Eat Yourself Beautiful: The best foods for your skin, hair and nails
Face lotions and creams help your skin, hair and nails become more resilient but what you eat and drink really does make a big difference.
What foods should you be eating for healthy glowing skin, stronger hair and nails? Here is an overview of the foods that can help you get the glow.
What are the best foods to prevent acne and redness?
Acne is caused by many things, one of which is hormonal fluctuations. That's why you get more breakouts when you're a teenager. As you get older, not getting enough sleep, stress and an unhealthy diet can cause hormonal issues.
Including whole grains and slow-burning carbohydrates into your diet like oats, chickpeas, lentils and beans, quinoa, brown rice, sweet potato and corn will help stabilise your blood sugar levels and prevent the highs and lows that can contribute to acne and cause skin redness.
What foods help reduce eczema?
Eating foods high in antioxidants can help manage eczema. Basically, all those bright and colourful vegetables and fruit will be loaded with antioxidants, to reduce eczema-contributing inflammation. However, stress is on the biggest causes of eczema.
That said, you can eat salads all day, but if you're perpetually stressed, you'll continue to get flare-ups. When I get stressed, I get eczema on my fingers... Which I affectionately call my stress fingers. When they flare-up, I use it as a sign that I'm pushing too hard, not sleeping enough and need to slow down. Thanks, body!
What are the best foods to prevent wrinkles and lines?
Tomatoes may help prevent skin damage from the sun. The part of the tomatoes that makes them red is called lycopene, an antioxidant that buffers 'free radicals'. Those are the things that cause premature signs of ageing. A study found that those who consumed tomato paste 33% more protection from the sun. Don't skip the sunscreen but do add tomatoes to your meals like this breakfast.
Oranges, kiwi fruit and cauliflower are great sources of Vitamin C. Yes, vitamin C is good for boosting immunity but it's also needed by your body to produce collagen. That's what helps your skin stay plumper. Loads of fruit and vegetables have vitamin C, just another reason to eat the rainbow and practice crowding out less healthy options for more fruit and veg.
Berries are also a great source of antioxidants, which can prevent free-radical damage helping to reduce redness, inflammation and create a smoother skin surface.
What are the best foods to help grow strong hair?
A lot of the foods that are good for your skin are also good for your hair and nails (as they are all connective tissue). There are a lot of reasons to include healthy fats in your diet and strong, healthy hair is just one of them. People who don't get enough essential fatty acids find their hair breaks and falls out.
Healthy fats can help your scalp and hair shiny and hydrated. I like to include salmon about twice a week, I'll eat around an avocado over the week and eat seeds, nuts and extra virgin olive oil daily. I also buy a dozen eggs once a fortnight. I always include the egg yolk which contains biotin, a B-group vitamin that may help your hair, skin and nails.
Iron is also important for stronger hair (and energy!) so make sure you aren't low on iron, especially if you get heavy periods or are an athlete.
What are the best foods for stronger nails?
Pumpkin seeds, walnuts and brazil nuts are all great sources of zinc, selenium, healthy fats and fibre. These nutrients help you grow stronger nails. White spots on your nails can indicate that you might be low in zinc.
Because your skin, hair and nails turn over quite often, you need to keep getting enough zinc in your diet. My tip? Add pumpkin seeds to your yoghurt and muesli in the morning, toast and put on a salad or include it in your nut and fruit mix.
I have brittle nails (naturally). I found applying a nail strengthening top coat on my nails every other day for 1 month made a big difference to my nails.
What about probiotics for healthy skin?
Having a daily probiotic is a great way to boost your skin health (as well as your digestion, immunity and potentially, mood and concentration). Probiotics help your body buffer from free-radical damage. By boosting your gut health, you might also notice an improvement in your skin.
You don't need to take a probiotic supplement. Personally? I prefer to eat real food than take supplements for health. Greek Yoghurt is the best source of probiotics in the diet so have plain greek yoghurt every day with your smoothie, wholegrain muesli or enjoy as a snack.
Not sure how to find a healthy yoghurt? This blog post might help.
What about supplements for skin, hair and nails?
- Some people take biotin for better hair health but there really isn't much evidence that B-group vitamins are a magic bullet for better hair. Personally, I wouldn't recommend it.
- What about collagen? Many people are fans of collagen to boost the appearance of skin. There is limited research out there to support thing. Take it if you want, but personally, I prefer to get collagen naturally in my diet by eating fish, plenty of brightly coloured fruits and veg (red, orange and yellow ones especially) and including a moderate to small amount of meat in my diet.
