Eating for beauty is easy when you know what foods to choose
Improved health and vitality is reward enough for eating right. But let’s not kid ourselves — looking great is also an attractive reason to mind your diet.
So… if you’re already eating to optimize your health, why not tweak your diet to maximize your outer beauty too?
The following are three groups of super foods to include in your Beauty Diet:
The three active types of omega-3, ALA, EPA and DHA, are all “essential” fatty acids (meaning that your body needs it, yet cannot manufacture it on its own. It must be consumed.) These fatty acids are vital components of the stratum corneum (the outermost layer of the epidermis). This vital layer contains keratin (the fibrous structural protein of hair, skin and nails) and maintains moisture, which leaves the skin looking dewy.
Deficiency in omega-3 can result in dry scalp, soft or brittle fingernails, small bumps on the back of upper arms and legs, eczema, dandruff and dry eyes. The introduction of more omega-3s can strengthen cell membranes and regulate cell-turnover, thus ensuring that skin, hair and nails stay hydrated and luminous.
Beauty food choices: Flaxseed, walnuts, salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines. Not a fan of fish? The omega-3 found in a quality fish oil supplement is an excellent way of getting an adequate, consistent amount of omega-3 to achieve and maintain radiance. But beware; choose your supplement carefully! Many pharmacy and big box store brands contain toxins such as lead, mercury and PCBs, as well as unwanted saturated fats. Make sure that your fish oil is third party tested in order to guarantee purity.
Most people think muscle growth when they hear the word “protein.” While it’s true that protein stimulates the production of cells in muscles which lead to muscle mass, the amino acids (L-lysine and L-proline) found abundantly in protein is vital in the creation of collagen in the body. Collagen builds up and strengthens blood vessels, thus providing structural support, strength and elasticity to the skin. Collagen thickens the skin, making it appear firmer and clearer. Dietary protein also provides the building blocks necessary for growing shiny, manageable hair and strong nails.
Since the body is constantly breaking down proteins, it needs a steady supply of protein to support proper functioning. A protein deficiency can lead to a compromised immune function, fatigue, sagging skin and hair loss.
Beauty food choices: With the average daily need for protein at about 50 grams, adequate protein is easily achieved by eating just one 3-ounce serving of chicken breast. Eggs, lean red meat and seafood will also meet the daily requirement. A high quality fish oil supplement, combined with an anabolic stimulus (e.g., physical activity, protein, insulin), can improve protein metabolism . For those who do not eat meat, nuts, beans and whole grains should suffice.
If you have watched afternoon television or opened a woman’s magazine, you have certainly seen an advertisement proclaiming the remarkable prowess of biotin. Although the hype may leave you suspicious, biotin does indeed possess some beauty benefits that are easily attainable via a healthy diet. Biotin is a B complex vitamin, also known as Vitamin H, which helps metabolize fats and proteins and convert food into energy.
Because those who don’t get enough biotin tend to experience thinning hair, scaly skin, and brittle nails; a leap in logic was made (for those marketing the products, that is) that more is better. It’s not. Since biotin is water-soluble, extra biotin will simply pass through the body in urine. Thus, supplementation may be a waste, especially when biotin is easily attainable through food.
Beauty food choices: Bananas, beans, cauliflower, egg yolks, mushrooms, lentils, peanuts, and salmon or high quality fish oil, will easily provide for the biotin necessary to look your best.
Whatever you put into your body will eventually show up on the outside. Of course genetics and other lifestyle and environmental factors play a role, but none as much as the foods you choose.
Takeaway: Nourish yourself wisely and reveal your most beautiful you! Vegetables, nuts and fish lead the list of power foods for beauty. Fish isn’t always the purest option, however. Fish can contain toxins such as mercury, lead and PCBs. And beware — The FDA has approved ‘Frankenfish’ — the first genetically modified animal you can eat which can be sold without labeling it as such. A pure, concentrated fish oil supplement is a healthy substitute.
- Di Girolamo, F.G., et al., Omega-3 fatty acids and protein metabolism: enhancement of anabolic interventions for sarcopenia. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care, 2014. 17(2): p. 145-50.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.