The best foods for your skin and hair
“You are what you eat” is something we hear quite often these days, and when it comes to our skin and hair, this is particularly true. Our diet has an almost direct impact on our appearance, so follow our quick and easy guide to the best foods for your skin and hair.
A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fish and antioxidants in the right quantities will manifest itself in a glowing complexion and healthy, shiny hair. So what should we include in our diet to give us that everlasting glow?
Fruits and vegetables are an absolute essential as they contain antioxidants that can repair damaged cells caused by external pollutants. Pumpkin, sweet potato, papaya and spinach are some of the foods rich in antioxidants. Fruits like oranges, blackcurrants and strawberries with high levels of vitamin C also contain antioxidants that not only produce collagen but also help heal blemishes.
Another antioxidant that does wonders for skin and hair is selenium, present in nuts as well as eggs, tomatoes and broccoli. Selenium protects the skin from sun damage, age spots and skin cancer.
Nuts are great for the skin, especially almonds and hazelnuts because they are high in vitamin E, protecting the skin from cell damage. Avocados and sunflower seeds are also rich in vitamin E and would be a great addition to your diet.
Avocados and oily fish are also excellent natural moisturisers, keeping the skin soft and supple as they contain monosaturated and polysaturated fats (also known as good fats) with high levels of essential fatty acids. And contrary to popular opinion, reasonable amounts of them in your diet won’t make you gain weight ☺
Omega 3 and omega 6 rich foods such as oily fish, flaxseed oil*, linseeds, walnut and rapeseed oil also contain these essential fatty acids that alleviate excessive dry skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
Include low GI or glycaemic index foods such as pulses, porridge and beans that release sugar into the blood stream at a slow and steady pace. This allows you to feel full for longer periods of time and reduces the urge to snack.
Foods that are rich in zinc like lean red meat, wholegrains, poultry, nuts, seeds and shellfish have an impact on the sebaceous glands in the skin; the glands that produce oil, and help to repair skin damage.
And last but not the least is water and keeping your body well hydrated. Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water a day – all fluids count towards your daily allowance, but there’s nothing like water. Carry around a bottle of water so you remember to drink, especially in the winter months when we don’t feel so thirsty.
The bottom line is this; eating a well-balanced, healthy diet is essential for our physical and mental well-being. Our skin and hair are our most visible organs and are a reflection of the health of our internal systems. Including the above-mentioned foods in our diet will not only enhance the appearance of our skin tone and hair texture but will have a positive impact throughout our body and mind.