As the saying goes, you are what you eat, and this couldn’t be truer when it comes to wanting to promote healthy skin and hair. There are some foods and drinks that we all know are great for our bodies in general, but they’re not so good when it comes to looking good. Milk is a prime example of this – great for your bones but not at all great for your skin as the growth hormones in milk remain biologically active even after pasteurization, making their way into our blood stream, affecting insulin levels, and ramping up oil production.
On the other hand, there are some truly super foods that are good for you all round, and it’s these that we should all be eating more of if we want to look and feel our best this summer. Eggs, pumpkin seeds and dark chocolate have been named as some of the most surprising everyday foods to eat in order to boast healthy hair and skin. Surprisingly, pungent garlic has also been recognised for its ability to help prevent breakouts and maintain clear, healthy skin.
Here, we teamed up with the hair and beauty experts at online retailer Hairtrade.com who have researched into the most nutritious and wholesome snacks that have surprising beauty benefits too.
Avocados are used as an ingredient in shampoos and face masks for a reason – particularly avocado oil. The monosaturated fatty acids packed into this fruit are key for healthy hair, skin and nails, and they also help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the appearance of aging in skin.
They contain stacks of antioxidants and fibre, and one avocado is packed with more potassium – one of the seven essential macro minerals – than a medium banana!
Spinach isn’t just good for your muscles – it’s also a major anti-ager. Full to the brim with vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene, these all work together to protect your skin from the sun’s aging UV rays and help to prevent wrinkles.
This fuzzy fruit is loaded with vitamin C and antioxidants which help to keep your skin firm and your teeth and bones healthy.
High in healthy fats, vitamins E and K and stacks of minerals, coconut oil is one of the best natural nutrients for your hair, helping to boost growth and shine by moisturising the scalp.
It also has a high smoke point, which means it’s great for high-heat cooking.
Boiled, fried or scrambled, eggs contain key ingredients to help your health. One of their most important nutrients is sulphur, which helps with everything from vitamin B absorption to liver function. It’s also vital for the production of collagen and keratin, which help to create and maintain glowing skin and healthy locks.
The antioxidants in blueberries protect you from premature aging as they help minimise the damage of free radicals, which can accelerate wrinkle formation and cause disease.
Additionally, they’re packed with vitamin C, which help to keep skin firm and strong.
Tomatoes are the best source of the anti-aging antioxidant lycopene. Surprisingly, lycopene is more easily absorbed by your body when the tomatoes have been cooked or processed, so stock up on tinned tomatoes and ketchup.
8. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate helps skin stay hydrated and protects it from sun damage and, contrary to popular belief, does not cause acne.
9. Pumpkin seeds
Packed with zinc, vitamin A, vitamin K and omega-3 fatty acids, these are all essential for building a healthy head of hair. The fatty acids and additional vitamin C are important for producing sebum – which is your skin’s natural oil to protect and repair skin.
Surprisingly, garlic is one of nature’s best medicines, and it helps to prevent breakouts and maintain clear skin too.