It should come as no surprise that a varied, healthy diet will make us look better as well as feel it, with healthier skin, stronger hair and even a more svelte figure. There can be all kinds of reasons why we look grey or why our eyes have lost their sparkle, but most of the time we just need to refuel with a few of the everyday foods that can make a difference to our natural healthy appearance. Here are our top picks.
Peppers for bright eyes
Red, orange, yellow, green – they’re all a good source of carotenes some of which the body safely converts into vitamin A – which is essential for healthy eyes and our immune response.
Citrus fruits for anti-ageing
These are good sources of vitamin C, which is an essential antioxidant vitamin that is involved in collagen synthesis, helps build healthy tissue (including skin), protects against daily damage and supports your immune system – which makes you look great because you feel great! Blackcurrants are a good source too.
Wholegrain foods for UV protection
Yes, believe it or not, you can help protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays from the inside out. Wholegrains, along with seeds, are a wonderful source of vitamin E. The only fat-soluble antioxidant vitamin, it has many important properties, particularly protecting cell membranes, making it valuable for skin health and reducing UV skin damage.
Cereal for healthy skin
B2 can also be found in dairy produce and eggs, but some breakfast cereals are a useful source of riboflavin, which helps maintain skin health. It also helps to keep the eyes and mouth in good condition.
Leafy greens for general health
The term ‘superfood’ has fallen out of fashion because it suggested that just a few foods could solve all your problems. Although that’s not the case, there are some foods that tick more than one nutritional box. Leafy greens are a great source of carotene, folic acid and vitamin C and K (essential for healthy blood clotting), as well as fibre. That’s pretty ‘super’ by anyone’s standards…
Water to stop bloating
If your body isn’t getting enough fluids, it will hang on to the fluids it already has, leading to water-retention and bloating. The recommended 6 to 8 glasses of fluids a day is a good guide – and although you don’t have to exclusively drink water, at least you won’t be tempted to dunk a biscuit in it! Tea, coffee and alcohol can cause dehydration, anyway, so are best avoided if possible.
Nuts for the brain
Nuts are an amazing source of nutrients and will stave off hunger as a long-lasting snack, which means you don’t need to feast on them – just keep a bag handy to nibble on from time to time. And while they may be very high in fat, they also have a good mix of mono-unsaturates and poly-unsaturates. Steer clear of coconut – high in saturated fat – and instead enjoy almonds and hazelnuts, particularly rich in vitamin E. Walnuts are packed with healthy unsaturated omega-3 fats, as are Brazil nuts, which are also a phenomenal source of selenium. For zinc try pistachios, cashews and pecans.
Kiwi for the immune system
Kiwis are rich in vitamin C, which not only helps boost your immune system (reducing the risk of those those grey-looking periods when you’re on the verge of illness) but also aids iron absorption when you are eating iron-rich foods. If you become iron-deficient you will most likely lose your bloom, as well as feeling tired and possibly dizzy.
Tomatoes for good skin and eyes
A great source of lycopene and carotene, tomatoes also contain vitamins C and E, important for maintenance of health skin condition and eyes. Even purées, tinned tomatoes, passata and tomato juice can be nutritionally good for you.
Fish for strong hair and nails
Tuna, sardines, mackerel and salmon are useful sources of essential fatty acids (omega-3 group), great not only for better inner health but also for problems like eczema. Protein and EFAs could also help keep your hair and nails looking great, too!
What foods do you swear by to help keep you looking gorgeous? Let us know in the comments section below.