Written for Elle Magazine
In the context of diet and health, it’s smart to be wary of terms like “miracle” and “instant”—because 99.9% of the time, these claims really are too good to be true. “It’s a little tough to get foods to work on a physical level immediately, because they start on a cellular level and then show up physically,” confirms Dana James, New York-based nutritionist. But while we can’t expect our bodies to completely transform overnight, there actually are certain things we can eat that can make us look and feel better in a matter of hours—and we asked James to reveal exactly what those foods are.
She does caution that if you’re already a health nut (good for you!), you might not see and feel the same results as someone who’s looking to overhaul their diet. “Someone who is eating burgers and switches to green juice will increase their energy levels, lose weight and boost their radiance more quickly than someone who drinks green juices already—they have less cellular damage and thus the incremental benefit is less,” she explains. But when it comes to nutritious foods that beautify us inside and out, it’s pretty hard to have too much of a good thing, no?
Wild Salmon or Arctic Char
“Wild salmon and arctic char are both rich in Omega-3s, which help hydrate the skin and create a luminous glow. But to get this benefit you’ll need to get the dose right: six ounces, twice a day. Farmed salmon will not bring this benefit as it contains less than 1/10th of the Omega-3s that wild salmon contains.”
“Chlorophyll is the green pigment in plants. It helps to oxygenate your cells, leading to more vitality and peachy cheeks. It also removes toxins like pesticides and mercury, which can make your skin look sallow and cause your energy to drag. Take a shot of chlorophyll each morning.”
“Constipation happens—and more than you’re willing to publicly admit! But there is a very simple trick: Take a teaspoon of coconut oil in the morning and you’ll be ready to go. I recommend it blended in a cup of coffee à la Bulletproof-style or in a green smoothie. Hello flat stomach!”
No Gluten or Dairy
“You’ve read about how every model or celebrity doesn’t eat gluten or dairy before an event, and there’s a reason for it: They make you puffy. Part of the weight you lose when you cut these foods out is water, but it’s toxic water that won’t come back if you don’t add them back into your diet on a regular basis.”
“Move over, echinacea: medicinal mushrooms are a more potent force. Within a day they’ll knock out that cold or flu. They quickly increase the body’s natural killer cells, which destroy an invading virus or bacteria. I recommend a medicinal mushroom tincture: You put half a dropper in water six times per day when you feel that fever, running nose, and fatigue coming on.”Photo Credit: stocksy.com