Monday, May 16, 2011

Hair and Skin's Needs

Your Skin’s Needs   
Antioxidants. These are the most vital way to protect your skin against free-radical attack. Studies at the University of Arizona, USA have found that eating at least six servings of red or yellow vegetables a day is actually the same as wearing sun-protection factor (SPF) 4 on your skin in its ability to protect you against sun damage. Aim for 6-10 servings of fresh fruit or vegetables a day for best results. This will also supply vitamin C, which helps build collagen and vitamin A, which encourages the growth of new skin cells.
Essential fatty acids. As well as keeping red blood cells healthy, which boosts circulation, essential fatty acids also help fight dry skin. Good sources are oily fish, nuts and seeds – aim for one serving a day.
Sulphur. This helps the body form new collagen. You’ll find it in eggs, onions and garlic. Aim for one serving a day.
Skin Doesn’t Need
Sugar. As well as being a major source of free radicals, sugar also attacks the skin. It attaches to proteins in collagen and this causes them to become stiff and inflexible, eventually leading to wrinkling.
Salty foods. These are high in iodine, which can encourage the skin to break out.
Your Hair’s Needs
B vitamins. Hair doesn’t grow unless adequate levels of B vitamins are found in the body. You’ll find them in whole grains, dairy products, leafy green vegetables. Aim for at least three servings a day.
Essential fatty acids (EFAs). Like skin, a lack of EFAs creates dry hair. Have at least one serving daily.
Protein. If we don’t get enough protein in our diet, hair actually grows with a lifted cuticle. This not only increases the risk of dehydration, but it also makes hair look dull because light can’t reflect from it. Aim for two servings of protein-rich foods (like eggs, fish, dairy products, nuts, pulses or meat) each day.
Vitamin H (biotin). Found in eggs, fish, milk, nuts and pulses, this nutrient actually helps hair (and nails) grow. Aim for one serving of biotin-rich foods a day.
Hair Doesn’t Need
Too much vitamin A. While this nutrient may help skin, high quantities of foods that are heavy in vitamin A, like liver, can actually trigger hair loss; instead, get your vitamin A through foods containing beta-carotene (like carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes), since this doesn’t cause the same reaction.


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