Hello cozy sweaters and jeans, goodbye harsh UV rays and extreme heat! People are breaking out their boots and packing away their sandals. It’s officially fall – and we’re excited. Shorter days, longer nights, and colder weather call for grounding foods. It’s time to ditch the smoothies and start your day with warming meals.
You may already be experiencing common fall weather side effects like dry skin, dull hair, and brittle nails. Fortunately, autumn’s harvest gives us an opportunity to stock up on healing foods that will rejuvenate and restore our bodies.
In this post, you’ll get the low-down on all of beauty’s best-food-friends. We’re going to skip refined sugar and add complex carbs that will keep you full and happy without spiking your blood sugar. I’ll give you a flavorful variety of bitter, sweet, and savory foods that both you and your family will love.
With the holidays coming up, it’s important to remember to mindfully choose foods that will nourish you and help you look your best. Our daily diet becomes the building blocks of our body so don’t overspend on topicals and other expensive products to beat the effects of the season change. Instead, nourish with these 6 beautifying foods for luscious locks, youthful skin, and radiant confidence.
Grab your kids, load up the car- you’re going to want to go apple picking after this.
It’s fall and your skin is feeling the effects of the summer’s extreme heat and UV rays. Mother nature doesn’t make mistakes and putting apple season right after summer was not an accident. If you weren’t already planning a family outing to the orchard, the all-mighty apple’s beautifying compounds are about to convince you otherwise.
Eve was onto something
Could this notoriously forbidden fruit be the world’s best kept beauty secret? Apples are key for helping your body detox and cool down after a long-hot summer. They hydrate on a deep cellular level and provide important mineral salts and electrolytes that are perfect post-workout.
Apples contain the antioxidant quercetin, an anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, and anti- cancer compound that is found in the skin (so skip the peeling). The powerful pigment works to fight UVB and free-radical damage making it wrinkle’s worst enemy. Apples also improve circulation in the lymphatic system, regulate blood sugar, and repair damaged skin. So if you want to keep your summer glow all autumn long AND rev up your immune system then keep your kitchen stocked with apples.
Purify & Beautify
Apples contain powerful compounds that help purify and cleanse the entire body. The flavonoid rutin can aid in radiation and heavy metal detoxification while amino acids serine and glutamine help clear the brain of MSG. Deemed the ultimate colon cleanser, this fall staple will get rid of microbes, yeast, viruses, mold, and bacteria. Apples also work hard to balance bacteria in the large intestine- a huge bonus for digestion and skin. Can you say bye-bye breakouts?
If you’re still not convinced, apples also contain a phytochemical that combats AGEs (Advanced Glycation End product- think wrinkles, thinning and saggy skin). They also contain high levels of pectin which helps fill you up and lowers cholesterol.
Bottom line- grab an apple- your skin and your waistline will thank you for it.
It’s squash season! No, not the sport – the gourd.
Eat butternut squash for smooth skin and healthy hair. This alkaline food will keep you balanced and grounded as you enter the colder months. It’s sweet, savory, creamy and comforting and your family will love the variety of recipes.
If you want gorgeous hair than you need complex B vitamins to help your body produce red blood cells for shine and strength. For a hydrated scalp, butternut squash offers loads of vitamin E, iron, and omega-3’s. Basically, this winter squash is your hair’s new best friend.
I’m about to get scientific, so bear with me and you’ll want to go bare after this.
Beta-carotenoid, a phytochemical (plant chemical) found in yellow and orange vegetables protects the body from oxidative stress. Oxidative stress happens when the body makes waste products called free radicals which build up, set off a chain reaction, and damage cells. Ultimately, oxidative stress leads to inflammation which leads to wrinkles, but the all-beautiful and wonderful anti-inflammatory beta-carotenoid is there to help you out.
Beta-carotenoid converts to vitamin A which is known to decrease UV sensitivity, defend the scalp and eyes, and heal and smooth skin.
Bake it, roast it, steam it, blend it, mash it- whatever your medium, just make sure to add butternut squash to your menu tonight.
Bonus: seeds for stress
If you don’t want to waste any part of your winter squash then roast the seeds for a good helping of the amino acid tryptophan, the precursor to serotonin. Butternut squash seeds might just save you from your holiday anxiety and your in-laws. Start snacking.
