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Eat yourself beautiful
3:10pm Monday 4th February 2013 in Beauty
Your hair and skincare regime isn’t just about cosmetics – raid the grocery stores for foods to help you look good. Lisa Haynes shares her beauty diet plan
AS the old adage goes, true beauty comes from within – and a good place to start is with the contents of your fridge. Glossy hair, glowing skin and healthy nails are all things you can glean from cuisine.
Humble watercress recently rivalled expensive potions when, after just four weeks of adding a bag a day to their diet, ten out of 11 women experienced visible improvements to their skin, according to a study.
It’s not rocket science. Pack your diet with vitamin and mineral-rich goodness and you’ll reap the beauty benefits.
About 70 per cent of Brits opt for a natural approach to their daily beauty routine, a survey commissioned by Tropicana revealed.
“There’s a growing body of evidence that shows the look and feel of our skin may be influenced by what we eat,” says Amanda Ursell, Tropicana nutritionist. “Specific nutrients found in your diet have a major part to play in ensuring clear skin, bright eyes and glossy hair.”
KICK-START your day with a cup of green tea to rev up your metabolism.
Simple’s nutritionist, Fiona Hunter, says: “A natural antioxidant, green tea comes from the same plant as other teas, but it is not fermented, so retains more nutrients and has been shown to have twice as much antioxidant power as vitamin E. It can help when it comes to skincare, protecting it from external environmental influences and therefore helping fight signs of premature ageing.”
Eggs are the breakfast food for glossy locks.
They work wonders for hair – rich in biotin, which is essential for cell growth, and vitamin B-12 for strengthening hair and a healthy scalp.
Finish with a glass of fresh orange juice, which is packed with vitamin C which is crucial for producing collagen – the protein that helps keep skin looking fresh and youthful.
WHIP up a skin-friendly super-salad. Ingredients rich in lutein can work especially well if you’re a sun-seeker.
Amanda Ursell says: “Lutein belongs to the carotenoid family of antioxidants and has been linked to reducing sun-induced skin damage and improving the elasticity of the skin.”
Spinach (12mg in 100g) and red peppers (7mg in 100g) are both good sources. Add some hearty chunks of sweet potato for an extra fix of Vitamin E.
Forget ice cream and try a small scoop of coconut oil for afters. Jennifer Aniston was spotted with it in her shopping basket. The plant oil promotes supple, deeply hydrated skin.
“We get a lot of inquiries about whether our Virgin Organic Coconut Oil is for eating or for beauty – and the answer is both,” says Dr Organic spokesperson Michael Lightowlers.
YOU can’t beat oily fish for enviable skin and hair. The fatty acids in salmon, mackerel and sardines can help give you a glow, keeping your skin plump and moisturised.
If Christmas leftovers and curries haven’t put you off, turkey is also a healthy choice.
Fiona Hunter says: “A 100g serving contains nearly 75 per cent of an adult’s recommended daily allowance of protein. It’s also low in fat and rich in zinc and selenium – an antioxidant that benefits the skin and immune system.”
Carrots are a good idea. “Rich in alphacarotene and beta-carotene, which convert to vitamin A, this is essential for the manufacture of new skin cells,” she advises.
Chocoholics don’t have to deny themselves.
Dark chocolate with a high cocoa content contains a group of phytochemicals called flavonols that can help protect the skin against free radical damage, known to cause wrinkles.
NIBBLING on nuts will help to conquer hunger pangs – and top-up your beauty regime. Almonds are rich in Vitamin E and chewing a few a day can help improve skin texture and lessen after-meal surges in blood sugar levels. Hazelnuts are another good source. Fruit also makes a great beautifying snack. Tangerines are a good source of lutein, while blueberries, strawberries and kiwis are packed with vitamin C.