Discover a new and beautiful you from the inside out.
by Yvelette Stines, Heart & Soul
No matter how many beauty products you may use, your eating habits play a major role in the structure of your hair, skin and nails.
“Beauty comes from within and what you eat will enhance your appearance,” says Nwenna Kai, raw food expert and author of “The Raw Food Goddess” (www.nwennakai.com).
Other experts agree that what you put in your body will show on the outside.
“If you are eating a lot of fast foods, you may have skin issues due to the high amounts of fat, sugar and oils that these foods contain,” adds Afya Ibomu, a certified holistic nutritionist. “If you eat a lot of vegetables, you probably have glistening eyes and great skin because of the health-benefiting nutrients they contain.”
But not all foods are created equal when it comes to beauty. There are some foods that will radically enhance your look. These great foods, Kai says, contain beauty minerals and nutrients such as silicon, iron, magnesium, protein and zinc.
1. Hemp seeds – “Hemp seeds are full of protein and essential fats,” Kai says. These nutrients are wonderful for the hair and scalp. Hemp is also known to develop keratin in the hair.
2. Blue-green algae – “Blue-green algae is full of protein, vitamin B12, iron, beta-carotene, chlorophyll and amino acids,” Kai says. “This algae is also known to stimulate hair growth because of the fact that blue-green algae increases oxygen in the bloodstream.”
3. Quinoa – This grain is infused with protein. Quinoa has all of the essential amino acids as well as a high content of iron and calcium, magnesium, copper and fiber. “Since our hair is essentially made of protein, it is important to incorporate sufficient amounts of plant-based protein ideal for your body and lifestyle,” Kai says.
4. Black garlic – With roots in Korea, black garlic is “put through a month-long process of fermentation, which gives it its distinctive color,” Ibomu says. Known to have twice the anti-aging antioxidant of white garlic, black garlic is known to “slow down the aging process by protecting our skin from free radicals,” Ibomu adds.
5. Turmeric – A popular staple in Indian cooking, “this anti-inflammatory root has been known to treat acne, (dark) age spots, and increase the time of wound healing,” Ibomu says. Turmeric can also help even skin tone and reduce wrinkles.
6. Jicama – Jicama is a root vegetable that looks like a mix between a turnip and a potato. Jicama is rich in vitamin C, Ibomu says, and will boost the production of collagen, a protein that improves the smoothness of your skin.
7. Sea moss – “Sea moss nourishes and balances the skin because of its high content of calcium, iron and folate,” Ibomu says. Sea moss is used around the globe in many hair and skin care products to help reduce cellulite, improve psoriasis and dandruff, and to detoxify and firm the skin.
8. Reishi mushrooms – With immune-boosting properties, reishi mushrooms have anti-fungal properties that protect nails from infection. “This ancient mushroom is known to boost your immunity and fight against the development of tumors,” Ibomu says.
9. Flaxseed – Flaxseed contains the essential fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6 that help make your nails strong and shiny.
10. Chia seeds – This tiny power seed has omega fatty acids, calcium, antioxidants and protein. Ibomu says, “Chia will help both your overall health and support the health of your nails, hair and skin.”