Nutrients Needed For Healthy Hair & Skin
Vitamin C is crucial to building protein collagen. If you have watched or read ads for skin care products you may know that collagen is our skin's primary connective tissue. As we age or if your skin does not get enough collagen, it sags and bags. Vitamin C is also an excellent antioxidant, hunting down and vaporizing free radicals (harmful chemicals) in the body. Free radicals damage body tissue, including hair follicles and skin.
Vitamin A is a healer. It helps repair and restore cells that may have been damaged. One way to get enough vitamin A is to eat foods full of beta-carotene, an antioxidant, which our lovely liver converts into vitamin A.
Another skin "doctor" is vitamin E. It helps the body repair itself, prevents scarring, and is necessary for shiny, healthy looking hair. Vitamin E pumps up our red bloods cells so they can haul more nutrients and oxygen to our follicles and skin.
The vitamin B-complex is important for overall health. It contains B5, B2, and biotin, vitamins that promote cell growth.
Unfortunately today our food is not nutrient rich so supplementing it becomes essential.
Fatty acids and minerals
Essential fatty acids, omega-3s and omega-6s, help heal and moisturize skin and hair. Many of us do not get enough omega-6, or GLA (gamma-linoleic acid). GLA is a moisturizing agent, is said to reduce hair loss, and is a natural treatment for dandruff, brittle nails, PMS, and arthritis.
Mighty minerals required for keeping hair and skin conditioned
Zinc promotes skin repair, fights acne, and keeps the complexion looking fresh. This couple with the mineral selenium joins forces with vitamin E to hunt down free radicals, and regulate metabolism. The E-selenium team also assists the body in properly processing food so nutrients get to our hungry cells.
Food Suggestions For:
- VITAMIN C: citrus fruits, cherries, blueberries, kiwi, red peppers, or black currants
- VITAMIN A: dairy products, dried apricots, or mangos
- BETA-CAROTENE: carrots, green leafy veggies, dried apricots, sardines, mackerel, or other oily fish
- VITAMIN E: spinach, watercress (green leafy veggies), almonds, olive oil, or sunflower seeds
- B VITAMINS: wheat germ, a lot of fruits and vegetables, mushrooms
- FATTY ACIDS: oily fish (mackerel, wild salmon), black currants, flaxseeds, or evening primrose oil (black currant and evening primrose oil are especially good for omega-6, or GLA)
- ZINC: nuts, oysters, or red meat
- SELENIUM: cottage cheese, eggs, Brazil nuts, or wholegrain breads
Quick Shopping List
In a hurry? Grab: a citrus fruit, green leafy veggie, carrots, nuts, wholegrain bread, oily fish or flaxseed, dairy product or dried apricots. This list covers all the bases. Smoothies or juiced versions of these also rock.
Food on Your Face and Hair: Avocado Moisturizing Mask
Mash up one avocado and add either a teaspoon of honey or flaxseed oil; mix until texture in creamy. Smear the green goop on your face and leave it there for 15 - 20 minutes. Use warm water to rinse it off.
Making the choice to eat healthier and better will help you feel better about yourself and your body. The mental benefits of good nutrition are also a strong reason to make the change to healthier eating. When you eat better, you feel better and it shows in your hair, your skin, your smile, and your attitude!