The battle for beauty is waged with creams, serums, masks, needles, and even lasers. When those don’t do enough, we turn to make-up to cover and smooth out skin tone, blemishes, and wrinkles. We have forgotten the old adage of “you are what you eat” as we scramble to stay young and beautiful.
Some of what we put on our skin can help—Sunwarrior have several articles out about coconut oil—but our natural beauty is more deeply tied to our diet than many of us realize. Our bodies heal from within. Blood carries nutrition to every tissue, cells die and are replaced, specialized cells are dispatched to combat infections. What happens internally is vital to how we look and feel. Truth is, nothing will completely keep us from growing older, getting wrinkles, and eventually dying, but what we eat does affect how we appear and how quickly we age. Eating more plant-based foods can keep us looking and feeling younger and more beautiful.
Plant-Based Foods – The fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in a plant-based diet overflow with antioxidants, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that neutralize age hastening free radicals, deeply nourish our cells, and reduce inflammation that leads to chronic illness. Unstable free radicals damage our cells, contributing to wrinkles, blemishes, age spots, and other signs of ageing. Lack of proper nutrition can bring on other symptoms of premature ageing, like hair loss, grey hairs, sagging skin, and more. Berries, beans, artichokes, apples, and sweet potatoes pack a lot of antioxidants in them, just to name a few. Fresh or dried herbs and spices, like cinnamon, also do much more than add flavour. Many are antioxidant and vitamin powerhouses that we should be using more often.
Antioxidants – Easily add more antioxidants to your diet by starting your day with a fruit smoothie full of richly coloured berries, by sprinkling tomatoes and red bell pepper into a salad, or with a baked sweet potato or steamed artichoke added to your dinner. Don’t forget to reach for those herbs and spices when making soups, sautéing vegetables, or seasoning sauces. Ginger, turmeric, black pepper, oregano, thyme, rosemary, basil, cinnamon, cardamom, and many more are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatories.
Vitamins and Minerals – Healthy, radiant, glowing skin needs more than antioxidants, it also requires proper nutrition. Plant-based foods are naturally rich in vitamins and minerals that the body needs to look and feel healthy. Vitamin A is vital to the health and appearance of skin and eyes. B vitamins help control inflammation of the skin and improve hydration. Zinc improves immune function which includes working to eliminate acne. Zinc also speeds healing. Vitamin C helps skin and other tissues stay firm and healthy. Magnesium stabilizes DNA to slow ageing. Vitamin E acts as a powerful antioxidant for smoother, blemish-free skin. Sulphur fights off bacteria that can damage skin. Selenium also controls acne. Omega 3s reduce inflammation, improve hydration, and help keep skin elastic.
Healthy Fats – Plant-based foods are also low in saturated fats. Consuming foods high in saturated fats or trans fats can produce more damaging free radicals and can also lead to oily, unhealthy skin. A high nutrient diet that includes healthy fats keeps those waistlines slim and our bodies fit and trim. A beautiful body starts with beautiful food. High fat, processed foods can also raise cholesterol levels, elevate risks of heart disease, and have been linked to infertility.
This doesn’t mean you should start removing all fat from your diets though. Avocados, coconut oil, olives, seeds, and nuts are filled with healthy fats that our bodies and our brains need to function. These fats contribute to supple and well hydrated skin and healthy hearts, brains, and eyes. They’re easily added to salads, smoothies, many meals, or simply eaten as a snack.
Good Sugars – Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are also free of processed and refined sugars. Refined sugars encourage acne and inflammation, contributing to older, more wrinkled skin. Lower sugar intake also keeps teeth and gums healthier and cavity free for a beautiful smile. Fruits still contain sugar, but the fibre and water content slows down absorption so our bodies can handle it. Berries and melons are very good treats that are sweet and delicious without the high calories. They are also very rich in antioxidants and many minerals. Whole grains, like barley, offer more complex carbohydrates that burn slower for sustained release of energy.
Eating better has many other fringe benefits too. The enzymes and fibre in raw plant-based food aid digestion and improve intestinal health. The chlorophyll in green vegetables helps control body odour and bad breath while detoxifying our bodies. Hair and nails grow stronger as the body gets more healthy protein, quality fats, iron, zinc, vitamins A and C, selenium, sulphur, and silica.
To hammer home the point that plant-based foods increase natural exterior beauty, a Scottish study looked into how fruits and vegetables relate to attraction. Researchers studied the changes in colouration as volunteers consumed more fruits and vegetables, taking in the carotenoids that then added more yellow and red tones to their skin. They used that study to apply the colouring of someone eating 2 to 3 more servings of fruits or vegetables to photographs of regular people. The researchers then presented the photos, altered and not, to a group that voted on attractiveness and appearance of health.
The results showed that adding even just a few more servings of fruits and vegetables to your meals each week increases your appearance of health and other’s perception of your attractiveness. Humans seem to be instinctively drawn to people who eat more plant-based food, solidifying the idea that natural beauty comes from what you eat in more ways than we even realized.
Original article written by Sunwarrior