The famous adage “You are what you eat” may be truer than you think. Besides a trim waistline and improved energy, maintaining a healthy diet is vital to your beauty routine. Research shows that adding a few key ingredients to your daily nutrition can increase the vitality of your skin and hair.
Blueberries, pomegranates and kiwis all contain high amounts of vitamin C, which enhances the production of collagen in your skin, preventing fine lines and smoothing the complexion. If blueberries are not in season, red cabbage boasts the same antioxidant, anthocyanin, which helps decrease the formation of wrinkles.
Defend against sun damage:
Avoid looking like a tomato by eating them. The antioxidant lycopene found in tomatoes protects skin against damage done by UVA and UVB rays. Try drinking an eight-ounce glass of organic tomato juice before sun exposure as it provides SPF 5 sun protection! Or indulge in a square or two of dark chocolate, at least 70 percent cacao, which contains a high level of flavonoids, antioxidants that protect skin from sun damage.
Brighten and tighten:
For a complexion lacking in vitality, try eating beets, which can increase the oxygen-carrying ability in the blood by 400 percent. Beets stimulate the lymphatic system by removing waste from cells in addition to strengthening the skin, easing the appearance of cellulite.
Regenerate and restore:
Beta-carotene, found in foods such as sweet potatoes, spinach and carrots, is converted into retinol, or vitamin A, which both limits the production of melanin and speeds up the regeneration of skin cells, causing your skin to be firm and resilient. Also introduce omega-3 fatty acids found in nuts and wild salmon to help repair cell membranes in the skin.
Stimulate the growth of hair follicles by increasing intake of iron, zinc and vitamin B7. Iron and zinc can be found in lean red meat, soybeans and dark leafy greens, but pair these foods with something rich in vitamin C to boost iron absorption. Commonly referred to as vitamin H for hair, vitamin B7 is essential for the growth of long locks. Find it in eggs and salmon, which also conveniently contain vitamin D, another supplement that aids in hair growth.
Because hair is composed of proteins called keratin, pump up your protein intake to strengthen and repair by eating foods high in protein such as eggs, chicken, nuts, yogurt and legumes.
Add luster and sheen to your hair by increasing your consumption of omega-3 fatty acids found naturally in salmon, tuna and halibut. Omega-3 fats are integral to maintaining normal cell function, especially in your scalp as they nourish the hair follicles to combat dryness and increase circulation.