Discover the top 7 foods for fabulous skin, hair and nails
When it comes to healthy, clear skin, and strong hair and nails, a well balanced diet and good hydration can make all the difference! Drinking between 1-2 litres of fluids per day and reducing refined sugar and caffeine will help. But which foods can you easily include in your daily meals that will support fabulous skin, and amazing hair and nails?
Avocados are a super food for many reasons. They provide an ample amount of vitamin E which provides free-radical protection to the skin, including against UV damage from the sun. Avocados also contain omega 9 fatty acids which are unsaturated and work their way into the skin cell membrane, helping with the flexibility and moisturisation of the skin. Avocados are also rich in vitamin B6 which helps to regulate hormones in the body, including testosterone. Too much testosterone causes the sebaceous secretions from the cells to become thick which ultimately leads to clogged pores, blackheads and acne. There are so many ways to eat avocado, even in deserts, so they are easy to consume daily.
Oily fish such as salmon, herring, sardines and mackerel are high in omega 3 fatty acids. These fats have an anti-inflammatory affect on the skin which can help to reduce redness and large pores. Omega 3 fats are also incorporated in the skin and nail cell membranes where they provide moisturisation, flexibility and help to prevent cracking and flaking. These fish are also a great source of protein which they body uses to help build and maintain collagen – the main structural protein in the skin. When choosing fish, try to find wild caught fish as these have a higher omega 3 content than farmed fish. We recommended eating oily fish at least twice a week to get your quota of omega 3.
Tempah is a food made from fermented soya beans. It is great for the skin in a number of ways. Tempah is a great source of phytoestrogens, these are plant chemicals that are similar to oestrogen and have an oestrogenic effect on the body. Oestrogen supports the production of hyaluronic acid in the skin (the skins moisturising compound), which then supports collagen production and function. The loss of oestrogen, especially during the menopause can lead to sagging and dull skin and loss of plumpness. Tempah is a fermented food, and therefore gentle on the gut. It is rich in protein so supports natural collagen production. Tempah may take some getting used to, but it is worth it for the benefits you may get.
Bone broth is one of nature’s superfoods. It contains collagen and hyaluronic acid, both of which are incorporated into the skin for a more youthful appearance. Collagen also promotes the healthy growth of hair buy supporting flexibility of the blood vessels, and therefore blood circulation the scalp and hair follicles. One cupful of bone broth daily will provide enough collagen and hyaluronic acid for you to see a difference. Try to get organic bone broth however or make your own from organic bones bought from the butcher. Some toxins are stores in the bones and buying organic reduces the risk of having these toxins in your bone broth.
Oranges are best known for their vitamin C content. However, they also contain a substance called naringins which works wonders for the skin. The vitamin C supports and promotes the production of collagen in the skin giving it flexibility and bounce and supporting the strength and nails and hair. Naringins promote the synthesis of hyaluronic acid which provides the skins moisturisation and further promotes collagen production. Stick with eating oranges rather than drinking orange juice however as juice contains a lot of sugar which is bad for skin. The whole fruit also provides fibre which is missing from juice. Fibre supports the growth of probiotics in the gut which radiates benefits right back to the skin.
Nutritional yeast flakes are full of B vitamins. They are different to baking yeast as the yeast is inactive. The B Vitamins are needed for the growth of new skin, nail and hair cells and also support blood flow, further promoting their health. B Vitamins help to make and balance hormones within the body which ultimately may help you to avoid acne. Nutritional yeast has a cheesy taste and can be added to many dishes to provide a delicate flavour.
Sweet potatoes are a rich source of beta carotene which has 3 benefits. Beta carotene provides antioxidant protection to the skin from the environment, and also provides a slight colouring agent which enters the skin and provides a healthy glow. Beta carotene also converts into vitamin A in the body which is needed for the growth and repair of skin and nails. Sweet potatoes can be added to many dishes and are excellent baked.