The right diet for beautiful skin and hair

For skin and hair that light up the room, one needs more than just a stellar morning and evening skin and hair care regime. While beauty salons are rife with techniques to liven up ageing skin or damaged hair, almost every dietician in the world is going to agree that there is no substitute for a proper diet if one wishes to retain their youthful, dewy look and shiny, lively hair. In a world chockful of pollution and chemically grown foods, “You are what you eat” is more than just a saying; clean eating is now more important than ever before.

Dieticians maintain that good skin needs foods resplendent with antioxidants, protein and Omega-3 fatty acids. Antioxidants help the skin repair itself. They reduce skin inflammation and correct visible damage to reveal a healthy glow. Some antioxidants like those found in vitamin C rich foods also boost collagen production, which helps retain the elasticity of skin.

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Including antioxidants in your diet can help make your skin look radiant and supple. Protein also helps with collagen production and including eggs, legumes and meat in your diet can make your skin visibly strong and vibrant looking.

Omega-3 fatty acids help regulate the skin’s oil production, improve its hydration, reduce acne breakouts and minimise signs of ageing and wear and tear. Omega-3 is found in oily fish, nuts, avocado and flaxseeds. Eating in colours works wonders for overall health and veggies that are red, yellow and green are especially good for the skin. Water flushes out unwanted toxins so it is very important to chug at least 2 to 2.5 litres of water per day.

Hair is another part of your beauty that needs droves of your attention to remain soft, voluminous and in vigorous health. Our lives are nothing if not rushed, and in our haste, we often forget oiling, masking or conditioning our hair outwardly. To top it off, air pollution, harmful chemicals from shampoos and heat from styling products often leaves our hair damaged and lifeless. Giving it important nutrients such as protein, biotin, iron, vitamin B12, C, D, E and zinc will enable hair to regain its shine and health, and make it visibly strong and shiny. As hair is made almost entirely of protein, deficiency in these nutrients can result in hair loss.

Eating a well-balanced diet rich with colourful vegetables, oily fish, animal protein, greens, seeds and legumes will usually supply your hair with adequate amounts of hair-healthy nutrients and give you a full crown of lustrous locks. Finally, adding beta-carotene and sulphur rich foods to your diet such as sweet potatoes and onions can help reduce hair loss and add sheen and bounce to hair.

Avoiding foods that are high on the glycaemic index can reduce inflammation of the hair and skin and opting for healthy snacks like nuts, whole fruits or probiotics like yoghurt instead of sugary or dairy foods can level-up your hair and skin health a notch or two. Knowing what to eat and what to avoid is only one half of taking care of yourself. Making the right plate will take you the rest of the way.

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