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The Beauty Diet

Eating your way to healthy hair, skin, nails

By DAWN JACKSON BLATNER
Updated 8:23 AM CST, Mon, Apr 4, 2011

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Feeling like your eyes have lost their sparkle, your skin doesn’t have that natural rosy glow, your hair is missing its shine and your nails are falling apart?

It’s time to change your diet!

I talked to three of Chicago’s top experts and added tips of my own to give you a crash course on eating your way to gorgeous.

Get Healthy Hair

  • Pump up the protein. Include a small dose of protein at each meal and snack to keep hair follicles strong. Foods: poultry, lean beef, fish, beans and nuts.
  • Feed your strands silica. The mineral silica is thought to improve hair thickness. Foods: bananas, beer, green beans, oats and raisins.
  • Minerals are a must. Minerals such as iron, copper, magnesium and selenium help keep hair growth healthy. Foods: soybeans, lentils, mushrooms, sunflower seeds, almonds, potatoes and Brazil nuts.

Save Your Skin

  • Hydrate from within. Omega-3 fatty acids and water keep skin hydrated from the inside out. Foods: fish, flax seeds, walnuts, Chia seeds and water.
  • Up your antioxidants. Antioxidants can help reduce premature-mature aging and wrinkles. Foods: berries, oranges, walnuts, artichokes, broccoli, oregano, cinnamon and green tea.
  • Clearly eat your zinc. Zinc may work to keep your skin blemish-free. Foods: oysters, crab, cashews, chickpeas and poultry.
  • Color with carotenoids. Research shows people who eat carotenoid-containing fruits & veggies are perceived as more attractive because they have yellow-tinted skin. Foods: carrots, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, spinach and kale.

Nourish Your Nails
 

  • Be sure to get your B’s. Vitamins B12 and folate keep nail beds healthy. Foods: fish, yogurt, spinach, beans, asparagus, peas and broccoli.
  • Calcium & vitamin D work together to strength nails. Foods: fortified dairy/dairy alternatives, tofu, kale and vitamin D enhanced mushrooms.
  • Get a boost with biotin. Biotin may help nails grow faster, stay strong and prevent brittleness. Foods: eggs, peanuts, salmon, sunflower seeds and strawberries.

 
24 Hour Beauty Day
    Using the foods discussed above, here’s a sample day of eating for beauty:

  • Breakfast: oatmeal made with milk (dairy, soy, almond) topped with cinnamon, flax seeds, berries or banana and chopped walnuts
  • Lunch: lentil or bean soup with spinach salad (spinach, hard-boiled egg, sunflower seeds, mushrooms, tomatoes)
  • Dinner: salmon or chicken with sweet potato and kale or green beans
  • Snacks: edamame/orange/low-fat yogurt/hummus with broccoli & carrots/almonds or peanuts with raisins


 

First Published: Apr 1, 2011 7:29 AM CST

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