Your Skin and Hair Look Very Nutritious
The ingredient list of many skin and hair products today read as if they are food labels. This is because many foods provide nutrients that not only enhance health but also benefit skin and hair. During the session “Food Science, Nutrition, and the Skin” on Wednesday afternoon, June 27, speakers discussed how nutrients from food improve the health and appearance of skin and hair. Some of the most important nutrients for skin and hair are iron, zinc, fatty acids, and vitamins. For example, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which can only be obtained through food or dietary supplements, help skin retain moisture and a youthful appearance. Vitamin C helps skin form fibrous structural protein (i.e., collagen) and speeds the healing of wounds, and vitamin D is essential for hair growth.
A healthy, well-rounded diet can greatly benefit hair and skin, but some foods can have the opposite effect: Acne is caused by a myriad of contributing factors, such as sebum production, hormones, bacteria, and heredity. But emerging scientific evidence suggests that as more and more people consume Westernized diets, the incidence of acne has increased. Speaker Apostolos Pappas, Johnson & Johnson, referred to a study that proved that switching from a high glycemic diet to a low glycemic diet reduced the severity of acne in study participants.
In addition, poor nourishment patterns or habits can have a deleterious effect on skin and hair, according to speaker Michael Anthonavage, Presperse Corp. In rodent studies, caloric restriction and malabsorption syndromes caused hair loss and dermatitis. Anthonavage emphasized that regular intake and metabolizing of lipid-soluble vitamins has a positive effect on the health of hair follicles.
Not only do nutrients from a healthy diet nourish skin and hair; when applied topically, the same nutrients found in foods are very effective at maintaining the health of skin and hair. So instead of spending hundreds of dollars on hair extensions and dermatological treatments, head to the produce aisle at the grocery store, and let food be thy medicine.