Optimize Your Diet for Healthier Skin & Hair
Jul 21, 2022 | By Maria Eliza Pineda
Don’t we all want glowing, clear skin and shiny, healthy hair? There are a ton of products and treatments that all help with improving the quality of your skin and hair. There are even doctors who dedicate their whole careers to these aspects. But if we go to the very root of it all, diet plays a major role in your skin and hair’s health. You can get all the hair treatments in the world or buy the most expensive skin care but it all comes down to what you put in your body and the nutrition you’re getting.
Sure, a good skincare routine and regular salon treatments will help your skin and hair achieve their best state but think of them as supplements rather than crutches. Optimizing your diet for healthier skin and hair will make the biggest difference you’ve ever seen. You might not realize it but you may be eating foods or following a diet that is contributing to the lack of nutrition in your skin and hair.
Check out this guide and diet chart to know what to avoid and what to go for in your diet for healthy skin and hair!
Say No to Grease!
A lot of people probably already know this but we all know that staying away from greasy foods is a hard thing to do. They’re just so delicious! But it’s definitely going to be beneficial for your hair and skin if you limit your intake of greasy foods to occasional cheat days during the month. Incorporating too much grease into your regular diet will cause all kinds of complications for your skin and hair. This includes dandruff, chemical imbalances, excessive sebum production, pimples, irritation, and more. If you notice that your scalp or the skin on your face is getting way too oily, try cutting back on the greasy foods. You will notice a big difference!
Things you should avoid:
- Fast food
- Trans Fat
- Fried Food
- French Fries
Sayonara to Empty Foods, Hello to Whole Foods
So, what exactly are whole foods? This basically means foods that are very nutritious and filling. Nowadays, there are a lot of types of food that are considered to be “empty”. This means that these foods have practically no nutrition in them and are instead filled with preservatives, additives, and flavorings. They taste like food but they have none of the good stuff that will actually fill you up and keep your body in tiptop working order. Now, don’t be scared! Whole foods are all over and are pretty easy to find. You just need to look in the right section of your supermarket or even go to your local farmer’s market! These whole foods are going to be super beneficial for skin and hair health.
- Processed foods
- Frozen foods
- Pre-prepared meals
- Junk foods
Yes, Fats Are Healthy!
Not all fats are made the same. Some definitely should be avoided (i.e. the greasy foods section above) but some are actually very good for you! In fact, these fats are even essential for your body and especially for your skin and hair. What are these fats, you ask? They are called fatty acids. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are the ones that you should be looking for. Many skin and hair issues such as dryness, wrinkles, sagginess, inflammation, dandruff, hair loss, and flakiness can all be resolved with having enough fatty acids in your diet. All these problems are indications of a lack of nutrition and essential fatty acids. Look for foods that are high in monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats to fill in this gap.
Some foods that are high in essential fatty acids:
- Fatty Fish (salmon, tuna, herring, mackerel, etc.)
- Olive Oil
- Coconut Oil
So, you know that thing that your skin, hair, and nails are actually made of? It’s protein. The surface layer of the skin as well as the hair and nails are made up of a protein called keratin. Sound familiar? That’s because keratin is used in many hair care products and the most popular hair treatment nowadays that you may call a keratin treatment or Brazilian blowout. This treatment is so renowned because it coats the hair with a protein layer that makes it appear shinier and also strengthens the hair. Incorporating protein not only in your hair care routine but your diet can help improve the quality of your skin and hair from the inside out. Protein helps with building tissue and collagen which keeps your skin young and healthy while protein also helps keep the hair strong and thick.
High protein foods that you can include in your diet:
- Lean Meats
- Dairy Products
- Fish and Seafood
Berry Good for You
Berries are a great superfood that is packed with vitamins and antioxidants. One vitamin that is particularly high in berries is vitamin C. You will notice that there are tons of skincare products out there containing vitamin C because of its numerous benefits for the skin. That’s because vitamin C is essential in building collagen. Collagen is the protein that heals the damage your skin and hair experience every day. It also is the one producing new cells that replace your dead cells. This is a natural process that keeps your hair and skin healthy, unscarred, and young. The antioxidant properties of the berries also help to get rid of free radicals, toxins, and other bad stuff that you accumulate in your body, keeping your gut, hair, and skin clean and clear.
Berries to look for:
- Goji Berry
You Must Be Yolking
Eggs are another one of those “superfoods” because they contain high amounts of essential fats, vitamins, and minerals that are actually rare in a lot of foods. They’ve unfairly gotten a bad reputation because of “cholesterol” but studies show that eggs don’t have much effect on you in terms of bad cholesterol and heart disease. Eggs mostly contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats which are very good for you. Eggs also contain high amounts of vitamin B2, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin B5, vitamin B12, vitamin A, biotin, protein, zinc, and selenium, all of which are vitamins and minerals that are game-changers when it comes to skin and hair. They help with clear, glowing, and young skin as well as strengthen the hair and promote hair growth.
Nuts About You
If you’re one to feel peckish throughout the day, nuts are a great alternative to unhealthy snack foods. Nuts contain high amounts of vitamin E, fatty acids, and zinc. Not only are you getting a little snack to tide you over and give you a bit of energy until your next meal, but you’re also getting some wonderful nutrients that your skin and hair will love.
Nuts you can snack on: