Health & Beauty
by Aspect County

Winter nutrition for healthy skin and hair

At the start of every new year, we feel invigorated by the opportunity to start anew and improve our physical well-being and appearance. In the winter months, our concerns typically centre around the condition of our skin and hair, which can become dry and brittle when exposed to harsh weather. 

Typically, we attempt to tackle these concerns with an army of beauty products. While these products can help us maintain beautiful skin and hair, the secret to a healthy appearance lies within our diet. Maintaining a healthy balance of these nutrients will support the rapid growth of new cells and can even help us tackle some of our beauty concerns – acne, aging and dryness. 

Take a look at the list below to see what foods you can incorporate into your diet, to improve the condition and appearance of your hair and skin.


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Vitamin C
Oranges, lemons, blackberries, sweet potatoes, broccoli
This super antioxidant is renowned for its endless list of health benefits, including supporting a healthy immune system. However, despite the regular praise it receives, many people are unaware that Vitamin C also helps the body produce collagen, which strengthens the skin and helps fight the signs of aging. 


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Omega‑3
Fish, oysters, walnuts, pasta, pumpkin seeds
In addition to being beneficial to our physical and mental health, Omega‑3 fatty acids can also improve the skin’s elasticity and open the hair follicles, promoting hair growth. These essential fatty acids cannot be made in the body, so must be regularly consumed as part of a healthy diet. 
Research has shown that Omega‑3 encourages the body to produce anti-inflammatory compounds, which can aid and soothe skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. 


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Selenium
Tomatoes, broccoli, Brazil nuts, eggs and shellfish
Selenium, in combination with Vitamin E, is considered the best antioxidant to prevent or reduce signs of aging. This is partially due to the nutrient’s ability to protect the skin against sun damage. Studies suggest that a selenium-rich diet can protect the skin from cancer. A healthy intake of this trace mineral will also reduce dandruff and encourage healthy hair growth.


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Zinc
Oysters, beef, kidney beans, flax seeds, wheat germ
Zinc helps maintain normal functioning of the sebaceous glands, which secrete sebum (oil) from the skin to help keep it soft and supple. In addition to moisturising the skin, this vital mineral will also promote hair growth by keeping the scalp’s sebaceous glands at a healthy level. 


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Vitamin E
Sunflower seeds, sweet potato, avocado, almonds, spinach
This powerful antioxidant is one of the most effective at protecting the skin and hair from damage. In addition to protecting the skin, Vitamin E also works to support healthy skin and hair growth. Incorporate foods with high levels of Vitamin C to encourage a healthy glow and prevent premature ageing.
Chocolate – Dark Chocolate…..sorry to disappoint.


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In case you needed help feeling less guilty about finishing off the leftover holiday chocolate, cocoa hydrates the skin and gives it a luminous appearance. Dark chocolate with at least 70 percent cocoa contains high levels of flavonols, a potent type of antioxidant with a number of health benefits. Help maintain soft and supple skin by eating two squares of dark chocolate a day.