Lifestyle

10 superfoods for your hair, skin and nails

Superfoods: not just a buzzword conjuring up images of Gwyneth Paltrow. They have a high nutritional density, which means they provide more nutrients per gram than conventional foods, and they typically contain high amounts of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

We know we should be eating them for various health benefits, but did you know that incorporating these nutrient-dense foods into your diet can give you visible results? Yup, superfoods can contain omega-3 fatty acids, omega-9 fatty acids, vitamins A, C, E, B and D, as well as zinc and glutamine, which all help to look after your hair, skin and nails. We asked the team at healthy, plant-based meal delivery service Soulara for a bit of expertise, and they gave us their top 10 superfoods to start incorporating into your diet.

 

Avocados

Not just a millennial favourite, avocados are rich in omega-9 fatty acids for keeping the top layer of your skin hydrated. They’re also a good source of vitamin E, making it a great food for healthy hair. Aside from the usual avo on toast, add slices to salad or use to create fresh guacamole.

 

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation and protect the skin from sun damage. Sprinkle seeds onto soup or add to smoothies for an easy, every day way to incorporate them into your daily diet.

 

Blueberries

Blueberries are high in vitamin A which helps to clear up acne as well as moderate oil levels in skin. Mix a handful into oats and a plant-based milk and leave overnight for a delicious way to perk up your morning oats.

 

Goji Berries

An all-rounder, goji berries contain iron, zinc and copper which are all great for radiant skin, hair and nails. Try sprinkling onto your morning oats.

 

Lemons

High levels of vitamin C in lemons work to neutralise free radicals and help the body in producing collagen for firmer-looking skin. Start your day with a slice of lemon in hot water, or squeeze lemon juice onto your avocado.

 

Kale

Vitamin A is good for hair growth – it helps the glands to produce sebum, which moisturises the scalp and keeps your hair looking healthy. Kale is our go-to superfood for vitamin A – add a handful to salads, lentil dal or risotto.

 

Almonds

Almonds are rich in vitamin E, an antioxidant that supports collagen production and provides anti-inflammatory benefits for the body. Keep a bag on your desk at work to snack on throughout the day (a healthy alternative to the chocolate drawer).

 

Carrots

Packed with vitamin A and vitamin C, carrots support your hair, skin and nails. Try roasting them and topping with chia and pumpkin seeds to use as a side dish.

 

Sweet Potatoes

Like carrots, sweet potatoes are great sources of vitamins A and C. They’re delicious baked and loaded with roasted veg or cut into wedges and oven-baked.

 

Pumpkin Seeds

Rich in iron, magnesium, potassium, biotin and omega-3 fatty acids…pumpkin seeds certainly pack a punch for such a small food, plus biotin is great for improving hair and nail growth. Use them to sprinkle on salads, soups, or in oats. For more superfood recipe ideas, head to Soulara’s website.