You’ve made it another year and chances are, you’ve made a few resolutions as well. If you’re like most Americans, your goals are geared toward healthier eating, more exercise and perhaps quitting a bad habit (smoking, too much drinking, donuts for breakfast). What if this year you vowed to “pretty up” your diet as well? Here are 12 foods that will help you live longer, live better and live more beautifully!
Created through a process of aging using high temperatures and humidity, black garlic is a bit sweeter and less pungent that its white cousin. Initial research suggests that black garlic may have higher antioxidant properties than regular garlic due to its processing. Whether you stay with white or black, adding garlic to your diet this year will reap huge benefits!
Beauty Benefit: Loaded with potent antioxidants, black garlic will help protect skin by reducing damage from those nasty free radicals that hit us every day.
If you’re a fan of sushi, you know all about wasabi. You know that it adds major flavor and you definitely know that if you eat too much, your mouth feels like it's on fire! Have you ever wondered about its benefits though? A study in the journal Biofactors found that wasabi (and its family member horseradish) may have properties that inhibit certain cancers. The study also found that this spicy green paste you find next to your favorite sushi rolls (made from the wasabi plant) may even help to ward off food borne illness by inhibiting the growth of certain bacteria. Not a sushi lover? You can still use wasabi in everyday cooking by adding it to soups, marinades for meat and fish, salad dressing or dips.
Beauty Benefit: With its antibacterial properties, this green gem may help prevent the ugly reality of throwing up after a bad bout of food poisoning.
A great source of iron, sea vegetables are growing beyond the sushi restaurants. A 2009 study in the Journal of Nutrition found that seaweed may help in the reduction of breast cancer by lowering serum estrogens, increasing favorable estrogen metabolism and enhancing soy-stimulated conversion of phytoestrogens. Seaweed is now available in major grocery stores throughout the United States, usually sold as “snack pack” type sheets—it’s a much better choice than pretzels or potato chips in regard to calories, simple sugars and carbohydrates.
Beauty Benefit: A great source of iron; these veggies from the sea are essential for healthy blood flow, which in turn will nourish skin and keep it glowing
Figs are loaded with fiber (almost 6g for three) which makes them a dieter's dream. Fiber helps to keep us fuller, longer, meaning we’ll eat less throughout the day. They are also versatile in the culinary world as well. Fig puree can replace oil in home baked muffins, cakes and cookies. They’re great in salads for some added sweetness and easily portable in your gym bag or desk drawer.
Beauty Benefit: Lots of fiber means figs will help you stay in your favorite jeans (or get back into your high school jeans) by keeping you fuller, longer.
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