You've spent hundreds of dollars over the years seeking facial and hair care products that fight aging, strengthen your locks and tighten your skin. After all this time spent and money lost, have you discovered the miracle products you've been searching for so desperately? The truth is you won't find the real secret to sexy skin and healthy hair on your vanity; it's been in your diet all along. And to help you find the foods that naturally hydrate and strengthen your hair and skin, we're sharing 11 recipes that will have you looking more beautiful than creams ever could.
1. Protein-Packed Fruity Breakfast Quinoa: Whole grains are the highest source of selenium, which is known to improve skin elasticity and fight free radicals that could harm skin cells. Quinoa is also packed with protein which, when eaten, breaks down into amino acids that stimulate skin cell growth so you'll have new, healthy skin and hair follicles quickly. You can also add your choice of antioxidant-rich fruit like apples or berries and vitamin-filled nuts like almonds. Check out the recipe here!
2. Kale-tastic Green Juice: This drink stars the green superfood you've been hearing a lot about lately: kale. It's crucial for skin health in summer, as it is one of the best sources of nutrients that absorb and neutralize free radicals your skin receives from the sun, including those that penetrate your sunscreen! Kale is also high in vitamins A, C and K, all of which have properties that promote firm, smooth skin. Learn how to make your own superdrink here!
3. Summer Heirloom Tomato Salad: Tomatoes are loaded with lycopene, an anti-aging and UV-protecting antioxidant that can have your skin looking firm and free of wrinkles. Try this heirloom tomato salad as a smart option on a warm day, but cooking tomatoes has actually been known to increase lycopene absorbed by the body. If it's chilly outside, cook up some tasty Quick Tomato Bisque to eat your way to younger looking skin.
4. Cucumber, Avocado and Feta Salad: Avocado masks or powders are a popular treatment for skin and hair, but eating it has lots of healthy benefits for beauty, too. Avocado can hydrate your scalp, promoting healthy hair growth, and it also has antioxidants to prevent signs of aging. Cucumber is high in antioxidants to fight the damage of cells and reduce inflammation that causes wrinkles and acne. This veggie is also 96 percent water and helps to give your skin a healthy, glowing complexion and your hair shine and strength. (via Two Peas and Their Pod)
5. Roasted Sweet Potato and Farro Salad: Sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that fights aging. They are also a rich source of vitamin C which is known to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. This recipe by Marin Mama Cooks also contains olive oil that packs anti-aging properties and garlic that has been used to treat skin diseases and dandruff. Get the ingredients to turn back the clock.
6. Salmon en Papillote with Asparagus: Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which may help reduce inflammation and prevent acne or wrinkles. This dish by Good Life Eats is also good for your skin because it's an entree that is not fried or grease laden, but instead baked in a parchment pouch. When you eat greasy foods, those unhealthy oils often make their way to your face and clog your pores, causing acne and oily skin. Eat healthy and look great by checking out this recipe here.
7. Braised Chicken with Peppers, Olives and Capers: Get a serving of healthy protein in this chicken dish that will stimulate new cell growth and have your skin looking fresh. The peppers in this simple recipe also pack antioxidants that fight free radicals. One study found that people who ate more green and yellow vegetables has less wrinkles (particularly crow's feet) than those who ate the least. (via Williams Sonoma)
8. Skinny Glazed Carrots: Carrots may give you the healthy complexion you've been trying for, as this veggie contains carotenoid which may give skin a more yellow tone and even out discolored spots. It is also rich in vitamin A, which prevents the overproductions of skin cells, meaning dead cells won't build up and clog your pores. This side also includes rosemary, an herb that packs lots of antioxidants and has been associated with a 60 percent reduced risk of melanoma. Click here to check out the recipe!
9. Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Dip: Red peppers are packed with vitamin C which can reduce signs of aging. Walnuts are high in magnesium, a nutrient that improves blood flow in the skin, stimulating cell growth and promoting a healthy glow. They are also a strong source of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E to give you smoother skin and stronger hair. (via Cooking Channel)
10. Berry Quinoa Salad: This salad is an excellent meal to help you get healthy skin and hair. Berries are rich in antioxidants that protect our bodies and prevent premature signs of aging and damage like liver spots, spider veins and freckles. Blueberries are the number one food highest in antioxidants, so be sure not to forget them in your colorful bowl! Quinoa is also packed with protein and promotes cell growth and almonds and fruit juices come with face-clearing benefits, too. Get this powerful recipe here!
11. Chocolate Banana Soft Serve Ice Cream: Who knew getting a healthy glow was as easy as indulging in dessert? This recipe by Hot Chocolate Hits contains antioxidant-packed banana, which is also known to hydrated and moisten hair so it stays shiny! Cocoa and raspberries also contain antioxidants that repair skin damage. The yogurt is high in calcium which will have your teeth and nails looking bright and strong, too, making this dessert a must-have for looking (and feeling) your best!