Most of us know of common foods that boost your beauty, such as berries, veggies and avocados, but I bet you didn’t know that some of the most unusual and quite honestly freaky looking foods can be some of the most potent beauty boosters of all. I will admit, I love finding functional foods. You know what I mean, right? Foods that don’t just taste good, but that also do more for you than tickle your taste buds. I want my food to work for me in more ways that one if I’m spending my hard earned money on it, right? Well, these freaky and unexpected foods below are some of my favorite examples of functional foods. Though you don't necessarily need these to be healthy, if you see them in stores, don't shy away from them at first glance. These odd looking foods that boost your beauty help prevent aging, sun damage, acne, scarring and dryness. Oh and trust me, when you see the results, you won’t mind one bit that they seem a little weird, though you might get some strange looks from your friends and family!
One of the most potent and powerful foods that boost your beauty is algae! Yes girls, you know that green stuff from the ocean that you picture as aquarium slime? Well, don’t worry, I’m not asking you to eat THAT algae. What I am referring to are sea algae, or sea veggies, such as Blue Kamath algae, kelp, dulse, spirulina and chlorella. These algae come from the deep waters of certain oceans and seas, and are the most incredible source of beautifying chlorophyll, which explains their deep, dark green and blue hues. These foods are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, which promote smooth skin that is free of wrinkles, and fight acne at the same time. The chlorophyll pigments in these algae also help to detoxify the entire body and the skin, producing clear, vibrant and wrinkle-free skin. Since these come from the deep waters of the world, they do smell like the ocean, so beware. They are best enjoyed in powder form, blended in a smoothie that is covered by a sweetness from either bananas or stevia. You can even buy them in noodle form, and some of my favorites are kelp noodles, which are mild in taste, virtually calorie-free, and have the same mouth-feel as spaghetti. They can also be consumed in a convenient tablet form. You’ll see results in under a week and you won’t ever have to buy acne medication or wrinkle cream again when you consume these in conjunction with a healthy diet and on a regular basis. I use spirulina every single day in my smoothies. It promotes cleansing, anti-aging benefits, fights acne, gives me energy, contains tons of iron to prevent fatigue and anemia, and contains 80% of your daily Vitamin B12 in just 1 teaspoon. It is also the richest source of protein per tablespoon of any food on Earth.
2. Sea Buckthorn
Chances are if you turn over a new trendy facial cream or anti-aging product and read the ingredients, you may just see this new beauty food included on the label. Sea buckthorn is popping up everywhere, from beauty products to the produce aisles at health food stores like Whole Foods, nationwide. So what exactly are those little orange berries that look like grape tomatoes? Sea buckthorn is a type of acidic berry that is part of traditional Chinese medicine due to its incredible health properties. Sea buckthorn boasts high levels of healthy fats, particularly the rare omega-7 that we are just now learning about in the health food world. Sea buckthorn berries also contain around 15 times the Vitamin C of oranges, plus loads of Vitamin E, amino acids, and antioxidants. These features make them true beauty foods that also give them a true “superfood” status. Vitamins C and E are crucial to preventing wrinkles and dryness in the skin, and healthy fats found in these berries speed metabolism, enhance the skin, prevent acne and prevent dryness.
This veggie looks pretty strange on the outside, but it is actually a lot like the common turnip, yet higher in potassium, antioxidants and Vitamin C. Kohlrabi can be sliced and eaten raw, shredded into salads, or you could add it shredded to an omelet like you would potatoes to make hash browns. You could also roast it in the oven to let it take on a delectable caramelized texture, which will also soften it and make it easier to eat. Another option would be to cut it into fry shapes and make a lower carb French fry, also called kohlrabi fries. Kohlrabi can enhance your skin by preventing and reducing wrinkles, hydrating the skin and relieving fluid build-up, due to the high potassium this power veggie contains.
4. Enoki Mushrooms
These are some odd looking mushrooms, don't you think? I don’t know about you, but I can’t see myself just digging into these with a fork! Despite their odd exterior, researchers are saying these mushrooms are one of the most powerful anti-aging mushroom breeds of all. They are also thought to be one of the best foods that prove to fight cancer in the body. Enoki mushrooms are also high in Vitamin D and antioxidants like all other mushrooms are. If you decide to try these strange looking 'shrooms, then be sure to buy the best type, which will be white with shiny caps and have no brown or slimy stalks. Store them in the fridge for up to a week and rinse well before using. They can be used in any type of veggie dish, just like regular mushrooms.
I had no idea that a breed between broccoli and cauliflower could be so interesting looking, or beautifying for that matter. I’ve seen the light green “brocco-flower” varieties of crossbreeds in stores that look a lot like light green cauliflower, but I’d never heard of romanesco until recently. This incredible looking veggie looks more like an experiment than actual food, with more heads on it than your typical storybook monster! Yet, no matter how strange it looks, romanesco contains more Vitamin C, Vitamin K and antioxidants than broccoli and cauliflower combined! It has a light broccoli flavor and cooks exactly like cauliflower, in case you’re wondering. Vitamin C is one of the best anti-aging vitamins to consume, and Vitamin K helps to increase blood flow and prevent dull looking, pale skin.
6. Dandelion Greens
This detox superfood has been popular for quite some time now, yet many people still can’t grasp hold of the idea of eating weeds as a superfood. Yes, dandelion greens are technically weeds, but they should definitely be on your radar for a variety of reasons. Dandelion greens offer powerful detox nutrients such as magnesium, fiber, chlorophyll, Vitamin C and Vitamin K. They help to cleanse and clear the skin, along with preventing cellular aging. Dandelion greens and dandelion tea are also wonderful for detoxing the liver and promoting cleansing in the body. Many people juice with them or throw them in green smoothies, yet they are also tasty sautéed like collard greens with a little coconut oil, garlic and seasonings.
If you’ve seen this strange looking fruit in your produce section lately, but have no earthly idea what it is or what it tastes like, then you’re in luck! This fruit is definitely one to earn your attention and a spot in your grocery cart. Oh, and you’ll love the taste! This green looking, heart-shaped fruit is absolutely delicious, but don’t eat the outside of the fruit! It isn’t edible. Yet, once ripe, the skin will turn brown like an avocado, and you can cut into the soft, creamy flesh inside, which tastes like a mix of a banana and pineapple. It is nicknamed “The Custard Apple” for its creamy texture and sweet flesh. You’ll want to avoid the seeds inside since they don’t tastes too great, but the flesh alone contains more fiber than an apple, with 7 grams in the entire fruit. Plus, it packs 60% of your Vitamin C content and tons of antioxidants to enhance your skin
While I love the idea of sticking to the basic health foods like strawberries, kale, sweet potatoes and avocados to get in my beauty boosting nutrients, it never hurts to add a little something special to your routine either. These freaky looking foods are worth giving a try and will definitely change the look of your skin. Have you ever tried any of these foods?