You feel that having a great figure, beautiful skin, gorgeous hair and nails will boost your confidence. You may be tempted to sign up with a slimming or beauty centre, slap on expensive skin care products or even swallow supplements to achieve those model looks. However, before you do, remember that beauty is more than skin deep. A healthy and well-nourished body gives you the best chances to glow from within too. Read on to find out more.

Beautiful skin, hair and nails start with great genes. If your mom and dad have clear skin, you are likely to have it too. While it is good to protect your skin on the outside with your daily cleansing, moisturising and sun protection routine, it is more important to nourish it from within. Here are some diet tips to nourish your skin, hair and nails.

1. Food for Healthy Skin

Sixty to sixty-five percent of the human body is made up of water. Water carries nutrients to every cell in your body and carries away the wastes to be discharged. Having enough water in your body ensures that your skin looks moist and supple.

Water is found in the fluids we drink and also the food we eat. Drinking plain water is a great way to help meet your daily fluid needs. Sweetened drinks are not your best choice for a fluid top up. While they provide fluid, they load on extra calories from the added sugars.

Related: The Drop of Life — Six Reasons to Drink Water

2. Food for Healthy Hair and Healthy Skin

Fruit and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals and many beneficial phytochemicals.

  • The yellow-orange pigments in colourful fruit contain beta-carotene which is converted to vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for the formation and maintenance of healthy skin and hair.

  • Vitamin C is well known for its role in wound healing and it helps stimulate the formation of collagen, the cement that holds cells together and makes the skin feel smooth. Citrus fruit, guavas, kiwi fruit, strawberries, peppers, and green leafy vegetables are good sources of vitamin C.

  • Many nutrients found in fruit and vegetables vitamins A, C, E as well as, many phytochemicals are powerful antioxidants which protect cells and connective tissues from damage from powerful ’free radical“ molecules.

Aim to eat two servings of fruit and two servings of vegetables every day. For best nourishment and skin protection, focus on colourful produce, citrus fruit and green leafy vegetables.

Related: Fruits and Veggies

3. Food for Hair Growth 

Protein helps repair and maintain the body. Eat a variety of protein-rich food such as egg, fish, poultry, meat, beans, nuts, and seeds. Broken down to amino acids by the gut to be absorbed in the body, they are re-assembled to form the proteins that are needed to build, maintain and protect the body.

Calcium, the mineral found in abundance in dairy food such as milk, yoghurt and cheese, strengthens growing bones and teeth. If you do not enjoy dairy food, include other calcium-rich food such as fish with edible bones, green leafy vegetables, soybean curd made with calcium salts and calcium fortified food and drinks.

Iron is found in meat, fish, poultry, egg yolks, green leafy vegetables and dried legumes. Eating food rich in iron will help you build haemoglobin, the factor in blood that helps transport oxygen, helping to nourish all the cells of the body.

Related: Catch Up on Calcium

4. Eat a Well-Balanced Diet Every Day

Skin, hair and nails are part of your body. So, you need to nourish your whole body to look good to feed your skin, hair and nails. Use My Healthy Plate as a guide to balance your food choices each day and stay optimally nourished.

Rise a little early each day to have breakfast before you set out to school. Carry a packed lunch or snack to beat the rush at recess. Make up for nutrient shortfalls of the day by eating the food you missed. For example, if you did not have much vegetables during lunch, make sure you eat enough during dinner.

So Remember...

  • Your eating preferences determine how well you feel and how good you look. No matter what your food preferences and eating style are right now, you can always modify them to eat more healthily.

  • For healthy skin, hair and nails nourish your body daily with adequate water and a well-balanced diet that meets your daily need for protein, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals.

  • Eat regular meals, and make every effort to include healthier food choices when you dine out or purchase food.

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