If you like the healthy glow you get from the gym you will love what food can do for you too. The right diet will radiate gorgeousness from the inside as well as out. Smooth skin, shiny hair and looking generally younger and healthier are just a few food choices away.
FOR GREAT LOOKING SKIN
The condition of your skin is a reflection of your inner health. So aim to fill your body with as many nutritious foods as possible to help your skin cells regenerate.
Pineapple. This tropical delight is real complexion- boosting food. Rich in vitamin C, it helps to boost collagen levels which will give a youthful, plumped-up look to the skin. Some chopped up pieces of pineapple would also make a very refreshing post-workout snack.
Wild salmon. Fresh or canned wild salmon is one of the best foods for the skin. Rich in B vitamins, which help to carry nutrients and oxygen to all skin cells, salmon is also a complete protein food which gives the best source of essential amino acids. Fish not your thing? Instead eat plenty of chicken, eggs, pork, and dairy to ensure you get enough quality protein to replace dead skin cells.
Green smoothies – start your day feeling beautiful and energized with a nutrient-dense smoothie. Many people are now drinking this as an alternative to stodgier toast and cereal breakfasts. Simply blend romaine lettuce, celery, spinach, bananas (great for getting rid of those under-eye shadows) and frozen berries and drink first thing in the morning.
Flaxseeds – essential fatty acids are one of the best things to feed your skin with and flaxseeds are full of them. The EFAs help the skin by keeping it moisturised and smooth in appearance, as well as providing anti-inflammatory protection and healing skin wounds quickly. A good way to eat a lot of flaxseeds is by blitzing them in a coffee grinder and adding them to smoothies or soups.
FOR LUSTROUS LOCKS
Not everything you need for great looking hair is in the shower. Step into the kitchen and start nourishing your hair from the inside out.
Dark leafy greens – healthy skins starts with strong, clean blood flow to the skin. Eating iron-rich foods such as spinach, kale, romaine and watercress promotes optimal blood circulation, which as well as boosting overall health, ensures maximum nutrients are delivered to skin cells. Greens such as spinach also contain lutein which helps give your eyes a healthy sparkle.
Eggs and beef– Both great sources of iron and protein which is necessary for hair cell growth, you can also consider pork, poultry, beans and lentils as healthy hair foods. Our hair is made from keratin which is actually a hardened form of protein, so it’s easy to understand that without sufficient protein our hair becomes weaker and brittle. The iron in meat products is more easily absorbed than in plant foods so vegetarians should also consume their iron-rich foods with extra vitamin C.
Bell peppers – eaten raw or cooked, bell peppers are rich in Vitamin C which is essential for great looking hair. One main function is helping the body to use iron, which carries oxygen to hair follicles and helps them grow.
Carrots – this humble vegetable is high in beta-carotene, the precursor for Vitamin A, which is essential for a healthy scalp and well-moisturized hair.
Pumpkin seeds – a great source of zinc, sulphur and biotin, these nutrient-dense seeds are one of the best things you can eat for your hair. With masses of Vitamin A and K which is extremely important for a healthy scalp and shiny hair, high levels of Omega 3 & 6, zinc and iron mean that throwing together a handful of pumpkin seeds, raisins and walnuts in a bag is a perfect hair-reviving snack!
EDIBLE HAIR AND SKIN MASKS
Don’t forget food can also be used directly on your hair and skin.
A 50/50 combination of water and distilled vinegar is a popular option. The acid in the vinegar soothes the surface of the hair to make it gleam. Alternatively, could mineral water be another option? Many celebrities including Demi Moore report shinier, healthier and smoother hair after rinsing their hair regularly with mineral water.
If you prefer to exude a more attractive scent, try some homemade foodie hair masks. An egg yolk mixed with half an avocado and a little honey is effective. Rub into damp hair, leave for 20 minutes and rinse.
This time of year, you probably associate pumpkins with something other than putting it on your face. But an autumnal pumpkin face mask is a great treat for your skin. Mix up 3 tablespoons of steamed/pureed pumpkin, 1 egg, 1 tsp of honey and 1 tablespoon of milk. Apply for 20 minutes and rinse. Alternatively, leave it on and use it as a Halloween mask!
Remember, while looking great is not more important than feeling healthy, glowing skin and shiny hair are the perfect finish to a fit, healthy body.
by Kath Webb
by Laura Briggs
by Kath Webb
by Kath Webb
by Jessica Ambrose