Look Your Best With These Superfoods

How much money do you estimate spending on lotions, moisturisers, skin care, conditioners and beauty supplements?

 

Chances are – especially if you’re reading this– it’s probably a fair bit. While glossy hair, glowing skin, and strong nails are commonly attributed to a good beauty regime, the importance of a good and balanced diet should not be overlooked.

 

In fact, the condition of your nails, hair, and skin are all reflective of your health, and provide good indicators for areas that may be of concern. For instance, foods that inflame our cells can cause a breakdown and end up tearing apart the collagen, keratin, and elastin that provides you with supple skin, strong and silky hair, and strong, fast-growing nails. On the other hand, toxic overload, stress, and poor diet all contribute to dull skin, dry and brittle hair, and brittle nails that never seem to grow.

 

Nourishing your body with the right nutritions can go a long way towards improving your overall lifestyle – and you just might be able to ditch pricey beauty treatments and save a few more bucks with these organic superfoods.

Stronger, Silkier Hair

According to professional cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Rinky Kapoor: “There is no magic food that will keep your skin young and hair healthy forever, but choosing the right ingredients for your plate will definitely prolong the process of ageing.”

 

We know that our diet affects our mental and physical well-being, but the long-term importance of our appearance is often overlooked.

 

Dr. Rinky Kapoor elaborates: “Keep in mind that what you eat shows on the skin. For example, a night of binge eating and drinking reflects in the form of dull skin and dark circles.”

Nutritional Overview

Hair is made up of a protein called keratin, which is important for its growth. Consequently, statistics on diets, vitamins, and proteins have shown to greatly improve hair condition. A 2019 review even indicates that micronutrient deficiencies such as diets lacking biotin, Vitamins A and C, and Zinc could adversely affect hair health. Also known as Vitamin B-7, biotin metabolises carbohydrates and amino acids, an important part of creating the energy your body needs.

 

Further research from 2016 supports these findings, indicating that women who ate low-glycemic diets rich in complex carbohydrates, Vitamins A, B, and C, and minerals like zinc and magnesium might have less hair loss during menopause. As proteins are the building blocks of keratin, a low protein diet can cause the skin, hair, and nail to become dull, dry, and lifeless.

Fatty Fish

Seafood that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids can benefit the hair. A rich source of protein and biotin, both work together towards supporting keratin production. If you have a dry, itchy scalp or skin, you might not be consuming enough of these. They are called ‘essential’ fats because the body can’t make them; you have to eat them instead. Recommended fish to add to your diet include salmon, herring, and mackerel.

 

Don’t think of fish as only fillets! Experiment with chunky fish chowders, fish curry and fish pie. Try also incorporating salmon and mackerel into your snacks for a boost of omega-3.

Poultry

Apart from being rich in protein, iron is most commonly found in poultry meats. Its benefits include helping build haemoglobin, the factor in blood that helps transport oxygen, helping to nourish all the cells of the body, strengthening and preventing hair loss.

 

While any and all types of poultry typically do the trick, round out your hair-boosting meal by adding two servings of low-fat dairy products daily for a balanced meal.

Supple, Glowing Skin

Whether it’s the weather, stress, or a combination of environment and genes, our skin is easily affected by how we feel and what we eat. Luckily, certain nutrients help it fight back.

 

If you’re already eating a balanced diet of vegetables, fruits, grains, lean proteins and healthy fats, you shouldn’t need pricey skin supplements. A simple addition or change in diet can make a drastic difference in your skin texture and glow.

Nutritional Overview

Collagen and elastin both play a vital role in keeping skin firm and supple. These two proteins work together to give skin the elasticity and youthful glow. Statistics on diets, vitamins, and proteins have even been shown to improve skin condition.

 

A 2022 review suggests that eating a plant-based diet could benefit skin barrier health and function, while a more recent review shows that a combination of Vitamins E and C protects the skin against UV damage. By opting for protein-rich foods, we are actively providing and replenishing our body with the right nutrients our skin needs to regenerate.

Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds rich in Vitamin E boast anti-inflammatory properties that help absorb energy from UV light and protect against skin damage and visible ageing signs, such as fine lines and sun spots. Some seeds, particularly sunflower seeds, are good sources of biotin, protein, Vitamin E. Either way, nuts of all kinds are power packed and include fats, Vitamin E, Vitamin B, and even proteins. Some recommended options include peanuts, cashew, almonds, walnuts, dried grapes that all work to combat oxidative damage.

 

Nuts also make a good snack throughout the day, and a small handful daily will give you an energy boost to sustain you and keep your hair and nails in good shape.

Avocados

Avocados are rich in healthy fats and nutrients that promote skin and nail health, including Vitamin C and Vitamin A. Vitamin C, in particular, helps with collagen production and reduces the appearance of wrinkles. Experts assert that our skin needs healthy fats and vitamins for improved hydration, texture and softness, encouraging the production of essential skin protein collagen. Fatty acids are also known for their anti-inflammatory and immune-regulating properties. Those who suffer from eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis may find them especially helpful for alleviating these skin issues too.

 

Avocado can also be eaten as a dessert, in addition to just being a breakfast staple. Naturel Avocado Olive Oil Spray is a good seed oil alternative that’s similarly high in Vitamin E. Top off your toasted bread with it, along with some mashed avocado on the side for a hearty breakfast meal!

Strong, Shiny Nails

It’s not uncommon for nails to split, peel, or break. In fact, according to Harvard Medical School, 27% of the population has dry and brittle nails, a clear sign of lack of moisture. Like hair, our nails are made of keratin and require protein to grow healthily, working to protect nails from damage.

 

Some common causes can include repeated washing and drying of fingernails, or an overexposure to detergents, household cleaners, and nail polish remover.

Nutritional Overview

Biotin and adequate moisture is essential in nail health, especially if you get your nails done up with manicures regularly. Statistics on diets, vitamins, and proteins have further been proven to improve overall nail condition. A 2010 review indicates that nearly any nutritional deficiency, such as calcium or iron, could affect nail growth. Supporting this, another 2019 review suggests that people with micronutrient deficiencies, such as biotin, Vitamins A and C, and Zinc, are more likely to have less healthy nails. Thus by opting for protein-rich foods, we are actively providing our body with the nutrients our skin needs to regenerate.

Dark, Leafy Greens

Dark green veggies notably contain Vitamin E, iron, folate, and Vitamin A, all of which benefit nail strength and growth, and provide more nutrients per unit calorie than any other food. Greens are particularly rich in folate, a B Vitamin that is essential in making red blood cells, synthesising and repairing DNA and regulating cell metabolism. Because folate is important for cell division and replacement, this vitamin is key to repairing and restoring dull nails. Examples of recommended dark, leafy greens include spinach, kale, bok choy, and collard greens.

 

For a real vitamin boost, try combining a variety of leafy greens into a green smoothie. Additionally, for a healthy twist to pasta sauce, Naturel Organic Pasta Sauce – Tomato with Kale combines kale with tomato for a delicious and hidden way to consume your veggies.

Eggs

Protein-rich eggs not only benefit nails, but hair and skin. One extra-large egg boasts nearly about seven grams of protein, and egg yolks contain biotin and protein. Furthermore, biotin is needed by the body to produce energy. This is, of course, important in sustaining energy levels throughout the day to complete tasks.

 

Here’s a little tip: Load up on protein and biotin with omelettes topped with greens. Eggs are a great conduit for supplementing with other superfoods!

You Are What You Eat

While it’s good to go to the salon for an added “boost” to our appearance and some well-needed self-care, we should take care of ourselves from within to truly achieve naturally glowing skin, shiny looking hair, and perfect nails.

 

When you’re getting the right amount of vitamins and minerals every day, your body will follow suit and function better. That means hydrated skin, shiny hair and strong nails.

 

Remember that eating healthily is a muli-faceted task, which means that it’s best to also limit intake on ultra-processed, sweetened foods to decrease inflammation and skin dehydration.

 

Be sure to keep a lookout for physical signs that you might be lacking in any of the mentioned nutrients and proteins. Ultimately, a balanced diet should be kept for health and not just for superficial purposes!