Eating for beauty might be the simplest way to approach looking good and feeling great about it.
Beauty comes down to two things. And it’s not chiseled cheekbones and the perfect little up-turned nose. When it’s all said and done, beauty is health and confidence. Just think about it for a minute… When do you look your best…? Exactly!
The great news is that both your health and sense of confidence are, for the most part, in your own hands. There are lots of ways you can make improvements to how you look and feel by learning how best to nourish your body. Many of us will immediately jump online spending hours searching for the latest supplements and beauty boosts…but what if the missing ingredients for soft skin, shiny hair and strong nails were literally missing ingredients from our diets?
In the pioneering beauty superfoods guide, Eating For Beauty, author David Wolfe, one of the worlds’s raw food and superfood experts, identifies how to beautify by utilizing the benefits of a raw food diet. He includes in-depth descriptions of beneficial foods and supplements that help guide us toward our fullest beauty potential.
For those who don’t want to bother with a 100 percent raw food diet or complicated routine of what supplements to take and when (not to mention the clutter of a counter top covered with vitamin bottles), adding a few beauty superfoods to existing recipes or favorite meals is a simple, quick way to provide optimal health benefits that can make all the difference to our appearance.
Here are 5 of Wolfe’s best nutrient-rich beautifying foods and some simple suggestions for how to incorporate them into your diet:
1. Cucumbers – Part of the melon family, cucumbers have been the favorite food of those looking to prevent bloating due to their natural diuretic abilities. Their shiny skins are rich in silicon, one of the most vital beauty minerals, so its important to buy fresh, organic cucumbers that have not been waxed so you can eat the skins. Easy to add to vegetable salads and salsas, or, add a few slices to your water bottles so you can enjoy their beautifying benefits on the go.
2. Coconut Oil – Referencing Dr. Bruce Fife’s The Coconut Oil Miracle, Wolfe advises against traditionally used cooking oils such as olive oil, butter or canola oil, which oxidize in high heat and are known to be among the major causes of free radical deterioration of fats in the skin, which can show up as brown aging spots or liver spots. Due to its unique medium chain fatty acid (MCFAs) molecular structure, coconut oil is the most stable of any other oil at high temperatures, meaning it’s the only oil that should be used to cook with.
Also, coconut oil has anti-fungal properties and contains pregnenolone, a precursor to many hormones including progesterone, which improves circulation and restores sagging skin. You can sauté anything you normally would with it, use it to replace butter in baking, and add to breakfast smoothies for a blood sugar stabilizing boost that will keep you satisfied until lunch.
Image: Fairfax County
3. Radishes – A member of the mustard family, red radishes are one of the most beautifying foods available due to their high sulfur, silicon and vitamin C contents. Known as the triumvirate of beauty nutrients, they work together to form the new connective skin tissue that is responsible for making skin glow. Add to crudite plates and salads or lightly salt for a crunch, savory snack.
Image: Howard Walfish
4. Turmeric – Gaining more attention recently for its strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric is also a first-class blood purifier. Pure blood is responsible for soft and smooth skin and helps alleviate acne and other inflammatory skin conditions. Fresh turmeric looks much like fresh ginger and can be used in just the same way. Add it to Asian-influenced recipes, salad dressings, or use it to spice up a fresh vegetable juice for an instant rosy lift to pale skin.
Image: Luz Adriana Villa
5. Papayas – In addition to being chock-full of skin-friendly vitamins A and C, papayas contain a high concentration of a unique enzyme called papain. Papain has been known to soften and dissolve dead skin layers making it a popular ingredient in topical formulations made by the skin care industry. When eaten, these enzymes work to repair elastic collagen fibers which prevent and protect against wrinkles formation.
Top Image: Mike Monaghan