Bold Colors, Healthy Food
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.
I am color obsessed so I am automatically drawn to fruits and vegetables in vibrant hues. The cool thing is that often the more intense the color, the healthier the food. Beauty foods that are packed with nutrients come in bold reds, rich purples and pinks, deep greens, vivid yellows and oranges, and strong blues. Let color guide you the next time you are shopping at a farmers’ market or grocery store. And when you are putting together a plate of food, think as much about eating a variety of colors as types of food. Each color group features different nutrients, so the more variation you have, the more balanced the meal. Create plates filled with a variety of colors, textures, and tastes.
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.
Eating for your skin: BASIC BEAUTY BOWL
The ultimate beauty-food lunch combines protein, healthy fats, and veggies for a perfectly balanced bowl. Feel free to mix up the vegetables based on what’s in season, and make this your go-to weekday lunch.
¼ cup/55 g tahini
1 to 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ cup/60 ml warm water
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup/200 g cooked lentils
1 cup/120 g cooked quinoa
1 cup/120 g cubed and steamed sweet potato
¼ cup/40 g cherry tomatoes
4 kale leaves, cut into ¼-inch/6-mm slices
1 watermelon radish, cut into ⅛-inch/4-mm slices
½ avocado, peeled, pitted, and cut into ¼-inch/4-mm slices
Pumpkin seeds, for topping
Hemp hearts, for topping
Lemon wedge, for topping
1 For the dressing, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, and water in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
2 Divide the lentils and quinoa between two medium bowls and add the sweet potato, tomatoes, kale, radish, and avocado. Top with tahini dressing, pumpkin seeds, hemp hearts, and a lemon wedge.