Talk Takeaway: Nutrition with Peggy K

Posted on Mar 15, 2013 10:45am

Spring is just around the corner, so there is no better time to freshen up your appearance with some healthy additions to your diet.  For this "Talk Takeaway: Nutrition" segment, nutritionist Peggy Kotsopoulos will teach us how to get our bodies looking great with ingredients from the fridge!  

Foods for a Glowing Complexion

Green juice (cucumber, celery, apple, ginger): Nothing screams aged skin like dehydrated skin. If you want a flawless, youthful and glowy complexion, hydration is key. Proper hydration reduces the appearance of wrinkles, eliminates dryness and helps with elasticity. Juicing green vegetables is a good way to hydrate the skin. The juice from watery veggies, such as cucumber and celery, provided the same benefit as water, plus the added value of vitamins, mineral and nutrients that cleanse the skin and reduce inflammation and puffiness. When juicing cucumber, keep the skin on; it is rich in silica - an important mineral that strengthens collagen and improves skin elasticity.
Kiwi, strawberries, blackberries and blueberries: Kiwis and strawberries are among the highest sources of vitamin C. Vitamin C firms and tones up the skin. It prevents free-radical damage, protects your skin cells and slows down the appearance of aging by preventing wrinkles. It's required for collagen production, as well as for the protection of collagen fibers that keep skin firm. Plus, berries -- such as blueberries and blackberries -- are rich in antioxidants (in particular anthocyanins) that help prevent oxidative damage to skin, which causes wrinkles.  
Olives/olive oil: Fats, in particular olive oil, also provide hydration and inside-out moisture. Olives are a rich source of vitamins A and E, both of which protect the oils on the surface of your skin from free-radical damage. Olives also help strengthen connective tissues, improving skin tone and protecting against UV radiation. The rich phenol content protects skin against oxidization. It helps repair cells, protects against damage and soothes the skin, helping it renew and regenerate. Olives are also naturally rich in squalane, which is a key ingredient in many store-bought skincare products. Squalane absorbs easily into the skin, keeping skin moist as well as restoring lost moisture.

Foods to Create Luscious Locks

Savi seeds: Savi seeds (also known as sacha inchi seeds) are one of the highest sources of plant-based Omega-3 fatty acids AND protein. They add moisture and shine to locks and strengthen hair follicles, preventing breakage! Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for nourishing hair follicles.  Not only do they reduce inflammation and balance hormones -- which can bog down follicles and slow hair growth, savi seeds also add amazing moisture to hair, upping shine, luster and elasticity. You can find Savi seeds at your local health food store. They're also tasty -- you eat them on their own, like nuts, and they also come chocolate-covered!  
Chickpeas:  For those with damaged hair or who want to accelerate hair growth, chickpeas can help! They contain the mineral silica and are rich in protein which helps to strengthen hair and can accelerate hair growth.  They also contain the minerals zinc and iron.  If you have low iron it can cause hair loss and result in dry, dull, thinning and fragile hair.  Increasing iron absorption can help this.  Plus chickpeas contain copper which can prevent premature greying!  
Avocado: Avocados are healthy in fat and vitamin E, which add moisture and shine to hair.  Plus it they contain biotin (vitamin B7) which is the heart and soul of healthy hair.  It ensures hair is strong and even helps to prevent hair loss.

Foods to Prevent Acne

Sweet potato: Orange sweet potatoes are a great way to combat acne because they are rich in Vitamin A and keratin, which is an anti-inflammatory AND helps fight off acne-causing bacteria. Vitamin A and, another of sweet potatoes' abundant nutrients, Vitamin C, work hard both to prevent acne and to heal it when it strikes.  In addition to its vitamins and antioxidants, it has a relatively low glycemic index, which helps maintain a steady insulin level and avoid the pimply dangers associated with hormonal imbalance.
Pumpkin seeds: Raw pumpkin seeds are super high in zinc and acne is often associated with a zinc deficiency. In addition to soothing inflamed skin, regenerating skin cells and speeding up the healing process, zinc inhibits a type of testosterone that can cause acne. Consuming just 30mg per day helps fight acne, and one-quarter-cup of raw pumpkin seeds provides just over half that recommended amount.  Pumpkin seeds also contain Omega-3 fatty acids and reduce inflammation, which can trigger breakouts.
Kimchi:  Kimchi is a fermented cabbage (and often radish) slaw that provides the same benefits as many probiotic supplements. When it comes to your skin and acne, a clear complexion begins in your gut. Acne comes from an imbalance in your gut. Kimchi is really high in probiotic culture. By adding fermented foods, like kimchi, to your diet, it replenishes your GI track with beneficial bacteria. This is especially beneficial to those who have been heavily dosed with acne meds that kill ALL bacteria, many times leaving your complexion even worse.  

Foods to Fight Cellulite

Water: You hear this all the time because it's true, drink, drink, drink water! Water helps flush out toxins and excess fluids from your body, minimizing the puffiness of the protruding fat deposits. Drink half your body weight in ounces each day.  (ie, if you weight 130 lbs, drink 65 ounces of water each day.)
Swiss chard: Leafy greens, like kale and Swiss chard, are loaded with phytonutrient goodness. They help cleanse the body of toxins and waste - something your liver also benefits from.  They are also high in fiber, which helps pull toxins from your body – and fewer toxins in your body mean fewer dimples on your thighs.
Coffee:  As in, wear some! There is a reason why caffeine is found in nearly every over-the-counter cellulite cream – wearing your coffee is a great way to reduce the appearance of lumps and bumps. Sadly, this doesn't hold true for DRINKING coffee, which actually worsens the appearance of cellulite. Caffeine is a natural anti-inflammatory that temporarily reduces the appearance of dimples by smoothing out the area.  It also helps tighten skin and blood vessels, breaks down fatty deposits and reduces water retention by sucking excess fluid out of cells. You can reuse your morning coffee grinds by mixing them with extra virgin olive oil and rubbing them on the back of your legs.  The coffee will reduce inflammation.  It's also a great facial scrub because it reduces puffiness.

Foods for Plump, Sexy Lips

With just a few key ingredients, you can have the plump, sexy lips you've been dreaming of. All you need is raw honey, extra virgin olive oil, cinnamon essential oil and a tooth brush. Raw honey eliminates dead skin cells and draws moisture to the surface of your lips and locks it in. Extra virgin olive oil is rich in vitamin E and fat to add moisture to your lips, making them soft and supple. Cinnamon essential oil is a slight irritant, which causes a little inflammation to your lips, making them naturally pouty and plump! Create a mixture using one part honey, one part olive oil, and a few drops of essential oil.  Dip a clean toothbrush in the mixture and exfoliate your lips!

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