Take home message
- The best diet for your skin, hair and nails includes variety. Include whole grains, seeds and nuts, healthy fats, eggs and yoghurt, and plenty of brightly coloured fruit and vegetables.
- Drinking too much alcohol, stress, not enough sleep and eating highly processed, sugary and fatty food will not be good news for your blood sugar levels, mood or skin, hair and nails.
- Probiotics are the only supplement I recommend but I like it best in the form of plain Greek yoghurt.
- Take supplements if you want but I recommend eating a balanced diet where you get all the nutrients you need.
Remember: You don't have to look perfect to be healthy.
Sure. Topical products can help. Eating the right foods can boost your hair, skin and nails but let me keep it real. There are a lot of things that are completely outside of your control.
Some people naturally have more brittle nails and hair whilst others are really sensitive to hormonal fluctuations so their skin flairs up. Take care of your body but at the same time, be kind to yourself. You don't have to look perfect or be beautiful to be healthy.
MORE HEALTHY BLOG POSTS YOU MIGHT LOVE:
Looking for a new swimsuit that makes you feel good? Here are some of the best one-piece and bikini swimsuit brands in 2018.
Follow these 3 steps to boost your body image, without deleting Instagram. Transform social media from comparison trap to a confidence booster.
Some Instagram accounts can help you love your body. Here’s the BEST 12 body positive Instagram accounts that can boost body positivity.
There’s a simple reason why you don’t feel full after smoothies + how one small tweak can make the difference.
Here are 6 things you can do to stop feeling fat.
There are few very important things to keep in mind if you want to teach your children how to have a healthy relationship with food.
How many years have you wasted hating your body and wishing you looked like someone else? If you feel unhappy with your body and hate your weight, it’s time for a change.
I'm not sure why it's called the 'health' food aisle...
I used to hate my body (I mean like really hate my body). But now I love my body, something I never thought was possible! So, how do you go from hating your body to loving your body? Here’s 15 ways how I learned to love my body and be body confident.
I travel as much as I can, hopping on a plane about once a month. Here’s how I stay healthy when I travel.
Looking for the best restaurants and places to eat in Prague? I've got you sorted. Here is my list of the best places to eat in Prague in 2018.
Eat healthily, save money and reduce food waste.
Loving your body in a society that tells you not to is a radical act of self-love. I learned that having a supportive partner can help you learn to love your body.
You spent all week eating well but the scales don't reflect it. If you eat healthily and still can't lose weight, read this.
Face lotions and serums have a role to play, but what you put in your mouth really does show on the outside.
It's time to do good by your health. Stop asking for salads with dressing on the side.
With hundreds of yoghurts on display in the cold section of supermarkets, choosing a healthy yoghurt can be a daunting task. Here is a guide to help you choose a healthy yoghurt.
Which is the best meal delivery service in Australia? Read my review of the best meal delivery services in Australia right now - and find out which meal delivery service I'd choose.
Coconut oil is very trendy at the moment but is it really that good for you? Find out which oil I use every day and what I really think about coconut oil (and the superfood claims).
Want to eat healthier, for less? You don't have to eat beans and rice or give up your avocado addiction to eat healthy on the cheap. Here are some truly non-sucky ways to eat well, for less.
If you want to become a nutritionist or a dietitian, this is my honest advice on starting a career in nutrition. Find out how I got my nutrition career started, what I recommend for study and how much nutritionists and dietitians earn. Plus more!
Sick of falling off the bandwagon? These simple mindeset shifts will help you find balance and let go of an 'all-or-nothing' mentality.
They're calling it the Great Avocado Depression. But when will the insanity end?
If you're sick of always 'falling off the bandwagon, and want better willpower, this is a must read. This is by far the most common reason for poor willpower.
How NOT to meal prep.
Lie in bed at night feeling guilty for overeating (yet again)? If you can't stop eating, then read this blog post to learn how to break the cycle. These tips are especially useful if you can't stop eating at night.
If you're always striving for more, better or leaner, then you need to read this.
Before I became a dietitian, I tried many detoxes and cleanses so I know how they work! I'm sharing the 8 simple steps to detox or cleanse (just like a celebrity or health blogger).
Nutrition has become so confusing. I've learned a lot about people and healthy eating by working as a dietitian and nutritionist. Here is a no-BS summary of what I know for sure...
Want to get more followers on Instagram? These 10 strategies will help you gain more Instagram followers in the health and fitness world.
