5 foods you can eat for glowing skin and glossy hair

Health, according to the World Health Organization, is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity”.[1] A variety of definitions have been used for different purposes over time. Health can be promoted by encouraging healthful activities, such as regular physical exercise and adequate sleep,[2] and by reducing or avoiding unhealthful activities or situations, such as smoking or excessive stress. Some factors affecting health are due to individual choices, such as whether to engage in a high-risk behavior, while others are due to structural causes, such as whether the society is arranged in a way that makes it easier or harder for people to get necessary healthcare services. Still other factors are beyond both individual and group choices, such as genetic disorders.

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If your skincare regime isn’t doing much for you, try eating these foods daily to achieve lustrous locks and glowing skin from within.

They say you are what you eat! A healthy diet is imperative to get a healthy appearance. While you may slather on your favourite night-time skincare as much as you want, the skin glows differently from within! To achieve beautiful skin, you need to feed it with nourishment.

Similarly, for gorgeous locks that struggle through harsh weather, pollution, and chemicals in shampoo and other hair care products, you need to eat right. With this in mind, a holistic approach is the best way.

hair care
You can fix basic hair and skin woes with these diet tips. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

While our skin and hair may age naturally but this aging process is sped up by sun exposure, poor lifestyle and nutrient deficiencies. To cut the risk of premature ageing of skin and hair, you need to up your nutrition game.

Arti Johari, a nutritionist based in Noida, spoke to HealthShots about the 5 must-have food items for good skin and hair.

“For good hair and skin. I advise people to regularly eat green leafy vegetables and fruits rich in Vitamin C like amla, orange, and guava. On the other hand, avocado and chia seeds are a good source of antioxidants, fibre, minerals, protein, omega-3 and fatty acids that will maintain the overall health of your hair and skin.” says, Johari

Here’s a list of 5 food that are proven to reflect considerably well on your skin and hair:

1. Chia seeds

These grey coloured micro beads rich in nutritional value have been garnering considerable fame in the fitness world. These are packed with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, fibre, protein, amino acids, calcium, zinc, copper, linoleic acid and magnesium. The good fat in them repairs your skin’s moisture barrier and strengthens hair. Zinc in chia seeds can protect your hair against environmental damage too. They are an absolute superfood for good hair and skin.

Ways to include chia seeds in your diet:

  1. Soak chia seeds in a glass of water overnight. Add a dash of lemon to it and drink it first thing in the morning for an instant health boost.
  2. Sprinkle them on salads of your choice. They are highly nutritious and give a good crunch to your food.
  3. Garnish your smoothie bowl with chia seeds for that extra crisp and nutty flavour.

2. Vitamin C rich fruits

When we talk about vitamin C, your brain might only picture some tangerines like oranges and sweet lime. However, there are more to add on the list. Fruits like blueberries, guava, kiwi fruit, papaya, strawberries and sweet potatoes are also loaded with vitamin C. While you may be applying your vitamin C serum topically, eating food rich in it may help you meet your beauty goals better. Vitamin C is a must to produce collagen in skin. It prevents dark spots, wrinkles, and uneven skin tone. Not only this, vitamin C also protects your hair from growing weak, brittle, and thin and keeps them dandruff free.

Ways to include Vitamin C fruits in your diet

  1. Eat them as a quick snack. That’s what fruits are for!
  2. Juice them and enjoy a refreshing drink.
  3. Cut them into cubes and add to your favorite salads.

3. Nuts and seeds

Pick a handful of nuts as you rush to work. They will not only be a perfect snack on the way but give you healthy locks and beautiful skin. Seeds and nuts like pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, cashews, pistachios and almonds are packed with vitamin E, selenium like copper, zinc, vitamin A, C and E. Therefore, nuts and seeds are the best friends for your hair and skin. They can keep age-related issues like fine lines and wrinkles at bay and defend the skin against dark spots and eczema. They can even control those pesky acne by maintaining blood sugar levels circulating the acne-causing hormone androgen.

How to include nuts and seeds in your diet:

  1. Best way to eat them is to mix your favourite nuts and seeds in a jar and keep it handy for times when you’re feeling peckish. It will help you watch your weight while boosting your skin and hair health.
  2. Another way is to add them to your favourite dessert for extra crunch.
  3. Puree them to mix in your favorite curries for a rich and nutty flavour.
  4. Sprinkle on salads and smoothie bowls for an uplifted taste.

4. Carrots

Well, if you haven’t been munching carrots like Bugs Bunny, here’s your sign to start. Carrots can fulfill your daily value of vitamin A because they have a whopping 51 percent of your dietary requirement in just a cup of serving. The antioxidants present in carrots protect skin from the cellular damage caused by free radicals. It is known to repair skin tissues and also protects skin from harmful radiation. They boost the skin’s elasticity and speed up collagen production.So, Carrots are basically, skin food!

Being a probiotic drink it is extremely good for the gut and improves digestion
Include some fresh carrots, and it could help your skin and hair. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

How to include carrots in your diet:

  1. Well, if you haven’t tried carrot juice yet, you’re missing out on a lot. Juice them and enjoy a refreshing drink anytime.
  2. Eat them raw as a salad.
  3. Make a healthy low sugar version of carrot cake for your cheat days.
  4. Cook a quick carrot sabzi with peas and fenugreek leaves. It tastes amazing!

5. Fish/ Broccoli

Protein is a building block of your body. Likewise, it is abundantly present in your hair and skin. From a wide variety of vegetarian and non vegetarian protein rich foods, you can pick what suits you best. Your favorite lentils, chickpeas and vegetables like broccoli, beans, peas and brussel sprouts are stuffed with proteins. Other non-vegetarian options include eggs, fish, poultry and other white meats. Protein is vital for your body to produce collagen and elastin. Similarly, protein also makes keratin and biotin for your hair. Therefore, it’s no surprise that an adequate intake of this macronutrient is essential for healthy hair and skin.

intermittent fasting
Image courtesy: Pexels

How to include protein in your diet everyday:

  1. Eat eggs/ steamed broccoli for breakfast everyday.
  2. Try to up your lentil intake during lunch.
  3. Gorge on some white lean meat like a grilled fish or roasted chicken if your diet allows.
  4. Enjoy bean and chickpea soup in winter.

You can also nourish your hair and skin from the inside out by consuming these food items each day. Other than this, maintain good hygiene, follow a skin care regimen, indulge in good hair care and bid goodbye to stress!

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