National Nutrition Week: 5 tips to improve your overall skin and hair health


Looking for a miracle product for your post-Covid hair loss problem or acne trouble after pregnancy? As far as taking care of skin and hair is concerned, there is no such short-cut and for long-term benefits, our nutrition basics should be on point. Just like weight loss, following viral trends on internet regarding a skin or a hair treatment or product would not provide long-lasting solutions to your hair and skin troubles.

“Go with evidence-based nutrition data always, rather than merely following trends. Setting your skin and hair goal is at the core of your nutrition plan. The common skin concerns include acne, pigmentation, and anti-aging,” says Shalini Santhanakrishnan, nutritionist at Kosmoderma Clinics.

Eating a well-balanced diet can sustain your hair and skin health for long. Here are some nutrition tips for glowing skin and strong hair:

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1. Foods for fighting acne

Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3 (niacin) that prevents acne and helps in regulating oil production and prevents breakouts. Niacin-rich foods are mushrooms, dates, pumpkin seeds, sweet potatoes, almonds, spinach, tomatoes, carrots, avocados, and broccoli.

“Kidney Bean is a fibrous protein-rich food,” said Santhanakrishnan, adding “They are also rich in zinc and have healing properties that help fight acne.”

2. Food for glowing skin

If you want your skin to be look young, food rich in collagen can help improve skin’s elasticity by preventing sagging, retaining your skin plump and glow, says the nutritionist.

Turmeric, spirulina, pomegranate, watermelon, fish, chicken, egg whites, citrus fruits, red and yellow pepper, beans, and avocados are commonly available collagen-rich food sources. “Certain herbs like Horsetail and Gynostemma are also high in collagen. Also, Ashwagandha and Bala are magical herbs that stimulate the production of collagen in your body,” says Shalini Santhankrishnan.

3. Preventing wrinkles and tanning

Hyaluronic acid helps to retain moisture in our skin, improves elasticity, and inhibits the development of deep-set wrinkles.

“Vitamin C is essential to stimulate hyaluronic acid production. Include oranges, grapes, and lemons in your diet. Vegetables such as tapioca, sweet potatoes, and related tubers are also great for producing hyaluronic acid in the body, says Santhankrishnan.

For tanning the nutritionist suggests eating papaya that consists of an enzyme called papain which promotes healing of the skin and fights tan. She says the amazing fruit combats acne, dark circles, and is a boon for dry and flaky skin.

4. Foods to prevent hair loss

There are multiple reasons for hair loss, including hormonal imbalance and genetic factors, nutritional deficiency is just one of them.

“Protein is the building block of hair. Always make sure to include enough protein in your daily intake. Include eggs in daily nutrition plan and don’t avoid the yellow of the egg or yolk. Always have the whole boiled egg,” suggests the nutritionist.

4. Include Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) foods for healthy hair

Out of a plethora of vitamins we need daily, vitamin B6 supports hair growth due to its essential role in protein metabolism. The vitamin ensures that cells can access amino acids needed to make hair proteins. “Pork, poultry, meat, liver, fish, peanuts, soya, oats, and banana are some of the common foods abundant in Vitamin B6. Omega-3 Fatty Acid foods like almonds, walnut, and flax seeds, maintain the oil and pH levels of hair follicles – efficiently promoting the thickening of hair,” says Santhankrishnan.

5. The anti-stress vitamin to stop hair greying

Stress is one of the primary causes of hair loss and it is important to have Vitamin B5 to bring down stress hormone levels. Also known as pantothenic acid, the vitamin retains water content in the skin and locks moisture, says the nutritionist.

Vitamin B5 is sourced mainly from animal products. Beef, salmon, meat, and duck are rich in this vitamin. It is also available in vegetables like broccoli, sweet potatoes, and whole-grain cereals.

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