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A Beauty Regime that Starts on the Inside

by Debbie Robinson

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A Beauty Regime that Starts on the Inside

Did you know what you're eating can make you beautiful? Here’s the scoop on starting your beauty routine with breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Look Younger
Almonds have amazing anti-aging properties. Not only do they contain a lot of vitamin E (you know, the vitamin that's often listed as an ingredient in anti-wrinkle creams), but they also contains high amounts of fatty acids (which help keep skin plump and supple), as well as the antioxidant selenium. Just be sure not to eat too many of these crunchy beasts. They have great beautifying properties, but they also contain a whole lot of calories. A handful is plenty!

Strengthen Nails
Keep nails strong and moisturized by eating lots of protein. Protein is what builds up keratin, the substance nails are made up of. Skinless, boneless chicken breast, lean turkey, tuna and beans are all good (and tasty) sources.

Shiny Hair
Foods rich in vitamin B are fantastic for making dull hair shinier. You can get a lot of "The B" (our affectionate nickname for this vitamin) from eggs, milk, green veggies, and poultry. Silica is also very important for keeping hair elastic, shiny and healthy. Raw oats, cucumber skin, onions and bean sprouts are all major sources of this mineral.

Fix Dry Skin
Faced with dry, flaky skin? Have fish for dinner! Fish (especially oily fish like salmon) contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for hydrating and nourishing skin.

Zap Zits
Move over, Clearasil. It seems that zinc and calcium might be challenging your position as best pimple annihilators. In one Swedish study, acne-prone patients who added a zinc supplement to their diets had an 85 percent reduction of acne in just three months. Some great sources of pimple-pummeling zinc are oysters, turkey, seafood, eggs, and milk. As you know, calcium is good for bones. But it's also great for clearing skin. Calcium-rich foods like skim milk, low-fat cheese and yogurt can help keep your skin pimple-free. No zits equals good times!

Banish Wrinkles
Collagen-building vitamin C is a real wrinkle-buster! So kiwis are a perfect summer food if you want to avoid pesky lines, 'cuz one small kiwi contains more than 100 percent of the recommended daily intake of the vitamin. Vitamin C offers up tons of health benefits, including helping your body to build collagen. When you have more collagen, your skin retains more elasticity, and wrinkles are slower to form. Other great sources of the vitamin are oranges, mango, honeydew and papaya.

Soothe Sunburn
Spent a little too much time in the summer sun? Just reach for some peaches or blueberries. Turns out these sweet, seasonal treats contain tons of vitamin E. "E" (the vitamin, not the TV network) is known for easing the redness and swelling associated with sunburns. And by preventing swelling, it also prevents stretching of the skin that can lead to wrinkle formation. Peachy keen!

Whiten Teeth
We all know that sodas, coffee, tea and sugary foods can stain and discolor teeth. But did you know that certain foods can actually help whiten those suckers up? Crunchy foods like apples and celery help clear stain-causing substances off tooth enamel.

Good-Bye Dark, Puffy Eyes
No one wants puffy under-eyes. If you have them, up your intake of vitamin C and iron. And iron plus vitamin C together equals a great way to attack dark under-eye circles. Try pairing up sliced, boneless, skinless chicken breasts (high in iron) with some of those sliced red, yellow or orange peppers. Sauté them together, with some onions and garlic, in a nonstick pan spritzed with nonfat cooking spray. The result? A delicious, low-cal, under-eye, circle-erasing feast!

Get the Glow
Want that glow? To get skin looking fresh, dewy, refreshed and healthy, guzzle down lots of H2O. It may sound cliché, but it's definitely true. Water flushes out toxins, and keeps you hydrated, so it really does keep skin looking rosy and supple.

Prevent Skin Cancer

Tomatoes completely rock. They contain three skin-cancer-fighting antioxidants: beta carotene, vitamin C and lycopene. Tomato it up with stewed tomatoes, fresh tomatoes and tomato sauce! And if you want to maximize your body's absorption of lycopene, cook your tomatoes in a small amount of olive oil. 

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