The Grocery List for Gorgeous Skin, Hair, and Nails
"They keep your skin looking healthy by blocking out cell-damaging free radicals from UV exposure and pollution" says registered dietician and founder of Nourish, Marissa Lippert. Eat a serving of antioxidant-rich foods a day, like 1 cup of berries or 20 pecans, and drink a few cups of green tea. Other alternatives to reach for? Kiwifruits, prunes, artichokes, and pinto beans.
This is converted into vitamin A, which keeps your eyes and immune system strong. It also contains vitamin C to help produce skin-smoothing collagen. Aim for about 15 mg per day -- about the equivalent of 1 cup of mashed sweet potatoes. Other options include carrots, winter squash, spinach, and kale.
To build and fortify strong nails, teeth, hair, and bones, get 1,000 mg of calcium -- or about 3 cups of milk -- into your diet each day. Opt for low-fat dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese, and choose organic items to avoid added hormones or antibiotics.
"Essential fatty acids, particularly omega-3, help skin retain moisture and contribute to a supple and radiant complexion," says Lippert. They also decrease inflammation in the body and boost your hair's shine. Lippert adds you should "Take in 1 tablespoon of flaxseed oil a day (it contains 6.9 grams of good omega-3 fats!). Or, shop for salmon, walnuts, avocado, and olive oil."
It's the building block of bones, cartilage, skin, hair, nails, and blood. So eat up -- shoot for 46 grams, or about two 4-ounce chicken breasts' worth, of protein a day. Some good sources: beef, chicken, beans, tuna, eggs, quinoa, tofu, and nuts.
This mineral helps regulate thyroid function, prevents wrinkles in skin, and may lower the risk of cancer. It also supports scalp and hair health. Get the recommended 55 mg a day through tuna (one 3-ounce can of light tuna contains 95 percent of your daily requirement), whole-grain breads, oatmeal, shrimp, turkey, and mushrooms. "Or, pop a Brazil nut. Just one little nut contains a week's worth of selenium," says Lippert.