Have you ever met someone you feel is literally glowing from within? That has that aspect of beauty or glow, that certain "je ne sais quoi" about them that you imagine it simply cannot be achieved with an extra layer of foundation or bronzer?
Our food choices can have a profound impact on our biggest organ, our skin, and since it seems difficult for the skin to receive nutrients it is important to eat a diet varied in colourful fruits & greens and other unprocessed foods for your skin to flourish. That person you have in mind, the one with the inner glow and beautiful skin, is most likely including these 10 beauty foods for glowing skin in their daily nutrition intake.
Rich in monounsaturated fats, omega-3´s, vitamin E & C, zinc and copper that will nourish your skin from within, support the elastic fibre in your skin as well as increase collagen production and maintain a youthful appearance.
Tip! Toss them in salads, wraps, use them as soup toppings, use them for creamy smoothies or eat them solo with a twist of lemon and sea salt!
Extremely rich in beta-carotene that acts as an antioxidant in the body, protecting against free-radical damage that can cause skin to age prematurely.
Tip! By lightly steaming your carrots you can increase the body´s absorption of beta-carotene versus eating them raw.
High in vitamins A and C as well as copper, magnesium, potassium, zinc and water. Watermelons will help build up your immune system with vitamins A and C acting as antioxidants in your body, working against natural and/or environmental oxidation that can lead to premature aging of the skin. Vitamin C also helps build collagen in the skin. Rich in minerals, watermelons will support the body´s alkaline balance, warding off infections and
cells´ breakdown both of which can cause the skin to age prematurely. Magnesium and potassium along with water in the melon will keep skin cells plump and well hydrated.
Tip! Come spring or summer create a modern version of the classic gazpacho with watermelon instead of tomatoes. Toss some seasonal fresh strawberries (harvested in June) along with some spring onions, celery, a bit of fresh ginger and mint leaves with a tiny bit of cayenne pepper into the blender and you got yourself one of the freshest soups around that will nourish your skin from the inside out!
Extremely rich in vitamin C as well as having alkalizing effects in the body, lemons will support your immune system and support collagen production in the skin making your skin stronger, more taut and youthful.
Tips! Drink a glass of warm, boiled water with a squeeze of lemon first thing in the morning to get a dynamic shot of vitamin C and to get your digestion going. Sprinkle some lemon juice with some good quality olive oil on salads instead of ready-made dressings. A much healthier option!
Folic acid is beets´ main warrior, supporting iron production and therefore the production of red blood cells, increasing the flow of oxygen in the body and giving you a healthy glow.
Research show that drinking a glass of beetroot juice before a workout will increase nitric oxide metabolites in your body significantly increasing your stamina in high intensity workouts and accelerate lactic acid excretion from muscles after exercise. So drink up!
Tips! Add beets to a baked dish of root vegetables, into soups and savoury pies. Drink organic beetroot juice with a couple of ice cubes and some fresh mint to get a refreshing pre-workout drink. Toss beets into smoothies with e.g. raspberries, blueberries, frozen chunks of banana, coconut water, some good-quality plant-based protein powder, some almond butter and a touch of hemp oil and you got yourself an incredibly nutrient-dense meal that will nourish your cells and your skin.
Celery is very low in calories and thought to be very detoxifying.
Try to source organic celery instead of a conventionally grown one as they can contain a good amount of pesticides if not organic.
Tips! Use celery for a detoxifying juice first thing in the morning. Juice celery, kale, lemon, lime, fresh ginger, fresh curcuma, a green apple and some watermelon in a juicer. Add some ice, fresh mint and basil in the blender and you got a skin-loving drink that is high in nutrients but low in calories. Or, as a between-meals-snack, cut down celery into sticks and fill the “hole” inside with some good-quality organic peanut butter. Alternatively, dip the sticks into a homemade hummus. Your skin will love the combination of nurturing chickpeas, skin-loving olive oil, immune-supporting garlic and detoxifying celery.
Cucumbers are low in calories but rich in electrolytes and water, a combination that will plump your cells and keep your skin moisturised and more youthful looking.
Tips! Cut down cucumbers into sticks with and dip them into hummus as a snack. Use cucumber slices on top of multigrain breads or crackers or toss them into juicer or blender with other fruits and veggies for the ultimate health boost! I love cucumber with some fresh fennel, mint leaves, coconut water, spirulina powder and ice mixed in the blender for a post-workout rehydrator!
Nutritionally superior to other foods according to Dr. Joel Fuhrman´s Nutrient Density Chart, kale is super-packed with nutrients that are good for building up a strong and youthful body. Packed with phytochemicals that act as antioxidants in the body and diminish oxidative stress that can cause skin cells to age prematurely.
Tips! Use kale for juices & smoothies with frozen bits of spinach and broccoli, an apple, coconut water and coconut oil, sweetened with fresh basil and mint and your complexion will reap the benefits. Make kale chips in the oven with a bit of olive or coconut oil and sea salt and bake until crunchy, a much healthier alternative to the classic potato chips.
Chickpeas are rich in minerals especially copper, magnesium and phosphorus. Copper promotes the production of collagen and elastin in the skin, compounds that give the skin its´ strength and elasticity, helping the skin to stay firm. Coppers´ main benefit comes from its ability to regenerate the skin and help in skin healing. Copper will also enhance the function of antioxidants that are beneficial for the protection of cells in the body. Chickpeas are very rich in fibre that will help aid in digestion and therefore help flush out toxins. They also contain compounds called phytoestrogens that mimic estrogen activity in the body, possibly relieving menopausal effects in women.
Tip! Add chickpeas to creamy & nutrient-rich smoothies (you won't taste them), use them in stews with some broccoli, cauliflower, coconut cream,
bell peppers and carrots with some sweet and savoury spices or create different kinds of hummus depending on your mood.
One of the most hydrating drinks around! Rich in minerals, especially potassium that will rehydrate your skin cells, keeping them plump and taut.
Tip! Try to find water from young green Thai coconuts since not all coconut water is created equal. Drink coconut water mixed with some beetroot juice or beetroot crystals before a workout and you will feel how your energy during workout will increase dramatically and the odds of acid build-up in muscles and lethargy or muscle soreness after the workout will decrease.