HEALTHY RECIPES YOU MIGHT LOVE:
This quick and easy healthy dinner recipe is going to spice up your midweek meals. With a few basic, everyday ingredients and one-pan - you’ll pull together a delicious and healthy dinner the whole family will enjoy.
Here’s a quick and easy midweek dinner option. I’ve snuck vegetables into these delicious patties so they’re a fabulous for lowering your grocery bill and boosting your health by eating less meat.
This soup is seriously delicious and simple recipe. Perfect for meal prep or mid-week dinners.
This is comfort food made healthy! It's rich, it's creamy and also loaded with six sneaky serves of vegetables - making it ideal for kids and adults alike.
Warning: You're going to want to eat the entire tray of these crispy sweet potato curly fries. Good thing they’re healthy and easy to make!
Mornings just got a whole lot more cosy and tasty with this 5-minute breakfast. Perfect breakfast for cold mornings.
Finally! A delicious smoothie recipe that easy to make AND keeps me full for hours. I’ve been waiting for you a long time…
No time to cook? Make dinner great again with this 20 minute super-simple recipe. Faster and more convenient than takeaway. But the best bit? Minimal cleaning up.
Want a simple, yet healthier lasagne without the fuss? This healthy lasagne is the best comfort food. It’ll help you eat healthily on a budget and it’s vegetarian, so it’s perfect for meat-free Monday.
My mum makes the BEST Thai Corn Soup. I turned it into a healthy version that doesn’t compromise on flavour. This healthy recipe is great for meal prep, if you’re on a budget or love meat-free Mondays.
A surprisingly quick and easy breakfast idea for a seriously healthy start to your day.
This super simple one tray salmon bake is a game-changer for mid-week meals.
This one-tray balsamic chicken is a perfectly balanced meal to make for a mid-week dinner (or meal prep)!
This Loaded Greek Salad is one of my favourite recipes. It uses everyday ingredients to create something really special... in a matter of minutes.
One pot and just a few key ingredients, this easy (and cheap!) recipe will create a delicious meal. Make it for Meat-free Monday and you'll have plenty of leftovers to enjoy throughout the week.
A delicious 4-ingredient treat. I pretty much just took the yummiest ingredients and blitzed them up into a recipe. How could it not be good?
This is an easy, classic and oh-so-delicious salad recipe to add to your repertoire. It's perfect for meal prep...!
With only four ingredients, this simple salad is perfect for mid-week meals (or entertaining).
The perfect Summer BBQ salad to impress friends and family. Add this healthy recipe to your repertoire when you're next entertaining.
You're busy? Me too! So here is an easy and healthy mid-week Eggplant Parmigiana. You pretty much throw all the ingredients into a tray so it's kinda hard to mess up. Enjoy!
You'll want oodles of these zoodles with this delicious creamy avocado dressing. Topped with flakey almonds, bright cherry tomatoes and crumbled feta cheese, I know you're going to love this healthy recipe.
When you make your own muesli or granola, it's often a lot healthier because you know exactly what goes into it. Try my homemade toasted muesli (granola) recipe for a healthier breakfast cereal.
This soup is so filling and healthy. I'll meal prep this recipe ahead of a busy week. It's a great way to get through veggies in the fridge and feed the family a really nourishing meal for less.
Tomatoes are at their best during Spring and Summer and this simple 4-ingredient Tomato and Feta Salad is a winner, especially for BBQ season. Swap the boring same-same salad for this simply wonderful dish.
This quick and easy overnight oats is wonderful for busy mornings. You can meal prep them on the weekend ahead of a busy week.
I'm so excited about this recipe. You should know up front that I can’t bake very well. I’m quite impatient, particularly when chocolate is involved. But even I could make this delicious Chocolate Banana Bread Recipe easily. It's so good!!!
Chocolate and Hazelnuts... two flavours that are meant for each other! This healthier version of a choc-hazelnut spread has only 4 ingredients, is super easy to make and did I mention it tastes amazing too?
Introducing Cauliflower Steaks - A healthier alternative to the BBQ grill. You've probably eaten cauliflower as rice, mashed, boiled and baked - but have you ever tried grilling it on the BBQ?
This is my favourite baked sweet potato recipe. It's a classic. I keep coming back to it because it's really that good. The sweet potatoes caramelises. It's the perfect recipe for batch cooking or meal prep.
With only 2-ingredients, this healthy recipe will be ready in less than 3 minutes. I have a major sweet tooth and this healthy strawberry sorbet (with its' sweet/sour taste) really hits the spot.