LifestyleVolume 13 Issue # 03

What to eat for glowing skin and shiny healthy hair

Great skin and hair is more than just‘skin deep’. Many healthy hair suggestions and remedies for hair growth start with foods you should consume and avoid. When experiencing excessive hair fall or breakage and all sorts of whiteheads, blocked pores and breakouts, consider starting a blander diet. This helps regulate the pH levels of the face and scalp and in eliminating the extra toxins that may be leading upto the skin and hair maladies. A healthy glow comes, first and foremost, from within and starts with foods that hydrate our skin.

Listed below are some foods that are not only great for your skin and hair, but also do wonders in restoring a healthy gut. Good health begins in the gut. When our digestive system is healthy, our immune system becomes stronger. The body can properly absorb nutrients and eliminate toxins. This all leads to benefits such as brighter, clear skin, more energy for our day and reduces the chance of getting sick. For this to happen it is important we take care of our gut. Eating fermented foods will help support your belly and so will taking a probiotic daily. A probiotic is good bacteria that helps build and maintain a healthy gut flora; in turn keeping the digestive system on track. Pick yogurt, buttermilk, and foods rich in probiotics for great gut health. This has a direct connection to the health and pH balance of your scalp (for ensuring stronger roots).

Diets high in protein (but while also being mindful of red meat) are also great for hair regrowth. Pick tofu, cottage cheese, and white meats. Greens such as broccoli and lettuce provide a vast variety of nutrients like iron which is believed to be necessary for stronger, fuller hair. Cucumber, celery, kale, spinach, avocado (good fats!), nuts and coconut are all great and will help us glow from the inside out.

Almonds and cashews can be good sources of iron and vitamin E. Sesame seeds and nuts are excellent sources of important hair support minerals such as magnesium. These are excellent for hair shine and strength.

Coconut water is a great source for hydration and hair health! The natural electrolyte balance in coconut water (including a healthy dose of potassium) restores hydration to the body, skin, and scalp, providing superior defense against daily environmental stressors, which oftens lead to hair fall and worse.

Avoid excessively sour, acidic or oily foods and instead choose blander varieties of vegetables such as zucchini and asparagus and sweeter fruits such as pomegranates and pineapples. Consume sweeter varieties of fruit to get your daily dose of vitamin C such as mangoes and sweet tangerines. Vitamin C is not only great for skin and hair function but also enhances the absorption and metabolism of minerals.

Aloe vera is a wonderful remedy for preventing hair loss. Slice a thick chunk, garnish with cumin, and gulp down for renewed hair vitality (and glowy skin). Alternately apply aloe veraslime into roots by diluting it with pureed and then strained onion water for stimulating the hair follicles to produce growth. This requires consistency and a few months to take effect, but it works in promoting healthy hair growth.

Coconut oil is all the rage right now, but the extraction process and sourcing still effect its genuineness. A fair-trade, organic, cold-pressed, unrefined virgin coconut oil is your best bet. This oil can melt without losing its integrity. Coconut oil contains fatty acids for moisture, lauric acid for anti-microbial affects, Vitamin E which encourages growth and repair of skin cells, protects against aging and prevents your lips and skin from drying out and cracking. Being rich in certain proteins, it also speeds up healing time, making your skin look fresher and more radiant, protects skin cells and provides lots of healthy proteins for balance. There are a million different uses for this magnificent and delicious oil such oil pulling to remove heavy metals and toxin, stirring this absolute superfood into creamy coconut porridge or blending it into smoothies, cooking with this healthy fat every day, there is literally nothing you can’t do with this oil.

For your face, try using a small amount every night on as a facial moisturizer. You’ll wake up with fresh, dewy skin. Once a week, use it as a full body moisturizer before bed. A little goes a long way, so don’t overdo it. It also acts as a delicious-smelling makeup remover for stubborn mascara. Rub a pea-sized amount gently over your closed eyes and let it melt that makeup away while also moisturizing your lashes.

For your hair, try applying a tablespoon to your ends and brush through to spread the coconut oil out evenly. Leave it on for a few hours, preferably overnight to really let it soak in, and then wash it out with your normal shampoo. Let your hair dry and marvel at how soft, smooth and shiny it is!

A major beauty food and superfood with multiple super powers, there is not much you can’t do with Chia seeds. An ingredient to add to smoothies, water, baking and salads, Chia seeds are loaded with more omega’s than salmon, protein, 10 grams of fiber, 7 times more vitamin c than oranges, contains all 10 essential amino acids and has 5 times more calcium than milk! Add a tablespoon of chia seeds into a glass of water or add to your morning smoothie to reap the nutritional benefits. With all of these nutrients they can help your body fight free radicals, helping to improve skin over time, help with muscle recovery after workouts, stabilize blood sugar levels and provide energy throughout your day. I personally love to add chia seeds to almond milk and a dash of cinnamon or on top of my morning porridge with honey.

Carrot seed oil contains carotenoids which are rich in Vitamin C and A that is helpful for skin brightening, tightening and detoxification. It also contains Vitamins K and D, which are often the missing link for stressed skin making it a great resource for people suffering from eczema, psoriasis and irritated skin. Wild carrot seed oil also works as a natural SPF because of its ability to protect your skin cells with high content of Vitamin C. It is best used with jojoba oil, avocado oil or my favorite coconut oil. Carrot seed oil is rich in Vitamin A so it should be avoided during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.

Apple cider vinegar is another miracle product. But it needs to be raw, organic and unrefined for you to be able to truly benefit from its healing clearing properties. Washing your face with harsh cleansers and makeup removers often interferes with the pH balance of your skin, making it more vulnerable to irritations. The natural acids found in apple cider vinegar helps to re-balance your pH levels while also softening and exfoliating, reducing redness, curing dry patches, spots and acne. After you take off your makeup, apply the ACV to your skin with a cotton ball. Try diluting it with a bit of water to make it gentler.

Rinsing your hair in diluted ACV is also a great way to get rid of any leftover build up from other hair product you use, giving it more body and shine. Combine one part ACV with two parts water (Oily hair might require more). Massage it into your hair and scalp after shampooing. Let it sit for a few minutes and rinse. Doing this once a month is enough to give your hair a total refresh, helping it stay beautiful and glossy!