Gorgeous skin doesn’t start in the bathroom; it actually starts in the kitchen. But even if you want to feed your face with the promise of a healthy complexion, what foods do you eat and not eat, and how do you put them together in a way that tastes great? “Salt doesn’t equate to flavor,” TV ONE’s “Sister Circle” talk show co-host Quad Webb-Lunceford says about cutting down on your sodium intake, which can deplete skin of moisture. “And I stay away from sugar as much as possible, because that can lead to huge breakouts.”
Idolized by fans for her impeccably beautiful skin, the Bravo’s “Married to Medicine” reality star also knows how to throw down in the kitchen. So we got her to reveal all her tasty skin secrets. For starters, instead of heavy salt and sugar, she says she prefers to rely on herbs, spices and other ingredients to season her food.
“The biggest thing for me when I cook is thinking of flavor,” says Webb-Lunceford. “It’s being able to marry the best herbs and sauces and spices together to really give you a nice explosion when you’re biting into that meal.”
When choosing ingredients, she encourages home cooks to broaden their palates using a variety of nuts, fruits and vegetables. And the effect of introducing more nuts, fruits and vegetables to your diet can also introduce more nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants to your skin. Furthermore, Webb-Lunceford admits one of her favorite all-time foods is one of the most touted skin saviors.
“I love seafood. I really love seafood,” she says about the omega-3 favorites. “It’s quick and easy to make. And it’s good for you.”
Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants are well researched for their ability to increase skin elasticity, enhance glow and clear blemishes. And sharing a couple recipes from her cookbook Cooking with Miss Quad, Webb-Lunceford shows us how to combine a few of those beautifying superfood ingredients for a satisfying meal. –Nina Hemphill Reader
Ahi Tuna Ceviche (Serves 2 to 4)
Editor’s Note: Fish is a great source of omega-3, which can help lubricate skin, retain moisture, reduce inflammation and safeguard collagen (which helps to prevent wrinkles).
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
2 tablespoons thinly chopped scallion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon Asian fish sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ pound sushi-grade ahi tuna, cubed
¼ cup fresh lime juice
¼ teaspoon black sesame seeds
Combine the tomatoes, scallion, cilantro, jalapeño, ginger, soy sauce and fish sauce in a bowl large enough to hold the tuna. Taste the mixture and add salt and black pepper to taste if needed. Add the tuna to the bowl and mix until thoroughly coated. Add the lime juice and black sesame seeds. Serve immediately. Tip: If cooked tuna is preferred, after adding the lime juice to the mixture, cover and refrigerate for 1 to 3 hours. The acid from the lime will “cook” the tuna, which will turn an opaque grayish color.
Peach, Fig and Arugula Salad with Spicy Lemon Honey Vinaigrette (Serves 2 to 4)
Editor’s Note: Figs are a great source of antioxidants, which can help fight skin aging and hyperpigmentation.
Furthermore, this recipe combines the juice of a lemon (citrus is believed to neutralize skin-destroying free radicals) and olive oil (an age-old skin favorite for its anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties).
1 garlic clove, minced
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon sriracha
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¾ cup olive oil
5 ounces arugula, rinsed and dried
4 peaches, pitted and sliced
8 figs, quartered
1/3 cup pitted dates, coarsely chopped
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
Prepare the vinaigrette: Combine the garlic, lemon juice, honey, sriracha and salt in a lidded jar. Add the oil and shake well until incorporated. Assemble the salad: Spread the arugula on a large platter. Place the peaches, figs, dates, and shallot in a small bowl and toss with about 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette, then place on top of the arugula. Serve with remaining vinaigrette.