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02.05.15

My Top Get-Gorgeous Foods!

Wellness > Japanese Beauty

By: Candice Kumai

Every woman wants to eat better, look gorgeous, and do it effortlessly. Now, you can have it all when you pack your diet with these beauty-enhancing foods!

I found my passion for life through cooking delicious, real foods, and also found that beauty truly does start from the inside! If you want smooth, vibrant skin, blueberries are a gorgeous choice. Do you dream about long, shiny hair? Opt for an avocado. Want to add more moisture to dry skin and hair? Choose a sweet potato. And that’s just the beginning! Read below for more. Enjoy, gorgeous ladies! xx Candice

Avocados
Rich, creamy and packed with good-for-you monounsaturated fats, avocados are the ultimate get-gorgeous food. Key for shiny hair, skin and nails, avocados also contain healthy monounsaturated fatty acids. These “good fats” can aid in lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, while improving HDL (good) cholesterol levels! Avocados also contain antioxidants, fiber, potassium, magnesium, and folate, and one avocado is packed with more potassium than a medium banana—almost 900 grams! Additionally, studies show that avocados are “nutrient boosters,” meaning they aid the body in absorption of nutrients from other foods.

Coconut Oil
Full of monounsaturated good for-you-fat, this oil is my favorite to cook Thai, Asian-or Indian inspired meals at a high heat. Full of MCFA’s (medium chain fatty acids) your body can metabolize quickly, coconut oil may also speed up your metabolism! I also use it as a natural moisturizer in my hair (just a little bit goes a long way) as well! I use coconut oil on my legs before a shoot, I love using a bit on my feet and hands before bedtime! It’s nature’s way to stay gorgeous!!

Blueberries
Blueberries are loaded with anti-inflammatory agents, vitamins, and antioxidants that help protect you from premature aging. The antioxidants in blueberries help minimize the damage of free radicals, which can accelerate wrinkle formation and cause disease. Blueberries are packed with vitamin C, which helps produce skin that’s firm and strong. Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is a nutrient that’s essential to the production of collagen, a protein that aids in the growth of cells and blood vessels.

Green Tea/Matcha powder
Green tea contains a large amount of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and amino acids, and studies show it may help boost that metabolism. Green tea also contains relaxing qualities, helps to lower blood sugar and cholesterol, and can naturally help to detoxify your body. Polyphenols (found in green tea) act as “antioxidant-phytochemicals.” They are believed to be beneficial in fighting free-radicals that may be harmful to your health. Tea leaves, like green tea, when derived from the Camellia plant are bursting with polyphenols. Polyphenols can help assist in the detoxification of free radicals in your body. For good health and optimum wellness, I drink a cup of genmaicha green tea (toasted rice green tea), just like my 92-year old Japanese Baachan. It seems to be doing her well!

Quinoa
This tiny grain-like seed is a nutritional powerhouse. Quinoa contains large amounts of protein and contains all essential amino acids. The best part about quinoa? You can eat it for breakfast (as a quinoa porridge with peaches and shaved coconut), lunch (with some mixed greens, shaved fennel, and a balsamic vinaigrette), or for dinner (in a quinoa lasagna)—just to name a few examples. The amino acids and vitamins B6, iron and zinc in quinoa will help fire up immunity, and the fiber in quinoa will help to keep you regular and moving.

Almonds
A great source of satisfying fiber and protein, whole, unroasted almonds can help keep your body lean and trim when incorporated into a healthy diet. This get-gorgeous food is also packed with vitamin E, manganese, and selenium, which help keep your hair shiny. The vitamin E in almonds can also help protect your skin from the sun’s damaging UV rays. Vitamin E and almond oils are also used topically on the body as a beauty serum.

Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes can help boost immunity and aid in glowing, gorgeous skin. Full of beta-carotene, sweet potatoes can help maintain bright, healthy eyes and protect your beautiful skin from UV exposure. Sweet potatoes are bursting with Vitamins A, C, and E, which can help improve the look of your hair and skin. Enjoy these nutritious spuds steamed, baked, sautéed, or roasted into sweet potato fries (my favorite!) Serve with organic ketchup and you’ll be on your way to gorgeous.

Kale
It’s time to give your salad a makeover! Iceberg and romaine salads are so last season. Kale is the trendy green of choice and it’s also one of the most nutrient-dense superfoods in the produce section. Kale is packed with vitamins A, B6, C, and K, manganese, fiber, and omegas. One cup of kale provides about 10% of the RDA of omega-3 fatty acids that help to reduce inflammation in the body. With almost 200% of the RDA of vitamin A, one cup of kale is an effective antioxidant, boosts immunity, maintains healthy bones and gorgeous teeth. So smile more after you eat that gorgeous kale. Toss this healthy green into soups, bake it into chips, or swap it in your salads like my kale and fennel Caesar salad (pictured below.) Antioxidant-packed kale can help to banish free radicals and aid in naturally repairing the skin.

 

 

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