As I have been writing articles for this blog, a funny thing has happened. I have noticed that far more of my posts than I had originally intended to be are, in fact, written about food. This has gotten me to thinking about the fact that beauty and nutrition really are inextricably linked. For that matter, leading a fabulous life is also largely tied in to nutrition. You literally are what you eat. Therefore, if you want to look good, age well and feel great (thus allowing you to lead a more fabulous life) then eating well is a must!
I must admit that I was puzzled as to what to write about for today’s post. Fortunately I was inspired by a newsletter which I received from my esthetics school. As you may have learned from reading About Me, I am a graduate of the Institute of Aesthetic Arts and Sciences. Not only does IAAS offer one of the best esthetics educations available in the United States but they also offer AMAZING post-graduate support. I recently received my aforementioned monthly newsletter from the school. This month’s letter featured a study recently released by the AARP (American Association for Retired Persons) on super-foods for the skin. Once again, this got me to thinking about the inextricable link between beauty and nutrition. AARP listed several of the super-foods which can be great for combatting cancers, sunburns and wrinkles. Check it out:
DARK LEAFY GREENS boost the skin’s natural defenses. They are rich in antioxidants and so much more! A couple of great ones to try? Kale and Spinach.
- Kale is AMAZING. It is literally loaded with antioxidants, nutrients and phytochemicals which have been shown to fight breast and lung cancers, to prevent age-related macular degeneration and to help to improve cellular circulation and respiration. Not only does 1 cup of kale contain more calcium than a glass of milk, but it is also more easily absorbed!
- Spinach is AWESOME! Loaded with folate, iron, antioxidants and more, this leafy green helps to fight heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and hypertension. It also helps to protect you from sun damage! Be sure to buy organic and add it to everything from smoothies to salads!
SWEET POTATOES are an AMAZING source of beta-carotene. Because of this, they may help to fight certain cancers and to lower the risk of heart disease.
BLACK AND GREEN TEAS have been used since the sixth-century for their anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-allergenic properties. Theses teas have also been linked to preventing sun damage to the skin! *Black and Green teas can be substituted for water when making a smoothie.
TOMATOES are over 90% water! They are also loaded with phytochemicals and nutrients. They boost the skin’s natural sun-protection factor and have been shown to reduce the risk of a number of different cancers!
POMEGRANATES offer nearly three times the disease-fighting antioxidants found in other fruit juices and teas (including: cranberry juice, green tea and red wine)! In fact, just one pomegranate contains nearly your entire day’s recommended amount of Vitamin C!
There are so many super-foods out there in nature…the aforementioned are only a few of them. As you can see, eating a diet rich in fruits and veggies will help to keep you looking and feeling young and healthy! Sure, the “junkie” foods are fun sometimes (who doen’t love a good bag of chips?!); however, they should NOT make up the bulk of your regular diet. Aim to include at least some fruits and veggies (preferably organic) at every meal and you will be on your way to looking and feeling vibrant!
Need inspiration? Check out this FABULOUS super-foods recipe built off of an inspiration from Weight Watchers:
STUFFED TOMATOES: (Serves 2)
Large Tomato (halved)
1/2 c. Mozzarella Cheese (cubed)
1 T. Red Onion (minced)
1 T. Fresh Basil (chopped)
1/2 c. Fresh Spinach (chopped)
2 T. Fat-Free Vinaigrette
Scoop out tomato halves. Combine all other ingredients in bowl. Salt and pepper to taste. Divide equally between shells.
***NOTE: You can always choose to bulk up this recipe by adding a whole grain such as Quinoa to the mixture. Be creative!