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Daniele de Winter, daughter of pioneering cancer specialist Dr Jan de Winter, with whom she has worked in cancer prevention for over 20 years, is author of the US best-seller Eat Yourself Beautiful, as well as What the Doctor Ordered and INSIDEOUT beauty. She spearheads DANIELE de WINTER MONACO, a luxury, holistic beauty and spa company based in Monte Carlo.

Serve yourself glowing skin

There is virtually nothing sexier than smooth, toned, glowing skin. When the beautiful weather ­arrives and you start baring all that flesh, healthy, ­beautiful skin is a big priority.

It is therefore nice to know that you can make a huge, huge ­difference to the tone and quality your skin through the foods you eat.

In spite of centuries of so-called evolution, on a cellular level, we are all virtually still cave people (yep, you too). We may live in a highly ­civilised society, but 99.9% of our DNA has not changed since we ran around barefoot, swinging clubs.

Our bodies were designed to ­function at optimum levels on a diet of spring water, raw fruit and ­vegetables, grains and seeds, roots, nuts and the occasional serving of meat or fish (when we or our mates were fast enough to catch them). Our bodies were never designed to function on a diet of coffee, sodas, alcohol, cigarettes, white bread, chocolate, cakes, pizza, chips and hamburgers.

So, let’s look at the foods you should eat for beautiful summer skin. Top on the list are antioxidant-rich fruits, sprouts and ­vegetables, in ­particular, kiwis, ­pomegranates, mangos, all sprouting seeds, ­carrots, watercress, and broccoli. These all contain exceptionally high ­levels of beauty-boosting nutrients, ­antioxidants and enzymes.

As a general rule, the brighter and fresher the fruits or vegetables, the better they are for you! The more intensely orange the mango, the blacker the blueberry, the greener the broccoli, the more ­antioxidants they contain. An abundance of antioxidants in your diet powerfully protects skin cells from free radical damage from within and is the most effective way to slow ­cellular skin ageing.

Antioxidants function like ­members of a football team: when combined, they support each other’s anti-ageing, anti-free ­radical effect. This means that by combining fruits and vegetables with ­other fruits and ­vegetables of a different colour, you ­actually do reap the ­greatest health benefits.

Finally, for firm, smooth skin: eat ­protein! The main constituents of the skin are ­collagen and elastin, both ­natural proteins, which require a regular supply of ­protein through your diet to remain in good condition. Eating small ­portions of animal or complete vegetable protein at least five times a week is essential to maintain and rebuild collagen, elastin, muscles, nerves and tissues.

Beyond the age of 25, a ­deficiency can quickly lead to slack skin and premature wrinkles (ouch !). A ­recommended range of protein intake for healthy adults is around 45–65 grams a day.

The best animal sources of high-quality protein include all white or oily fish, especially albacore tuna, sardines, mackerel and wild salmon, eggs, poultry and low-fat cheeses. Lean meat from lamb, pork or veal is also okay.

If you are a vegetarian, the best protein sources are micro-­algae (­chlorella and spirulina), soya and quinoa, which contain the full ­complement of all eight essential amino acids.

Other legumes and grains also contain some but not all of the ­essential amino acids, so to make sure you do not become protein deficient, it is suggested you eat food combinations which form a complete protein at least twice a day. =

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Daniele de Winter

by Daniele de Winter

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