Over lunch at Dr. Vicki Belo’s home, the conversation drifted from her favorite cakes to kitchen layout to her daughter Scarlet and my son Diego, to prescriptions for my sunspots and the best diet to boost beauty.
“Where do we start? By changing the food we eat,” said Belo.
“It’s about time we incorporate top beauty-enhancing food to our menus because looking good and feeling good all start with eating good,” she added.
For breakfast, Belo prescribes eggs and tomatoes.
“Eggs are heaven sent,” she said. Aside from being tasty, they are high in protein that help in tissue repair.
The yolk is rich in fatty acids that help moisturize the skin. Egg whites have albumen that helps tighten pores and lessen oiliness.
Meanwhile, tomatoes are a good source of lycopene, an antioxidant that helps improve the skin’s natural sun protection factor (SPF). It also protects the skin from environmental pollutants and helps maintain its smoothness.
The doctor recommended mixing eggs and tomatoes: “This will definitely perk up your morning and give you a head start on eating good to look good.”
For lunch, Belo suggests salmon and yogurt.
“If there was a People’s Choice award for beauty food, salmon would definitely be it,” she said.
Aside from being tasty, salmon is rich in Omega-3 which has anti-inflammatory compounds that help slow down the aging process.
Salmon also contains astaxanthin, a carotenoid pigment which improves skin elasticity. It helps minimize fine lines and wrinkles, thus making one look younger.
“When you regularly take food packed with Omega-3, you will start noticing healthier-looking skin,” said Belo.
No doubt, yogurt would always be on the list of top 10 favorite beauty foods. It is packed with amino acids that promote collagen production.
Collagen is crucial to healthy skin because it helps it become smoother, firmer and more supple.
“Yogurt is rich in protein that supplies the foundation for great skin, hair and nails,” Belo said. “No wonder the Greeks are so into it.”
Combining these top two beauty foods, Belo pointed out, will nourish you and give you a much-needed beauty boost.”
Sea bass, like salmon, is enriched with protein, Omega-3, and vitamins that are good for the health, particularly the skin.
Increasing your intake of protein and Omega-3 protects your skin from harmful UV rays.
Belo loves sea bass. Having it for dinner, she said, “will give you just the right amount of calories before you hit the sheets and will allow you to wake up feeling good about yourself.”
Aside from salmon and sea bass, other cold-water fish, such as mackerel, anchovies and sardines, are also good for the skin. They are high in Omega-3 fatty acids and low in mercury content. The anti-inflammatory properties in Omega-3 can help reduce flare-ups and keep one’s skin healthy.
For drinks, Belo recommended salabat with turmeric powder or fresh ginger, and turmeric tea. Such drinks have anti-inflammatory properties, she said.
Belo suggested adding radish as a side dish to meals.
“The Japanese are crazy about radish because it is high in fiber and full of antioxidants,” she said.
Antioxidants help the body fight free radicals and lessen the accumulation of toxins.
Take it from the Koreans, Belo said. Eat kimchi.
“Koreans also have one of the best skin textures,” she said. “It’s mostly because they consume a lot of kimchi, considered one of the healthiest foods in the world. It contains enzymes, B vitamins, probiotic strains, antioxidants, as well as Omega-3 fatty acids.”
She added that kimchi contributes to weight loss.
Other beauty-enhancing foods that can be incorporated into your current meal plan: oysters, avocado, carrots, almonds, berries, chickpeas and green tea.