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”. 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, 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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Are you into fancy, overpriced, over-the-counter hair and skin products? Just try adding these omega-3 fatty acids rich foods to your diet for once.
All of us want strong hair and glowing skin. And the key to healthy, radiant skin and lustrous hair isn’t just products and pricey treatment—it is also about fueling your body with nutrient-dense foods that have a lasting impact. Incorporating foods rich in healthy unsaturated fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids are essential for a balanced diet and also especially beneficial for skin and hair. Don’t believe us? Listen to what an expert has to say.
Rajeswari V Shetty, Head of Department – Dietetics, Fortis SL Raheja Hospital, Mahim, Mumbai says, “Omega-3 is known to have immense health benefits, especially for skin and hair. It helps in achieving glowing skin and healthy, lustrous hair.”
Here are the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids for skin and hair:
1. The consumption of Omega-3 reduces the dryness of skin, and it is a natural moisturizer.
2. It also helps against symptoms such as dryness, redness, or itching of the skin by softening rough, dry skin and having a soothing effect on irritation and dermatitis.
3. For skin enhancement and protection, regular consumption of omega-3 can help reduce the problem of acne.
4. They can help in regulating skin oil production while improving balanced hydration and minimizing signs of aging.
5. It may also protect against the sun’s harmful ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays.
6. Omega-3 helps prevent hair loss and thinning while also focusing on reducing dry scalp and flakiness.
7. Regular intake of omega-3 rich foods can add luster and sheen to dry and damaged hair.
8. If you want longer, thicker and stronger hair, regular consumption of omega-3 can help.
Sounds pretty good, huh?
These food items are rich in omega-3 fatty acids:
Walnuts lock in moisture within the skin cell barrier, making them more resilient against harmful UV rays. As per the United States Department of Agriculture, 14 walnut halves contain about 2570 mg of omega-3 fatty acids. Thus, topping your bowl of cereal/curd/salads with these nuts or just having them plain can be extremely beneficial for you.
Seeds such as flax (2,350 mg per serving) contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. Shetty says, “Flaxseeds are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and are highly beneficial for your skin and hair. It helps in keeping the skin nourished and prevents hair damage and loss.” In fact, these seeds are also packed with magnesium, iron and fibre and can help fight high cholesterol and protect your cells from harmful free radicals produced during the metabolic process.
Soybean is a legume that is very popular in Indian households. And guess what, soybean/soybean oil isn’t just packed with protein but also has a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids. “Regular intake can add luster and sheen to dry and damaged hair,” says Shetty.
4. Fatty fish
Fatty fish is a skincare superfood that addresses both dull complexion and falling hair. “Fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring, and sardines are rich sources of Omega-3. Including these in your daily diet can keep the skin hydrated and nourished from within. The best way to have them is steamed, grilled, or in the sauteed form,” says Shetty.
5. Chia seeds
Chia seeds are an excellent plant-based source of ALA Omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds can be used as an ingredient in salads, or smoothies, or they can be mixed with milk or Yogurt. In addition, chia seeds are a rich source of several micronutrients such as magnesium, selenium, and manganese.
You can also soak these seeds in a glass of water and drink it up or simply add them to your smoothie, nimbu pani, salads, curd for maximum benefit.
All of these are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids and not only for the health of your skin and hair, include these foods for your overall health as they have many roles and functions in daily life.
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