Posted by Alisha Rouland, Event Coordinator with The 530 Bride There are countless preparatory measures a bride can take to look her very best on her wedding day: from whitening to tanning to exercising to waxing and everything in between. With all the extra steps we take prior to our wedding to ensure a perfect bridal glow, we may overlook one of the most effective and most permanent ways to attain that healthy glow: our nutrition. Check out twelve ways to promote your perfect bridal glow! *Please note that this is by no means an all inclusive list - just a few highly recognized super foods for skin health!*
Blueberries are proof that great things really do come in small packages. These tiny morsels are very rich in antioxidants, which help to prevent free radicals from damaging and destroying collagen – keeping your skin elastic and plump. Blueberries are also low in fat, high in fiber, and high in vitamin C – which not only aids collagen formation, but also strengthens your immune system! No one wants to be sick on their wedding day! Try adding some blueberries to a smoothie, your cereal, or some yogurt!
Salmon has high levels of an essential healthy fat: omega-3. The nutrients in salmon can help reduce skin inflammation, fight against dry skin, improve skin elasticity, and diminish fine lines, wrinkles and occurrences of clogged pores. Salmon is also rich in protein and other beneficial vitamins and minerals.
Tomatoes are one of my favorites fruits! Especially the delicious gems I pick from my own garden! Tomatoes are packed full of many vitamins that promote good health! There are many great things to say about tomatoes, but Vitamin A (same vitamin in carrots!) is important for the health of your eyes, hair, and skin, while Vitamin C helps to strengthen your immune system!
#4: Walnuts and Almonds
Just like salmon, walnuts have healthy omega-3 fatty acids that prevent damage to skin cells, aid in moisture retention to soothe dry skin, reduce inflammation, and can even help to protect against UV rays. Vitamin E found in both almonds and walnuts is a powerful antioxidant that protects against skin cell damage. Nuts are a fantastic on-the-go snack or add to cereal, yogurt, or salads. Not only are nuts excellent for skin health, they are heart healthy and good for your brain!
#5: Dark Chocolate
Not that you really need a reason to eat chocolate, but flavanols or the antioxidant in Dark Chocolate strengthens skin cells and can reduce the effect of UV rays on the skin! Unfortunately, this skin fighting benefit isn't uniform among all chocolate products, look for dark chocolate with high levels of cacao.
#6: Sweet Potatoes
Similarly to carrots, sweet potatoes contain high levels of beta-carotene (Vitamin A) and are a good source of Vitamin C. Vitamin A aids in generating new skin cells and vitamin C assists collagen production to maintain skin elasticity.
#7: Green Tea
Green tea has been termed, ‘the fountain of youth' because of its high levels catechins (or antioxidants.) Green tea catechins, chiefly EGCG has been shown to reactivate dry skin cells. Green Tea is also rich in vitamins C, D, and K, and the minerals zinc, calcium, magnesium, and iron.
#8: Whole Grains and Brown Rice
Not only do whole grains pack a high fiber punch that keeps you full and regular, they contain high levels of B vitamins. B Vitamins help to maintain energy levels and metabolism, but also to generate new skin and hair cells and retain skin moisture.
Avocados are another favorite of mine! Avocados are excellent sources of healthy fats, fiber, vitamin E, vitamin C, and vitamin B. Vitamin E is another powerful antioxidant that prevents cell damage and protects skin. Vitamin C, as mentioned before assists in collagen formation and prevents cell damage.
#10: Flax Seeds
Flax seeds have the powerful omega-3 fatty acid that helps your skin cells attract moisture which reduces appearance of wrinkles, and reduces skin irritation. Flax seeds can be added to pretty much anything - throw some in your morning smoothie, or try mixing some into your pancakes (see recipe below!)
Carrots are excellent sources for vitamin A, which is an essential vitamin for developing and maintain healthy skin cells. Not only do carrots have fiber and other essential vitamins, they are also high in damage-preventing antioxidants.
I know it’s not necessarily a food, but water is probably one of the most important steps to achieving healthy skin. Water hydrates your entire body – including your skin cells. Water helps to remove toxins from your body, and deliver nutrients throughout your body. You can eat plenty of vitamin and mineral-rich fruits and vegetables, and omega-3 rich foods, but without water, nutrients cannot be edelivered to necessary cells in the body.
I am a huge fan of multi-tasking, and that carries into my meal planning. Here are a few recipes that include two or more of the above-mentioned super foods!
1. Salmon Spaghetti with Plum Tomatoes and Avocado (Salmon, Tomatoes, Avocado)
3. CrockPot Recipe for Sweet and Spicy Ground Turkey and Sweet Potato Stew with Coconut Milk (Sweet potatoes, brown rice)
4. Green Tea and Dark Chocolate Torte - (Green Tea, Dark Chocolate, Almonds)
5. Sweet Potato and Flax Pancakes - (Sweet potato, Flax Seed)
6. Lastly, Water. Infuse your water with blueberries or seasonal fruit, or enjoy plain!
1. Price, M. (2010). Vitamin E on Hair & Skin. Retrived from http://www.livestrong.com/article/106234-vitamin-e-hair-skin/
2. Gaynes, S. Healthy Skin From the Inside Out. Retrieved from http://www.womenshealthmag.com/beauty/perfect-skin-diet
3. Tucker, J. (2012). Sweet Potatoes For A Younger Looking Skin And Other Health Benefits. Retrieved from http://www.amoils.com/health-blog/sweet-potatoes-for-a-younger-looking-skin-and-other-health-benefits/
4. Hoffman Center Staff. EGCG - potent extract of green tea. Retrieved from http://www.drhoffman.com/page.cfm/118.
5. Whole Grains Coucil. Whole Grains: An Important Source of Essential Nutrients. Retrieved from http://wholegrainscouncil.org/whole-grains-101/whole-grains-an-important-source-of-essential-nutrients
6. California Avocado Commission. Avocado Nutrients. Retrieved from http://www.californiaavocado.com/avocado-nutrients/