How To Feed Your Skin and Hair
By Michele Crenshaw/InwithSkin
September Anti-Aging, Beauty, BLOGS, BLOGS, Expert Advice, Hair, Skin care
For years, there has been an increasing curiosity in organic, natural, and DIY treatments. What most people don’t know is that incorporating the proper foods into your diet can lead to luscious locks and glowing skin. Antioxidants, vitamins A, C, E and essential oils are a few of the countless ingredients that help promote hair growth and health, slow down the aging process, help protect your skin against free radicals, and boost collagen production. “Our skin is one of the most important, as well as the largest, organs in our body, so it’s no wonder that our skin is widely affected by the nutrients we put into our body,” explains Dr. David Bank, founder and director of The Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic, and Laser Surgery in Mt. Kisco, NY. Below is the breakdown of benefits from various ingredients:
For thick, shiny hair: Dr. Bank suggests eating salmon, oysters, carrots, spinach, Greek yogurt, and eggs to help strengthen your hair, create a shinier look, and help prevent hair loss. Both salmon and oysters, rich in iron, protein and vitamin D, can improve your hair strength through scalp hydration and strengthening your hair follicles. Eggs and Greek yogurt, commonly found in many shampoos and conditioners, contain biotin and vitamin B5, which help to give your hair its shine and strength. He also suggests eating carrots and spinach, both excellent sources of vitamin A and C, to help give your hair a healthy look by aiding in your scalp’s sebum production. Sebum is the oil your body produces that hydrates your hair (and skin) and helps to keep your hair shiny and smooth while preventing dryness.
For anti-aging and wrinkle prevention: “Having a diet high in vitamin A and antioxidants can help to improve your skin’s texture and elasticity, as well as aiding in wrinkle reduction and the slowing down of aging,” explains Dr. Bank. Berries, high in anti-inflammatory vitamins and antioxidants, can help to protect your skin against premature aging and keep your skin firm. Pumpkin also contains a nutrient (beta-carotene) that helps promote skin cell growth and aids in keeping your skin smooth and free of wrinkles. Selenium, found in Brazil nuts, helps repair skin cell damage and prevent premature aging. Dr. Bank also highly suggests sea buckthorn, as it is also a beneficial ingredient in helping to prevent dry and aging skin, and helps your skin maintain its natural moisture levels.
To fight free radical damage and promote collagen growth: “Vitamin C is one of the most important vitamins to have in your daily diet,” Dr. Bank advises. “Found in foods such as bell peppers, brussels sprouts, kelp and guava, vitamin C helps to promote collagen growth in addition to helping prevent your skin from free radical damage.” Pomegranate seeds, rich in ellagic acid, and sunflower seeds also help to protect your skin’s lipid barrier and promote collagen growth, in addition to cucumber peels and romaine lettuce which contain nutrients to help increase cell turnover to speed up skin cell growth.
A diet rich in any of these ingredients can help to promote overall health in addition to aiding in smoother, softer skin and thicker, fuller hair. To look into other treatments, consult your dermatologist on the best options for you.