Author: Renu Puri
With pollution at its peak in today’s world, our hair and skin have to bear all the brunt. Nowadays, a lot of people are becoming more and more aware of the implications of UV rays on skin, and heat damage on hair. This revolution has spiked a major demand for natural ways to recover from years of sun and heat damage to skin and hair.
In this blog, we aim to provide you with a comprehensive guide on foods that can really amp up your hair game and make your skin feel like a newborn baby’s butt, all through natural dietary modifications.
Although we can’t stop the natural aging process, we can definitely maintain our healthy hair and glowing skin. Many people start panicking when they hit the 30-year mark, especially in India. The overwhelming thoughts of a receding hairline and saggy skin are the worst nightmares for both men and women. We firmly believe that beauty starts from the inside. If you smoke, it will negatively reflect on your skin and hair quality, if you eat a balanced diet, it will positively reflect on your skin and hair. A poor diet, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, smoking, unhealthy lifestyle and many other factors can rapidly accelerate aging and depreciate your hair and skin quality.
Jennifer Lopez is 53, Shakira is 46, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is 49, and Madhuri Dixit Nene is 55 and all of these beauties have taken immense care of their nutrition to look how they look at this age. Healthy hair and glowing skin are often considered signs of good health and wellness. Taking good care of your nutrition will ultimately translate to having healthy hair and glowing skin, both of which can boost your self-confidence and self-esteem, and can also provide benefits such as protection from environmental damage and the prevention of skin conditions and hair loss.
In many cultures, luscious locks and gleaming skin are considered to be significant indicators of beauty, health, and overall appearance. Throughout history, various societies have placed a high value on having beautiful hair and skin, and have even developed various rituals, treatments, and grooming practices to maintain their appearance. In some cultures, long, thick hair and clear, glowing skin are considered symbols of youth and vitality, while in others, well-groomed hair and skin are viewed as markers of status, wealth, and personal hygiene.
Healthy habits are not confined to clean eating, but rather are a combination of a lot of things - exercise, hydration, adequate sleep, avoiding harmful products, etc. A lot of these celebrities with clear skin follow a Mediterranean style diet. The Mediterranean diet is a dietary pattern that is based on the traditional foods consumed by people living in the Mediterranean region, particularly in Greece, Southern Italy, and Spain. This diet is characterized by the high consumption of plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts, as well as olive oil as the primary source of dietary fat. The Mediterranean diet also includes moderate amounts of fish, poultry, and dairy products, and limited amounts of red meat and processed foods. This dietary pattern has been associated with numerous health benefits, including a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer, as well as improved weight management and brain health.
Even though there are many approaches to nutrition, there are some foods that are sure to give you clear glowing skin and thick long hair. If you are tired of investing in products that claim to fix all of your hair and skin problems, you should take the matter into your own hands and follow a diet that incorporates the foods mentioned below. Trust me, you will not regret it!
Although we don’t believe in stereotypes, this one is a no-brainer. We all know Bengalis are known for having the best skin and hair in India. Ever wondered why? Their diets contain a lot of fish and antioxidants. Fish is often considered beneficial for healthy hair and glowing skin because it is a rich source of essential nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, protein, vitamins, and minerals. The omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel are important for maintaining the health of cell membranes and supporting the skin's natural barrier function which can help keep skin looking youthful and radiant. Protein, which is found in high amounts in fish, is a building block of hair and skin. It helps to repair and regenerate skin cells and is also vital for hair growth and elasticity. Vitamins such as vitamins B, vitamin D, and vitamin E, as well as minerals such as zinc and iron, are important for skin and hair health. So if you are a non-vegetarian, hop on to YouTube to experiment with delicious fish recipes.
As kids, our parents always forced us to have green leafy vegetables and reinforced the long-term benefits of incorporating them into our diets. In fact, the cartoon Popeye also influenced a lot of children, especially young boys into liking Spinach as it gave Popeye immense energy and turned his biceps big and strong. Green leafy vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are essential for healthy hair and skin. Some of the key nutrients found in these vegetables that benefit hair and skin are Vitamin A which is pivotal for producing collagen which supports skin structure and hair growth, Vitamin E which acts as an antioxidant to protect skin and hair from damage caused by free radicals, and Iron and Zinc that help with cell growth and repair.
Kefir is not that popular in India but is widely consumed with meals across the globe in countries like Latvia, Russia, Romania, Ukraine, and Belarus. Kefir was kept a secret by people in the Caucasus mountains for many generations as they believed that the benefits of kefir would lessen if anyone made it outside their region. However, like any secret, Kefir was eventually discovered by the entire world. For anyone who doesn’t know, Kefir is a probiotic fermented milk drink. It has the same consistency as yogurt. Kefir is rich in Vitamins like B2 and B12. It is also a great source of protein and calcium. Consuming Kefir daily can eventually help with hair breakage. Since Kefir is considered to be a dairy product, those who suffer from lactose sensitivity or lactose intolerance should stay away from this product.
These brain shaped mystery nuts are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, with concentrations higher than any other nut on the planet. Walnuts also contain Vitamin B7 and B9 in high volumes, B7 also known as biotin is known to prevent hair loss. If you have ever used overly expensive hair strengthening products and supplements, you would know how miraculously biotin helps repair your hair texture. It also contains antioxidant properties and a plethora of minerals like Zinc and Selenium that protect you from sun damage. We feel walnuts are the most underrated nuts and a lot of people overlook their benefits. Eating 7-10 whole walnuts every day would provide about 160 to 200 calories which may seem like a lot but considering the benefits of the nut, you should ideally include it in your daily diet regime.
