It takes us years to realize that the great skin of our teen’s and 20’s won’t last forever. Most of us can’t appreciate our radiant face and fast metabolism until we get older and both start going in a direction we wish they hadn’t.I have devoted my career to helping people focus on their inner health and live longer through good nutrition, but in the wide world of nutritional benefits, it doesn’t hurt to eat foods that enhance outer beauty as well, right? In addition to the expensive skin creams, treatments and potions, food can make a huge difference on your complexion, hair and even nails!In this article, I’ll share five foods that you should include in your summer “eating pretty” diet.
1. Papaya: You may already been spending lots of cash to put vitamin C on your body, but what about putting it in your body as well? In 2007, a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that higher dietary intake of vitamin C was associated with a decreased likelihood a wrinkled appearance. To get more vitamin C in your daily menu, think beyond your morning glass of orange juice and go for some additional (yet excellent) sources of vitamin C such as papaya, (along with broccoli, brussel sprouts and bell peppers). In fact, you could throw all of that in a stir fry for a beautiful meal! Buy papaya fresh and toss them into a salad or purchase them frozen and make tropical smoothies!
2. Oysters: Oysters are a fabulous source of the trace mineral zinc. While zinc is important for proper growth and development as well as wound healing, it also may play a key role in helping to promote great skin by boosting collagen production. Additionally, studies show that zinc may help prevent or improve acne by controlling excess oil production. During the summer months, oysters can be grilled for a different yet satisfying BBQ treat.
3. Swiss Chard: This tasty green is highly versatile in recipes and may have a beautifying effect on both hair and skin as well with its high amount of biotin, a b-complex vitamin that has been associated with positive beauty attributes. Swiss chard is also high in vitamins A, K and C, which all happen to be associated with overall anti-aging.
MORE: Superfoods for Beauty
4. Soybeans: If you’re a fan of edamame, you’re in luck! While most of us correlate omega-3 fatty acids with fish, you can get plenty of plant based omega-3 in walnuts, flax seed and even soybeans! It has been well documented that soybeans can help lower cholesterol, waist size and risk for high blood pressure. But did you know that they can also provide radiant, glowing skin? The omega-3’s in soybeans have been shown to help fight inflammation in the body (a real beauty bummer) and help skin look younger as well by avoiding dryness.
5. Brazil Nuts (selenium): Brazil nuts are a gold mine of selenium, a trace mineral essential to good health and great skin. But don’t eat gobs of them! Only a small amount is needed to provide powerful antioxidants shown to help prevent the formation of wrinkle-causing free radicals. But too much selenium can cause hair loss, skin discoloration or blotchy fingernail beds. You only need small amounts of selenium to prevent a deficiency, and most Americans are getting plenty in their diets. A couple of Brazil nuts or a serving of salmon should be all you need to reap the benefits.
QUIZ: What’s Your Eating Style?