Exercise alone isn’t going to make you look and feel gorgeous — you need to pair your workout with healthy food choices. Marcelle Pick, MSN, author of The Core Balance Diet (Hay House, 2009), offers these tips for how to eat beautifully.
Eat foods rich in vitamin A. Hair, skin and nails depend heavily on vitamin A to stay strong and supple, says Pick. To up your intake, reach for more sweet potatoes, carrots, leafy greens and broccoli.
Add omega-3s. Healthy fats help the skin retain moisture, says Pick. “When people don’t get enough good dietary fat, their skin gets dry and flaky, especially on the arms and abdomen.” Reliable sources include coldwater fish, walnuts and almonds.
Ease up on alcohol. Being mindful of how much you drink can help keep the liver, the body’s main detoxifying organ, in tiptop shape, therefore brightening eyes and evening out skin tone. A little red wine (say 4 ounces) with dinner is fine, says Pick, but don’t overdo it — and avoid hard liquor altogether.
Prioritize fiber. “The more veggies, fruits, beans and legumes you eat, the more efficiently your body will eliminate waste,” says Pick. The fiber in these foods helps reduce inflammation throughout the body. “And the antioxidants lower skin’s oxidative stress levels, staving off wrinkles and sun damage.” (See “Fiber: Why It Matters More Than You Think.”)
Cut back on sugar. A high-sugar diet can feed bad bacteria in the gut and cause a low-grade inflammation that can lead to skin problems, such as breakouts and dermatitis, says Pick. Instead, try agave nectar, a (truly) natural sweetener that doesn’t spike blood sugar.
Catherine Guthrie is contributing editor of Experience Life.