Spend more than 10 minutes on the Internet these days, and you’ll be inundated with offers to make yourself beautiful for a price — and often a steep one.
But there are less-expensive alternatives to improve your appearance. Health and beauty are nearly synonymous, and nutrition is at the center of health. That means there is weight to the idea of going on a beauty diet. Things like eating healthily and watching what you consume can boost your beauty without the need for expensive products or beauty gadgets.
Here are six beauty diet tricks to try.
6 Beauty Diet Tricks
1. Reduce dairy to avoid blemishes
For most people, facial blemishes are a problem during adolescence and early adulthood, after which they pop up under special circumstances. For others, they can be an issue well into adulthood, either as a constant menace or occasional flare-ups.
In some cases, milk might be the culprit.
Well, not milk exactly, but the hormones that are common in dairy products produced in the West. Milk comes from pregnant cows, which are pumped full of hormones to make them produce as much milk as possible. Some of those hormones bear a close resemblance to the hormones that raged through your body during your teenage years. As a result, they can trigger that same acne.
If you consume dairy and acne treatments aren’t effective at prevention, try going without cow’s milk for a month. Try milk from other animals, soy or almond milk, or cow’s milk from certified no-hormone sources. If your blemishes clear up, you’ve found the problem. If not, don’t worry. We have other solutions.
2. Increase omega-3 fats for radiant skin
Omega-3 fats, also called fatty acids, can help with a variety of health matters, including keeping the collagen in your skin healthy. Increasing your intake of omega-3 fats gives your skin more smoothness, luster, and that “glow” beauty magazines keep talking about.
Good sources of omega-3 fats include:
- Flax and Chia Seeds
- Peanut Butter
You can also augment your omega-3 intake by cooking with any of the following oils:
- Cod liver
3. Eat lean protein for lustrous hair
Your hair is made out of protein. If you get enough protein, your hair will be healthier than if you’re going without. Further, protein sources are also rich in iron help your body deliver oxygen to the cells in your hair follicles. That sets the stage for a fuller, healthier head of hair.
Red meat is a particularly good option for protein, but eat it in moderation in the leanest, hormone-free, grass-fed cuts you can afford. If you just eat any beef product, the health downsides can outweigh the benefits of a gorgeous head of hair.
Other good sources of lean protein include white fish, Greek yogurt, beans, poultry, tofu, and pork loin.
4. Get spicy for multiple benefits
You know that fruits and vegetables are great for both your general health and the specific aspects of your health that contribute to beauty. But there’s a third powerful plant source of health and beauty benefits: spices. These cooking aids pack a lot of flavor in a small package and also pack a lot of benefits, including a faster metabolism, clearer skin, and healthier hair and nails.
So get spicy with your life and adventurous with your cooking. Spices are the original nutrition supplement, and they make your meals more delicious and interesting. Some of the most beneficial spices include:
5. Boost your collagen to reduce wrinkles
This one’s pretty simple to understand and even easier to implement. Wrinkles happen because as we age, our skin loses collagen and becomes less elastic. It’s also why smoking causes premature wrinkling: nicotine kills collagen.
The solution is to eat foods that boost your body’s collagen production or make it easier for your body to absorb collagen’s building blocks. Avocado, berries, citrus, leafy greens, nuts, seeds, legumes, and green tea all help with this.
Even better news: All of these things are delicious and easy to add to any diet.
6. Consume more vitamin C to reduce hair damage
Hair damage like split ends is usually the result of physical damage to your hair by things like:
- Bad hair products
- Sunny or dry weather
- Pollution or chemicals in the environment
- Excessive heat
These are all things you can avoid or treat with high-quality shampoo and conditioner. However, oxidant damage — the microscopic weathering of your hair cells — can cause also split ends. And that’s something you can fix with a sunhat.
But it is something you can also fix with vitamin C. This vitamin is one of the most effective supplements for reducing and repairing oxidative stress to your cells.
Keep in mind your body can only use so much vitamin C per day, and it flushes (rather than stores) the rest. So you’re better off drinking orange juice or eating more tomatoes than spending money on a supplement pill. Also, they taste better.
What Not to Put in Your Body
If you put healthy foods in your body, good things happen. But if you eat a lot of junk food, it can negatively impact your skin, eyes, hair, and other aspects of your appearance. When you can, try minimizing how often you take in:
- Refined sugars
- Fried foods
- Soda and most juices
- White rice
- Processed meats
- White bread
By approaching your nutrition from both what you eat and what you avoid, you can make such a difference in your beauty that you might be able to eliminate many of the skincare products you currently purchase. With the money saved, you can focus your beauty investment on only the highest-quality, most essential items.
David Northcutt is a fitness guru who lives in Washington State with his family of six, which includes four teenage daughters who are constantly trying new beauty tricks.