Powerhouse Foods that Improve the Health of Skin and Hair
There are multiple factors that contribute to the health of your skin and hair, including the environment, genetics, hygiene, hormones and stress. But, it’s poor nutrition that has a detrimental affect your skin’s tissue and hair. Healthy skin and hair can only be fully achieved by consuming nutritionally dense foods throughout the day.
Certain foods have powerhouse compounds that keep skin supple and smooth and help fight age-related damage and keep hair strong and shiny. So, if you want to improve the appearance of your skin and hair, you have to eat the right foods – ones that work for you, not against you.
Here are some our favorites:
Acorn Squash: Acorn squash is an excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), potassium, and a good source of magnesium, B-complex and C vitamins, folate, calcium, and fiber.
Cooking tips: Slice and roast and serve as a side or toss baked cubes into salads. Mash baked squash with a bit of salt, pepper and seasoning as a tasty alternative to traditional mashed potatoes. Here is a delicious recipe for Honey-Jalapeño Roasted Acorn Squash Get the recipe from Naturally Ella.
Almonds: Eating almonds daily can be a great choice, as they provide protein, fiber, and micronutrients such as vitamin E and iron. Research suggests that eating nuts regularly might contribute to better heart health and other health benefits.
Cooking tips: Add to salads or yogurt or pack as a snack.
Asparagus: With an earthy-sweet flavor, asparagus is a good way to load up on beta-carotene and lutein (carotenoids); B-complex vitamins; folate; and folate. Research shows that B-complex vitamins are an ally in the battle against high blood pressure.
Cooking tip: Oven roasted or grilled, dress with light dressing or olive oil and lemon.
Beet Greens: Beet roots’ edible leafy tops are brimming with vitamin K, which is linked to a lower chance of getting type 2 diabetes. One cup raw beet greens provides nearly twice your daily requirement.
Cooking tip: Sauté a bunch of tender beet greens with some olive oil and garlic for a healthy side dish. Or chop them and add to frittatas, soups, or pasta dishes.
Beets: Beets are rich in folate (vitamin B9) which helps cells grow and function. Folate plays a key role in controlling damage to blood vessels, which can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Beets are naturally high in nitrates, which are turned into nitric oxide in the body.
Cooking tip: Roasting beets boosts their natural sweetness. Wrap each beet individually in foil and bake at 350 F until tender or grate raw beets and add to slaws or as a topping in sandwiches.
Beans (black, kidney or pint): Beans are loaded with nutrients. These include B-complex vitamins, niacin, folate, magnesium, zinc, copper, selenium, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and fiber. Beans and legumes have a number of health benefits. Eating more of them may help reduce cholesterol, decrease blood sugar levels, and increase healthy gut bacteria.
Cooking tip: Cooked or not just add to soup or salads.
Blueberries: Blueberries contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that provide notable health benefits. For example, blueberries are rich in vitamin K, which plays an important role in promoting heart health. The vitamin is also important to bone health and blood clotting.
Cooking tips: Add to yogurt, salads, or muffins. Raspberries, cranberries and strawberries are equally potent.
Broccoli: Broccoli is one of nature’s rock stars. It’s a top source of natural plant chemicals shown to help lower the risk of some cancers. Each cup of the florets gives you plenty of vitamins C and K.
Cooking tip: Steam roasted or just chop fresh broccoli into a salad. Find out more about the health benefits that eating broccoli at NutritionalFacts.org
Carrots: Carrots are a great source of important vitamins, minerals and fiber. A half-cup can give you up to: 73% of your daily requirement of vitamin A. 9% of your daily vitamin K.
Cooking tips: Baby carrots make a great snack and can be served with a hummus dip. Add shredded carrots to any salad or roast with a variety of other root vegetables and serve as a side dish. Here is an easy recipe for Roasting Carrots.
Dark chocolate: Cocoa is rich in flavanols, which are plant chemicals that are great for health. The unique flavan-3-ols in cacao beans are what gives pure cocoa a bitter taste. Because cocoa’s flavanols have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and free-radical scavenging properties — and dark chocolate has a high concentration of cocoa — it helps to lower blood pressure, reduces heart disease, and reduces the risk of diabetes.
Tip: Choose 70% or higher cocoa content.
Flaxseed (ground): Loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and phytoestrogens.
Cooking tips: Add ground flaxseed to yogurt, granola, muffins, or bread mixes. The possibilities are endless. Get this delicious Nut Free Zucchini & Sun-Dried Tomato Muffin recipe that contains flaxseed meal from Eat Drink Paleo.
Kale: Packed with nutrients like beta-carotene, vitamin C, and bone-building vitamin K, kale has been billed as an ultimate super food. Not everyone likes its strong flavor so choose baby kale which is tender and doesn’t require chopping or cooking as does the larger leaf varieties.
