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Published on August 28th, 2016 | by Ahana Basu

Beauty Eats for a healthier you

If you’ve been facing problems – hair loss, chapped skin, easily broken nails – and if none of your tried and true beauty tricks are working, it’s time to do some dietary introspection.

What you put in your body truly shows on the outside. That’s a sad but terribly real fact. If I had my way, I’d live on pink champagne, potato chips and white chocolate mousse, but then I probably wouldn’t be this pretty.

Junk the junk

No, you don’t have to become a saint and munch on carrot sticks all your days. The trick is to cut down. Take it from a bonafide chip-addict, this is not impossible. If you were eating out or snacking during work every day, make it twice a week. Avoid eating too much from your office canteen, have a heavy breakfast if needed. If you need to snack, have some buttermilk or a fruit or munch on sunflower seeds. Another thing to avoid is fizzy drinks. I love my coke, but if I get too regular, my hair starts falling out in a week! All that carbonation and sugar doesn’t do your teeth or bones any good either. Also, processed food isn’t your best bet. Go easy on anything ‘instant.’

Skin-friendly

Nowhere do your eating habits show as much as on your skin! For oily skin, try a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, poultry, lean meats, eggs, whole grain cereals. If your skin is dry, seed or nut oils and protein-rich foods are a help. If you’re suffering from a surplus of blemishes, fresh green vegetables, almonds, sunflower seeds, wheat germ, cranberry juice, cucumbers, liver, carrots, sweet potatoes and apricots will work wonders. There is good news for wine-drinkers. Reds are rich in polyphenols, antioxidants that help fight skin-damaging free radicals. Just one glass a day, though!

 Hair today…

Salmon, walnuts and avocado are all great eats if you want healthier hair. For dry hair, try two tablespoons of cod-liver oil each day. This also works if you’re prone to dandruff.

 Nail it!

Dehydration affects our nails, just as it does the rest of our body. So to prevent dry cuticles, drink six to eight glasses of water a day and eat more of juicy fruits and vegetables – many are at least 90 per cent water, so you can top up fluid and vitamin levels at the same time. It’s also worth filling your shopping trolley with foods rich in the ‘beauty mineral’ – sulphur. Found in most protein-rich foods, such as eggs, meat, fish, cheese and nuts, sulphur helps regulate the body’s acid-alkali balance and is found in some amino acids (protein-building blocks). This makes it vital for healthy nails.

So, there you go. You don’t have to put all your cravings on hold. Allow yourself a favorite dessert once a week and remember that the occasional binge is just as important as the daily discipline. Don’t force fruit or vegetables you hate on yourself, just because they’re ‘good for you.’ If you’re not happy with what you’re eating, that’s not going to help. Eat well, work out and pig out sometimes to reward yourself. The beauty will come.

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