Queen Cranberry: Ruler of Anti-Aging Power
Cranberries are a powerhouse when it comes to antioxidants- they beat out strawberries, broccoli, and spinach. These disease-fighting antioxidants defend against free-radical damage and give your immune system the boost it’s asking for this fall season.
The Cranberry Time Machine
Rewind the clock on aging. Cranberry’s plentiful anthocyanin is a powerful phytochemical with a wide range of beauty benefits like improving skin elasticity, preserving collagen, and lowering inflammation. Your skin will be plump once again!
The same flavonoid found in apples, quercetin, is also abundant in cranberries and works the same to slow down the aging process by increasing blood flow and UV light tolerance.
Not only will this super fruit give your skin the glow you want but it will also give you a brain boost with its bonus memory enhancing properties. See, you can be pretty AND smart, just like queen Cranberry.
Jazz up salads, smoothies, and juices, try drying them for a yummy trail mix or cooking them down to a sauce (hello Thanksgiving!).
Known since the beginning of time to treat basically every disease, figs are fabulous for your digestive system, sex life, and your overall look.
Amino acids found in figs increase blood flow to your entire body. Iron and potassium, minerals necessary to get down, are plentiful in figs. It’s also said that in ancient times the scent, texture, and look of figs were enough to turn someone on.
Figs are Rich
Figs are rich in all the great beautifying compounds: magnesium, calcium, potassium, and manganese. The tons of little tiny seeds you see inside of figs contain anti-aging omega fatty acids and ample antioxidants and polyphenols to help combat oxidation.
Figs are also rich in fiber so this low-cal, highly nutritious fruit is ideal for weight loss. Figs flush acids out of your body that accumulate as fat globules. Their high fiber profile is perfect for keeping you full and for getting your bowels moving. This gentle laxative will keep you feeling light and happy all fall long.
It’s no wonder that figs have been praised since before time. Turn a boring salad sexy and you’ll feel it too.
Time to Go-Green
Being bitter is normally bad, but not in the case of escarole. The bitter taste helps decrease water retention and cleanse the body. But it’s not just the taste that will do your body some good, the properties found in this leafy green will have you looking awake and ready to take on life.
Bye, Bye Under Eyes
Vitamin K is king when it comes to banning dark circles. Vitamin K is vital for strong blood vessels. When you stock up on this leafy green you will not only reduce dark circles but also prevent varicose veins. The shorter days may make you more tired but you won’t look it if you’re eating your escarole.
Show Your DNA Some Love
Your DNA tells your body how to act and what to do with your nutrients. Calcium and folate, both prominent in escarole, are powerful for a healthy DNA synthesis. If you want to tell your DNA something good, give it some escarole and it will figure out the rest.
Braise escarole with onions, sauté with mushrooms, or make a big pot of escarole soup to reap the beauty benefits.
Last but not least! Everyone’s fall best friend.
Break out your skinny jeans and get ready to do a double take in the mirror. The pumpkin is truly your best friend. It will make you want to smile more and give you confidence while keeping you grounded at the same time.
Let’s start with vitamin A. The beta-carotene and lutein found in pumpkin are your skin, hair, nails, teeth, and bones’ personal makeover stylists. Vitamins A, B, K and minerals magnesium, iron and copper, are their tools. Zinc, another tool found in pumpkin, is essential for clear skin, strong nails, and long hair.
Pumpkin is also a high-fiber food and natural diuretic so ladies, pick pumpkin during your time of the month or a nice outing. Pumpkin also aids in weight loss and reduces cholesterol (unlike Honey Nut Cheerios).
So, go on, make some paleo pumpkin muffins, a big pot of soup, or a pie. Your body will love you for it.
Hart, Jolene. Eat Pretty: Nutrition for Beauty, inside and Out. Chronicle Books, 2014.
James, Dana. Archetype Diet. Penguin Publishing Group, 2018.
Holland, Julie. Moody Bitches: the Truth about the Drugs You’re Taking, the Sleep You’re Missing, the Sex You’re Not Having, and What’s Really Making You Crazy. Penguin Books, 2016.