food is the key to healthy hair and skin

Experts say if you feed your body well on the inside, you may reap the rewards of looking better on the outside.

Preserving your skin and hair starts early, but it’s never too late to find a healthy glow. Focus on incorporating the following foods to lead you toward a more youthful and vibrant self.

Oranges, Grapefruits, Limes and Lemons: These citrus fruits are loaded with vitamin C, which helps reduce skin damage (such as wrinkles) caused by free radicals—naturally occurring molecules that break down collagen and elastin).

Cantaloupe, Cabbage and Carrots: These “C” foods are rich in vitamin A, an antioxidant that helps repair skin tissue and helps produce healthy sebum (natural oil) found in the scalp.

Tomatoes: The beta-carotene helps protect skin against sun damage. Lycopene, the natural chemical that gives tomatoes their red color, helps make skin less sensitive to damage from ultraviolet light, which is said to cause fine lines and wrinkles.

Berries: Besides being refreshing, berries benefit your skin. Strawberries, blueberries and blackberries are high in antioxidants, which are substances that promote cellular health and guard against premature aging.

Salmon: Not only is this fish nutritious and delicious, but it’s said to have major benefits for hair and skin. Salmon is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which help protect against cognitive decline and memory loss, and also support scalp health and the production of skin oil. If you are deficient, your hair can lack that shiny glow and you might have other skin problems. Mackerel, flaxseed oil and seeds can also do the trick.

Nuts: These crunchy morsels contain zinc, selenium and omega-3 fatty acids to keep your scalp healthy, and vitamin E to keep skin smoother and more youthful. Eat more nuts to help reduce the effects from the sun. To help condition the hair, reduce hair loss and retain a nice shine, eat more walnuts, cashews, pecans and almonds.

Whole Grains: This food comes with a bonus benefit: better nail health. Whole grains provide selenium, a trace element that helps protect skin from sun damage, as well as biotin and zinc to help reduce hair loss. Studies show skin already damaged by the sun can improve with selenium in the diet.

Eggs: Eggs contain protein and biotin, a form of vitamin B that’s important for overall skin, nail and hair health. Without it, dermatitis and hair loss can occur.

Water: Our bodies are more than half water, so it’s important to replenish what we lose. Consuming enough water daily can help keep your skin and hair from drying out. Go with the general rule of eight cups a day or half your body weight in ounces. Those frequently in the sun should remember to stay hydrated.