10 Superfoods for Flawless Skin and Gorgeous Hair
My mom made me eat goji berries in my salad when I was a kid. Pomegranates have always made me smile. These days I thank her for everything she taught me about skincare while “making my kids” have healthy smoothies. Nature is awesome.
The best foods for skin health are rich in naturally occurring vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that all work together synergistically to create beauty from the inside out.
I confess. I have fallen madly in love with The Eat Pretty Pantry
This is all in the past (I'm all grown up now): Years ago, not making time to cook for myself was one of my biggest beauty blunders. Learning to cook daily meals helped me truly care about my diet, and it became the core of my Eat Pretty transformation. Even though I always loved to cook, preparing a meal for one felt like a wasted effort, and I was exhausted every day after work anyway. I also never had the beauty food pantry staples I needed to build a beautifying meal—and that’s half the battle. Don’t you fall prey to an empty-pantry takeout binge, too!
I’m about to help you stock a powerful beauty kitchen with the best foods for skin health and beauty. Every item in the list ahead is brimming with beauty benefits that you can make a part of your healthy skin diet, and it’ll keep well on your shelves until you find the perfect moment to pull it out to cook yourself a meal that helps you look and feel your best.
I've picked up these favourites over the years. I'm always open to learning about more - so please share your favourites. I eat learning like you wouldn't believe!
1. Bee Pollen: Buzz-worthy Beauty Food
These tiny pollen granules are packed with nutrients that support your beauty and your energy. In addition to being one of the best foods for your skin, bee pollen is a complete protein source, with twenty-two amino acids that are essential for the production of new skin cells, not to mention keratin, for gorgeous hair and nails. Bee pollen is also a concentrated source of energy-boosting B complex vitamins. Bee pollen is used as a remedy for allergies, since it contains the anti-histaminic phytochemical quercetin, as well as for digestive issues, since it’s rich in enzymes that ease the digestive burden on our bodies. To easily incorporate it into your diet for healthy skin, sprinkle a small amount of bee pollen into smoothies and onto salads and desserts.
Note: You should avoid eating bee pollen if you have allergies to pollen or bee stings.
Bee Pollen Benefits: Enzymes, Supports Healthy Digestion
2. Goji Berries: The Youth Fruit
These little red berries are sometimes called the “longevity fruit,” and with good reason: The amino acid glutamine in goji berries stimulates the body’s production of HGH, a hormone partially responsible for the youthful appearance and fast healing ability that declines with age. Glutamine in gojis also aids in the production of glutathione, the body’s master anti-aging nutrient. Goji berries have the exceptional ability to defend mitochondrial health and protect against DNA damage, making them one of the all-time best foods for skin health and beauty. They also contain eighteen amino acids, as well as beauty minerals like iron, zinc, and copper, for gorgeous skin, hair, and nails. Try them in trail mix or hot cereal as part of the healthy skin diet.
Goji Berries Benefits: Glutamine, Supports Anti-aging, HGH And Glutathione Production
3. Chia Seeds: Omega Powerhouse
If you haven’t caught on to the powerful benefits of chia seeds as a food for glowing skin, it’s time to add this tiny, beauty superfood to your beauty cabinet. Chia seeds are a great source of cell-strengthening omega-3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation and protect the skin from sun damage. Chia seeds are a complete protein (those amino acids are crucial for healthy skin, hair, and nails) and they’re a good source of bone-building calcium and zinc, for blemish-free skin. Chia seeds are packed with soluble fiber that improves elimination and reduces bloating while making you feel fuller with fewer calories. With all of this, it’s easy to see why they are one of the best foods for skin. Create your own chia-seed pudding by combining a scoop of chia seeds and enough almond milk to cover until the seeds form a gelatinous outer layer—it’s an easy detox recipe to add to your diet for glowing skin!
Chia Seeds Benefits: Omega-3’s, Strengthen Skin Cells
4. MCT Oil: Metabolism Booster
Coconut oil, one of the best foods for skin, will change what you think about fats. It’s made of anti-inflammatory, medium-chain fatty acids that burn quickly and easily in the body without being broken down by the liver, providing instant energy and a metabolism boost that actually helps us burn stored fat. Of course that doesn’t give you a pass to overindulge in this beauty food for good skin. Use a teaspoon or two in a stir-fry (it’s stable at high heat and won’t produce free radicals) or baked goods, and add a little to smoothies, since coconut oil actually boosts your absorption of other nutrients.
The main component of coconut oil is lauric acid, a powerful antimicrobial fat that kills bacteria, viruses, and yeast (it’s also found in breast milk!). Coconut oil is saturated, so it’s solid at room temperature, but this food for glowing skin won’t harm your cholesterol—it actually lowers LDL (bad cholesterol) and raises HDL (good cholesterol) in the body. Saturated fats like coconut oil are essential for healthy cell membranes and gorgeous skin, so they should be added to your diet for glowing skin.
