Glowing Hair, Skin & Nails
You may be familiar with the phrase ‘you are what you eat’ and this is certainly true when it comes to hair, skin and nails. Lack of sunshine, fresh air and too much exposure to central heating can dry out the skin and leave us lacking lustre. Whilst many (ladies in particular) would admit to spending too much on beauty products and enjoy a nice facial from time to time, I believe that true radiance comes from within. The application of nutrients to the skin in the form of beauty products may help to moisturize and keep the skin supple but skin cells are formed from the building blocks of good food. Skin, hair and nail cells are constantly dying and regenerating therefore it’s important to eat well all year round. Let’s find out how it is possible to nourish the body from inside out to reveal a more radiant skin and shining hair.
1) Eat a Rainbow
Eat a variety of colours in your diet. Feast on fruits & vegetables (at least 5 pieces /cupfulls each day) and aim to keep your plate as colourful as possible! A brightly coloured diet will not only make it more interesting for you to eat, but it will ensure that you are eating a variety of vitamins and minerals that will nourish your skin and help to prevent skin ageing. Tomatoes, beetroot, peppers, kiwis, plums, butternut squash – all colours of the rainbow.
2) Keep Hydrated
Water helps to keep your body hydrated, flushes out toxins and plumps out the skin thus smoothing fine lines. Aim to drink at least 8 – 10 x 200ml glasses of water daily, however if it’s hot or you’re exercising then you may need to drink more. If your urine is dark in colour then you are probably dehydrated and need to drink more. I regularly perform hydration tests at the clinic which is a more accurate measurement of hydration levels. If you find water boring then you can add ‘no added sugar’ squash to it, some mint leaves or drink it hot with herbal teas.
3) Vitamin A
Vitamin A is essential for healthy skin. It is found in low-fat diary products (such as milk, yoghurts and cheese), eggs, oily fish and also sweet potatoes.
4) Fear Not Fat
Fats in the diet are essential for healthy and nourished skin, and fat is essential component to form the outside of each skin cell. Ensure that you choose healthy type fats (mono-unsaturated fats) e.g. nuts, seeds and avocados are fantastic for a healthy complexion and they contain antioxidants such as Vitamin E and Selenium. Antioxidants protect against free-radicals (pollutants) which can have a damaging / ageing effect on the skin. Try to reduce unhealthy trans and saturated fats as they can not only lead to weight gain but can cause increased cholesterol levels and are found in processed foods such as cakes, biscuits and pastries. Anecdotally, many clients who report to change the type of fat consumed achieve better skin clarity and find that hair is less greasy.
Zinc is a mineral that helps to promote skin healing and repair. It is found in red meat (choose the lean varieties as well as healthy cooking methods such as grilling) and whole grains (such as wholemeal bread and oats). Aim to have lean red meat about once a week as it is also a good source of iron (for energy and strong nails).
For a healthy glow this winter, take care to get plenty of sleep, avoid smoking and eat well.