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Eat your way to beauty

“You are what you eat,” said Hippocrates. This means that our physical and psychological health is directly related to the nutrients in the food we eat, but so is our appearance.

A balanced, nutrient-rich diet can help embellish your skin, add shine to your hair, and promote the growth of healthy nails. Here are a few key foods to add to your menu.

For radiant skin

Avocado: Rich in mono-unsaturated fat, vitamins C and E, and antioxidants, avocado helps rejuvenate the skin by preventing premature wrinkling and by protecting cell membranes.

Sweet potato: The high content of vitamin A of the sweet potato will give you a glowing, clear complexion.  Its antioxidants will help reduce skin aging caused by free radical activity.

Dark chocolate: As well as having euphoria-inducing and mood-enhancing properties, the cocoa in dark chocolate is an anti-aging ally.

Red bell pepper: An excellent source of vitamin C, a vitamin that’s vital to the production of collagen. Collagen is a protein responsible for the elasticity of the skin and the regeneration of the skin and conjunctive tissue. Hence red peppers also help prevent skin aging.

Legumes (beans): Beans are rich in fibre, protein, iron, zinc, folic acid, and many other nutrients. The iron in beans helps increase oxygenation of the skin, while zinc helps in maintaining the skin’s elasticity and in healing.

Fatty fish: Fatty fish like salmon, trout, and sardines promote skin that is both supple and firm, thanks to their high omega-3 content.

For soft, shiny hair

Chia seeds: The fatty acids in chia seeds are essential for deep hydration of your hair.

Pumpkin seeds: Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of zinc, sulfur and vitamin A. These nutrients are particularly helpful in stimulating the growth of strong, healthy hair. Zinc would also seem to help in reducing the symptoms of acne and other skin imbalances.

Nutritional yeast: The high protein content of yeast contributes to strengthening the hair shaft while its high content of complex B vitamins will help maintain the brilliance and good health of your hair.

For healthy nails

Brazil nuts: Brazil nuts are rich in selenium, a very powerful antioxidant. Just two nuts provide the totality of our daily selenium requirements. The appearance of white marks on the nails would be caused by a deficiency of this mineral.

Spinach and kale: These vegetables not only provide calcium, but are also a good source of iron. Iron and calcium are important minerals involved in nail hardening.

Eggs: Thanks to their high quality proteins, selenium content, B complex vitamins, zinc, and vitamins A, D, and E, eggs would reduce the appearance of transverse white stains on nails while providing many benefits for beautiful skin and healthy hair!

Lastly, remember to drink lots of water; adequate hydration is the key to a beautiful skin!

And you, what do you eat to keep up your appearance?

By Karine Séguin, nutritionist.

Béliveau, Richard. (2014). Vos bactéries intestinales aussi adorent le chocolat. Le Journal de Montréal. On line. < http://www.richardbeliveau.org/images/chroniques/R2014-04-21-AVR-074–CompressedSecured.pdf>. Page consulted on October 12, 2014.

Passeport santé. (2007). Minéraux : leurs fonctions, les meilleures sources. On line. <http://www.passeportsante.net/fr/VivreEnSante/MieuxManger/Fiche.aspx?doc=mineraux-leurs-fonctions-les-meilleures-sources_vs#P185_5570>. Page consulted on October 12, 2014.

Passeport Santé. (2010). Sélénium. On line. <http://www.passeportsante.net/fr/Solutions/PlantesSupplements/Fiche.aspx?doc=selenium_ps>. Page consulted on October 12, 2014.

Plaisir Santé. (2012). 5 bienfaits surprenants des avocats pour votre santé. On line.

< plaisirssante.ca/mon-assiette/nutrition/5-bienfaits-surprenants-des-avocats-pour-votre-sante?slide=5>. Page consulted on October 12, 2014.

Karine Séguin, Dt.P.

Holder of a degree in nutrition from McGill University, and member of the Ordre professionnel des diététistes du Québec, Karine is currently pursuing a specialist diploma in sports nutrition with the International Olympic Committee. She has been part of the Nautilus Plus team since March 2012. Karine has demonstrated exemplary dedication in her own physical preparation by regularly training in our centers, and has completed the Montreal half-marathon in 2013. Passionate about her work, her objective is to ensure the success of everyone, and motivate you to adopt healthy eating habits. Whether you are picky about food, or a real food lover, Karine will get you to enjoy the pleasures of eating healthy foods that are suited to your needs, so that you can feel good about yourself, and become active!

Eat your way to beauty is a post from I'm taking charge. I'm taking charge is a blog that aims to help people in their journey to fitness through articles on training, nutrition, motivation, exercise and healthy recipes.
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