Healthy Hairdresser

Eat Your Way to Beauty

Rosanne Ullman | May 19, 2014 | 8:49 AM

Clients aren’t the only ones who want younger-looking skin, fuller hair and a white smile—that wish list probably applies to you as well. Beauty nutritionist Paula Simpson, a frequent contributor to the media on the overlapping topics of nutrition and beauty, has some tips about which foods to eat and which to avoid to maximize your beauty nutrition. Adapt these guidelines to your diet and, as your clients’ beauty advisor, share them with clients!

Eat Your Way to Beauty

Choose your—or your client’s—beauty target:

Eat Your Way to BeautyFewer wrinkles. Simpson recommends eating soy. “Research shows that estrogen-like chemicals called isoflavones, of which soy is a rich source, help to keep the skin furrow-free,” she says. “You’ll get beauty benefits from soy in its whole forms—tofu, soybeans and edamame.”

Less Puffy Eyes. Downsize under-eye bags by lowering your salt intake and adding potassium, Simpson advises. “Our faces swell from too much sodium,” she notes. When adding potassium, Simpson recommends aiming for 4.7 grams a day. Foods high in potassium include bananas, sweet potatoes, avocados and cooked lentils.

Whiter Teeth. Highly acidic foods like citrus, soda and berries can leave your teeth vulnerable to stains from the acid left behind. Spaghetti sauce, red wine, cola and coffee also can stain teeth. But chewing on some cheese immediately after eating may neutralize that. Simpson reports that studies suggest that cheeses with high pH levels will safeguard your smile.

Minimized Age Spots. First, use sunscreen. Then boost your skin’s natural SPF by eating lycopene, a carotenoid found in red and pink produce like tomatoes, watermelon, pink grapefruit and red peppers. “Your body absorbs the most from cooked tomato products like paste, sauce and soup,” Simpson adds.

Less Acne. Avoid sugar. “Eating foods like sweets and refined carbohydrates can jumpstart oil production, leading to clogged pores,” Simpson says. Instead, choose the richest source of zinc—red meat—or, if you’re vegetarian, opt for lentils, pumpkin seeds, kidney beans and raw oysters.

Great Bone Structure. “As bones lose volume and recede, your skin can begin to sag,” Simpson notes. “Keep your bones strong with high-calcium sources like fortified low-fat yogurt and milk, soy milk, kale, spinach and tofu.” Also bulk up on Vitamin K2, found in low-fat cottage cheese and chicken, as well as on magnesium, found in whole grains, leafy green vegetables and almonds.

Thicker Hair. Seek foods high in protein, iron and zinc, Simpson recommends. “Red meat is a great source of iron and zinc,” she says. Other good choices include pork and the dark meat of poultry, which has twice as much iron and zinc as the white meat. “If you don’t do meat, fill up on pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds), lentils and kidney beans,” Simpson adds.

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