Q. Glen, What effect does your diet really have on your appearance?
A. As the saying goes, "You are what you eat." We know eating sensibly helps maintain a healthy lifestyle, but it can also help maintain a healthy appearance. When you feel good about the things you eat and the things you eat are good for you, you’ll look good, too. Here are 10 foods to help you do just that.
Drinking plenty of water every day helps the skin look soft, supple and more youthful. By keeping the body hydrated, your overall appearance will benefit -- from improved skin texture to healthier hair and nails. If you’re feeling bloated, it may be due to an increase of sodium in the body. Increase your intake of water to help flush it out. Also, water helps the weight-loss process by reducing water weight and replenishes water loss during workout activity.
Vitamin C helps the body fight infection and disease. It pumps up the immune system and promotes healing. Did you also know that vitamin C is essential to collagen production? Collagen helps the skin remain elastic but firm, which keeps the skin wrinkle-free. Citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli and cabbage are all vitamin C-rich foods. Keep in mind that their juices are also packed with this important vitamin.
Also rich in antioxidants, green tea has also been shown to lower cholesterol, improve immune function and reduce the risk of specific types of cancer. If you're a big coffee drinker, try replacing your morning cup o' Joe with a cup of green tea. Without cream, sugar or other artificial flavorings, you may notice a reduction in weight -- and still satisfy your caffeine fix.
Soy proteins are rich in amino acids, vitamin E and many antioxidants. These components help the skin retain moisture, smooth skin’s appearance and improve elasticity.
Essential Fatty Acids
Essential fatty acids (EFAs) like omega-3 and omega-6 are known as "good fat," which helps cellular functioning. This helps skin, hair, nails, muscles and practically everything involved in your physical appearance. Like other "good" foods, EFAs help the cells to function properly, which helps to clear up skin and prevent blemishes, reduce wrinkles, improve hair condition and nail growth.
"Milk. It does a body good." It's not just a catchy marketing phrase -- it's true. Milk is rich in calcium, vitamins B2, B12 and D. Calcium, paired with the calcium-absorption booster vitamin D, helps to maintain strong bones and healthy teeth. Vitamins B2 and B12 are essential for red blood cell growth, which helps to carry much needed oxygen to cells. So what does this mean to your looks? Hair and skin will look livelier and healthier.
Vegetables such as spinach, collard greens and kale are rich in Vitamin A, C, E, iron and fiber. We've already discussed the benefits of vitamin C, but equally important to looking great is your intake of vitamin A and E. Vitamin A has antioxidant properties and maintains moisture for eyes, skin and mucous membranes. Vitamin E is essential for healthy, smooth and younger-looking skin.
Since yogurt is a dairy product, all the benefits of milk also hold true for yogurt. Yogurt also contains friendly bacteria, which aids in digestion, improves the immune system and (when used as a mask) can help hydrate and cleanse the skin.
The effects of garlic have been widely known for centuries, but only recently taken seriously by modern science. In studies, this mysterious and potent food has been shown to reduce blood pressure, lower cholesterol and even prevent cancer. Although your partner may not want to kiss you after eating it, keep in mind that garlic is also high in antioxidants, which will help you stay looking young. If you can't stand the smell or taste, take it in capsule form.
OK, OK, maybe chocolate isn't the most health-conscious food on the planet. However, chocolate does have positive effects on your mood by pumping up endorphins and serotonin, which help to give you an overall calm and pleasant feeling. And when you feel good, you look good. Who can argue with that?
Wishing You Great Health!
Glen Edward Mitchell
Any questions? Ask Glen