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Food to Make You Look Good

By: Meg Russell - Updated: 21 Dec 2012 | comments*Discuss
Healthy Food Lifestyle Skin Hair Nails

We know that eating the right foods can strengthen our bodies and keep us healthy on the inside. But how many of us are aware that the right foods can also help us feel and look better on the outside?

Here we answer some of the most frequently asked questions to help you on your way to looks that are glowing with health.

How do I get healthy looking skin?

To look its best, your skin needs a variety of vitamins, minerals and trace elements.

Vitamin A - found in dairy products, liver, most fish and vegetables, helps keep your skin smooth and maintain a good oil balance.
Vitamin C - helps to repair skin and to form collagen for new skin. Find it in leafy vegetables, peppers, citrus fruits, berries and many other foods.
Among the main sources of Vitamin E - are vegetable oils, egg yolks, whole grains, and green vegetables. It protects cell membranes from damage and strengthens the immune system.
Eating foods rich in beta carotene - including tomatoes, carrots, spinach, apricots and sweet potatoes, will give your skin a healthy glow.
Iron and zinc - are important and you will get these from brown rice, oats, seeds, raisins, broccoli, peas and oily fish.
A vital ingredient for healthy skin is water - and plenty of it.

An easy checklist is to remember to eat a wide variety of fresh foods, pulses, grains and fibre and drink plenty of water throughout the day.

How can I get healthy, shiny hair?

Healthy hair reflects a healthy body. If you are making all the right choices to feed your body properly, your hair should be looking good too.

The Vitamin B - complex is important in giving your hair shine. Good sources are wholegrain bread, cereals, dairy products, meat, nuts, liver, beans, potatoes and oily fish.
Vitamin C - detailed in the skin section, is important for hair too. It maintains the strength of the capillaries supplying blood to the hair follicles.
Very dry hair - could signal a deficiency of Vitamin A - eat plenty of carrots, dark green vegetables, sweet potatoes and apricots.
A dry scalp - could indicate a zinc deficiency. Eat foods like seafood, chicken or other poultry, eggs, grains and pulses.Remember that external factors such as hair colouring and perming, as well as stress, can damage hair over time.

How can I make my nails healthier?

Illness, stress and poor diet can all affect the texture and condition of your nails. As with skin and hair, the correct diet will give you healthy nails. Pale or poorly shaped nails can be caused by a lack of iron. Eat iron-rich foods as outlined in the skin section and include red meat, beans and nuts. Iron-rich foods are best consumed with Vitamin C foods to help the absorption of iron into the body.

White spots or bands on the nails may indicate a zinc deficiency. Increase your intake of foods like cereals, seafood, and red meats.

Can I make my eyes brighter and healthier?

Yes, a good diet will improve the clarity and brightness of your eyes. For healthy eyes you need a good supply of Vitamin A and beta carotene from foods like oily fish, carrots, spinach and apricots or other orange-fleshed fruits. If you are deficient in Vitamin A you could suffer from dry eyes. Insufficient amounts of the B Vitamins can lead to inflamed eyelids and sensitivity to light. Look after your eyes by making sure that you have good light for reading and rest your eyes regularly.

How can healthy eating tone my body?

You can start by giving your liver and your digestive system a rest. For a couple of days eat light meals and drink plenty of water. This will get rid of the toxins that tend to accumulate around your hips and thighs.

Light meals of mainly fruit and vegetables are packed with vitamins and fibre to help detoxify your body. In the longer term, to reduce fatty deposits and dreaded cellulite, avoid saturated fats (like biscuits, pastries, crisps etc), sugar, coffee, alcohol and full-fat dairy products. Get your nutrients from fruit, vegetables, bread, cereals, potatoes, pulses and pasta and moderate amounts of protein (from low-fat dairy, eggs, chicken, fish and lean meat). At the same time get into the habit of regular exercise. With the combination of good diet and exercise a leaner, toned body will soon take shape.

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