The definition or idea of what beauty is, changes constantly. With the growth of social media we still witness shape defining what is considered beauty but so does great skin and hair. What hasn’t really changed is the idea that we are what we eat. The Maltese proverb that says “good health is the sister of beauty” reinforces this concept. Beauty in both men and women has rotated around, a defined body, a beautiful smile, lustrous hair, smooth and supple skin, sparkly eyes and luscious lips.
Professional trainers, nutritionists and health gurus will all tell you that maintaining a good body is atleast 80% what you eat and only 20% exercise. This means that food plays a pivotal role in making us look and feel beautiful.
An amazing body is not only defined by shape but also by energy levels and agility. Whole wheat bread keeps you fuller for longer by providing you with fibre and at the same stabilizes your blood sugar. Fibre rich fruit and vegetables are also great for your teeth as they encourage salivation which helps restore minerals lost from bacterial acids.
Pair your toast with a high protein food like avocado or chicken breast and you are well on your way to a healthier, leaner you. Protein is known as the building block for muscle in our bodies so consuming high protein foods gives your body definition in all the right places. Gaining muscle burns unwanted fat in our bodies much faster.
To maintain a glow, your skin needs a cocktail of nutrients including vitamins A, C and E as well as beta carotene. Beta Carotene is found in mbambaira (sweet potato), carrots and tomatoes. Infact, any red or yellow fruit or vegetable you come across contains beta carotene and so this compound is responsible for the colour. Beta carotene converts to vitamin A in our bodies. Vitamin A is responsible for great skin, healthy hair, boosting immunity and good eye health.
Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid and has a number of important functions. It helps to grow, protect and maintain body tissue and cells. This vital role is necessary for healthy skin, lustrous hair, blood vessels, bones and cartilage. To ensure that your body is taking in enough vitamin C, load up on vegetables and at least one serving of fruit daily.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant and it’s most important role is reducing damage from free radicals. “Kuyini ama free radicals?” you might be wondering; Basically, free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage the cells in your body. They often occur as a result of normal metabolic processes such as converting food to energy or when our bodies fight disease. Free radicals cause damage and aging. Vitamin E repairs the damage caused during these processes. It is also good for sexual health and increases sperm count in men. Where do we find this magical vitamin? In nuts, oils from sunflower or safflower as well as vegetables such as spinach and broccoli.
There is a vast number of nutrients, minerals and phytonutrients that we should be consuming, but ultimately, It’s a balanced diet that gets you the body you want and not the idea of neglecting certain food groups that have been tainted as a no go area for a trimmer body. Eating a varied diet full of fruits, vegetables, healthy proteins and fats, and whole grains is the best way to ensure that your body functions normally and that you stay beautiful.