Disclaimer: By beautiful, I mean food that’s is good for your skin and hair and also food that is good for your health that will make you live longer. I don’t like using the word beautiful because a) it implies that it matters whether you’re beautiful or not and b) it implies that other people aren’t beautiful. Which isn’t true because cliché or not, I genuinely believe that everyone is beautiful.
So recently I’ve been really craving apples. I eat about 4 a day. And no, I am not Anne Boleyn and I am not pregnant with Elizabeth I (little history fact: Anne Boleyn craved apples when she was pregnant with Elizabeth I). So I thought I would write about other foods that ‘keep the doctor away’ but because this is a beauty blog I do have to include food that makes you ‘beautiful’.
First up, this smoothie recipe contains ingredients to give you glowing skin, and it is actually kind of delicious.
It is more ‘chewie’ than ‘smoothie’ but it is weirdly quite addictive and it is quite easy to drink the whole thing. This recipe serves about 2 people. And as well as making your skin glow is it also very good for you because of…
I know you may think Kale is just the new trendy food, but it’s not because technically it was trendy way before it reached our media. And it’s not just Kourtney Kardashian that can eat it. Because she’s probably ‘so over it’ by now. But whether in fashion or not, this little guy is a staple of a healthy diet.
Apparently, Kale has more iron than beef. And you can be pretty sure that if you’re a girl, you are not getting enough iron. Feel tired all the time and dizzy? Probably iron deficiency. It is full of Vitamin K which can prevent some cancers and even Alzheimer’s. Antioxidants: also protect against cancers. Vitamin A: great for your skin and preventing lung and oral cancers. And Vitamin C which is great for your immune system. It can help stop you getting ill, and who wants to be ill?
Just don’t overdo it, because too much can be a bit hard on the ol’ digestive system, causing bloating. But that’s if you ate a whole bag of it raw in one sitting. So I wouldn’t worry.
Disclaimer: If you are on Warfarin or any other blood thinners avoid kale because Vitamin K helps with clotting. But if you are on Warfarin you shouldn’t be changing your diet drastically anyway without consulting your doctor first.
A great and easy way to consume kale is kale chips! And they’re really easy to make. Just wash and dry your kale, cut out the stalks, cut the leaves into 2 inch long crisp shapes and then toss these leaves in a bowl with a tablespoon of olive oil so all the leaves are coated. Then place on a baking tray and bake at 150 Celsius for 11 minutes. Warning: can be addictive.
Overtaking kale in trendiness is Beetroot!
Yep, beets are the new kale. But as well as being the new ‘it’ food and Dwight Schrute’s favourite food, they are also incredibly good for you.
This little root vegetable is great at lowering blood pressure. So if you have high blood pressure, or someone you love does, get dem beets son! High blood pressure puts you at risk of stroke and heart attacks. Which are sudden. So it is important to try and keep your blood pressure at a healthy level.
Beets also help mop up the bad cholesterol in your blood, so again if someone you love has high cholesterol this is the food for them.
Beets contain lots of folic acid which is very important if you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant.
Beets contain nitrates which help more oxygen to get into your blood and therefore into your brain. Studies have shown that this can help prevent dementia and generally improve neurological function.
Try them in a salad, or a smoothie. They are also delicious roasted or soaked in vinegar.
Green tea makes you live forever. Not actually forever, but close enough. People in china who drink about 5 cups of green tea a day can be chain smokers and still live to over 100. This is because of green tea. More specifically EGCG or Epigallocatechin Gallate. This is the antioxidant in green tea that contains all the health benefits. We don’t drink nearly enough to get the benefits, however. I feel like congratulating myself if I have just one cup a week but to get the benefits from this ingredient we need 500mg a day. That’s about 5 cups a day. And lets be serious, green tea doesn’t taste great. So to make it easier you can buy EGCG supplements (with or without the caffeine) which taken every day will help prevent heart disease, all kinds of cancers, osteoporosis and lengthen your life span.
Pumpkin Seeds and Kidney Beans are great for long beautiful locks. Pumpkin seeds contain zinc and omega 3’s and kidney beans contain zinc and biotin which are the main ingredients in those incredibly expensive hair and nail beauty supplements. Fortunately pumpkin seeds and kidney beans are not incredibly expensive. Kidney beans in particular are incredibly cheap. Pumpkin seeds also contain a lot of magnesium which not only gives you energy but can also help with period pains.
Blueberries are a two-for-one because they not only make you beautiful but they also have amazing health benefits. The antioxidants in blueberries are really good at softening dry skin when applied topically. But they also, like cranberries, when consumed help keep UTI’s at bay by removing bacteria from your bladder. And they are great cancer fighters by preventing some tumor cell growth. All you need is about a cup a day.
They are also good for your vision, reducing your risk of Age Related Macular Degeneration. Eating 3 servings a day can lower the risk by 36%. Plus they’re delicious.
Bananas are natures cup of coffee. When I gave up caffeine about 3 years ago, I started eating bananas every morning instead. They are proven to help wake you up. (Also great tips to wake up are drink a whole glass of water and do ten star jumps. Not in that order). Bananas are high in potassium which funnily enough is what your body is lacking in when you are hungover, which makes bananas great for a hangover. The high potassium content is also great for lowering blood pressure. As well as increasing your energy which can help your mood, bananas also contain tryptophan which can improve your mood, especially during the darker months when we are all suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder. I also use bananas to help control my blood sugar. I often get huge drops in my blood sugar if I don’t eat often enough or eat something too high in sugar. I eat a banana between meals to help keep me level.
Just don’t eat 50 in one day and end up in hospital with potassium poisoning like Peter Andre.
And last but not least, my current favourite, Apples!
Apples are very high in Vitamin C which as we know is great for the immune system and is where the saying ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away’ comes from.
They are also a great teeth cleaner because it increases saliva as you chew and reduces bacteria.
Apples also have been found to help prevent and slow down the effects of ageing on the brain, reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
And in a time when a woman’s chances of developing breast cancer is 1 in 3, apples are essential as they reduce the risk of breast cancer.
Plus Anne Boleyn ate loads of them when she was pregnant and she gave birth to one of the greatest Sovereigns this country has ever known. Not that that helped her at the time, poor woman.
So there is my list of my personal favourite health and beauty giving foods. If we all eat them in abundance we could live forever with the vampires.