We all know that eating well has its obvious benefits, but around this time of year when pie and stuffing consumption are at an all-time high, it can be, admittedly, a little hard. But now with some down time from this most recent carb-filled holiday and the next one, try loading up on foods that will actually do some good by way of shiny, healthy hair and hydrated skin. We worked with Joanna Vargas, celebrity facialist and founder of the eponymous salon and skincare collection, and Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi, Washington D.C.-based dermatologist and Dr. Frank Lipman, NYC-based functional medicine physician and founder of Be Well, to compile a list of the best nourishing foods to consumer this winter.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but truly, you can never get enough. "Water has many scientific functions that help our body to remain healthy," says Vargas. "It helps carry nutrients and oxygen to the cells and it helps dissolve minerals and other nutrients from the food we eat to make them accessible to the body. Water helps prevent constipation, a big problem which can affect how much your skin breaks out. It also assists the kidneys and liver to flush out waste and it even helps regulate your body temperature. So, even though you may not be thinking about it or feeling it, water is a major player in your overall health and the health of your skin, specifically. Everything I just mentioned above can and does affect skin. The skin uses nutrients from food to function and needs oxygen. The digestive system has a direct effect on the skin because the body will use the skin to get rid of anything you have eaten that cannot be digested and skin cells must be able to eliminate toxins and waste."
"A great tasting boost to your skin’s moisture is celery and cucumber," says Vargas. "They both contain silica, an ingredient that boosts moisture and elasticity. I encourage clients to eat a salad with plenty of both to keep your skin young and supple."
"Both celery and cumber contain silica, an ingredient that boosts moisture and elasticity," Vargas continues. "I encourage clients to eat a salad with plenty of both to keep your skin young and supple."
Salmon is another fantastic “hair” food since it’s loaded with protein, fish oil and selenium to strengthen and encourage hair growth," says Tanzi.
"Selenium is a great trace mineral that is awesome for the skin because it helps eliminate toxins," says Vargas. "It's found in fish and eggs."
"Eggs are a great food for healthy hair, as they are rich in vitamin B5 and B12 to stimulate hair growth and Biotin which thickens the hair shaft," says Tanzi.
"Your skin has a natural barrier to retain moisture and essential to that is omega-3 fatty acid," says Vargas. "Flax seeds on your salad or even walnuts will be an instant boost to your Omega-3, thus increasing your skins ability to hold onto moisture."
"The proteins and fatty acids in Omega-3's help to repair cell membranes, and are generally anti-inflammatory, which can have a dramatically positive impact on the skin," says Dr. Lipman.
"Your skin has a natural barrier to retain moisture and essential to that is omega-3 fatty acid," says Vargas. "Flax seeds on your salad or even walnuts will be an instant boost to your omega-3, thus increasing your skins ability to hold onto moisture."
"Remember that protein delivers the building blocks for hair, so if you're lacking protein the hair that you build is likely to be brittle and dry," says Dr. Lipman. "Getting a good amount of protein from healthy sources like quinoa, nuts and seeds, and lean meats will help you to build strong, healthy hair from the start."
"Eating a healthy diet of fresh, unprocessed foods with a lot of fruits and vegetables may be the best way to maintain overall health of the scalp, hair and skin," says Dr. Lipman.