Coconut Oil Benefits: Lauric Acid, Supports Metabolism And Fat Burning
5. Peruvian Maca Takes Root in Skin Care
Maca root, Lepidium meyenii or Lepidium Peruvianum, is a nutritious Peruvian root crossing over from health care to the beauty category. In supplements, it was originally associated with fertility and virility claims; Inca warriors are said to have eaten it before battle to fortify themselves. More recently, maca root has been positioned as a superfruit with the ability to reduce stress and assist with weight loss or hormonal changes. Maca root is rich in essential minerals, fatty acids and amino acids.
6. CBD Oil and Hemp Seeds: Omega Beauty Love
Firstly: Ingesting CBD Oil and Hemp seeds are not the same as smoking pot (more on that in later posts).
Shelled hemp seeds are a complete source of protein that support cell building and repair, for enviable skin, hair, and nails. They are an excellent source of anti-inflammatory, anti-aging omega fatty acids, including gamma-linolenic acid, an important fat for good, healthy skin and the healing of eczema. Hemp seeds have lots of fiber for healthy elimination, as well as iron and zinc—more good news for your beauty. I love adding this beauty food for good skin to smoothies, hot cereals, salads, and desserts for a soft, nutty crunch.
CBD oil also has antioxidant properties which contribute to the research indicating it can help lessen the visible signs of aging skin. By counteracting free-radical damage, CBD anti-aging creams may be able to help visibly diminish issues like wrinkles, skindullness, and ruddy skin tone.
Hemp Seeds Benefits: Gamma-linolenic Acid, Helps Heal Eczema
7. Nuts: Beauty Builders
Nuts are little nuggets of healthy fats, protein, and beauty minerals that fill you up, sustain you, and travel easily, making them ideal beauty foods for our busy lives. The selection of nuts in your pantry might change with your mood or with the seasons, so let your taste buds guide you. Nuts are one of the best foods for skin for many reasons. For instance, almonds are rich in vitamin E, for strong cell membranes and wrinkle prevention. Cashews are full of copper, which contributes to radiant hair pigmentation. Pistachios pack in the B6 for healthy, oxygenated blood. Brazil nuts are major sources of selenium, which helps maintain skin elasticity and the body’s production of glutathione.
Always buy your nuts organic and raw, since roasted nuts often contain oxidized oils that create age-advancing free radicals and AGEs, while the healthy fats in raw nuts reduce inflammation in the body, making them a great food for healthy skin. Before you snack on raw nuts, it’s best to soak them for a couple of hours or up to overnight to release their enzyme inhibitors and make them more easily digestible. Store them in a cool, dark place or in the refrigerator or freezer if you won’t use them quickly.
Raw Nuts Benefits: Healthy Fats, Reduce Inflammation
8. Oats: Morning Dose Of Beauty Minerals
Oats are mineral-rich breakfast staples and another one of the best foods for skin elasticity. They’re extremely high in manganese, which helps maintain healthy hair and hair color and supports mitochondrial health. They’re also rich in the beauty mineral iron, good for strong hair and nails. Oats are high in anti-aging selenium—a powerful nutrient for skin elasticity and production of champion antioxidant glutathione—and vitamin B1, instrumental in healthy nervous system function. For the most beauty benefits, buy gluten-free oats to add to your healthy skin diet. If not specifically labeled “gluten-free,” oats usually pick up gluten during processing in the same facilities as wheat.
Oats Benefits: Manganese, Supports Healthy Hair And Hair Color
9. Popcorn: Antioxidant-rich Snack
Organic popcorn hulls are packed with free radical–fighting phytochemicals, but before you dive into a bowl, there’s one caveat: you need to toss out your microwave popcorn bags (they’re loaded with artificial flavors and chemicals) and stick to plain popcorn kernels, which you can pop easily on the stovetop or in a brown paper bag in the microwave. Air-popped popcorn is a beautifying snack and one of the best foods for your skin because it fills you up with minimal calories (about 15 in one handful) and lots of fiber. To make air-popped popcorn even more a part of your diet for healthy skin, add a topping like nutritional yeast, melted dark chocolate, or antioxidant spices such as cinnamon, turmeric, or cayenne.
Popcorn Benefits: Fiber, Promotes Healthy Elimination
10. Water: The Forgotten Beauty Nutrient
There is one health essential that isn’t actually a food for good skin, but still has tons of beauty power: water. Water makes up 60 to 70 percent of our body weight and 70 percent of our skin, but it’s usually pretty low on our list of health priorities. Having interviewed my share of models through the years, I’d say that “Drink water” is their quintessential skin secret. Plenty of people shrug off hydration as obvious, but there’s some real science to pay attention to here. Dehydration releases stress hormones, which in turn leads to an increase in aging inflammation in the body. Water is also essential for bodily functions from metabolism and nutrient absorption (key for water-soluble nutrients like vitamin B complex and vitamin C) to detoxification, circulation, and temperature regulation. The body hydrates more efficiently when we eat (rather than drink) some of our water, too, which is why water-rich skin-healthy beauty foods like watermelon, cucumber, apple, and celery that slowly hydrate as they make their way through our digestive system are some of the best foods for skin beauty and health.
That's it for me this round: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate...
And stock up , especially when the seasons are on the cusp of change...it's then when your body needs the most nurturing. Superfoods couldn't be an easier hack.
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