Foods that make you beautiful

BY CARRIE MADORMO, RN,
MPH


We know we need the right
foods to make our insides work beautifully, and it seems there is a miraculous
superfood with new health benefits in the news every day.
A healthy diet keeps our
organs and muscles working like new. In addition to a healthy gut and immune
system, the right foods can have cosmetic benefits as well. From glowing skin
to an improved mood, the right foods can take our appearance to the next level.
So throw out that new wrinkle cream and fill up your plate with some of these
delicious and antioxidant-packed treats!
Plain Greek yogurt



Because Greek yogurt is packed
with protein, it will keep you feeling fuller longer. This means you will be
less tempted when those not-so-healthy foods appear in the work break room or
at a birthday party. It also contains amino acids, which can repair skin and
even reduce the appearance of dark circles under your eyes.
Yogurt helps when used on the
outside, too. It contains lactic acid, which naturally sloughs away dead skin
cells. Try spreading a thick layer over your face and letting it sit for 10
minutes.
Strawberries



To slow down those inevitable
signs of aging, try adding in more strawberries to your diet. These juicy
little snacks are high in vitamin C, which can actually prevent fine lines and
wrinkles!
Strawberries can even brighten
your smile. They contain alpha hydroxyl oil, which is gentle on teeth enamel,
but removes stains. Try mashing a small amount of strawberry into your teeth a
few times a day, then brush away the seeds.
Blueberries



Next time you’re whipping up
that yogurt parfait or fruit salad, toss in a few blueberries to really make
your skin shine. Blueberries are high in both vitamins C and E. These
antioxidants work together to not only brighten tired-looking skin, but also
even out redness and uneven skin tones.
Bananas



If you’ve been feeling low on
energy, try peeling open a banana. They are rich in vitamin B6, potassium, and
folic acid. These nutrients improve blood flow to your brain, so not only will
you be quick-witted, you’ll feel happier.
Bananas can also give you
softer, smoother skin. Try rubbing a mashed banana on your face or legs before
shaving to soften the hair follicles and give you a smoother appearance.
Carrots



Next time you hit the beach,
be sure to pack the carrots. Carrots contain cartenoids, which reduce your
skin’s sensitivity to UV rays. Still pack the sunscreen, but your afternoon
snack can add a little more protection for your skin. Try pairing raw carrots with
hummus or guacamole for an easy snack on the go.
Red bell peppers



Red bell peppers are high in
antioxidants, which repair skin and hair cells, giving you a more youthful
appearance. Try tossing some chopped red bell pepper in your next salad or egg
scramble. The crisp, sweet flavor pairs well with almost anything!
Kale



The list of kale’s benefits
keeps growing. Kale provides our bodies with vitamin K, which improves blood
clotting. This not only helps our bodies heal, but makes sure those little
blood vessels around the eyes don’t leak fluid and leave us looking like we were
up all night. It also provides a healthy dose of iron. Low iron levels leave us
looking pale and worn out, so toss some kale into your scrambled eggs before a
big meeting or night out.
Broccoli



These little green trees are
loaded with vitamin C, which improves blood circulation. Improved circulation
means glowing skin. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,
increasing the vitamin C in your diet leads to improved skin aging. Not to
mention you’ll be making your mother very happy.
Avocado



As if you need another reason
to adore avocado! We all know it’s insanely delicious, but it can also keep
your skin looking young. Avocados contain the fatty acid oleic, which helps
skin retain moisture, giving it a softer, younger look.
Lemons



There’s a good reason so many
celebs start their days with a big glass of lemon water. Lemons act as a
natural detoxifier and help our blood move impurities out of the body. They
also freshen breath, so be sure to start with lemon water on your next date.
After squeezing the juice into
your water, don’t toss that lemon slice just yet. Brushing lemon juice on dull
finger and toe nails will remove stains and kill bacteria. Just be sure to
massage your hands and feet with lotion or olive oil afterwards to prevent
drying out.
Walnuts



Like salmon, walnuts are high
in omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids repair split ends and give hair a
natural sheen. Walnuts are high in copper, which give skin a naturally warm color
and may even prevent premature graying. In addition to giving you glowing skin,
omega-3s affect your brain chemistry and can actually make you feel happier.
Nothing is more beautiful than being the happiest one at the party!
Green tea



It’s hard to think of an area
of the body that doesn’t benefit from green tea. Because it’s loaded with
antioxidants, it fights those free radicals floating around our bodies. Free
radicals are damaged cells and are responsible for everything from annoying wrinkles
to life-threatening cancer.
Even used green tea bags are
useful. Once they have cooled off, place 1 on each eye for a quick spa
treatment. Its antioxidants actually correct skin color and reduce swelling
under the eyes.

Coffee



If you’re on a budget, think
twice before skipping that daily latte. Coffee not only makes you and everyone
at the office much happier on a Monday morning, it can actually protect against
cancer. It contains natural compounds that protect your skin against melanoma
(skin cancer). According to the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, daily
coffee drinkers have a 20 percent lower risk of developing malignant melanoma
than non-coffee drinkers.
Flax oil



If you’ve been feeling
stressed lately, it’s time to up the flax oil in your diet. Flax oil is full of
healthy fats like omega-3s and essential fatty acids. These compounds naturally
moisturize your skin and hair and may even prevent stress-related hair loss.
Try mixing some flax oil into your morning oatmeal or smoothie.
Not a fan of the taste? Try
massaging it directly into your hair and skin. Flax oil strengthens your locks
while minimizing wrinkles. Win win!
Cinnamon



Cinnamon not only makes all
your desserts tastier, it can actually burn fat while adding flavor. Studies
show that eating cinnamon can cause lower blood sugar and cholesterol. It also
increases your metabolism, so sprinkle away!
Cinnamon can also make you
more kissable. Mix a small amount with a few drops of honey and massage into
your lips to deepen your natural color and exfoliate dead skin cells away. Just
be sure to moisturize afterwards.







SOURCE: MEDICAL NEWS TODAY
Kayode Ojo
Kayode Emmanuel Ojo is the Co-Founder and Managing Director at SHEFFA Limited. He is presently studying Computer Science at the National Open University, Victoria Island, Lagos.