Healthy Foods you can Use, Inside & Out

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As I age, I have noticed that I truly am what I eat.  So, I enjoy educating myself about which foods to choose when it comes to looking and feeling good.  I have also noticed that a lot of beauty products include food ingredients, so I wanted to know which of these edible additions are truly beneficial to beauty.  Plus I like to eat, so here are some foods that you can put on your looking good list.  From head to toe, check out my yummy list below.  And let me add, always ask your doctor about trying new foods, fruits and spices if you are taking medications, as some foods like grapefruit, have been to shown to interact with certain medicines. 

Healthy foods:  Persimmon & Grapefruit
Pretty product picks:  Nature's Gate Organics Shampoo & Conditioner

A persimmon is a fruit that is bright orange in color.  Although there are two kinds of persimmons, the Fuyu is the kind that you can eat right away.  Persimmons have an exceptional flavor and provide important nutrients such as beta-carotene, Vitamin C and potassium. China is the largest producer of persimmons and here in the states, virtually all, of the domestic persimmon crop comes from California.  The California Grower's Association describes a persimmon crisp like an apple and sweet like a pear. The extracts in this fruit enhance the Nature's Gate shampoo by helping to  hydrate parched hair, a common concern in our dry Arizona desert. 

Good ol' grapefruit just keeps on giving.  We know that this big pink fruit is loaded with Vitamin C and makes a great breakfast when we are dieting.  But did you know that eating your grapefruit gives you more fiber than many other fruits?  An orange will give you seven grams, an apple five, and a banana four. But half a grapefruit provides six grams!  However, you must also eat the walls that separate the slices inside of the fruit.  Keeping your colon cleansed with lots of fiber is fantastic for your skin.  And the Vitamin C in the Nature's Gate conditioner nourishes weak hair along with the wild ginger that is also included in the organic ingredients.   The Nature's Gate line is sold at Fry's and Sprouts Farmers Market locations.

Healthy foods:  Soymilk & Honey
Pretty product pick:  Just for Me! Hair Milk Straightening Mist

Anyone with a daughter will agree that they have thought about adding a detangler to the grocery list, especially if your girl has long hair.  It is no fun to comb out the mane of a screaming child!  I even have childhood memories of the pain of combing wet hair, though now at 42 years old, I love to have someone brush my hair!  So, when I saw the Just For Me! hair milk straightening mist, I was intrigued.  Soymilk is a great alternative for people who are lactose intolerant.  This alternative to cow's milk is said to provide beneficial protein, calcium and essential fatty acids, while being low in saturated fat and sodium, but high in dietary fiber.  However, there are some studies that caution that soy milk may also include some health risks.  So, before you choose soy milk, you may want to ask your doctor or do some research.  Almond milk is another good option, provided you are not allergic to tree nuts.  However, let's talk about the benefits of honey.

Honey is a great alternative to sugar because this sweet substance contains a large amount of enzymes which helps to aid digestion and increase energy.  Like sugar, honey does contain calories and simple sugars such as glucose and fructose, but studies have shown that our bodies tolerate honey easier than table sugar.  And when it comes to beauty, honey comes out a winner compared to the sugar, which is the big loser.  Honey is rich in vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, which plump the skin and gives hair a healthy shine.  But a word of caution to new Moms!  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that raw honey not be given to infants under one year of age because of the rare possibility of being infected with the bacteria that causes botulism. Once a toddler reaches one year old, their digestive system is mature enough to kill any botulism germs.

Healthy foods:  Turmeric spice
Pretty product pick: DDF Advanced Eye Firming Concentrate

Many delicious Indian foods feature a spice called Turmeric.  For the body, this bright orange spice has been found to reduce inflammation, ease flu symptoms, promote digestive health and more.  There has also been multiple studies done on the effects of Turmeric in fighting cancer.  However, there may also be risks of ingesting too much of this zesty spice, so see a doctor before taking any turmeric supplements. 

