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7 Surprising and Effective Beauty Foods ...

Most people would be surprised to know they can completely change the look of their appearance through eating certain beauty foods, and beverages for that matter. We know that fruits and veggies are great for our skin, but what you may not know is certain unconventional foods are also great beauty remedies that most of us don’t even know about. I’m always on a mission to keep my skin in tip top shape. I’m not concerned with aging as much as I am with the quality of my skin. For many years, I've been a firm believer that our skin reflects how healthy we are on the inside. By feeding our body what it needs, we can naturally give ourselves beautiful skin without a lot of effort otherwise. Read on to find surprisingly and extremely effective beauty foods to add to your daily menu so you can literally put your best face forward.

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1. Coffee

For the faint of heart or the coffee critic, there is proof from numerous amounts of studies that 1-2 cups of coffee a day can be a powerful beauty food. How, you ask? For starters, coffee is actually one of the foods highest in antioxidants of all plants. The coffee bean is also very heat stable, so when you brew your cup of joe in the morning, all of the antioxidants stay in tact, unlike many delicate antioxidants found in other plants and veggies. In fact, in one cup of coffee, you’re actually getting more antioxidants than in one cup of fruit. While that isn’t an excuse to live off Starbucks or ditch fresh fruits and veggies, it is proof that 1-2 cups daily can have a wonderful effect on your skin. Coffee has also been linked to lower insulin to reduce type 2 diabetes. When your insulin is stable, so is your blood sugar, which prevents hormonal swings that can lead to breakouts. This makes coffee a double dose of goodness. Antioxidants in coffee protect the skin from sun damage and aging. These same antioxidants also prevent the breakdown of collagen in the skin. Just be sure to keep your java limit at 1-2 cups to prevent dehydration.

2. Cocoa

Yes, that’s right; not only can you have your coffee, but you can also keep your cocoa and dark chocolate in your diet. Cocoa is a super beauty food. I’m not talking about the Hershey’s instant hot cocoa mix though. I’m speaking of pure, unsweetened cocoa powder, which is rich in antioxidants, fiber and heart- healthy polyphenols, a type of compound found in green tea and other plant foods. Polyphenols are not only good for your heart, arteries and blood flow, but also wonderful for giving you great skin. I like to use cocoa in my coffee by stirring 1 tbsp.of plain Hershey's unsweetened dark cocoa into my coffee and using a little stevia to sweeten. Better yet, you can also use raw cacao (raw cocoa). It makes a delicious, calming and antioxidant-rich beauty beverage to start the day with.

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3. Lemons

Lemons are a wonderful beauty food. Lemons are a unique fruit. The contain no fruit sugar, but high amounts of Vitamin C, and great detoxifying properties. Lemons detox the liver, kidneys and colon, which helps them clean out your system. When your insides are clean, so is your skin. Lemons are great for adding zing to salads, dressings, plain water and even smoothies. They brighten any dish they are added to. Lemons are a powerhouse of nutrition, so keep a bowl around your kitchen and you’ll see the results on your face in no time. I especially love them added to herbal tea as well.

4. Green Tea

Green tea isn’t only great for your heart, waistline and overall diet, but it is a true beauty food as well. Green tea is one of the most alkaline foods on the planet. This means it reduces acidity and inflammation in the body, which in turn gives you great skin. Green tea is a power house of antioxidants, heart healthy compounds and one of the best beverages to reduce anxiety.

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5. Garlic

Did you know this stinky food (that happens to be delish) actually makes you pretty? While it may not give you the best breath, it makes your skin glow, and keeps it from aging. Garlic is not only rich in antioxidants, but also rich in the mineral selenium. Selenium is found in foods such as Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, garlic and some animal sources of protein. Selenium is key to keeping your skin in good condition, it keeps nails and hair healthy, and it's also great for your heart, as all minerals are. Garlic’s antioxidant and selenium content, along with trace B vitamins, make it a must have for your beauty routine. Stinky or not, garlic keeps you pretty!

6. Pumpkin Seeds

Just like regular pumpkin keeps your skin glowing from tons of Vitamin A in the form of beta carotene, the seeds from pumpkin, which are also known as pepitas, also keep you pretty for different reasons. Pumpkin seeds are the only alkaline forming seed there is, meaning they actually promote your body to fight inflammation. They are also rich in zinc and protein. Zinc and protein are crucial for good skin. First, zinc fights acne and dry skin in a one-two punch. Secondly, protein aids in collagen production of the skin. Plant proteins are much healthier for the skin than animal proteins are, since other compounds in animal proteins actually break down collagen in the skin. Pumpkin seeds are also easy to use. Just sprinkle them into cereals, yogurts, salads or even smoothies. I like to grind the seeds in a coffee bean grinder for 5 seconds and sprinkle the powder onto things or use it as a gluten-free and grain-free flour.

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7. Flax Oil

If you want pretty skin, get yourself some flax oil. I know, I know, it’s a source of fat. Fat doesn’t have to be bad for you, and this fat in particular is acne’s worst nightmare, along with wrinkles’ arch enemy. Flax oil is rich in Omega 3s and also detoxifying to the liver. It works in your body in a variety of ways to keep your skin soft, supple, glowing and best of all, clear. I like to use 1 tbsp. flax oil with lemon juice as a homemade salad dressing. It has a delicious nutty taste alone, and when paired with lemon, flax oil has a beautiful, zingy, sweet nutty flavor. Try it on your next salad to enhance your beauty routine.

I love finding new foods that are great for my skin. While there are many well-known beauty foods out there, these are some of the most unconventional, yet also the most effective ones yet. Do you eat any of these beauty foods? Tell me about it!


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