Achieving beauty from the inside out

The way we eat can affect the way we look in ways large and small.
What makes someone beautiful on the outside is often reflective of what they put in the inside. Fresh summer fruits such as peaches, plums and nectarines are proven to be sources of antioxidants and other phytonutrients. Research shows that antioxidants can protect skin from damaging UV rays, and antioxidants are more effective when more than one is present at the same time, as in peaches, plums and nectarines.
Researchers at the University of California, Davis have found that peaches, plums and nectarines are good sources of two groups of phytonutrients, the carotenoids and the polyphenols, both powerful antioxidants that may hold the secret to long life and vitality.
"The choice of fruit to incorporate in recipes, smoothies and salads is crucial, if one wants to experience the body and beauty rewards. The payoffs, I promise, will be tremendous," said beauty expert and health advocate Kat James, author of The Truth About Beauty and founder of "Fresh peaches, plums and nectarines can help you do this, because they are lower on the glycemic index than most fruits and juices."
This sweet treat can be a simple dessert or a sinful beauty treatment.
Prep time: 20 minutes
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup plain whole milk yogurt or Greek-style yogurt
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon coconut, almond or cherry flavoring
Touch of honey or sugar-free sweetener, to taste
2 large ripe peaches (or nectarines), cut in 1/4-inch wedges
2 large ripe plums, cut in 1/4-inch wedges
2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut, for garnish
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, for garnish
As a dessert: In bowl, combine first
6 ingredients and place large dollop in center of 6 dessert plates, reserving about 3/4 cup. Arrange peach slices in flower petal formation on each plate. Arrange plum slices face down between peach slices, standing up so that the skin of the plum faces upward to create color contrast. Place 1 smaller dollop of cream mixture in center of each dish. Sprinkle coconut over each dish, extending beyond the fruit pieces onto the plate. Finish by scattering walnut pieces closer to center to garnish. Makes 6 servings
As a facial mask: Process all ingredients in blender until smooth. Natural acids and antioxidants in fruit and yogurt will nourish and lightly exfoliate skin, while oil released from walnuts will lend softness and sheen.
Make salads sensational by adding fresh fruit to the salad and the dressing.
Prep time: 15 minutes
1 (5-ounce) bag spring salad mix (such as Fresh Express Spring Salad Mix)
2 green onions, sliced
1 nectarine, pitted and sliced
1/4 cup toasted, chopped pecans
1 cup fresh raspberries
Nectarine Vinaigrette:
1/3 cup pureed or finely mashed nectarine (about 1 small nectarine)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey, or sugar-free sweetener
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Place salad mix, onions, nectarine slices and pecans in large salad bowl. Whisk together vinaigrette ingredients and drizzle over salad; toss well to coat. Top with raspberries and toss very lightly. Makes
6 servings

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