Ten foods for radiant skin, strong nails and luscious locks, by Nutritionist Dr Joanna Mcmillan Price.
Oily fish such as salmon are fabulously rich in essential omega-3 fats. These reduce inflammation and provide essential nourishment for the skin. Other oily fish include sardines, mackerel, anchovies and trout. To benefit from oily fish you have to eat it at least twice a week.
I also recommend taking an additional daily omega-3 supplement, otherwise optimal levels are too hard to reach. If you suffer from eczema or psoriasis you should probably up the dose – there's good scientific backing to show it can help. Oily fish are also one of the few good sources vitamin D, essential for the absorption of calcium to build strong nails.
2. Dark green leafy vegies
These are a daily must for maximum anti-ageing power. The darker the green the better, because this usually indicates higher levels of antioxidants. These fight the free radicals that damage cells and accelerate ageing of the skin.
Beta-carotene, one of these antioxidants, can also form vitamin A in the body, a common ingredient in face creams and an essential nutrient for healthy hair.
Feed your skin from the outside by including leafy greens daily and watch your skin bloom. Spinach, silver beet, kale , rocket, watercress, Asian greens and dark green cabbage varieties all qualify.
3. Mussels and oysters
They're high in protein, good sources of omega-3 fats and the clear front runners for providing zinc, a mineral essential for skin healing and preventing infections. Increased zinc can help acne and other skin conditions, but is also essential for all of us to maintain healthy radiant skin. If you are plagued with dandruff, upping your zinc just might help.
They look delectable, they taste divine and they top the charts for antioxidant power. What's not to like about berries? They're also rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant to combat the ageing process, but also necessary for the building of collagen, the protein that gives skin its elasticity and strengthens capillaries to help reduce veins and easy bruising.
5. Nuts and seeds
They provide all the right kinds of fat that nourish our skin and promote shiny healthy hair. They are also rich in the antioxidant vitamin E to combat free-radical damage, which contributes to skin ageing.
This humble vegie is one of the richest sources of beta-carotene, which acts both as an antioxidant in is own right and can be made into vitamin A, which repairs and maintains healthy skin.
Different teas contain different antioxidants, but they all have the potential for anti-ageing benefits. Green tea has even been shown to help rejuvenate skin cells. Tannins in tea can reduce your absorption minerals in food, however, so try to drink your tea between rather than with meals.
Australian research has recently shown that a low-GI diet containing whole grains such as barley helps to relieve acne and improve the skin. Barley also provides the antioxidant mineral selenium and good levels of several other vitamins and minerals that play roles in the growth of healthy skin, hair and nails.
Arguably the most nutritious food, avocados provide all the right kinds of fat to nourish your skin, numerous vitamins and minerals, and several antioxidants that help to protect your skin from ageing free-radical and sun damage.
10. Kiwi fruit
We tend to think of citrus fruit as being the best sources of vitamin C, but in fact the plentiful kiwi fruit ranks second only to the more elusive guava. So go green and hairy for extra collagen-boosting vitamin C.