While a little of what you fancy does not do you any harm, it's a good idea to eat as balanced a diet as possible. Inner and outer gorgeousness is not always about buying the most expensive face-creams or spending hundreds on top of the range facial treatments. Some face treatments and creams are totally worth spending money (more about this later) but I'm completely against botox, fillers and surgery to make yourself look gorgeous.
Part of how we look is directly linked to our genes and and the other part of how we look is down to how well we nourish and feed our body and our mind. If you are stressed out and working in a job you hate, commuting long hours everyday and eating cereal for dinner, then no amount of collagen injections and fillers are going to make your skin look glowing and healthy! But if you keep your mind calm and feed your body with healthy and delicious foods, then you are doing the very best you can do to look after your beauty and wellbeing.
There are some foods which can really benefit your brain, skin and health if you incorporate them into your diet. Sometimes these foods are referred to as 'Superfoods' but I just like to think of them as Foods For Inner and Outer Gorgeousness!
Inner Gorgeousness: Avocados contain Vitamin B6 and Folic Acid which stimulate the production of serotonin in the brain, levels of which are often very low in people with depression. They also contain Oleic Acid which is great for keeping your heart healthy. Avocados contain 35% per cent more potassium than a banana and more fibre than any other fruit which helps digestion, eases constipation and regulars your blood sugar levels, so if you are hungry reach for one of these instead of that chocolate bar which will send your blood sugars sky high for a short while only to plummet again very soon afterwards.
Outer Gorgeousness: Eating avocados increases levels of collagen in the skin - ha ha! No need for expensive collagen injections if you eat one of these every day! Avocados also contain Vitamin E which is one of the best vitamins we can take to keep our skin looking smooth and glowing. Want to use avocado as a cheap face mask that's good enough to eat? Just mash a ripe avocado in a bowl and once you have a smooth consistency, add a dessert spoon of honey and a dessert spoon of natural yoghurt. Mix the whole lot together until well blended and smooth onto your face. Leave for 20 minutes (great excuse for a lie-down with some gentle music to help you feel calm and relaxed) and then rinse off with luke-warm water.
Inner Gorgeousness: Not only is spinach full of Vitamin C which boosts your immune system and Calcium and Magnesium which prevents against osteoporosis by protecting your bones, but it is jam packed with Lutein which is an antioxidant that protects the retina and can help to prevent macular degeneration, the leading cause of sight loss as you get older. And because Lutein is fat soluble it is best absorbed if you eat your spinach with a knob of butter or some olive oil. Yum!
Outer Gorgeousness: Because spinach is full of antioxidants it neutralises the free radicals which are molecules that cause premature skin ageing. Spinach is also alkalising to the body and the B vitamins it contains can help with skin conditions such as psoriasis and helps to balance your mood by keeping your blood sugar levels stable. I eat it in salads, in burgers instead of lettuce but my favourite way to cook it is just to wash it well, throw it into a large pot with a knob of butter, some black pepper, a sprinkling of Celtic Sea Salt and just wilt it down!
Inner Gorgeousness: These babies are full of lycopene which can help prevent several types of cancer. Tomatoes are also full of Vitamin C, a superb immune system booster and all round good guy when it comes to staying healthy. Tomatoes also help to strengthen our kidneys and their acidity can help flush out urinary tract infections and even break down gall stones! They also contain Chromium which is hugely beneficial to maintaining normal blood sugar and insulin levels.
Outer Gorgeousness: Tomatoes are full of beta-carotene which is excellent for our skin by helping to prevent sun damage and they contain Vitamin A which helps to keep hair shiny and healthy.
Inner Gorgeousness: Olive oil is jammed packed full of beneficial monounsaturates which are healthy fats such as oleic acid. These fats can reduce heart disease and prevent inflammation in the body, as well reducing the damage that free radicals can cause to cells. The antioxidants in olive oil can improve cholesterol regulation and reduce bad cholesterol in the blood (also known as LDL).
Outer Gorgeousness: Olive oil can be used on your nails, hair and skin and best of all it is natural and pure and does not contain any nasties such as parabens. The Vitamin E in Olive Oil stimulates collagen production in the skin so adding olive oil instead of sugar and salt-laden shop-bought dressings to your salads can be enormously beneficial. You can use olive oil to remove your make up or as a soothing face mask while you're relaxing in the bath or watching TV. Even if you have oily skin or are prone to acne you can still benefit from using olive oil on your face as it can help to rebalance your oily and dry areas. Adding a few drops of olive oil to a foot bath is a wonderful way to soften the hard skin on our feet and a great way to relax after a day in high heels!
Inner Gorgeousness: Pumpkin seeds are full of phytosterols which can help reduce LDL cholesterol (the bad stuff) and they are also really beneficial to anyone who is suffering from kidney stones by doing two amazing things - the seeds contain compounds that both reduce the level of substances that can cause kidney stones to form, while also increasing compounds that actually prevent kidney stones from forming in the first place. Pumpkin seeds also have anti-inflammatory properties and can help arthritis sufferers.
Outer Gorgeousness: There are so many vitamins and minerals in pumpkin seeds I'd be here all day if I was list them all, but selenium, zinc, essential fatty acids such as Omega 3 oil and Vitamin E are just a few. Zinc helps to protect our skin cells and maintain good levels of collagen in the skin. It also helps to balance out our hormone levels which can be beneficial to those who suffer from skin breakouts or acne which can affect us at any age. Selenium provides our skin with great antioxidant protection against UV damage. The Omega 3 oil and Vitamin E in pumpkin seeds can help our skin to stay supple and fresh and can also help to treat skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.