Every woman wants to eat better, look gorgeous, and do it effortlessly. Now, you can have it all when you pack your diet with these beauty-enhancing foods!
Former-model-turned-chef/author, Candice Kumai found her passion for life through cooking delicious real, foods; and she simultaneously found that beauty truly does start from the inside out! If you want smooth skin, flaxseed meal will help. Do you desire long, shiny hair? Opt for an avocado. Want to add more moisture to dry skin and hair? Choose a sweet potato. And that’s just the beginning! Read on to find my top XX secret beauty foods to gorgeous skin, hair, and nails. Watch Kathy Lee, Hoda and Candice chat all about these foods and more, here!
Rich, creamy and packed with good-for-you monounsaturated fats, avocados are the ultimate get-gorgeous food. Key for shiny hair, skin and nails, avocados also contain healthy monounsaturated fatty acids. These “good fats” can aid in lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, while improving HDL (good) cholesterol levels! Avocados also contain antioxidants, fiber, potassium, magnesium, and folate, and one avocado is packed with more potassium than a medium banana—almost 900 grams! Additionally, studies show that avocados are “nutrient boosters,” meaning they aid the body in absorption of nutrients from other foods.
Berries are loaded with anti-inflammatory agents, vitamins, and antioxidants that help protect you from premature aging. The antioxidants in berries help minimize the damage of free radicals, which can accelerate wrinkle formation and cause disease. Berries are packed with vitamin C, which helps produce skin that’s firm and strong. Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is a nutrient that’s essential to the production of collagen, a protein that aids in the growth of cells and blood vessels.
Full of monounsaturated good for-you-fat, this oil is my favorite to cook Thai, Asian-or Indian inspired meals at a high heat. Full of MCFA’s (medium chain fatty acids) your body can metabolize fast, coconut oil may also speed up your metabolism! I also use it as a natural moisturizer in my hair (just a little bit goes a long way) as well! I use coconut oil on my legs before a shoot, I love using a bit on my bum, feet and hands before bedtime! It’s nature’s natural way to stay gorgeous!!
Flaxseed provides a mega boost of omega-3 fatty acids, which are necessary for optimum brain function, a healthy heart, and radiant skin. Studies show both omega-6 fatty acids and the omega-3 fatty acids in flaxseed help soothe skin conditions like acne or eczema. Flaxseeds also contain anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation of your skin. One anti-inflammatory agent, omega-3 Fatty Acids, an essential fatty acid that can aid in lowering cholesterol and help maintain a healthy rate of skin cell renewal. The fiber in flaxseed can also reduce bloating, promote digestion and allow that gorgeous body to naturally detox. To ensure your body absorbs all these beauty-boosting benefits, consume flaxseed in ground or “meal” form.
A great source of satisfying fiber and protein, almond nut butter can help keep your body lean and trim when incorporated into a healthy diet. This get-gorgeous food is also packed with vitamin E, manganese, and selenium, which help keep your hair shiny. The vitamin E in almonds and almond butter can also help protect your skin from the sun’s damaging UV rays. Vitamin E and almond oil is also used topically on the body as a beauty serum.
Also known as the “fountain of youth” resveratrol, (with this specific unique blend of seven plant sources) contains white grape, red grape and Concord grape juices as the delicious base flavor. Processed with Japanese knotweed extract, grape seed and grape skin extract, aloe vera powder and red wine extract, without the wine hangover!… Of course, if you prefer the glass of red wine, this also contains anti-aging properties! **Clank** Enjoy life’s greatest beauty-pleasures.
Hemp Seed/Hemp Protein
Rich in vitamin E, Omega 3’s, (for beautiful hair, skin and nails!) which also may help to prevent diabetes, heart disease, dementia and decreases inflammation. It also helps repair and aids in the growth of lean body mass, who doesn’t want to be lean and lovely! I’m coining this as one of the top “super trending” foods in health and wellness for 2014!
