Natural Beauty: Inside and Out

As winter approaches, we want to be eating healthier food options. Eating a variety of foods will help boost our immune system and reduce the signs of aging. There is more research out there that what we eat is better for our skin than all the makeup and moisturizer we use. So here is a list of foods that are high in antioxidants. Antioxidants help fight the free radicals that can contribute to cancer inside our bodies.

Greens – spinach, kale, mustard greens, collards, bok choy and beet greens can provide a lot of Vitamin A to help with our skin. But they are a good source of calcium and B vitamins, as well.

Winter Squash – pumpkin, acorn, butternut, and spaghetti squashes are also high in Vitamin A which helps with our skin and reduce our risk to cancer.

Berries – cranberries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are very strong antioxidants that include resveratrol which helps fight cancer. Cranberries and blueberries are being looked at as an anti-aging food, as well.

Pomegranates – they have a high antioxidant properties that can reduce are risk from not only heart disease but cancer.

Broccoli & Cauliflower-these cruciferous vegetables have a high antioxidant content that will help the body fight the effects of cancer, including colon and prostate cancer.

Melons & papaya – they have a high Vitamin A content that is beneficial to the skin.

Garlic, onions, leeks, and shallots – they have phytochemicals that not only keep the plant healthy, but us, too. It helps boost our immune system and help reduce our risk of chronic diseases. A lot of these foods can be grown in your own garden or bought at the local farmer’s market.

Avocados – they are one of the best sources of heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids that can help lower cholesterol. They also have potassium that can help lower blood pressure. They are a great moisturizer for your hair and skin, as well.

Many of these foods are currently in season and can be prepared with your holiday meals. Eating them daily will definitely help lessen the signs of stress and pollutants in our environment. Many fruits and vegetables have Vitamin C that can also help improve the collagen production in our bodies. But I was still intrigued to find out how I can use these foods on my skin and with my regular beauty treatment. Here walks in Tanya Quinn with her TEASE herbal products and her wonderful beauty classes, I took her beauty class and found out ways to use these same great foods as part of my face regimen. I learned to use melon and guava as a facial mask and make my own facial scrub with natural grain flours, honey, and water. Of course, avocado can be used as a moisturizer for both the face and your hair. So the foods we eat are not only great for our insides, but our outsides, as well.

About Sharon M., MS RD

As a registered dietitian and a master gardener, I know the healing power of food. Nothing has given me more satisfaction than growing my own food. I have experience working in the public health field, including school districts. I have worked with pregnant moms, children, diabetics, and bariatric patients. I emphasis a plant-based, whole food diet. Yet, I appreciate the movement of eating sustainably, while hoping folks appreciate the bean as a source of protein. "To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art." - Francois de La Rochefoucauld "Feeding is going well if both you and yor child are having a good time." -Ellyn Satter
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