If someone told you there were eight foods that could make you more beautiful and help you feel a lot healthier, you’d want to eat up, right? Consider this your grocery list.
For: Little Age Lines
Antioxidants like the vitamin C found in grapes act as your skin’s bodyguards, repairing and even preventing premature dryness, fine lines and sagging caused by tiny molecules called free radicals. One to one-and-a-half cups of grapes deliver close to 20 percent of your daily C needs, and will also supply the protein elastin, which keeps your skin plump—not prune-y.
Try: FISH or WALNUTS
What you don’t want: anything made with white flour, especially refined, processed carbs like white bread and sugary cereals. (One study found that these foods triggered more breakouts than a diet rich in fish, fruit, whole grains and legumes.) What you do want: Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, which help control inflammation throughout the body, including acne. That means halibut, walnuts, flaxseeds—and especially salmon.
For: Splitting Nails
Try: PROTEIN-rich foods
Your nails are made up of layers of a protein called keratin—and eating protein may strengthen those layers. If your nails are weak, for a lot of women, the easiest fix is protein. Most of us require between 45 and 65 grams per day, so try to eat some protein, like lean beef, poultry, fish or nuts, at every meal. Don’t forget breakfast: Just two eggs provide 12.5 grams—roughly 20 percent of your daily requirement.
For: Thin, Dry Hair
Try: GREEN TEA
The caffeine in tea slows the production of a chemical that shrinks hair follicles and results in thinner strands, so drink two to three cups of tea daily. (Coffee drinkers, your morning cup of java can have the same effect.) But if you’re plagued with dry, flaky scalp or hair loss, it may be a sign that you’re not getting enough zinc. Meet your 8 milligram daily quota with a variety of zinc-rich foods like crabmeat, yogurt, baked beans, green peas and pumpkin seeds.
Try: MILK or CHEESE
When women don’t get enough calcium, they may experience more severe cramps, mood swings and bloating. 1,200 milligrams of calcium a day (the amount in about two slices of Swiss cheese plus a glass of skim milk and a yogurt) can cut premenstrual symptoms by as much as 48 percent. If you tend to get headaches during your period, you may be low in magnesium. A quarter cup of almonds or cashews can help you meet up to 30 percent of your day’s needs for the mineral.
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