Creams, lotions, serums and any number of topical potions are often quick fixes for our beauty conundrums. But it is easy to overlook the ultimate beauty superstar that packs one of the most powerful punches: nutrition. When our nutrition resembles a knock-off Gucci bag, i.e. when it is full of fake sugar, fat and toxins, our skin and hair will be the first things to give us away. Thankfully, because our cells are constantly regenerating, it is possible to reverse the damage we have done.

We spoke with Manuel Villacorta, creator of Eating Free and author of Peruvian Power Foods: 18 Superfoods, 101 Recipes, and Anti-aging Secrets from the Amazon to the Andes, about some of the most powerful foods and supplements that can transform your beauty routine.

Villacorta believes in the strength of “Peruvian Power Foods,” which are foods that give you benefits beyond just nutrition; they not only are packed with vitamins, they also provide unique health benefits.

According to Villacorta, healthy hair is all about getting protein, and ideally a complete protein, like quinoa. Another lesser known protein that packs a powerful nutritional punch is Kiwicha, also known as Amaranth. “It’s quinoa’s little sister,” Villacorta said. “When you heat it up in oil it pops like popcorn and you can make rice cakes.”

When it comes to food for healthy skin, Villacorta has a few recommendations. “Camu Camu is the winner hands down for skin due to the amount of Vitamin C and its high absorption rate that actually helps with collagen production,” Villacorta said. “Camu Camu is a berry from Peru that has 60 times more Vitamin C than an orange and it comes in a very natural form surrounded by other things that help with the absorption.”

Pichuberry from the Amazon of Peru is another one of Villacorta’s favorites for healthy skin. Pichuberry has Vitamin D and B12; it is rare to find both of those things in a food and it is rich in antioxidants. Maca, a root from Peru commonly referred to as “Peruvian Ginseng,” is another gem for your skin according to Villacorta. Due to Maca’s interaction with the pituitary gland, it can trigger the release of youth hormone and help bring everything back to equilibrium.

Villacorta said that if he could give one nutrition tip to help with beauty routines, he would recommend looking into something that incorporates powerfoods, such as youthH2O, which has Camu Camu and Purple Corn, a corn high in levels of phytochemicals and antioxidants. Villacorta advises making sure to plan ahead to ensure good nutrition. “Good nutrition requires planning. Planning ahead is key,” he said. “Allocate time for food shopping and plan ahead.”

by Jessica Wicklund
Source: Moda & Estilo