Eating healthy can do more than just trim up your waistline – it can actually turn back the clock. Scientists are beginning to discover a multitude of healthful, natural foods that can tone your skin, smooth away wrinkles, and leave you looking and feeling years younger. Now THAT’s my kind of science!
To make life simple, I’ve created a delicious, easy-to-prepare salad which is jam-packed with 6 Superfoods that work together to freshen and plump your skin, smooth and shine your hair, and leave you looking and feeling younger – not to mention it tastes great! This salad is quick to prepare, and stores well for lunch at the office or on the go.
I start with a romaine lettuce base. Romaine lettuce contains loads of Vitamin A (almost 1500 UI per cup!), which promotes cellular growth of the dermis, the top layer of your skin. By increasing cell turnover, Vitamin A encourages the dermal layer to slough off its old, dry cells, leaving your skin looking fresh and revitalized.
I like to buy whole-leaf romaine, which is available right in your regular grocery store – remove it from the plastic bag and store loose in the bottom of your refrigerator, on top of a paper towel. When you’re ready to make your salad, just give it a quick rinse under cool water, shake until dry, and chop into bite-sized pieces with a large chef’s knife.
Next, I throw a handful or two of spinach in with the romaine – the bagged, pre-washed kind works great for this. Make sure to look for small-leaf spinach with a nice dark green color, for maximum flavor and nutrient content.
The vitamin complex in spinach stimulates your body to produce a substance called sebum. Excreted by the sebaceous glands in your skin, sebum is a waxy, oily substance which gives your skin and hair a natural, healthy shine.
Toss the romaine and spinach together with your fingertips and lay a base of the salad greens on a large plate.
Avocados are now recognized as one of the world’s true “Superfoods.” They contain high levels of Vitamins A, D, and E, as well as monounsaturated fats (good fats, I promise!), that can work wonders for dry, cracked skin. Avocado oil is actually patented as a treatment against eczema, so its positive effects for skin enhancement are well documented.
Selecting an avocado can be tricky. When you’re at the store, look for an avocado that’s dark green in color, and that feels slightly soft but not mushy. When in doubt, use your index finger to pop off the small, brown “button” at the top of the avocado where it connects to the stalk. Look at the color of the flesh under the button. If it’s white or pale green, the avocado’s not ripe yet. If it’s brown, it’s too ripe. The color should be a deep vivid green – that’s when it’s ripe.
Peel and slice your avocado, and add a few strips to the top of the salad.
Sunflower seeds add a great, salty crunch to the salad, and complement the avocado nicely. Just scatter a couple of tablespoons across the top of your salad for flavor and texture.
In addition to being delicious, sunflower seeds can do wonders for wrinkle reduction. They are rich in selenium, a compound which promotes skin elasticity and plumpness, firming skin and reducing wrinkles.
Salmon is a delicious and versatile fish which couldn’t be easier to cook, and is perfect for this salad. I usually broil mine in the oven, but you can also cook it on the stove or grill. Just rub lightly with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and cook over medium heat until done.
Salmon is one of the most potent natural sources of Omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to have remarkable age-fighting properties. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce cellulite, soften your skin, and can even reduce acne.
You can eat salmon slightly chilled or at room temperature – if you’re making your salad for a work lunch, cook the salmon the day before, and store it tightly covered in the refrigerator. Some people like to slice or cube their salmon, but I prefer to just lay the whole fillet over top of the greens – it feels more decadent that way.
Lemons encourage collagen production in the skin by restricting acidity levels. Collagen is, of course, what many of us pay thousands of dollars to be injected with by the dermatologist. In addition, lemon inhibits bacterial growth, which can help prevent breakouts.
Take advantage of these properties by mixing up a lemon vinaigrette to top your salad. Squeeze the juice of one lemon (watch for seeds!) Into a small bowl. Add one tablespoon of honey to cut the tartness of the lemon. Stream in 3 tablespoons of good quality olive oil, whisking constantly with a fork until combined. Drizzle over the salad until nicely coated.
So there you have it! Enjoy this salad, and enjoy a wonderful new, younger looking you!