Most of us think the only way to improve our looks is to cover up what we don’t like. Keeping our perceived problems a secret doesn’t address the roots of what’s making us feel so damned unpretty (RIP Left Eye) and almost certainly guarantees we’ll continue to live in the same struggle city. To look our best and truly banish our beauty banes, we have to start with what we put in our bodies.
Fighting acne? Embarrassed by dandruff? Nails forever breaking? Load up on the common foods listed below and you’re likely to see your biggest beauty complaints go MIA.
Rich in over 20 minerals and vitamins including B, C, E and K; antioxidants, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and potassium, avocados are fantastic for softening and brightening your skin and hair. Sounds like a great excuse to whip up guacamole and order your avocado toast with abandon.
Beets contain antioxidants that help eliminate free radicals that dull the skin, along with acne-fighting zinc. They also flush out your lymphatic system and cleanse the small intestine, removing toxins from the body and brightening your eyes. So roast these root vegetables for a goat cheese, beet and arugula sandwich or grate them raw into a slaw with carrots and apples.
Fight signs of aging caused by the stress-induced cortisol hormone by adding a generous amount of purple cabbage to your diet—since it’s rich in vitamins A, C and E, it acts as an anti-inflammatory by lowering the level of cortisol in your body. Keep your skin hydrated and prevent wrinkles by eating roasted purple cabbage with lemon and garlic or a vibrant smoothie of purple cabbage, blueberries, strawberries, yogurt and a little honey (trust us).
RED BELL PEPPERS
Containing double the vitamin C than their other varieties, eating red bell peppers helps the body form collagen, a structural fiber that helps keep everything from your skin to your joints flexible and resilient. Add them to anything and everything you can—scrambled eggs, quiche, salads, pizza, quesadillas, hummus, soup and more.
Super versatile, walnuts calm scalp irritation and tone the skin by preventing age spots and dryness with Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, antioxidants and B-complex vitamins. You can get fancy and make a walnut and herb crust for your grilled halibut or tilapia, or simply snack on them raw to avoid a mid-afternoon hangry episode.
Weak nails? Yogurt is rich in nail-strengthening calcium and vitamins B2 (riboflavin), B6 and B12 so adding a cup of it to a few meals every week will promote detoxing your skin. Greek yogurt contains gut-strengthen probiotics that help take stress off your skin to keep it clear and calm, and it’s easy to add a dollop to your pancake batter, tzatziki dip and chocolate mousse.