Everyone knows that if you want to look good, you've got to eat well.
But unfortunately, a lot of looks-conscious people equate eating well with subsisting on Special K, celery sticks, or whatever the latest newly-shrunken celebrity is swearing by.
Nutritionist Lisa Drayer is trying to change all that with her new book, The Beauty Diet (McGraw-Hill). It's stuffed with all sorts of good eating advice to provide the best nutrients for your hair, skin, nails, teeth and eyes, aiming to prettify you from the inside out. (Can't say that about Paula Deen's cookbook, can you.)
I asked her to tell me about some of the top foods we should be chowing down on, and why (hint...one of them begins with "c" and ends with "late"). Here's what's on her grocery list.
Fish. "Fish are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which lubricate skin and prevent moisture loss from cells," says Drayer.
So the next time you wrap your choppers around a bagel piled high with cream cheese and lox, you're actually moisturizing from within. Seriously. Tell it to your trainer.
Yogurt. "It's a source of biotin, a B vitamin that has been associated with increased nail strength among individuals with brittle nails," she says. "Yogurt also gives us a protein boost, and protein is key for growing long, strong nails."
I'm obsessed with Fage Total 0% Greek Yogurt, which has a whopping nine grams of the stuff.
Oysters. Okay, I'm not sure I can get down with this. I don't like the slippery suckers, but apparently they're amazing for your hair.
"Oysters are the best food source of zinc, a mineral that keeps our scalp and hair healthy, and low levels of zinc can cause hair loss and a dry, flaky scalp."
Scared yet? There's more.
"Oysters are also a great source of iron, which is important for hair. Even if you are not clinically anemic, you can experience hair loss simply from not getting enough iron in your diet."
Dark chocolate. Most people know that dark chocolate is good for our bodies - it has been shown to lower blood pressure - but Drayer says that recent research shows that its high levels of cocoa flavanols have been associated with softer skin. Did I mention it has an anti-depressant effect? (Well, at least on me.) Seriously, what can't it do? Pass the Green & Black.