It’s no secret that vitamins and minerals are essential for good health and ageless beauty. But did you know that the purest way to get your vitamins is from your food and not multivitamins or topical treatments? This month we look at our food, nature’s ultimate vitamin resource, and show you how you can get beautiful results from the inside out.
These overachievers work together as a complex to deliver luxe hair and nails, strengthening and hydrating as they go. Your B Vitamins also promise stress relief and age-defying energy, for a youthful exuberance and confidence that’s hard to miss.
Thiamine (Vitamin B-1) is the all-natural mood lifter. And anything that puts a smile on your face makes for a good beauty outlook. B-1 also helps brighten your eyes and prevent glaucoma. Thiamine can be found in sunflower seeds, asparagus, sweet potatoes and quinoa.
Riboflavin puts the twinkle back in your eye by soothing bloodshot and watery eyes. B-2 makes skin soft, strong and supple, keeping dermatitis at bay. Dairy products such as yogurt and cheese are rich in Riboflavin. B-2 can also be found in chicken, fish, eggs, almonds, asparagus, pecans, quinoa, sweet potatoes, and spinach.
Niacin (Vitamin B-3) improves circulation, which promotes a healthy, ageless glow. Niacin also helps regulate hormones which can wreak havoc on our skin and hair if not kept in check. Healthy choices that deliver Niacin are buckwheat, sweet potatoes, sunflower seeds, wild rice, tomatoes, lean chicken, turkey and salmon.
Vitamin B-6 helps you reveal lovely new skin by supporting new cell formation. A nutritious fountain of youth, this vitamin even helps prevent gray hair. B-6 can also help you drift into sweet slumber, helping stave off insomnia. Foods rich in B-6 include sweet potatoes, avocado, bananas, sunflower seeds, bell peppers and poultry.
Vitamin B-12 strengthens and hydrates hair, skin and nails and also promotes better sleep. The only natural source of Vitamin B-12 is meat, but many soy products and cereals are fortified with the vitamin. Shellfish like clams, mussels, crab and lobster, plus beef, eggs and liver are excellent B-12 choices.
Folate or Folic Acid (Vitamin B-9) is important for cell growth, generating new blood cells and promoting the renewal of your hair, skin and nails. Good sources of Folate include spinach, lentils, papayas, artichokes, asparagus, arugula and romaine lettuce, avocados, red bell peppers, oranges, quinoa and berries.
Biotin can really transform your hair, promoting hair growth and sealing in moisture for a gorgeous, natural look. Biotin also helps you maintain a healthy metabolism, which keeps your weight in check. Biotin can be found in egg yolks, salmon, halibut, pork, almonds, walnuts, milk, and fruits like strawberries.
Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B-5) helps skin heal and recover more quickly, an especially important trait as we age and skin regeneration slows. B-5 can also give us an energy boost and help us better manage stress. Pantothenic Acid can be found in yogurt, avocados, corn, sweet potatoes, sunflower seeds, mushrooms and broccoli.
Antioxidant Triple Threat
Vitamins A, C & E are antioxidant powerhouses that fight free radicals, protecting your skin from future damage. Beautiful, glowing skin comes from the constant turnover of dead cells to reveal fresh new ones, making these antioxidants a vital part of good, clear skin and luxurious hair health. A, C & E protect collagen, the crucial building blocks of healthy, youthful skin. These powerful antioxidants also help your sinuses work more efficiently which has the beauty benefit of eliminating dark circles and puffiness from around the eyes.
Vitamin A is critical for cell repair and growth and can actually reverse the signs of aging. Orange and deep green produce, like carrots, pumpkins, cantaloupe, mango, pink grapefruit, sweet potatoes, broccoli, spinach and kale are wonderful sources of Vitamin A. The deeper the hue, the higher the concentration of Beta Carotene.
Vitamin C is a superhero for your skin, protecting it from sun damage, reducing wrinkles and regenerating collagen to firm and tone skin for a more youthful appearance. Vitamin C also helps to strengthen and lengthen fingernails. Try bell peppers, broccoli, strawberries, tomatoes, cabbage, brussel sprouts, papayas or kale.
Vitamin E aids circulation and helps to erase fine lines and wrinkles. Vitamin E also forms a moisture barrier, keeping skin and hair more soft, supple and radiant. And E protects against UV damage and strengthens hair to prevent hair loss. Vitamin E can be found in papayas, sunflower seeds, peanuts and olive oil.
A wonderful anti-aging vitamin, Zinc prevents and helps heal acne, wrinkles and stretch marks by boosting collagen production. Zinc has been indicated to help with alopecia. Zinc also keeps your manicure looking lovely by improving the health of your cuticles. Good sources of Zinc are wild rice, quinoa and avocados.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids are the good fats that keep skin, hair and nails moisturized and strong. Omega-3’s also help preserve skin-rejuvenating collagen, aid in circulation (for that healthy glow) and boost your energy level for all-day pep. You can find Omega-3 Fatty Acids in wild salmon, sardines, walnuts, edamame & flax seeds.
Iron. Even the name sounds strong. A circulation boost from Iron fuels an increase in energy. Iron protects and strengthens your nails and keeps your sunny smile looking its best by preventing tooth decay. Try leafy green vegetables like spinach, chard, kale and romaine lettuce.
This trace mineral protects the skin’s elasticity for a smooth, supple complexion. Selenium supports natural hormone levels which helps keep skin more clear and glowing. It also has been shown to help nourish the scalp and reduce dandruff. Selenium can be found in fresh and saltwater fish as well as beef and poultry.
Bromelain is an enzyme that helps rid the skin of toxins, reduce inflammation, speed healing and balance skintone. Some even say it helps with varicose veins. Wouldn’t that be lovely as we move into summer? Bromelain is found in pineapple and all varieties of grapefruit.
This mineral gives your bones and muscles a boost, helping you flaunt better posture and stay more energized. Magnesium also strengthens and protects your teeth, giving you even more reasons to smile. And blissfully, this all-natural sleep inducer can help you get the beauty rest you need. Magnesium is found in spinach & wild rice.
Table of Plenty
Just think of the possibilities! By combining a few of these superfoods on your plate, you can firm and rejuvenate your skin, strengthen your hair and brighten your eyes for a more radiant, youthful appearance. And the more colorful your food choices, the better. Consider a beautiful palette of richly-hued fruits and vegetables to brighten your meal. Raw is best for vitamin retention, but you can even get benefits from steamed or cooked veggies. Start simply by adding berries to your yogurt, spinach leaves to your sandwich or roasted veggies to your pasta or pizza. And in case you didn’t notice, most of these vitamin-packed picks offer more than just one vitamin in each (which means more than one beauty benefit per superfood). Try this delicious spinach salad… Layer fresh-cut strawberries and washed blueberries on a bed on fresh spinach leaves. A little diced red onion adds some extra kick. Sprinkle some feta on top and add some chopped pecans for some extra crunch. Toss with a sweet Italian vinaigrette and enjoy! This tasty plate packs a superfood fiesta with Vitamins A, C, E, Folate, Thiamine, Riboflavin, B-12, Iron and Zinc. Now isn’t that so much yummier than downing a chalky multi? And this perfect summer salad is elegant enough to share at summer gatherings.
Patience is a Virtue
As you introduce these foods into your diet, be sure to consult your doctor, just as you would if you were adding supplements or making any lifestyle change. And please be patient with yourself. Change doesn’t happen overnight. Stick with this healthy eating plan and your skin, hair and overall being will be radiant and glowing by summer’s end.