cellular healing and repair and detoxification occur. Adequate sleep is a must.” Here's his guide to the beauty superfoods:
DARK GREEN LEAFY VEGETABLES
Kale, alfalfa, and spinach are wonderful for skin. They support and increase collagen production. They are also full of antioxidants.
Tomatoes, red peppers, and beets help improve collagen formation and contain lycopene to protect the cells from free radical damage and from the damaging rays of the sun, making them a natural sunblock.
Vitamin A has the ability to help cells heal and repair. Vitamin A is found in high levels in orange vegetables including yams, sweet potatoes, and carrots.
BLUEBERRIES AND RASPBERRIES
Loaded with antioxidants, these dark berries improve collagen production.
CITRUS AND TROPICAL FRUITS
Lemons, limes, grapefruit, oranges, mangos, guavas, and papayas all have high levels of the powerful antioxidant vitamin C and will protect cells against free radicals. They also play a role in the formation of collagen.
This fruit is loaded with healthy fat, fiber, phytonutrients, and antioxidants. The antioxidants have a protective benefit and the fiber is great for digestive health.
These seeds are high in zinc, which protects cell membranes and helps maintain and produce collagen. Zinc also helps fight breakouts.
These nuts are high in the antioxidant vitamin E, which is crucial for smooth, healthy skin. They are also wonderful sources of protein.
Wild Alaskan salmon and sardines are both very high in omega-3 oil, which creates stronger cells by supporting the protective fatty membranes around skin cells. For the non-fish-eater, flax and chia seeds are good alternative sources of omega-3s.
Eggs are loaded with protein and fats that help support the production of collagen. Eggs are also a good source of vitamin A, which helps cells repair and reboot. Cooked eggs, particularly the yolks, offer almost a full RDA (recommended dietary allowance) of biotin, a nutrient essential for healthy hair and nails.
Sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, yogurt, and kefir are all fermented foods loaded with live bacteria, known as probiotics, that will boost your digestive system, allowing for improved absorption of nutrients, increased detoxification, decreased inflammation, improved immune function, and balanced hormones, all of which help with eye, hair, nail, and skin health. A healthy digestive system can also help with losing weight. Be sure that the products you choose are not pasteurized, as pasteurization destroys the health benefits of live bacteria.