It’s cold, rainy, windy… we know it, you know it and our skin knows it too! Autumn can be a tough season for our delicate complexions so we’ve enlisted the help of Kimberly Snyder, nutritionist to the A-listers and New York Times bestselling author and Deepak Chopra, renowned pioneer in integrative medicine and personal transformation! Together, this dynamic duo have written Radical Beauty – how to transform yourself from the inside out. Radical Beauty focuses on six pillars of healthy living; internal and external nourishment, beauty sleep, primal beauty, movement and spiritual beauty.
Below, they talk about foods to help you glow from the inside out!
While all whole foods build beauty, there are some specific foods that particularly help your beauty shine through. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list—just some stellar foods to work into your rotation.
According to Ayurvedic principles, bitter foods, which are lacking in most American diets, help tone skin and purify the body. Foods that taste bitter typically contain potent antioxidants and other phytochemicals like flavonoids and polyphenols, which are responsible not only for their bitter taste but also their phenomenal health and beauty benefits. Bitter foods also help to stimulate and improve digestion and support liver function. Beneficial bitter foods include dandelion greens, parsley, cranberry, spring greens, and bitter melon.
Incorporating bitter foods for beauty:
– Add bitter melon to your next curry or stir-fry. (Look for it at the Asian grocery or section of your local market.)
– Use spring greens as a natural wrap for veggie burgers or hummus or veggie wraps.
– Add parsley to your green smoothies.
– Sip on unsweetened, diluted cranberry juice with water as a refreshing beverage.
-Chop and throw some dandelion greens into your green salads.
Sour foods are another important group that, according to Ayurveda, can help cleanse the liver. Sour foods such as tomatoes, lemons, star fruit, tamarind, and fermented cabbage often include important vitamins like A and C.
Incorporating sour foods for beauty:
– Squeeze lemon juice into water.
– Use lemon juice as a primary base for your salad dressings.
– Add tamarind paste to soups.
– Eat half a cup or so of fermented cabbage (aka raw sauerkraut) with your dinner.
In ancient Chinese medicine, mushrooms are regarded as tonics, which means they have nonspecific benefits across several systems of the body. Mushrooms are one of the few food sources of vitamin D, which is important to keep your bones and muscles beautifully strong. Certain varieties, such as shiitake, help improve immunity.5 Himematsutake mushrooms are relatives of the common button mushroom that is found at nearly every grocery store. Very popular in Japan, himematsutakes are believed to help improve your skin and hair.6 Eating button mushrooms may impart the same benefits!
Incorporating mushrooms for beauty:
– Slice raw mushrooms into salads (be sure to source organic varieties).
– Bake, steam, or sauté mushrooms or stuff and roast Portobello mushrooms as the main protein in your meal, or as a side dish.
– Add freshly sliced or dried mushrooms to your soups.
– Try some of the many Beauty Detox mushroom-based recipes (see Kimberly’s blog, kimberlysnyder.com).
Like brown rice, black rice offers various beauty benefits, such as fiber and minerals, including manganese and iron. It is sometimes referred to as “purple” rice or even “forbidden rice,” because in ancient China it was reserved for the emperors and nobles, and the commoners were prohibited from eating it. Thankfully, now all of us “commoners” have access to this fantastic food. It really is delicious, and it has some striking properties. You might never think to compare black rice to blueberries or blackberries, but if you put them side by side, they are actually nearly the same gorgeous purple color. That’s because the bran of black rice contains the same anthocyanin antioxidants as these berries. Research from the Department of Food Science at Louisiana State University reported that a spoonful of black rice bran contains more health-promoting anthocyanin antioxidants than a spoonful of blueberries, but with even more fiber and vitamin E antioxidants.7 This makes black rice wonderful for boosting your skin’s natural beauty. As with all rice, be sure to soak it overnight; this will make it easier to cook and also make its nutritional benefits more readily absorbed by the body.
Incorporating black rice for beauty:
– Add black rice to bean, lentil, veggie, or other vegetarian soups, making an easy and delicious entrée with just these two nutritious components.
– Stir-fry black rice with some coconut oil and veggies for a healthy “fried rice.”
These tiny powerhouse greens not only help you look more beautiful but also make any dish, however simple, look more beautiful. Just sprinkle them on top of any meal. They’re one of the healthiest and most beautiful garnishes you could use. These young greens, including red cabbage, coriander, and broccoli, are harvested less than fourteen days after germination and are about 1 to 3 inches long. They contain up to forty times higher levels of vital nutrients than their mature counterparts. For example, red cabbage microgreens have forty times more vitamin E and six times more vitamin C than mature red cabbage. Want one of the easiest, most space-effective ways to nourish your beauty? Add a handful of microgreens into your diet and watch your skin glow.
Incorporating microgreens for beauty:
– Toss microgreens into your salads.
– Add them to wraps and veggie burgers rather than regular lettuce.
– Top soups and just about any entrée you serve with them, right before serving.
– Blend a quarter or half cup or so into your Glowing Green Smoothies!
ALOE VERA JUICE
New York City’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center has studied aloe, including the plant’s extracted juice, for potential effects on dry skin, psoriasis, and other skin issues, along with internal issues like constipation and diabetes.8 The center also notes studies indicating aloe’s potential anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Aloe vera juice is quite different from topical gel versions, so make sure the label specifies use as a dietary supplement or juice. Some side effects have been reported, such as gastrointestinal upset with long-term consumption, so, as with any new supplement or food you are unsure of, be sure to check with your doctor first.
Incorporating aloe vera juice for beauty:
– Dilute it into water along with some freshly squeezed lemon and sip.
– Add small amounts of it into smoothies.
Radical Beauty by Deepak Chopra and Kimberly Snyder (Rider, £16.99) Order your copy of Radical Beauty here!