“Beauty,” they say, “is not just skin deep.”
To be beautiful, we can’t just rely on beauty products — our diet is very important too. Did you know that eating salads can help to moisturize your skin, boost your energy and improve your overall appearance? And that salads don’t have to be boring?
Low calorie, high fiber content – eating raw foods in salads gives you beneficial vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that can be destroyed in the cooking process. A vegetarian friend recently said something that really got me thinking, “Name an animal that cooks their food.” Of course, there aren’t any others – only humans insist on cooking their meals. Why is that?
The best way to hydrate your skin is by eating salads, suggest many health and beauty experts. According to studies, iceberg lettuce and cucumbers are both about 96% water while a red tomato contains about 94% of that wonderful H2O!
The basics of a typical ‘American salad’ (like the one in the photo) are lettuce, cucumbers, and tomatoes. Or you can make salads as exotic as the one that visitors from France made for me with cold rice topped with vegetables, fruit, and nuts, all sitting on a bed of lettuce. Note that in many countries, “salad” is the word used as a name for lettuce.
Sprinkle flax seeds on top for intestinal health; add walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia or other nuts for both flavour and texture. Or make a fabulous salad like the one I had at the “Red Tomato” restaurant on Langkawi, Malaysia. Their chef starts with rocket lettuce, then tops that with tomatoes and cucumbers, then adds slices of mango and avocado and spills handfuls of cranberries over it all. To finish it off, he offers a choice of proteins from the menu of chicken, salmon, or tuna. The ‘secret’ dressing melds the flavors.
Speaking of dressings…One of the healthiest dressings is a simple mix of Spanish or Italian olive oil with apple cider or balsamic vinegar. Another ‘secret’ of a chef I know is to add a spoonful of honey and/or a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime. Spice it up with seasonings: salt, pepper, and herbs like thyme, rosemary, and basil make it “Italian;” soy sauce and mirin rice vinegar turn it into an Asian dressing.
The famed Mayo Clinic offers a number of salad recipes online to encourage people to eat healthy foods. According to research posted on their site, “Americans are making salads for less than 10 percent of meals — a decline of 20 percent in the past 15 years.” No wonder there’s an ‘obesity epidemic!’
Best foods for your skin…
Mayo Clinic dermatologist Dr. Lawrence Gibson lists the following “best foods for healthy skin:”
- Carrots, apricots, and other yellow and orange fruits and vegetables
- Spinach and other green leafy vegetables
- Beans, peas and lentils
- Salmon, mackerel and other fatty fish
Throw all those things together in a bowl and just think of all the healthy anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and oils you’ll be eating! The olive oil alone will do wonders for your skin and hair – inside and out!
Salads don’t have to be boring!
Let yourself be inspired by the cuisines of many countries and create your own. Of course, if you’re not in the mood for the ‘crunch,’ you can throw your salad in a blender, add some yogurt, and make a great smoothie! You can have salads at almost every meal!