Beauty Foods

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Sure, eating well can give you a beautiful body. But choosing the right foods can also guarantee gorgeous skin and hair. Here, nutritionist Christine Avanti (pictured), author of Skinny Chicks Eat Real Food, shares her beauty-food picks.

Beauty Foods, Skin:
• Oranges, strawberries, kiwi and papaya are rich in vitamin C which are ideal for beautiful skin. Vitamin C-rich foods may help to ward off wrinkles, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Vitamin C’s skin-brightening effects may be due to vitamin C antioxidant abilities to mop up free radicals produced from too much sun. Vitamin C also plays a major role in collagen synthesis and production. One cup of peeled kiwifruit contains more vitamin C than the equivalent amount of oranges.
• Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and may help reduce puffy eyes.
• Olives, avocados and buckwheat are foods that contain MUFAs (monounsaturated fatty acids) and help keep skin youthful and taut. Added bonus: Buckwheat also contains a flavonoid called rutin that may help skin keep its elasticity.
• Mussels and oysters are foods rich in zinc which plays a major role in skin renewal and repair.
• Wheat germ and other foods high in B vitamins are important for beautiful skin because they are responsible for making new cells and they support rapid cell division. The best way to ensure your skin is looking its best is to eat foods that offer your skin the nutrients needed to make healthy, new cells. B vitamins are really important because they support rapid cell division.
Beauty Foods, Hair:
• Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for beautiful hair. People who do not get enough omega-3s might suffer from a dry scalp causing dry brittle hair. Vegetarian? Consume one to two tablespoons of ground flax seed per day.
• Greek yogurt and other low-fat dairy products such as low-fat cheese offer calcium, a mineral who plays a major role in growing gorgeous locks. A Greek yogurt parfait with fruit and ground flaxseeds is a perfect snack for beautiful hair and skin because it packs, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids and zinc.
• Broccoli, kale and spinach are great for gorgeous locks and are excellent sources of vitamins C and A, which are needed to produce an oily substance secreted by your hair follicles called sebum. Sebum is basically your body’s natural hair conditioner that adds shine and strength and decreases your chances of having dry brittle hair.

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