tomatoesBefore you buy the latest anti-aging skin cream or conditioning hair product, consider this: Your diet plays a key role in how you look.

In other words, if you're not taking care of yourself on the inside -- drinking enough water and eating healthy foods -- all the expensive beauty products and makeup in the world won't stop you from looking pale and exhausted on the outside.

Michele Pavia, wellness expert and author of Lose Your F in Attitude, explains how by simply including the five following foods in a well-balanced diet, we can look radiant and gorgeous from the inside out:

"... Makeup gives an illusion not so much of beauty but of health. A healthy complexion with plump lips is healthy. A sallow complexion with dehydrated and pale lips can mean anemia or an underlying condition or disease; or, simply a poor diet. So, you see that what we eat can actually help us be more healthy looking; and healthy looking is the key to beauty."

In other words, you know the old saying, "You are what you eat"? That most certainly applies to these five beautifying wonder foods ...

1. Raisins

Beauty benefits: Radiant, healthy skin; reduced eye squinting; increased eye sparkle.

Why it makes you look good: Loaded with potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron, raisins help with body balance and boost blood health. They also are packed with photonutrients, which help fight germs, bacteria, and viruses -- thus causing your body to look more vibrant and strong. Raisins give the body energy and vitality and help in relieving toxins.

Recommended amount per week: A handful or more every other day. Keep a box in your purse for a convenient, naturally sweet snack.

 

2. Tomatoes

Beauty benefits: Rejuvenated, younger-looking skin; shiny hair.

Why it makes you look good: Tomatoes are packed with antioxidants that flush free radicals away and help you keep a youthful appearance. One serving has a huge helping of vitamin C, which aids in detoxing and immunity function.

Recommended amount per week: Every other day. In a sauce, on a pizza, plain ... there is no wrong way to get this food. It only takes a few tablespoons to give you optimal benefit, so have your sauce without guilt! You can even slather it on your skin to relieve sunburns, or comb through your hair to add shine.

 

3. Peanuts

Beauty benefits: Muscle tone; healthy skin; strong hair and nails; good posture.

Why it makes you look good: Peanuts are packed with protein, which gives you strong and healthy hair and nails; plus, it's a boost for skin tone and muscle tone. Rich in calcium, they help bone health, which shows in how you carry yourself: Strong bones and standing tall are a beautiful asset. Peanuts also have fiber; so you'll notice that you eliminate a bit more and that is great for skin health.

Recommended amount per week: Every other day or three times a week (provided you don't have a peanut allergy).

 

4. Onions

Beauty benefits: Healthy-looking skin, hair, eyes, and teeth.

Why it makes you look good: The sulfides and chromium in onions help to boost the immune system and heart health, as well as act as an antibacterial and detox trigger. Onions also help the person to lose unwanted water weight gently, thus eliminating bloating as well.

Recommended amount per week:
A few slivers every other day.


5. Potatoes

Beauty benefits: Reduced wrinkles; strong, energetic body.

Why it makes you look good: Potatoes have vitamin C, potassium, manganese, B6, copper, tryptophan, and fiber -- all of which are great to calm you down and relieve joint health. Having healthy nerves and joint health not only help you feel better, but you'll walk and talk differently than if you're in pain or stressed. In fact, eat a potato and you'll be walking and acting like a carefree youth.

Recommended amount per week: Potatoes can be eaten almost daily.


If you happen to fall short of the weekly recommendations once in a while, don't sweat it. Just chug a couple extra glasses of water and you'll be feeling young and beautiful in no time.

Which foods help you look and feel your best?


Image via Muffet/Flickr