If you’ve been buying expensive hair products, skin-clearing solutions, and makeup in an effort to look your best, then it’s time to give those products a rest. It’s no secret fresh produce and a variety of proteins increase vitality and leave you feeling great after you eat them, and many of these same eats are particularly excellent for your skin and hair. For example, drinking enough water is vital for strong, nourished hair.
Here are the top seven picks for the best foods you can eat to get glowing skin and great hair.
It’s tough to find a dark leafy green that doesn’t pack a punch in terms of nutrition, but spinach is one of the best when it comes to your skin and hair. Allure explains spinach has vitamins C and E as well as beta-carotene, which are all great for fighting signs of aging skin. These antioxidants are particularly useful to help fight the aging effects of the sun’s UV rays, so if you’re someone who loves the beach, then spinach may be particularly helpful. Spinach also contains folate and iron, which are beneficial in preventing hair loss over time.
2. Fatty fish
Omega-3 fatty acids may be the key to the glowing skin and hair that you’ve always wanted, and fish is a great source. Best Health says about 3% of your hair shaft is made from omega-3s, and they’re also found in your body’s natural oils, which keep your scalp moisturized. As for the skin, omega-3s are great for reducing inflammation, which helps those who have acne-prone skin. Salmon, mackerel, sardines, and anchovies are all good choices.
3. Sweet potatoes
Their orange color should give it away — sweet potatoes are full of beta-carotene, an antioxidant your body turns into vitamin A to support your skin, hair, and nails. One Green Planet says other orange root vegetables like carrots, pumpkins, and winter squashes are equally rich in vitamin A, and they are also high in vitamin C, which is another antioxidant that combats free radicals that lead to aging.
Avocados are also excellent for healing dry skin in a pinch — you can apply avocado to any area of the body that needs intense moisturizing and the natural oils of the fruit will penetrate deep into the skin. As for your hair, not only do avocados have B vitamins that help hair grow, but they can also make an easy hair mask. Just combine with a bit of olive oil and egg, then apply to brittle hair for gorgeous locks.
There’s good news for you if you’re a dessert-lover, especially if you love coffee cakes and snickerdoodles, because cinnamon is one of the best foods for your skin and hair. Livestrong.com explains cinnamon helps to bring blood and nutrients to the surface of the skin for a plumper, fresher, and younger look. If you have oily, acne-prone skin, cinnamon helps to balance your hormones and lower your testosterone levels as well, which is beneficial to women who suffer from breakouts.
They may be small, but the humble blueberry packs a boatload of antioxidants that are great for your skin and hair. According to Fitness, blueberries rank as one of the most potent sources of antioxidants, which protect skin and hair by fighting free radicals from smoking, air pollution, drinking, and the sun. Antioxidants are also anti-inflammatory, making blueberries ideal for those who are looking for relief from acne-prone skin. They can also help hair feel silkier, healthier, and fuller.
7. Red bell peppers
Not only are they great for dipping in hummus, red bell peppers are an excellent source of vitamin C — they even have more than an orange. Best Health explains vitamin C is required when forming collagen, which helps skin stay elastic and keep your hair healthy. If you do have a vitamin C deficiency, it can lead to dry, brittle hair and split-ends.