Best Way to Eat for Beauty

If you want a clearer, brighter complexion, glossy hair, strong nails, no cellulite and a slim physique, you need to eat a healthy, balanced diet which includes a variety of nutritious foods to enable your body to absorb the vital nutrients that it requires.

The nutritional buzz words are moderation and balance. Lyndel Costain, a consultant dietician and health columnist, believes that although you should eat healthily, no food should be strictly forbidden. Paula Gilbert, head of nutrition at Greyshot Hall Health and Fitness Retreat, looks upon the naughty treats as compensation: ‘If you’ve eaten well all week, you can treat yourself to a piece of chocolate or something else you fancy,’ she says.

Beauty Best Way to Eat for Beauty

My personal treat of the week is an Irish coffee; it contains all the ‘bad’ boys: caffeine, sugar, alcohol and cream. But it’s delicious and, as it’s the weekend, I’m allowed to bend the rules. Eat sensibly, not rigidly, and allow yourself the occasional indulgence, because being overvirtuous is boring, and boring is not beautiful!

Healthy-eating checklist

  • Eat regularly: consume three meals a day. Don’t skip breakfast – it’s vital if you want to kick-start your metabolism and avoid mid-morning cravings. Eat every three to five hours.
  • Eat freshly prepared wholefoods: the food that you eat should be as close to its natural state as possible. Processed foods have little nutritional value and are laced with saturated fats, chemical additives, preservatives, sugar and salt.
  • Choose unrefined in preference to refined food: eat rice, pasta and bread in their brown, unrefined state instead of white alternatives.
  • Eat organic: unlike non-organic produce, these foods are not contaminated with chemicals, fertilisers, hormones and pesticides.
  • Ignore the food myths and fad diets: Eating starts becoming complicated and confusing when you worry about things like eating fruit at certain times or eating protein separately from carbohydrates,’ says Lyndel.
  • Cook lightly: stir-fry, bake, grill, steam or poach food as opposed to barbecuing, boiling, chargrilling or deep-frying it.
  • Eat five portions of fresh fruit and vegetables a day: fruit and vegetables are laden with nutrients and antioxidants and are also cleansing and energy-giving. Try to eat a variety of fruit and vegetables, and eat them raw wherever possible.
  • Include essential fatty acids (EFAs) in your diet: found in oils and fats, EFAs are vital to a healthy body as they help to build cell membranes and condition skin, hair and nails from within. The beneficial EFAs are contained in the polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats that are prevalent in vegetable oils (including walnut, linseed, grape-seed, olive, sesame and avocado), oily fish, vegetables, seeds, nuts and whole grains. The key sources include linolenic acid (found in green, leafy vegetables); linoleic acid (which is most abundant in sesame, grape-seed and sunflower oil); and omega 3s (prevalent in oily fish). To ensure that you eat adequate amounts of EFAs, use EFA-rich oils in their unrefined forms as salad dressings daily, and eat oily fish twice a week.
  • Supplement your food: there are arguments for and against vitamin and mineral supplements. Supplement sceptics believe that we should be getting adequate nutrients from our food, while those who are in favour of supplements stress that we need to compensate for our poor eating habits: eating convenience food and eating on the run. If you are taking individual vitamin or mineral supplements, always combine them with a good multi-vitamin-and-mineral. Paula suggests buying the best you can afford.
  • Divide your plate: at Champneys Health Resort the plates are marked with dividing lines to ensure that guests are eating a balanced meal. You can improvise at home by dividing your plate into three sections: twenty-five per cent for protein – such as fish, meat, beans and cheese; twenty-five per cent for carbohydrates – like rice, bread or pasta (brown wherever possible); and fifty per cent for veg or salad.
  • Introduce beans and pulses to your diet: these are an excellent source of fibre, amino acids, vitamins and minerals.

Beauty 1 Best Way to Eat for Beauty

  • Increase your fibre intake: abundant in fruit, vegetables, beans, pulses and whole grains, fibre is mainly found in the peel of fruit and vegetables and in the outer layers of grains. It’s essential to eat plenty of fibre-rich food in order to aid healthy digestion, prevent constipation and eliminate waste matter. In beauty terms, a sluggish digestion can result in dull, greyish skin, spots, under-eye shadows and puffiness.
  • Don’t overlook nuts and seeds: small, but highly nutritious, seeds like pumpkin, sesame and sunflower can be sprinkled onto salads, cereals and sandwich fillings, whereas nuts can be eaten as a healthy snack.

Leave a Reply