JANUARY begins with such good intentions.
But even if your detox plans went downhill after week one, glossy hair, glowing skin and healthy nails are all still within your reach — at any time of year.
True beauty comes from within — and a good place to start is with the contents of your fridge.
The glossy hair, glowing skin and healthy nails are all things you can glean from cuisine. It’s not rocket science. Pack your diet with vitamin and mineral-rich goodness and you’ll reap the beauty benefits.
Kick start your day with a cup of green tea to rev up your metabolism and get your skin glowing.
“Drinking green tea has many beauty benefits,” says Simple nutritionist, Fiona Hunter. “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.
“Green tea 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 to indulge in for gorgeous, glossy locks. They work wonders for hair inside and out; rich in biotin, which is essential for cell growth, and vitamin B-12 for strengthening locks and maintaining a healthy scalp.
Finish with a glass of fresh orange juice. It’s packed with vitamin C, crucial for producing collagen — the protein that helps keep skin looking fresh and youthful.
Whip up a skin-friendly super-salad for your afternoon meal. Ingredients rich in lutein can work especially well if you’re a sun-seeker.
“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,” says nutritionist Amanda Ursell.
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.
Try a small scoop of coconut oil for afters. Jennifer Aniston was spotted toting it in her shopping basket. The plant oil promotes supple, deeply hydrated skin and it’s versatile to: virgin organic coconut oil is for eating and for beauty.
You can’t beat oily fish for enviable skin and hair. The fatty acids found in salmon, mackerel and sardines can help give you a post-facial-like glow, keeping your skin plump and moisturised.
If Christmas leftovers and curries haven’t put you off, turkey is also a healthy dinner alternative. Hunter says: “A 100g serving contains nearly 75% of an adult’s Recommend Daily Allowance (RDA) of protein. It’s also low in fat and rich in zinc and selenium — an antioxidant that benefits the skin and immune system.”
For sides, try carrots: “Rich in alpha-carotene and beta-carotene, which convert to vitamin A, this is essential for the manufacture of new skin cells,” Hunter advises.
Chocoholics don’t have to deny themselves for dessert. Good quality dark chocolate, with high cocoa contents, contains a group of phytochemicals called flavonols that can help protect the skin against free radical damage, known to cause wrinkles and anti-ageing.
Nibbling on nuts will help conquer hunger pangs between meals — and top-up your beauty regime. Almonds are rich in vitamin E and chewing a few a day can help improve skin texture. Hazelnuts are another good source.
Fruit also makes great beautifying snacks. And a few dried apricots, high in iron, will improve skin tone.
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