While foods are no insta-facial, what you put in your body—and what you skip, for that matter—can definitely improve everything from how healthy your skin looks, to how shiny and thick your mane, and how strong and sturdy your fingernails. “There are several vegetables and fruits that can maximize your beauty,” says Charles E. Crutchfield III, MD, an associate professor of dermatology at the University of Minnesota Medical School. Shh, these beauty secrets are cheap, and you can easily stock up on them the next time you’re in the produce aisle.
Broccoli for Silky Hair
The unique combination of emollient oils and fatty acids in broccoli can make hair stronger and more lustrous, says Dr. Crutchfield. Broccoli also provides added health benefits because it is rich in nutrients including vitamins A, C, K, and folate (the naturally occuring form of B vitamin known synthetically as folic acid). Nutrients in the superfood broccoli, such as antioxidants (substances that remove potentially damaging agents from the body) promote heart health and have been linked to a reduced risk of cataracts and some cancers. The cruciferous vegetable broccoli naturally contains two important anti-cancer plant chemicals known as indoles and isothiocyanates. Researchers have found that these two agents can supercharge cancer-fighting enzymes in our bodies.
Almonds, Strawberries, Walnuts for Steely Nails
This bunch of powerhouse foods is a good source of biotin, an essential nutrient needed for strong and healthy nails. Biotin, also known as vitamin H, is a water-soluble B vitamin (
Blueberries and Black Raspberries for Healthy Skin
These super-berries have an extremely potent health-promoting force that can help maintain a healthy skin barrier. They are high in antioxidant activity, including both tocopherols (Vitamin E) and tocotrienols. In addition to glowing skin, these juicy pellets also support healthy immune function. When food shopping, remember: frozen berries pack just as powerful a nutritional punch as fresh—and can be way easier on the wallet. Toss them into yogurt and cereal, or sprinkle them onto salads.
What other foods are in Your beautiful-skin diet?