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EAT YOURSELF BEAUTIFUL

Nourish your skin, hair, body and nails from the inside out with these 10 beauty-boosting super foods!

1. Avocado

Avocado's are the ultimate beauty food: They are high in monounsaturated fat(the heart healthy kind) and offer a powerful combination of vitamins, including E and C which boosts the immune system, nourish skin, fight free radicals and also revitalize hair. they are fairly high in kilo-joules though, so if you're watching your waistline, indulge in moderation!

2. Berries

Blueberries, raspberries, cranberries and blackcurrants may be small in size but they are packed with nutrients that help the body produce collagen - essentially, they put the brakes on ageing and keep the skin soft and supple.

3. Tomatoes

These juicy red fruits are rich in lycopene, a powerful anti-ageing antioxidant that increases the skin's ability to withstand UV damage - a leading cause of fine lines and wrinkles. Tomatoes are also a good source of vitamins and minerals (essential for all over body health) and are naturally low in cholesterol, salt and fat.

4. Butternut

Look to butternut to prevent lifeless, dull hair. Like carrots, this vegetable is packed with beta-carotene, which increases the vitamin A in your body to help your scalp produce healthy oil for shinier hair. It also assists with skin cell renewal, which means fewer acne breakouts and deep-set wrinkles.

5. Salmon

For smooth skin and ultra-glossy hair, up your intake of salmon. This oily fish is rich in omega 3, an essential fatty acid that boasts brilliant anti-ageing benefits. It also boosts circulation, reduces inflammation and keeps skin cell supple, which ultimately mean fewer wrinkles and less sagging. Other benefits, which can be attributed to salmon's rich vitamin, protein and calcium content, include a healthier immune system, increased concentration, improved mood and better appetite control.

6. Nuts

Set aside sweets and crisps and make nuts, such as almonds, Brazils, hazelnuts and walnuts, your choice of snack instead. All are rich in iron and have high levels of the anti-oxidant selenium, which helps to boost the skin's elasticity. The omega fatty acids naturally present in nuts (almonds particularly) will help to lower your cholesterol level and improve the appearance of your hair too. Suffering from weak, brittle nails? Nuts can also sort that out in no time! As with avocado's, moderation is key when eating nuts to avoid piling on unwanted kilos.

7. Oysters

Forget a minute their supposed aphrodisiacal properties and concentrate instead on the fact that oysters are a low-fat, high-protein food. they're rich in zinc too, which supports the immune system and helps to create collagen and fight acne. Their high vitamin B content also means you can look forward to shinier hair.

8. Carrots

This perfect beauty booster contains vitamin A and antioxidants to perfect against sun damage and prevent dry skin, hair and nails (particularly important in the cooler months). Carrots also help to minimize premature ageing, assist with toxin removal, naturally clean teeth and gums, and improve vision.

9. Black Pepper

This common cooking companion has antibacterial properties, aids digestion and reduces inflammation. It also reduces bloating after a meal, so while you should hold back on added salt, you can go wild with this zero-calorie flavour enhancer instead!

10. Dark Chocolate

When it comes to beauty beneficial food, it's not all carrots and cauliflower - there is room for indulgence too! Dark chocolate has numerous health benefits thanks to its main ingredient, the cocoa bean. It is packed with flavanols, antioxidants that protect your skin from premature ageing, UV damage and discoloration. Studies have found that people who snack on a couple of squares of dark chocolate daily show improvement in skin texture and hydration. Remember bitter is better, so check the ingredients label: your chocolate should contain at least 70% cocoa.

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