As a beauty ingredient, turmeric contains Curcumin which is a powerhouse antioxidant that hydrates and firms skin.  Although an ancient spice, it wasn't used in beauty products until recently due to the deep orange color and distinctive aroma, but DDF figured out how to use a purification and distillation process to evaporate more than 65% of the potent spice to reduce inflammation and firm skin.  The DDF Advanced Eye Firming Concentrate reduces puffiness and wrinkles while instantly firming giving the face a lifted appearance.  The eye cream sells for $88 at www.ddfskincare.com.

Healthy foods:  carrots
Pretty product pick:  Yes To Carrots C Me Shine Lip Gloss

My mom did teach me that carrots are healthy for me to eat, but I had never heard of the orange veggie in a lip gloss!  Carrots are packed with a lot of vitamins that include A, B, C, D, E, G and K plus calcium, iron and protein to boot.  Stick to carrot sticks to for better vision as well, as the all mighty carrot contains carotene, which converts to the Vitamin A in the body.  If you are craving a crunchy snack, opt for a carrot and you will clean and stimulate saliva in your gums, which rinses away bacteria and keeps your mouth hydrated.  I learned this helpful tip from one of my favorite books called The Beauty Diet by Lisa Drayer, M.A., R.D.
In a lip gloss, the beta carotene in carrots provides that Vitamin A that softens and hydrates the lips.  Vitamin A is also known to have antioxidant and anti-aging benefits giving the lips a younger looker glow.  Fun to know and fun to wear.  I found my Yes To Carrots lip gloss at Walgreen's for under $7. 

Healthy foods: pomegranate
Pretty product pick:  Nature's Gate Pomegranate Sunflower Liquid Soap

I have noticed that a lot of  beauty products are packed with pomegranate and I wondered if it was simply for the scent.  Eating this red fruit gives the body a good dose of Vitamin C, potassium, fiber and it is low in calories. 
In a liquid soap, this fruit contains an abundance of antioxidants that fight free radical damage which helps hands to look younger.

Healthy foods:  Green tea
Pretty product pick: Sally Hansen Nail Nutrition Green Tea Strengthener

I have to brag here.  Two years ago I kicked my fattening café mocha daily habit in favor of an unsweetened iced green tea. I had to get used to it at first, but now I crave the refreshing health benefits of the green tea.  Plus I get the same great, but now skinny, caffeine kick that I got from the high fat mocha as I start my day!  The Beauty Diet book touts green tea as an antioxidant-rich super beverage that helps protect skin from our powerful Phoenix sun, while also promoting a smoother and younger complexion.  And author Lisa Drayer says that green is better than black tea because it is not fermented so the active and magical ingredients are unaltered.  I'll drink to that!

Surprisingly, I could find no research linking green tea to stronger nails.  Sally Hansen's website claims that the combination of green tea and bamboo bond and seal weak fragile nail layers to resist breaking. Since I personally believe in the numerous health benefits of green tea, I'll give this one a try and get back to you on that one.  The Sally Hansen Nail Nutrition Green Tea + Bamboo Nail Strengthener is sold at drug stores for $8. 
                                                                                      
Healthy foods:  almonds
Pretty product pick:  Aubrey Organics Toasted Almond Shave Cream

If you are not allergic to tree nuts, then almonds make a satisfying and healthful snack.  With every crunch, you are getting a heart-healthy, fiber-filled nut that has more calcium than any other type of tree nut.  Studies show that a daily handful of almonds may reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering LDL, known as the or bad cholesterol, by as much as 10%.  So, I was curious how almonds in a shaving cream would benefit my skin when I found the Aubrey Organics Crème De La Shave Toasted Almond shaving cream.  Ingredients include sweet almond oil, which moisturizes and conditions skin, along with organic coconut milk that smoothes and hydrates as you shave.  So, I put some to the test and I love how my under arms and legs felt during and after the shave.  So, now I can eat and wear my almonds.  That is awesome!  This shave cream is sold at www.aubrey-organics.com for $5.49 a tube. 

So, from head to toe it pays to know what foods to eat to treat your skin, hair, nails and more.  And it is nice to know why different beauty items include different foods.  Eating well and looking well with a little help from a few personal items with purpose keeps my beauty and life on a budget!