In our pursuit of healthy living and goal weights, we eat to cleanse the colon, boost our energy and increase our metabolism, making sure we consume less calories than we burn. These are worthwhile goals, however, slim is not the only way we can look as beautiful on the outside as we are inside. Our hair, skin and nails can benefit from our diet as much as from a good beauty routine. Feed your assets by incorporating these foods into your healthy eating plan:
Lean meats and other protein
Our hair, skin and nails are mostly protein, so good sources will encourage repair and healthy growth. Did you know that eggs, a powerful protein source, contains all the vitamins except for C? And we can’t ignore the wonders of the omegas also found in oily fish. Among other things, these fatty acids encourage skin repair. Itchy skin, cracked lips, brittle nails and dull, dry hair are all signs of insufficient iron or zinc and red meat, eggs and nuts are the go-to sources.
Best bets: eggs, lean beef, liver, oily fish, low fat yoghurt and legumes.
One of the most delicious beauty foods around, avocados are packed with good fats and antioxidants to help your body repair and get your hair sleek and healthy again. Along with all the other nutritional benefits of this fruit, such as oleic acid, potassium and folate, avocados also help the body to better absorb nutrients from other foods.
Best bets: coming into season now!
Berries and fruit
Juicy sweet and packed with antioxidants and essential vitamins, berries help get rid of split ends and flaky nails by encouraging healing and aiding in the absorption of other nutrients, such as iron. Vitamin C, found in high quantities in berries and citrus fruits, is needed to make collagen, a protein that forms the main connective tissue in skin. More collagen, more elasticity; less collagen, more sagging. Beta-carotene, found in pawpaw, carrots and mango, is converted into vitamin A in the body. A good dose of this vitamin improves the skin’s resilience and helps protect it from irritants.
Best bets: blueberries, raspberries, pawpaw, mango, kiwi fruit and dried apricots
Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds provide a host of nutrients essential to glowing skin and healthy growth: omegas -3 and -6, zinc, selenium, vitamins A, E and complex B vitamins, especially B6. Nuts make a great snack and just a small handful a day will help keep you looking your best.
Best bets: Brazil nuts, flaxseed (linseed) oil or seeds, whole grains, almonds and walnuts
A sufficient quantity should already be part of your lifestyle. If it isn’t, here is another reminder. Every cell in your body needs water to repair and grow. All germs targeted by your immune system and free radicals eliminated by antioxidants need to go somewhere. Flush them out with plenty of fresh water – or try green tea for an extra energy and a metabolic boost.
Best bets: spring or filtered water, green tea, water flavoured with fresh lemon, mint, cucumber or fresh fruit.