Eggs are a key ingredient in Korean skincare creams and beauty trends. Eggs are also used in a lot of regions in India for homemade hair packs and masks. Do you know the reason? Well, first and foremost, eggs are protein powerhouses. They also contain huge amounts of Vitamin A and Vitamin B which are beneficial for acne-prone skin, dry scalp, and hair elasticity. Egg yolk can nourish and calm your skin while simultaneously repairing it. We recommend eating one to two eggs per day, preferably for your healthy breakfast.
Green tea is another indispensable drink for East Asian cultures, especially in Japanese culture. Folklore from old Japanese times elucidates the skincare benefits of consuming green tea every day. Although it has recently made its mark in the Indian market, Indians are raving about the visible benefits they’re experiencing – be it weight loss, improved brain function, protection from ailments, etc. For hair, it is said to promote blood circulation and encourage hair growth. For the skin, the rich antioxidants present in green tea protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals thereby removing dark spots on the face and reducing the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and other signs of aging. It also improves the overall complexion and helps in clearing up acne.
Tomatoes are rich in Lycopene and help with photodamage. Although you can’t swap your sunscreen by consuming a bunch of tomatoes every day, Lycopene will help you with long-term protection from harmful UV rays and free radicals. Tomatoes contain Vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant that can help brighten and even out skin tone, and salicylic acid which is a natural exfoliant that can help clear out clogged pores, reducing the likelihood of breakouts. The antioxidants in tomatoes can nourish the scalp and help protect your hair from environmental damage, keeping it looking shiny and strong.
Contrary to the popular belief that mangoes cause acne and produce excess heat in the body, mangoes can be great for your skin and hair. Obviously, mango is not a cooling fruit, eating it in excess can produce a little heat. Eating everything in moderation is recommended, even if it is the healthiest of the healthiest fruit. Mangoes are a great source of hydration and can help keep the skin looking plump and supple. Being rich in Vitamin C and anti-inflammatory properties, they also encourage a much more even skin tone and soothe irritated skin. The antioxidant property of mangoes also helps hair from environmental damage and reduces itching and drying of the scalp. You can also consume mango in a lot of ways since it is a seasonal fruit – mango chutney, mango aachar, mango dip, mango salsa, sugar-free mango smoothie, etc.
Sweet potatoes are one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat. They're a great source of beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin E, and antioxidants. Sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene because they're high in fiber and other antioxidants that help protect your body from free radicals that may cause wrinkles and sagging. They also contain vitamin A, which helps keep your skin healthy and ward off infection. Sweet potatoes also contain potassium and magnesium which help balance your electrolyte levels so that you don't get headaches or cramps from too much salt or sugar in your diet. They’re also great for your hair health, especially if you suffer from breakage or split ends.
Olives and Olive tree derivatives like Olive oil and Olive leaves are a staple in a Mediterranean diet. While you may see it as a mere ingredient for cooking in your kitchen, in the medical and nutrition space, it is considered to be liquid gold for health. They are packed with Vitamin K, E, D, and A. Olive oil, apart from consumption, can be a really good oil-based non-sticky moisturizer that will keep your skin healthy and plump for a long time. It is also a key ingredient in many anti-aging creams due to its antioxidant properties. If you are looking to enrich your hair, it can work as magic to fight hair loss and thinning problems. Make sure to use olive oil in your next champi this winter. :)
Muesli is often recommended by registered dietitians and medical professionals all around the globe as a healthy breakfast option. It provides great nourishment and also ensures that you get all the necessary vitamins and minerals for healthy hair and skin. With a huge concentration of Vitamin B in muesli, it can prevent cracked, itchy, and dry skin. We recommend getting some Kelloggs' Muesli or Muesli from Yoga Bar and garnishing it with walnuts for an enhanced effect as both these foods can help you achieve long and strong hair along with plump and soft skin.
How can you ever go wrong with the ultimate elixir of life? Water has so many benefits that if we start penning them down, our hands would start hurting but the advantages wouldn’t stop pouring in (get it? :)). Water is vital for good skin and hair because it helps to hydrate and maintain the elasticity of the skin and the volume and shine of hair. Drinking adequate water can also flush out toxins from the body, which can have a positive effect on skin appearance. It also helps in transporting nutrients to the hair follicles and skin cells, promoting overall health and vitality.
Having the perfect skin and hair is not an unachievable dream. No matter how many marketing ploys influence you to think that only expensive, high-end products can help your damaged hair and dull skin, you need to understand that the only foolproof thing that can truly help you in the long run, is better nutrition.
Looking for some diets for healthy hair or clear skin? Our registered dietitians can help! We educate you on nutrition at every step and curate diet charts that include food options that can provide you with the maximum nutritional value so you can have strong hair and supple skin. These diet plans are created considering your body type, genetics, activity levels, busy schedules, and even your tastebuds! Yes, you heard it right. We believe that a diet should never feel like a compromise, but rather a lifestyle that you can sustain, and that is why we recommend mouth-watering recipes that will take care of any cravings and make you feel like you never left junk food.
Ready for a health revolution? Join us on our mission to transform the nutrition landscape!
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At niwi.ai, we have helped thousands of clients transform their lives and feel stronger, more energetic, and definitely more confident in how they look and feel, by improving their relationship with food!