The foods you eat not only play a role in how you feel, they can also impact the way you look. An unhealthy diet can mean dull skin, dry hair, brittle nails and blemishes, among a whole host of other problems.
We’re sharing some of the best foods you can eat to boost not only your appearance but also your overall health.
Cabbage might not be pretty to look at, but it does show that beauty-boosting foods don’t always have to be exotic or rare to be beneficial. “Cabbage contains vitamins A, C and E, making it a great skin and hair food,” says Snyder. “It is not commonly known that cabbages actually contain about 11 percent more vitamin C than oranges by weight, and vitamin C is the super anti-aging nutrient that helps heal damaged tissues and boosts collagen production,” she explains. “It’s also high in fiber, which is important for ongoing cleansing, a critical component of boosting beauty.” Chop it into salads, add it to stir-fries and stir it into soups.
Turmeric is popping up on more and more must-try lists due to the number of health benefits it offers. “Turmeric keeps red blood cells from clumping, promotes their formation, increases circulation and aids in tissue healing,” says Snyder. “Because it helps increase circulation via better blood flow, turmeric helps make the skin more glowing, supple and healthy looking,” she adds. “Cleansed blood also helps prevent acne and skin disorders.” Use turmeric as a seasoning in sauces, marinades and dressings.
If you want clear, glowing and blemish-free skin, make sure lemons are part of your daily diet. “Lemon aids with digestion by increasing the secretion of bile from the liver, while also acting as a strengthening agent for the liver’s enzymes. Any support to the liver, which is our primary detoxifying organ, is going to help clear up acne in the long run,” explains Snyder. “Lemon is also a vitamin C-rich citrus fruit that helps bring a radiant glow to your complexion, fighting wrinkles and rejuvenating skin from within. It also contains the minerals calcium, potassium and magnesium.” Sip warm lemon water in the morning (or through the day) and use lemon as a seasoning for seafood and salad.
The food-beauty connection
The connection between food and beauty is a strong one. Just by changing the foods you eat, you can make a big change in the way you look and feel. Beyond just numbers (counting calories, carbs, etc.), Snyder says that it’s important to take into account how a food digests in your body (if it is alkaline-forming or acid-forming, whether it is non-processed, contains fiber, etc.). “When we eat lots of acid-forming foods we create toxicity in the body and tend to hold onto more weight. Alkaline-foods make our body more alkaline, and when our body is more alkaline we are generally more beautiful, healthy and balanced,” she explains. “The truly alkaline foods are fresh fruits and vegetables, which are also loaded with fiber.”
You can tell a lot about a person’s diet by their looks. Snyder meets many young women with faces that start to look hard and lined at a fairly young age, something she calls the “old skinny” look. “It is no surprise that most all of them are eating a mostly acidic diet and/or are constipated. Constipation is the death of beauty; the holding in of toxicity and waste, which then recirculate, while space in the body for oxygen to flow through decreases,” she explains. “Adding more fiber is critical. The easiest way to do that is to have a Glowing Green Smoothie every day.” We asked Snyder to share the recipe (see below). Each 16-ounce serving supplies almost 13.5 grams of fiber.
Beauty detox must-haves
Ready to stock your fridge with the best in beauty detox foods? Aside from the items already mentioned, Snyder shares a few other foods she always has on hand.
- Salad ingredients: Stock up on dark leafy greens like kale, spinach or romaine, and sprouts, so there is no excuse not to toss together a quick salad at lunch and dinner.
- Quick dinner ingredients: Always keep lemons on hand, as well as quinoa, squash, sweet potatoes and avocados. “These are easy foods to grab and that store well for at least a few days, so you’re never in a huge bind,” says Snyder. “You can always cook quinoa in 12 minutes and eat a big salad with it as a simple dinner.”
- Healthy snacks: If you like to snack, keep veggie sticks and hummus or salsa around, or even some gluten-free crackers.
“Stocking your house with these good-for-you ingredients means you’ll be more willing to snack on those when you’re hungry. Go to the grocery store at least once a week.”
Get glowing with the Glowing Green Smoothie
The No. 1 thing Snyder recommends to all of her celebrity clients is to start drinking her Glowing Green Smoothie every day for breakfast to kick-start their healthier lifestyle. “It’s such an easy way to boost your beauty every day — your skin will start to glow. It’s packed with more greens than most people would get in an entire day, though the fruit and lemon help it taste yummy,” she says. “You’ll ingest a great deal of vitamins, enzymes, antioxidants and minerals, plus it will give you a huge boost of energy that you wouldn’t get from a standard breakfast.”
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 head organic romaine lettuce, chopped
- 3-4 stalks organic celery
- 1/2 of a large bunch of spinach or 3/4 of a small bunch of spinach
- 1 organic apple, cored and chopped
- 1 organic pear, cored and chopped
- 1 organic banana
- Juice of half of a fresh organic lemon
- 1/3 bunch organic cilantro (stems OK)
- 1/3 bunch organic parsley (stems OK)
- Add the water and chopped head of romaine to the blender. Starting the blender at low speed, mix until smooth.
- Gradually moving to higher speeds, add the celery, apple and pear. Add the cilantro and parsley as desired. Add the banana and lemon juice last.