If you go into your local pharmacy or supermarket and you will find lotions and potions all claiming to make your skin and hair look better.
 
Want to know a secret?
One of the best secrets is to look your best is to eat a varied and healthy diet - the better you eat the better you look! Eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, low fat dairy, wholegrain breads and cereals and plenty of protein rich foods like lean meat, chicken and oily fish can make a big difference to the way you look and feel.
 
Your skin
Everybody wants a flawless clear complexion, however acne is a common problem for many teenagers. Acne is due to the hormonal changes during puberty. The pores in your skin contain sebaceous glands that produce sebum oil that lubricates your skin and hair. These glands may become overactive and clogged with sebum and dead skin cells, bacteria can then get trapped inside the pores causing swelling and redness. There are many factors that can affect the health of your skin including; nutrition, genetics, stress levels and lifestyle. Vitamins and minerals play a key role in keeping your skin healthy and a balanced diet will provide many of these nutrients.
 
Here are some tips for spectacular skin:
 
• Eat a variety of foods. No one food can give us all the nutrients that our skin and bodies need.
• Eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables every day. Fruit and vegetables are fantastic sources of antioxidants
(vitamin A, C and E), which work to repair damaged skin cells.
• Drink plenty of fluids. This is essential for a healthy glow and gives your skin the moisture it needs to stay
healthy. Drink at least 8 glasses of fluid a day (2000ml). This can include water, tea and pure fruit juice.
Dehydration may cause dry, pale skin.
• Have some protein. The skin needs protein to make collagen, the structure that supports your skin and helps
your skin repair itself. Go for lean red meat, chicken, fish, beans, nuts, eggs and milk.
• Carrots are good for your skin as they contain vitamin A, which is used to make healthy skin cells in your body.
You can also find vitamin A in red peppers, sweet potato, apricots and mangoes.
• Eat one portion of oily fish each week. Oily fish contains omega-3 fatty acids which help keep your skin healthy.
• Snack on nuts and seeds. These contain plenty of different nutrients such as protein and healthy omega-3 fats, zinc and vitamin E for your skin.
Brazil nuts contain the mineral selenium which is excellent for healthy skin.
• Be active. Regular exercise will improve blood flow in your body and help to leave your skin glowing with health.
 
Your hair
Everyone’s hair is different! Some hair tends to be oily rather than dry or normal, and this is down to a number of things, including genetics, diet and the type of hair care products you use. For healthy shiny hair, what you are putting into your body matters as much as the products you use! So remember that you’re worth it!
 
Step out of the shower,and into the kitchen:  
• Hair needs lots of protein to grow and be healthy and strong. Stronger hair means fewer split ends and breakages. For protein choose lean red meat, chicken, fish, nuts, seeds, beans, eggs and low fat dairy foods.
• Iron is important for shiny hair. You can get iron from lean red meat, chicken, fish, fortified breakfast cereals, dried fruit, eggs, beans, green leafy vegetables.
Omega-3 fatty acids also have a job in keeping your hair and scalp in tip-top condition, by preventing a dry scalp and dull hair. Oily fish is the best source of omega-3's in your diet e.g. salmon, herring, trout, mackerel, sardines or fresh tuna.
• Vitamin A is essential for healthy hair. You can get this from oily fish, carrots, sweet potato, red peppers, apricots, mangoes and spinach.
• Zinc is important. This is found in lean red meat, chicken, fish, eggs and nuts.
• Snack on nuts and seeds. These contain plenty of different nutrients such as protein and healthy omega-3 fats, zinc and vitamin E for healthy hair. Brazil nuts in particular contain the mineral selenium which is excellent for your hair and walnuts contain omega-3’s, another nutrient you need for a shiny hair.
• Vitamin E also helps keep your hair healthy and is found in nuts, seeds, pulses and green leafy vegetables.
• Biotin (vitamin B7) is also important for hair strength and for helping it to grow, without it hair can become brittle and fall out. This mineral can be found in cereal grain products and nuts.
 
Your nails
Because our nails are at the ends of our hands and feet, they are subject to a lot of abuse. Every cell in your body needs nutrients to stay healthy, and the cells that make up your fingernails are no different. Like skin and hair, nails need protein - and lots of it. Nails also need a good supply of minerals, especially zinc.
• For protein choose lean red meat, chicken, fish, nuts, seeds, beans, eggs and low fat dairy foods.
• Zinc is important for strong nails. This is found in lean red meat, chicken, fish, eggs and nuts.
• Milk and dairy products are good sources of protein, calcium, zinc and vitamin B12, that help keep your nails strong.
• Eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables everyday to get all the antioxidants your body needs for healthy
nails.

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