Written by the TCM expert, Dr. Nat Kringoudis…
“I’m a passionate hair person. I love hair. In fact, I’m pretty obsessed with having nice hair. I’m also very particular about my hair and I am fortunate enough to have co-operative hair most of the time.
I have no doubt that to some degree most beauty products do something to the state of hair, skin and nails but I’m also here to tell you that you can slather, brush, comb and lather all products on the planet through your luscious locks or on your dry cuticles but at the end of the day if you’re not putting the right foods into your body – any result from products will only be short lived.
From a Chinese Medicine perspective – healthy hair and nails is dependent on good blood circulation to the extremities. When a person is blood deficient or jing deficient (a term we use to describe our ‘essence’ or ‘youth’), often the hair is compromised or the nails become brittle because the nutrients simply aren’t there to nourish it. When we are deficient of these properties we can see poor quality hair, premature greying and dry, broken, frizzy hard to manage hair and weak, dry, peeling and dull nails. So using foods that assist in supplementing works a treat – and probably iron out a few other creases in your beautiful body along the way.
With this all in mind – today I’m sharing my Top 5 shiny hair and nail building super foods.
- Salmon is hard to beat when it comes to a ‘beauty superfood’. This is one food you can’t go past to give have your hair in tip-top condition. It’s full of omega 3, fatty acids, high quality protein, B12 & iron. These essentials are great for a healthy scalp and nails. Make sure your fish isn’t farmed – farmed fish is nasty and substantially lacks nutrients. Fresh deep-sea fish is always the best choice.
- Full of antioxidants, Vitamins C & A, dark green leafy veg is necessary to assist your hair follicles to produce sebum. It’s said that sebum (hair oil) is the hair’s natural conditioner. Stripping the hair may lead to excess oil as the hair follicle goes into overdrive to put back what you may be taking away by washing your hair. Balance is key.
- It’s liberating to know that fat doesn’t make us fat (but sugar on the other hand will undoubtedly end up on your hips!). Oils, be them olive oil or flaxseed oil or even good old coconut oil as well as those found in nuts, seeds and avocado are all food for good skin, hair and nails. Adding a good drop of flaxseed oil or olive oil to your smoothie or a spoon of coconut oil to your tea is a great way to include this into your diet. Plus it helps you feel nutritionally satisfied, meaning it tells your brain that you are full and you’ll find that you don’t need to eat as much food because your body is nutritionally satisfied. You can’t overdoes on good fats – try it, I dare you. Your body just doesn’t allow you to overeat fat.
- I am a huge fan. For me it must be Greek yoghurt – they know how to make good yoghurt! High in calcium as well as a probiotics, yoghurt is good for strong healthy hair, nails and bones. For many of you who are lactose intolerant, yoghurt is something that can often be digested because of its ability to work on the gut.
- High in protein and provide the body with essential vitamins including iron and zinc – both important for healthy, shiny hair and strong nails as well as vitamin B & biotin. Of course you can get these little beauties in any way you can and don’t forget the power of a good hair mask to really give you some shine. Equally you can drop a raw egg into your smoothie or serve up a poached egg alongside your evening meal.
But don’t forget water!! Where would our bodies be without water? We need water to be well hydrated, which contributes to healthy, shiny hair. Hair that doesn’t get oily quickly – oily hair can be a sign of toxic build up. That extends to clear liquids like tea. A cup of YourTea or herbal tea helps to make up your daily fluid intake. Our bodies thrive on around 3L of water per day.
It’s always important to come back to good nutrition and using food as medicine for therapeutic value. That’s the way our bodies were intended to be nourished so make deliberate food choices and the rewards will be very obvious – you’ll be the envy of your friends with your glossy, luscious locks!”.