Cooking tip: Use in wraps, salads, and pasta dishes.
Microgreens: Great things come in small packages. The baby versions of radishes, cabbages, kale, and broccoli can be higher in nutrients like vitamins C and E than the regular, mature plants. They range in flavors from peppery to tangy.
Cooking tip: Try adding a handful of microgreens to sandwiches and salads, or use as a garnish for soups.
Oats (steel cut) : Steel cut oats are the inner kernels of whole oats that have been cut down into pin-head sized pieces. The vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in steel cut oats can provide important health benefits. For example, the fiber in them helps to lower cholesterol and move food efficiently through the digestive tract. Fiber may also enhance immune function.
Cooking tips: Substitute steel cut oats for breadcrumbs in meatloaf and meatball recipes. Instead of serving with fruit, make a savory dish with steel cut oats. Check out this Savory Steel Cut Oat Recipe by The full Helping.
Peas, Frozen: It’s always a good idea to stash a bag of green peas in your freezer. Each cup of frozen peas delivers an impressive 7.2 grams of fiber. Fiber helps you feel full, so you eat less later. It’s also good for your digestion and helps lower cholesterol levels.
Cooking tip: Use frozen peas in soups, dips, potato salads, and pasta dishes.
Red Bell Peppers: You think of it as a veggie, but it’s actually a fruit. One medium pepper delivers B vitamins, beta carotene, and with 52 mg vitamin C, it has almost twice your daily need for vitamin C.
Cooking tip: Roast or grilled with onions and seasoning. Delicious in salads and wraps.
The Best Way to Cook Vegetables
Spinach: This green has healthy amounts of vitamins C, A, and K as well as manganese. Working 1.5 cups of green, leafy vegetables into your day may lower your odds of getting type 2 diabetes.
Cooking tip: Sneak spinach into your daily routine by adding it to scrambled eggs and casseroles or blending it into smoothies. Pick spinach (instead of lettuce) for nutrient-packed salads and sandwiches.
Sweet Potato: Sweet potatoes are full of nutrients that make them worth having all year long and not just at Thanksgiving. They are loaded with vitamins and minerals: A, B and C vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, thiamin and zinc. Just one sweet potato gives you 400% of the vitamin A you need each day. It’s loaded with Natural compounds called carotenoids give sweet potatoes their rich color. Carotenoids are also antioxidants, which means they have the power to protect your cells from day-to-day damage.
Cooking tips: You can steam, roast, boil, or microwave them.
Swiss Chard: Two main varieties of Swiss chard are found on store shelves: one with multicolored stems and veins, often called rainbow chard, and another with white stems and veins. Both are an excellent source of vitamins K, A, and C, as well as a good source of magnesium, potassium, iron, and dietary fiber.
Cooking tip: To preserve its nutritional might, lightly steam chard and toss with vinaigrette. You can also use the steamed leaves instead of tortillas when making soft tacos.
Tomatoes: Tomatoes have a wealth of vitamin and mineral content, including calcium, potassium, phosphorus vitamins A and C. Including tomatoes into your diet can help protect against cancer, maintain healthy blood pressure, and reduce blood glucose in people with diabetes. Tomatoes contain key carotenoids such as lutein and lycopene that protect the eye against light-induced damage.
Cooking tips: Add them to wraps or sandwiches, sauces or salsas. Eat them cooked or stewed as these preparation methods can boost the availability of key nutrients.
Watercress: Rich in vitamins A, C, and K, and other antioxidants that are good for you.
Cooking tip: Watercress can instantly make sandwiches and salads more lively and fresh-tasting. Or blend the greens into pureed soups.
Choose LATIV Natural Skin Revival
Eating more whole grains, vegetables and fruits aren’t just good for us, they are VITAL to our survival. By consuming more nutritionally dense foods into our diet, we reduce the risk of chronic diseases including skin disorders. These anti-inflammatory foods will help treat and, in most cases, eliminate chronic skin disorders such as acne, cystic acne, rosacea, eczema and psoriasis.
Everyone’s bodies are different. As you embark on your anti-inflammatory food journey, we hope to be there for the ride. Join our Facebook Group, Preventing Chronic Skin Disorder. We share the latest news on skin health, food groups, recipes, ingredients lists and hacks.
For further topical treatment, be sure to check out our full line of skin care, Natural Skin Revival, that provides relief to chronic skin disorder and maintains healthy skin. Our collection of skincare products helps alleviate discomfort while promote skin health.
It’s our goal to help provide you with the information and products that will bring you the quality of life you need and deserve.
Written By: Mary Ellen Wank, Wellness Advocate and Founder of LATIV, Natural Skin Revival DISCLAIMER