Also known as “wakame” or “hijiki salad,” sea vegetables have been consumed by my Japanese ancestors for thousands of years. My 62-year-old mother and 93-year-old grandmother are both slim and just radiant, and this superfood may be one reason why! Chock-full of iron and phytonutrients to aid in circulation, seaweed can help you attain gorgeous, smooth legs and fabulous, supple skin! Sea plants are rich in phytonutrients and minerals that are essential for gorgeous hair, skin and nail reproductive health, such as iron, manganese, iodine, copper, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, and selenium. Seaweed’s extensive vitamin and mineral profile aids in a clear complexion, soft, vibrant skin, and shiny hair. Pair this seaweed salad with some sushi or miso and you’ve got a Kumai-approved meal to a gorgeous new you.
Sweet potatoes can help boost immunity and aid in glowing, gorgeous skin. Full of beta-carotene, sweet potatoes can help maintain bright, healthy eyes and protect your beautiful skin from UV exposure. Sweet potatoes are bursting with Vitamins A, C, and E, which can help improve the look of your hair and skin. Enjoy these nutritious spuds steamed, baked, sautéed, or roasted into sweet potato fries (my favorite!). Serve with organic ketchup and you’ll be on your way to gorgeous.
It’s time to give your salad a makeover! Iceberg and romaine salads are so last season. Kale is the trendy green of choice and it’s also one of the most nutrient-dense superfoods in the produce section. Kale is packed with vitamins A, B6, C, and K, manganese, fiber, and omegas. One cup of kale provides about 10% of the RDA of omega-3 fatty acids that help to reduce inflammation in the body. With almost 200% of the RDA of vitamin A, one cup of kale is an effective antioxidant, boosts immunity, maintains healthy bones and gorgeous teeth. So smile more after you eat that gorgeous kale. Toss this healthy green into soups, bake it to make chips, or swap it in your salads like my kale and fennel Caesar salad, pictured here. Antioxidant-packed kale, can help to banish free-radicals and aid in naturally repairing the skin.
Green Tea/Matcha powder: Green tea contains a large amount of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and amino acids, and studies show it may help boost that metabolism. Green tea also contains relaxing qualities, helps to lower blood sugar and cholesterol, and can naturally help to detoxify your body. Polyphenols (found in green-tea) act as “antioxidant-phytochemicals.” They are believed to be beneficial in fighting free-radicals that may be harmful to your health. Tea leaves, like green tea, when derived from the Camellia plant are bursting with polyphenols. Polyphenols can help assist in the detoxification of free-radicals in your body. For good health and optimum wellness, I drink a cup of genmaicha-green tea (toasted-rice-green-tea), just like my 92-year old Japanese Baachan. It seems to be doing her a great thing or two
This tiny grain-like seed is a nutritional powerhouse. Quinoa contains large amounts of protein and contains all essential amino acids. The best part about quinoa? You can eat it for breakfast (as a quinoa porridge with peaches and shaved coconut), lunch (with some mixed greens, shaved fennel, and a balsamic vinaigrette), or for dinner (in a quinoa lasagna)—just to name a few examples. The amino acids and vitamins B6, iron and zinc in quinoa will help fire up immunity, and the fiber in quinoa will help to keep you regular and moving.
Dark 70% Cacao Chocolate
I consider this the queen of get-gorgeous foods!Chocolate contains anti-aging antioxidants called flavonoids, which are antioxidants that fight free radicals to protect your skin from aging, UV damage and help prevent the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and skin discolorations. One study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that participants who consumed chocolate high in flavonols (think dark chocolate—the higher the cocoa content the higher the health benefits) experienced improved skin texture and hydration, less sensitivity to the sun, and had 25 percent less skin redness. While eating chocolate, the brain releases endorphins, your body’s all natural feel-good buzz, phenylethylamine, that seems to induce that feeling of falling in love. Remember feeling gorgeous is also, beautiful! Because beauty will always start from the inside.