We all know that if we clean up our diets, we’ll start to see a benefit in our bodies. But here’s another way of looking at it: If you want to prevent breakouts, keep your skin looking young while ensuring your hair is thick and healthy, you don’t need to drop a lot of cash on skincare products or a fancy haircut. It turns out, you can up your handsome factor simply by eating less processed junk and noshing on the right fruits, vegetables and other nutritious foods. After all, we could all probably do better when it comes to eating, right? It's been reported that about 70% of adults don’t get enough fruits, vegetables or whole grains in their diets. So here’s a cheat sheet on which foods will do your body (and your skin and hair) some good.
They’re packed with protein, but eggs are also high in iron (which can help stave off hair loss) and sulfur (which keeps your hair soft and smooth). Plus, they contain collagen boosting amino acids which keeps skin smooth and fine lines at bay.
There’s a reason why avocados are a popular ingredient in so many face masks. The good fats and nutrients in this buttery green fruit penetrate cells at the deepest level, which makes for a tasty way to provide skin with vitamins A, D, and E and phytonutrients. There's also preliminary evidence that avocados contain compounds that may help protect your skin from sun damage.
Fish, Flax Seeds, Walnuts, Olive Oil
The “good fats” known as omega-3s found in these foods are credited with helping your skin look and feel better. The fatty acids reduce the body’s production of inflammatory compounds, meaning less irritation and breakouts. They also help preserve collagen in your skin and keep it firmer. And the natural hydrating effect benefits your scalp by reducing itchiness, flaking and dandruff.
Cucumbers, Zucchini, Pineapple, Melons
The key to healthy skin? Hydration. And while chugging water is great, it tends to run right though you. Water-rich foods are retained in the body longer, fueling cells throughout the day which results in supple, younger-looking skin.
Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Mangos, Spinach
Bananas, Almonds, Raisins
Keep your skin tight and elastic by ensuring you’re getting enough potassium, which helps to balance fluids and minerals in your body. It also reduces stress levels, which helps calm skin. There are also amino acids found in these foods which help build muscles.
Tomatoes, Watermelon, Strawberries, Broccoli
Bursting with antioxidants and Vitamin C, these foods strengthen skin and can actually improve the efficacy of your SPF, preventing you from developing dark spots. And foods rich in the antioxidant lycopene - tomatoes, watermelon and red bell peppers - help to reduce skin irritation and redness.
* FYI: An analysis from Harvard Medical School indicates that a total of five servings per day of fruits and vegetables offers the strongest health benefits.