Eat your way to looking and feeling gorgeous!
We all tend to have a favourite moisturiser and hair serum but beautiful hair, skin and nails all start with nourishment from within. Micronutrients are essential in order to support our bodies shedding older cells and replacing these with younger ones. Eat the correct balance of foods and you’ll feed your skin the vital nutrients it needs to help it stay soft, supple and blemish-free.
We have spoken with our experts to expose the top foods we should be feeding our bodies, to help us eat ourselves beautiful….
“Ginger will make your skin glow. Ginger is a vasodilator, which stimulates circulation resulting in the delivery of more nutrients to the skin to make it glow. Infuse fresh ginger root and lemon in hot water to make a warming tea. I’d also recommend adding fresh or ground ginger to cooking; stir-fry recipes, curries and soups are best,” explains Lily Soutter, nutritionist and weight loss expert at lilysoutternutrition.com.
Solution: Carrots, squash, pumpkin and sweet potatoes
“Vegetables such as carrots, squash, pumpkin and sweet potatoes contain particularly high levels of beta carotene and other carotenoids, which give them their lovely orange colour. Beta carotene converts to vitamin A in our body, which is one of the most important nutrients for skin integrity (meaning skin that is firm, resists damage and can heal quickly).
“Beta carotene itself may also help to prevent free radical damage to our cells that can result in ageing, as it works as an antioxidant. The orange vegetables are delicious as a basis for stews and soups in the winter, or roasted with other vegetables such as peppers, red onions and beetroot,” says Dr. Marilyn Glenville, author of Natural Alternatives to Sugar, www.marilynglenville.com.
Solution: Oily fish
“As well as being necessary for our heart, brain and eye health, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids play an essential role in the structure and appearance of the skin. They are incorporated into cell membranes in the epidermis (the top layer of skin) and form a matrix around the cells, helping to maintain the skin’s barrier function and prevent moisture loss. They are also thought to have a role in the dermis – the lower layer of skin – by controlling inflammation and minimising collagen damage from UV rays.
“So if you can, be sure to eat a good serving of oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines three times a week. It’s can also be beneficial to take a good quality supplement, such as Super Omega 3-6-9 by Quest Vitamins (£12.19, qnutrapharma.com),” says nutritionist Cassandra Barns.
Love your nails
Grow your nails
“Biotin is at the top of the list for nail health – with egg yolks being the richest source. This B vitamin is readily absorbed into the core of the nail, allowing it to help thicken the nail and stimulate growth,” says Lily.
Solution: Spinach, pumpkin seeds and pork
“The likes of spinach, pumpkin seeds, and pork are rich in the nail friendly mineral, zinc. If you have weak nails, which break easily and white spots on the nails then this could be a sign that you are deficient in this mineral.
“I’d recommend taking NHP Hair, Skin & Nail Support (£27.97, naturalhealthpractice.com) to boost your levels of zinc to help strengthen nails, as well as boosting nutrients for your hair and skin too,” says Cassandra.
Secrets to glossy hair
Solution: Bean sprouts, cashew nuts, egg yolks, oats, butter, peanuts
“Biotin is needed for hair growth and elasticity. It’s also required for an enzyme which is used to create keratin, the main building block of our hair, out of amino acids,” says Shona Wilkinson, nutritionist at SuperfoodUK.com, the online shopping destination for health & wellbeing.
Solution: Lean meat, fish, eggs, chickpeas, tofu, lentils, nuts and seeds
“Hair is composed of protein, so it’s important to make sure you are getting enough, otherwise your hair can get weak, brittle and you can even suffer from hair loss. If you’re not eating meat and fish at least once every day it can be difficult to be getting enough protein. To up your daily dose I’d recommend Natures Plus Sunflower Protein (£22.50, naturesplus.co.uk),” says Cassandra.