You’ve probably heard the phrase “you are what you eat” more than once, and while eating a hamburger doesn’t really make you a cow, the foods we eat do determine how healthy we are. That same phrase is true for our physical appearance as well. Eating unhealthy foods inflame our cells and cause a breakdown in collagen, keratin and elastin, all of which contribute to healthy skin, shiny hair and strong nails. Kind of makes you think twice about that burger now, doesn’t it?
The best part about eating cleaner, more nutritious foods is the almost immediate impact we see in hair, skin and nails. Here are five everyday foods that can help contribute to a healthier outward appearance, while also keeping you healthy on the inside!
Berries are chock full of antioxidants, powerful compounds that fight against free radicals that try to harm the body. These free radicals are also one of the most well known causes of early aging. Keep your skin supple and healthy looking by eating a cup of berries a day. Try blueberries, raspberries, or even dried goji berries tossed into your morning oatmeal or bowl of yogurt for an anti-aging anti-oxidant kick!
4. Chia Seeds
They might be weird to look at, but chia seeds are tiny nutritional powerhouses. Packed with protein, fiber and heart-healthy omega-3s, chia seeds fight inflammation in the body that can harm the appearance of skin. As an added bonus, chia seeds help you to fill fuller longer, meaning you are less likely to give in to that mid-afternoon binge. Sprinkle them into your yogurt, salads or even water!
3. Bell Peppers
Bell peppers come in a variety of colors, but all of them are packed with vitamin C, a vital nutrient that builds collagen for healthy skin and hair. Enjoy your bell peppers sliced and dipped in hummus or stir-fry them into your dinner!
Spinach offers you three powerful antioxidants – vitamin E, vitamin C and beta-carotene, all of which are vital to protecting your skin from dangerous UV rays that can lead to early signs of aging. Try to eat one cup a day -swap out half of your salad greens for spinach or blend a handful into your smoothie (I promise you won’t taste it!).
1. Raw Almonds
Almonds are rich in heart-healthy flavonoids and vitamin E, both of which are vital to skin health. They help to ward off damage from free radicals as well as oxidative damage that can be caused by a bad diet and even smoking. Enjoy a handful a day as a snack or dip an apple into roasted, unsalted almond butter.