Skin is the body’s largest organ. Its most important job is to protect our internal organs from harm. Both skin and hair act as temperature regulators for the body. A nourishing, well-balanced diet is important for overall health and wellbeing and also for the maintenance of clear skin and glossy hair. For healthy hair and skin, it is important to eat foods that are high in antioxidants, B vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids.
Green, leafy vegetables
Green, leafy vegetables contain B vitamins, which support a wide range of functions within the body, such as cell development and energy and hormone production. Green, leafy vegetables are also a source of vitamins A, C, and K, and essential minerals, such as iron, folate and calcium. These vitamins and minerals provide support for cell production and the creation of proteins in the body, which are essential for hair growth and skin renewal. Green, leafy vegetable choices include spinach, kale, arugula and Swiss chard.
Fruits provide rich sources of antioxidants, such as vitamin C, which helps remove free radicals from the body. Free radicals are atoms that have an unpaired electron; these atoms are released as waste byproducts of the energy process within cells. Free radicals may cause cell damage, which in turn leads to signs of aging. Some antioxidants, such as vitamin C, are not produced or stored by the body and we need to ensure adequate intake from the foods we eat. Fruits like blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, papaya and melons are high in vitamin C and other antioxidants that nourish skin and hair.
Fish is a rich source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which are necessary for healthy hair growth and help to keep skin clear and supple. Omega-3 fatty acids enable the body to produce and store energy and are essential for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Rich sources include salmon, mackerel, herring and sardines.
Lean protein from sources such as poultry, legumes, nuts and seeds is important for healthy skin and hair. The body uses protein to make essential amino acids, which are important for cell growth and all bodily functions. Lysine, for example, is one of the nine essential amino acids that are important for collagen production, which supports growth of hair and skin cells.
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