Healthy Skin & Hair Food Practices

By Eve Lees

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Your health is most noticeable by the condition of your hair and skin. Many factors contribute to inner and outer health. The food you eat is only one of them, but a very important one. Here are a few ideas to feed your hair and skin from the inside out.

Salmon, Sardines and other oily fish are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, vital for general health as well as your skin and hair. Recommendation: Eat at least three servings weekly of three ounces of sardines or wild Alaskan salmon.

Almond, walnuts, flax seeds. Almonds are rich in vitamin E and walnuts and flax seeds are the richest plant source of Omega 3. Both nutrients are beneficial for hair and skin health. Recommendation: Eat a small handful (approx. 15-20) of the nuts daily (really, that’s all you need!), and a tablespoon of the seeds daily.

Sweet potatoes and squash are rich in beta-carotene, the precursor to vitamin A, which nourishes the fat beneath the skin. And sweet potatoes offer collagen-boosting vitamin C. These delicious vegetables shouldn’t be limited to only holiday meals. Recommendation: Enjoy squash (all varieties) and sweet potatoes often throughout the week, baked or boiled. They’re a nice change from potatoes or rice at every meal! Eat them plain or add cinnamon and other herbs/spices of your choice.

Lemons. Rich in vitamin C, lemons help detoxify the liver and kidneys. The cleaner your system is, the clearer your complexion. Recommendation: Mix the juice of half a lemon (or lime) with water, and drink once or twice daily. Start your day with a cup of “lemon tea”; fresh lemon squeezed into warm water.

These are just a few of many nutritious foods that can improve the health of your skin and hair. However, avoid focusing on only one food; they all have merit and work best in combination in a balanced diet. So, while you consider adding the above foods to your diet, practice the following as well:

Eat a wide variety of colourful fruits and vegetables. The deeper and brighter in colour, the more antioxidants (disease fighters) and other nutrients in the food. And choosing from a wide variety best ensures all that nature intended for you to survive on – especially those nutrients we haven’t discovered yet! Change it up often; try something different, or give a food you hate another chance by preparing it in a different way. Recommendation: Keep your kitchen stocked with lots of vegetables and some fruit. Fresh is best, but frozen is good too (as long as the ingredient label lists the food only and no sugars or salt added). Each shopping trip, buy something different; for example, this week buy apples and zucchini, next week buy red grapes and carrots.



Eve Lees was a Personal Trainer and Nutrition Counsellor for 30 years.

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