Beauty Week: 5 SuperFoods for a more Beautiful You

“It should come as no surprise that what you put in your mouth will show on the outside, and no, I am not just talking about those pesky extra pounds. Your skin too will reflect your food choices. Yet, don’t fret about that donut you just shoved in your mouth! By following this beauty superfood guide by my fabulous managing editor, Esther Kim, you still have time to look and feel radiant by summer. How chic is that? Enjoy. xx

Screen shot 2014-03-26 at 7.30.42 PM AVOCADOS:
Everyone knows that avocados are good for you. Not only do they contain both insoluble and soluble fiber, they’re also full of vitamin B, E, and K. Avocados get a bad rep for being too high in fat but they contain MUFA aka monounsaturated fat, which helps lower your cholesterol. Not to mention that they taste delicious on everything! From soups, salads, tacos, sushi to just eating it by itself, avocados are my favorite fruit. Try this delicious recipe from our own contributor lalasweets for breakfast or try this salad with grilled chicken and mango.

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I don’t know if it’s just me but I feel like quinoa has become a superstar overnight. It’s not surprising why people can’t get enough of the stuff considering all the health benefits (I’m actually eating a quinoa salad as I’m working on this post). It’s a complete protein – meaning it has all essential amino acids. Love that it’s gluten free and tastes delicioso! Quinoa also cooks fast – just add a cup of quinoa to 2 cups of boiling water (or chicken/vegetable stock), cover, reduce heat to medium and simmer until liquid is absorbed (about 12 minutes). Remove the pot from heat, fluff with a fork, cover and let stand for about 15 minutes. I like to add lots of fresh herbs like Italian parsley and mint with lemon juice. This is one of my go-to recipes from a chic mommy chef Giada De Laurentiis.

Screen shot 2014-03-26 at 7.44.10 PM SALMON:
I’m not a huge fish fan but I do love salmon. A part of 3-Day Face Lift Diet by Dr. Perricone, Jennifer Lopez is known for her signature glow partly thanks to eating salmon. It has a chock-full of MUFAs and omega-3 fatty acids helping us get healthy skin and shiny hair. We can’t promise miss Lopez’s glow by only eating salmon but we can promise you that whether you grill it, broil it or eat it sashimi style salmon is delicious and good for you. I love using this foolproof recipe from Ina Garten or I definitely recommend trying this walnut crusted salmon and edamame mash recipe from Sprouted Kitchen.

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Kale is another health food superstar that everyone seem to can’t get enough of. It’s popping up on every menu and kale has become a staple at every supermarket these days. It’s great for detoxification, boosts liver health, an excellent source of vitamin C, calcium, anti-oxidants – I mean, the list goes on and on. I like to put kale in my morning smoothies with banana and almond milk or whip up a quick salad for lunch or dinner with lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and vinegar. Top it off with some shaved parmesan cheese and toasted pine nuts for a restaurant style salad (just saved $20). I also like pan fried kale using this recipe from The Pioneer Woman and crispy kale chips with lemon yogurt dip. Yum!

Screen shot 2014-03-26 at 7.56.36 PM SWEET POTATOES:
These orange-fleshed root veggies taste like desert but are also rich in beta-carotene and packed with vitamin C and D. Not to mention that you can find them easily at any grocery stores and they’re inexpensive. I like to substitute them for regular potatoes (I love french fries all day, everyday!) and I boil ’em, bake ’em, puree ’em or stir-fry ’em for breakfast, lunch, snack, and/or dinner.
I like to make sweet potato fries by peeling and cutting them up into wedges, toss them with good olive oil, some salt and pepper and bake these goodies in the pre-heated 425F oven for about 40 mins (bake them for 20 mins then turn them and bake another 20 mins). And for desert, I’d like to follow Gwyneth Paltrow’s (one of MCbJ’s favorite celeb mamas) Sweet Potato & 5 Spice Muffin recipe.  These muffins satisfy my sweet tooth without making me feel like I need to do Tracy Anderson’s workout for 2 hours.  😉

As you can see, my top pick for 5 super foods are easy to find, inexpensive, super easy to make and muy delicioso. There are plenty of superfoods options but these 5 seem to always make their way into my diet. Just remember that even with any superfoods – moderation is key. Don’t eat them every day and always listen to what your body is telling you. Now tell us, what are your top 5 superfoods?

~Esther Kim

with love,

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