Many people spend a lot of money on pricey skin treatments and hair products without realizing that truly healthy skin and hair comes from within. While supplements may be available to give you an enviable glow and shiny tresses, there’s nothing like going straight to the source. Load up your plate with nutrient-rich whole foods and pretty soon, you won’t just look better—you’ll feel better, too!
Try some of these foods for a healthy complexion and lustrous locks:
Salmon. Salmon is good for you in so many ways. It’s a great source of protein without giving you the bad stuff that comes with, say, red meat (hello, unhealthy fats). Its omega-3 fatty acid content can keep oxidative stress away, protecting your skin from free radical damage and aging, and helping give your hair some fullness and shine. The selenium in salmon helps protect your skin from ultraviolet (UV) damage. And the fish’s Vitamin D content may help bring dormant hair follicles back to life, while strengthening bones and teeth in the process.
Oysters. The zinc in this seafood can help keep your cells, nails, hair, and eyes in tip-top condition. (And, as some people believe, oysters can even improve your love life—they are thought to be an aphrodisiac.)
Sweet potatoes. Pair your salmon with baked sweet potatoes or roasted sweet potato fries. This yellow spud is chock-full of beta-carotene and magnesium, which prevent inflammation, and also contains Vitamins A, C, and E, which are popular ingredients in skin-care products.
Quinoa. Trade your white rice for this grain-like seed, which packs a powerful protein punch. It also offers up a good dose of Vitamin B6, iron, zinc, and fiber.
Seaweed. Tired of your usual salad greens? Switch things up by having a salad from the sea. Seaweed has plenty of iron, manganese, iodine, copper, zinc, and selenium, which all play a part in giving you smooth skin and luscious locks. Try sea kelp, a brown algae seaweed that grows in coastal waters and that does wonders for your health on top of its beautifying benefits.
Spinach. The combination of nutrients in spinach is especially good for your skin and hair: lutein, Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and even omega-3s. It’s also a good source of iron, the lack of which may lead to hair loss.
Eggs. Biotin supplements are said to help strengthen hair but why pop a pill when it’s readily available in eggs? Eggs also contain hair-strengthening and hair growth-stimulating Vitamin D.
Black beans. Protein-rich black beans contain lysine, an essential amino acid that can help the body absorb iron and zinc, which are both essential to healthy hair and skin. According to a 2002 study, women with chronic thinning hair and hair loss got positive results after iron supplementation with the addition of lysine, more than when they got iron supplementation alone.
Bell peppers. Bell peppers are another Vitamin C-rich food which can amp up collagen production to keep your skin taut and smooth.
Tomatoes. While tomatoes are rich in Vitamin C, the real star component is the antioxidant lycopene, which has some anti-aging benefits. Interestingly, lycopene is more easily absorbed by the body when tomatoes are cooked, so reach for the ketchup and tomato sauce—just make sure you choose something that doesn’t have too many added ingredients.
Avocados. The avocado may be having a moment but its nutritional content ensures that it’s more than just a passing trend. The good fats in this rich and creamy fruit can boost your skin’s moisture and help your hair and nails get healthier. Its Vitamin E content can fight off skin-damaging free radicals. Potassium, magnesium, folate, and fiber are other nutrients you can get from avocados.
Citrus fruit. Oranges, lemons, tangerines, grapefruit…all these are bursting with wrinkle-fighting Vitamin C. This vitamin also helps your body absorb iron, which is linked to healthier hair, and helps stimulate the production of collagen.
Blueberries. Another Vitamin C-rich food, blueberries have reached cult superfood status owing to its high antioxidant activity in a low-calorie package. While fresh blueberries aren’t readily available in the Philippines, frozen blueberries can be just as healthy.
Dark chocolate. Cocoa contains flavanols, which can minimize the appearance of wrinkles and maybe even protect your skin from sun damage. (As if you really needed another excuse to eat chocolate.)
Almond butter. Almond butter contains protein and Vitamin E, which are both great for skin and hair health.
You can get some of the best foods for clear skin and healthy hair from Healthy Options. Together with regular exercise, enough sleep, and stress management, a good diet can give you the healthiest possible glow that no cosmetics can ever give you.