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5 best skin foods: Eat your way to beautiful

As a former model-turned-chef, Candace Kumai shares her top picks for foods that can benefit your skin.
/ Source: TODAY

Looking to get shiny hair and glowing skin — nature's way? Candice Kumai, former model turned chef and cookbook author, shares her delicious way to beauty, starting from the inside out.

Coconut oil

Full of good for-you-fat, this oil is often a favorite to cook Thai, Asian-or Indian inspired meals at a high heat. Full of MCFAs (medium chain fatty acids) your body can metabolize fast, coconut oil may also speed up your metabolism. You can also use it as a natural moisturizer in your hair (just a little bit goes a long way).

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Almond butter

A great source of satisfying fiber and protein, almond nut butter can help keep your body lean and trim when incorporated into a healthy diet. This nutritious food is also packed with vitamin E, manganese, and selenium, which help keep your hair shiny. The vitamin E in almonds and almond butter can also help protect your skin from the sun's damaging UV rays.

Bonus: Vitamin E and almond oil is also used topically on the body as a beauty serum

Chia seeds

Found in the baking or grain section of the grocery store, chia seeds are full of fiber, protein, phosphorus, antioxidants and omega-3s. These omega 3s (a type of fatty acid) benefit your skin by helping strengthen skin's cells while keeping toxins away. Spin them up in your blender: try making a chia seed pudding, add them to baked goods or on top of oats in the morning.


Also known as the "fountain of youth", resveratrol contains white grape, red grape and Concord grape juices as the delicious base flavor. Processed with Japanese knotweed extract, grape seed and grape skin extract, aloe vera powder and red wine extract, it has the benefits of drinking wine without the hangover!

Note: Resveratrol in tablet and pill form are classified as dietary supplements, which are not regulated by the FDA for either purity, safety, or efficacy.

RELATED: Use tea to get super-shiny hair and 8 other beauty benefits

Dark chocolate (70 percent cacao)

The queen of get-gorgeous treats! Chocolate contains anti-aging antioxidants called flavonoids, which are antioxidants that fight free radicals to protect your skin from aging, UV damage and help prevent the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and skin discolorations. One study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that participants who consumed chocolate high in flavonols experienced improved skin texture and hydration, less sensitivity to the sun, and had 25 percent less skin redness.

Bonus: While eating chocolate, the brain releases endorphins, your body's all natural feel-good buzz.

Candice's Clean Green Beauty-Elixir

Serves 3


1 1/2 frozen bananas (tip: unpeel a few bananas, place in a freezer bag and freeze 1-2 nights before segment)

1 tbsp chia seeds

1 tbsp resveratrol

3 cups baby spinach

2 cups unsweetened almond milk

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 tbsp superfood greensice, optional

Directions:Add all ingredients into a high-powered blender and blend until perfectly smooth. Add more or less almond milk/ice as desired.

This story was originally published on Jan. 7, 2014.