Soul-Wholesome Interviewed: The Link Between Food & Healthy Hair

Recently I was featured in a healthy living piece on Profound Coils — a blog owned & operated by the lovely Mourhia D.  Profound Coils mission is to provide tips & knowledge about Natural Black Hair whether it be political, health, social, etc.

In the interview, I discuss the connection between food choice & beautiful hair, skin and nails, the unhealthy eating choices prevalent within the Black community, and how to implement lifestlye changes once and for all.

Profound Coils inspired me to offer a 10% discount on any Nutrition Consulting package purchased by  midnight PST January 1, 2013. Just contact me and mention the PC interview to get the discount.  

Catch the Interview Here —————————->

5 Foods for Beautiful Skin

“You’ve got that glow, girl!” Aww thanks, I reply with humility.

Throughout the last few years I have received countless compliments on my skin, mostly from other women who love the bright radiance characteristic of healthy skin.  Until recently, I never thought much about it, just thought I was lucky.  But as I ponder on it, it makes perfect sense:  after all, he foods you eat affects the health of your skin.  I generally eat meals containing grass-fed, pastured meats, healthy fats, and colorful vegetables.  My beverage of choice is water, herbal and green tea with the occasional glass of red wine thrown in when I’m in the festive mood.  If someone asked me “What are the top 5 foods to eat for amazingly pretty skin?” this is what I’d suggest:

1.  Salmon

Everyone who tolerates fish should make salmon and other fatty fish such as sardines, canned mackeral and tuna a part of their weekly meal menu.  Fish is a rich source of Omega-3 essential fatty acids which is a potent anti-inflammatory.  Wild-Caught Salmon FiletsIt is vital to get omega-3s in your diet because the body cannot manufacture it in the body: it obtains the omega-3s externally through the food you eat.  Get rid of scaly skin and dryness by increasing your intake of fish. Omega-3s keeps the body hydrated and keeps the skin from flaking and drying out.   Start with 2-3 servings a week.  For those of you who do not eat fish, supplement with high quality fish oil to achieve similar benefits.

For non-fishy sources of omega-3s try pastured raised grass-fed beef (the commercial variety is full of inflammatory omega-6s), omega-3 enriched eggs and walnuts.

2.  Lemon

This image shows a whole and a cut lemon.

Lemon, limes, oranges, grapefruit are chock-full of vitamin C – a powerful antioxidant that fights inflammation and slows the action of free radicals in the body which can contribute to wrinkles, dryness and fine lines.  You may feel sour at the thought of biting into a lemon, but this fruit is amazing for bringing out the flavor in foods.  Squeeze into sauteed greens to reduce bitterness, add in marinades to improve the tenderness of meats.  Also, lemon takes away that metallic taste often characteristic of tap water.  So the next time you are at a restaurant, ask your waiter for a few wedges of lemon to go with your water.

Other rich sources of vitamin C include broccoli, tomatoes, bell pepper and peaches.

3.  Avocado

Avocados are truly amazing, alligator skin and all.

“In this single delectable fruit are combined the protein of meat, the fat of butter, the vitamins and minerals of green vegetables, the flavor of nuts, a six course dinner.”

AvocadoWith such raving reviews, it is no wonder avocados are wonderful for skin health. The fruit has even been patented for treatment for dermatitis and arthritis — not surprising since it is full of fat soluble vitamins A, D, and E to help promote healthy skin. The cosmetic industry has capitalized on the value of avocado with the influx of products such as avocado oils, creams, and facial masks.  Save your money by simply eating the fruit.  You can even make your own nourishing avocado facial mask to soften and soothe skin.

4.  Pumpkin Seeds 

Pumpkin seeds are a good source of zinc:  a mineral that plays a role in over 200 metabolic processes in the body!

English: Pepitas - roasted and salted

Pepitas – aka Pumkin Seeds

Zinc is touted as being a solution to acne and other skin disorders such as rashes and wounds.  Supplementation of zinc has been shown to reverse defects in immune function related to aging; a key nutrient for the elderly.  Pumpkin seeds act as a wonderful topping on salads, soups, and

yogurt. You can even add ground pumpkin seeds into the ground beef mix the next time you make hamburgers.  The kids won’t even know its in there!

Other foods rich in zinc include fresh oysters, ginger, pecans, Brazil nuts, and eggs.

5.  Sweet Potatoes

The softer, orange-fleshed variety of sweet po...

Who doesn’t love a sweet potato roasted in the oven?  I swear they taste like candy when you make them this way — without any added sugar.  Sweet potatoes –or yams — are rich in vitamin A which is important for skin repair and maintenance.  Deficiencies can result in dry, flaky skin. It is always best to get your vitamin A through foods as opposed to supplementation so try various foods including liver (one serving of liver per week is all you need!), collard greens, chili peppers, dandelion,  kale, spinach and cantaloupe.

You can eat as much of these foods above without seeing much improvement in your skin health if you do not drink enough water.  For young looking, healthy skin, drink water so that your body can clear out impurities, rejuvenate skin cells, and absorb nutrients.  Many doctors recommend 8 cups of water daily.  You may need to drink more (or less) depending on various factors.

Cheers to beautiful, healthy skin! What foods do you eat to keep your skin healthy.  Share in the comments.