Eating the right foods has so many benefits, from great skin to energy that’ll help you soar through long days or a challenging new workout you’ve been scared to try. As we’re busy stocking up on this year’s superfoods (assuming superfoods really are super), we thought to check in with a bona fide guru to see if there’s anything else we should consider while adding healthy eats to our shopping cart. Kimberly Snyder, a celeb nutritionist and the New York Times bestselling author of the Beauty Detox book series, gave us another fun idea to try — eating according to the rainbow. Her super helpful picks promise to do away with toxins while bringing major health benefits, ensuring you kick 2017 off in the most colorful way possible!
RED: RED BELL PEPPERS
Kimberly tells us that not only do red bell peppers provide you with powerful B vitamins that’ll help your bod convert food to fuel to stay energized, but they also keep the nervous system healthy and are packed with vitamins C and E — both of which will help keep your skin and hair looking gorg. “Red peppers are a super rich source of phytochemicals and carotenoids, particularly beta-carotene, which load us up with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits,” she explains.
How to eat ’em? Kimberly says, “Try slicing them raw, thinly into your salad, or stuffing themwith quinoa and veggies and baking them.”
ORANGE: SWEET POTATOES
Winter might have you feeling like your skin is looking dull and lackluster, which means it’s the perfect time to incorporate sweet potatoes. According to Kimberly, this ultra-healthy food boasts a brightening vitamin combo. “Vitamins A and C work to replace a dull complexion with a fresh face, while working to neutralize cell-tissue-damaging free radicals,” she shares. “The high fiber content in sweet potatoes also helps to sweep out toxins. The brilliant orange color is attributed to its high levels of carotenoids and beta-carotene, which convert into vitamin A. Sweet potatoes are also rich in biotin and vitamins B2, B6 & E.” Wow!
If you’re tired of boring old sweet potatoes, Kimberly suggests whipping up something a bit more enticing — like a cinnamon-mashed version. You can also cut and bake your sweet potatoes into crispy, delicious fries.
Kimberly clued us in on of her fave beauty tricks: simply starting the day with hot water and lemon. “I love this because it gives you a dose of beauty-building vitamin C,” she shares. “Lemons are a unique food that supplies enzymes known to support your liver — your main detoxifying organ.”
“You could always just get a bag of lemons once a week and keep them in your fridge to follow this easy but powerful beauty detox habit,” Kimberly suggests. “But, if you really want to promote ongoing cleansing, I recommend having the juice of 1-2 lemons per day. Instead of enjoying just half of a lemon in your hot water in the morning, use fresh lemon in your salad dressings and squeezed into the rest of the water you sip on throughout the day.”
Here’s something we didn’t know: Cilantro has proven to help chelate (bind and escort out) heavy metals from your body. Say what? Kimberly explains, “This is a good thing, since these metals are a source of millions of free radicals that can age and can diminish our beauty. You get them from the environment, fish, meat and your water supply, so cilantro is an ideal food to regularly incorporate into your lifestyle.”
“I recommend grabbing a bunch of cilantro whenever you are at the farmers’ market or the store and adding a bunch into a glowing green smoothie or throwing a handful into wraps and sandwiches instead of lettuce, and topping it onto soups,” Kimberly says.
“I’m a big fan of mono-eating fruit, such as blueberries,” Kimberly tells us. “As in, just eat a big ol’ bowl of blueberries mid-afternoon or mid-morning as a snack. That way you can really taste them and appreciate them, and they will digest really well.”
The benefits of blueberries are off the charts too. “They’re jam-packed with antioxidants, vitamins and beauty- and brain-boosting compounds, without lots of sugar,” Kimberly notes. “This makes them a great beauty food too.”
Love acai bowls? So does Kimberly! “Not only is acai delish, but it has powerful anti-aging compounds, nourishes our hair, fights harmful organisms, assists in reducing and/or maintaining a healthy weight and promotes our overall vitality. It also keeps our digestive system clean and functioning optimally. I could go on and on, really,” she gushes.
Since acai is sourced directly from the Amazon rainforest, she advises that the best way to get it is ordering frozen smoothie packets. She cites Sambazon as her go-to, having been a huge fan for nearly a decade. “They have Performance Protein smoothie packets that contain organic acai PLUS 12 grams of plant-based protein per serving, so it’s a perfect post-workout snack. I like to blend them with almond milk and banana — it’s a delicious way to sustain your energy!”