What if you knew you there was one thing that could prevent your skin from looking lackluster, broken out, or showing unwanted signs of aging? Would you want to bathe in it? We would.
Luckily, we know what it is—and we’re sharing it with you! You can soak in the best anti-wrinkle cream ever by simply enjoying specific delicious vegetables. That’s right; just eat the right vegetables –those that contain the magical skin nourishing ingredients– omega-3 fatty acids and a large variety of antioxidants like vitamin C, beta-carotene, vitamin E, and voila—hello radiant skin! These veggies are so potent that we refer to them as the skin fillers, plumpers, and Botox of the food kingdom. Eat them regularly and your skin will exude a healthy glow beyond your wildest dreams.
Veggies naturally are rich in water, so they create moisture within your skin, plumping the cells and filling the crevices. Think of them as your body’s natural lotion—plus a whole lot more. Here’s what else they’ve got:
Vitamin C: keeps skin youthful and elastic by aiding in collagen formation. Think: tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, broccoli, and potatoes.
Beta-carotene: helps give a healthy glow and hue while protecting skin from sun damage. Go for: carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, butternut squash and other orange and green colored produce.
Antioxidants: guard against premature aging by helping to prevent cell damage. They mop up free radicals, including those caused by pollution and other environmental toxins, stress, and the sun. Eat up: Most veggies.
Omega-3s: contain powerful anti-inflammatory compounds that give skin a smoother appearance. Great Source: cabbage.
Water and potassium-rich: keeps skin hydrated and restores fluid balance so it doesn’t look wrinkled and withered. Indulge in: Most veggies.
The key is to get the best veggies throughout the day so your skin is slathered in the ultimate rejuvenation cream all day long.
Two of the best skin veggies? Tomatoes and Cucumbers.
Let’s Talk Tomatoes!
Tomatoes are a powerhouse of antioxidants like vitamin C, beta carotene and lycopene. In just one cup of raw tomato you get 38% of the Daily Value (DV) (your daily need) of vitamin C and 29.9% of the DV for vitamin A. Load up on tomatoes to help fight age spots, wrinkles, and blemishes.
Clap for Cucumbers!
Cucumbers are 96 percent water so they fill the cells beneath your skin, plumping the skin up and making it look youthful while saturating your cells with skin-enhancing nutrients like vitamin C, beta-carotene, and manganese and anti-inflammatory (vitamin K) phytonutrients and many other nontraditional nutrients like flavonoids that decelerate the aging process.
Moisturize from within all day long with this sample Veggie Better than Wrinkle Cream Menu See More Menus and Recipes like this in The Nutrition Twins Veggie Cure!
Golden Gazpacho in Petite Cucumber Cradles
This zesty yellow gazpacho is so flavorful and scrumptious on its own that we often want more than the appetizer serving. Luckily, it will not only make your skin glow—it’s amazing for the waistline and it will beat the bloat! Biting into the cucumber cup makes this even more refreshing . . . and adorable.
Serves 8 as an appetizer.
- 1 garlic clove
- 1⁄2 scallion
- 11⁄2 cups yellow tomatoes, cored, seeded, and chopped
- 1⁄2 cup diced yellow pepper
- 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 long or 2 shorter English (hothouse) cucumbers
- Fresh grindings of pepper, for serving
- Place garlic, scallion, tomatoes, and pepper in a food processor and pulse until all vegetables are finely chopped.
- Stir in the rice vinegar, salt, black pepper, cayenne, and oregano.
- Cut cucumber into 2-inch lengths and scoop, using a melon baller, to create a mini bowl. Grind a little pepper into each cucumber bowl.
- Spoon gazpacho into the cucumber bowls and serve.
Per serving: calories 10, total fat 0g, saturated fat 0g, cholesterol 0mg, sodium 65mg, carbohydrates 2g, dietary fiber 0g, sugars 0g, protein 1g.
Percent Daily Value: vitamin A 1%, vitamin C 41%, calcium 1%, iron 1%
Tomato and Basil Bruschetta
This bruschetta was inspired by a recipe from our favorite Italian restaurant. The olive oil enhances the absorption of the lycopene from the tomatoes for maximum skin benefits. This recipe is great for calming any skin trauma or acne while also protecting against the sun’s damaging rays.
Serves 6 – 1 serving = 4 Brochettes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 pints grape tomatoes
- Sprinkle black pepper
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic (approximately 4 cloves garlic)
- 3 sprays olive oil from spray bottle
- 1 long French baguette
- 4 finely chopped scallions
- 1/2 cup finely sliced basil
- Salt to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Pour 1 tablespoon olive oil into a baking pan and tilt pan until oil covers bottom of pan. Pour in tomatoes and mix so oil covers tomatoes. Lightly sprinkle black pepper over tomatoes and add garlic. Spray olive oil on top and mix until garlic, pepper and oil is evenly spread throughout.
- Place in the oven and roast for 20 minutes to allow flavors to mingle as some tomatoes burst.
- Slice bread into approximately 24, 1/4- 1/3-inch slices. Toast lightly.
- Remove tomato mixture and put in a large bowl and add scallions, basil and salt. Mash tomatoes well, being careful not to get burnt by the hot “insides” of the tomatoes. Mix well and spread on top of bread.
Per serving (analyzed without salt to taste) of tomato and basil topping: Calories 47, fat 3g; saturated fat 0g; cholesterol 0mg; sodium 7mg; carbohydrates 5g; fiber 2g; sugars 3g; protein 1g.
Per serving (analyzed without salt to taste) with 4 pieces of baguette: 139 calories, fat 3g; saturated fat 0g; cholesterol 0mg; sodium 215mg; carbohydrates 23g; fiber 2g; sugars 4g; protein 5g.
Percent Daily Value: Vitamin A 22% Vitamin C 26% Calcium 4% Iron 10%.
Tammy Lakatos Shames and Elysse (“Lyssie”) Lakatos, The Nutrition Twins®, are twin sisters and nationally recognized registered dietitians and personal trainers with 15 years of experience helping thousands of clients boost their energy naturally, get healthier, happier and into tip-top shape. Through their books, media appearances, nutrition counseling, lectures and blogs, they’ve built a brand that empowers people to take charge of their health and make changes that last a lifetime. Their newest book, The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure, was released January, 2014.
Bruschetta Photo credit: David Smith