You probably want to look your best on the big day with neat nails, lush hair, and a glowing complexion. Of course, all of that can be easily achieved with a trip to an expensive salon. But what if it was all-natural?
A good diet will not only make you feel better, but look better. However, sometimes even the healthiest lifestyle isn’t enough. It’s even more difficult to get the necessary nutrients if you’re on a weight-loss diet, which is common for many brides-to-be.
While there is no miracle pill that will transform your looks, there are several key nutrients that can improve common issues such as dull skin, acne, wrinkles, brittle nails, or limp hair. That takes the phrase “beauty comes from the inside” to a whole new level.
1. Probiotics to Balance pH Levels
They’re not just for digestive health, although there are a lot of secondary benefits to having a healthy gut. For starters, balancing the bacteria within your digestive system can help boost your immune system. It can also improve your body’s absorption of nutrients, which can make you feel better overall. Probiotics can also aid in balancing your skin’s pH levels, which is important if you suffer from acne, eczema, or other skin conditions.
As a supplement, probiotics are best taken on an empty stomach. In addition, make sure to store them in a refrigerator. Natural sources of probiotics include dairy products such as yogurt or kefir, fermented foods such as sauerkraut or kimchi, pickles, miso, and kombucha.
2. Zinc to Reduce Inflammation
Zinc is an excellent aid for skin repair, especially if you’re acne-prone. It can also help reduce inflammation and ease dry skin when combined with B vitamins. Because its main sources are animal-based foods, it can be hard to get a good amount of zinc if you’re on a veggie diet. Zinc is also found in many skin creams and may be applied topically.
3. Fatty Acids to Moisturize
There is such a thing as good fats. Specifically, we’re talking about fatty acids such as omega-3 and omega-6. They are commonly found in the form of fish oil or flaxseed oil. Fatty acids offer numerous benefits to one’s health, including easing depression and anxiety, improving cholesterol levels, and reducing the risk of long-term diseases. In addition, they can help moisturize your skin from the inside and give it a natural glow. After regular use, you may also notice healthier, shinier-looking hair.
The best sources of healthy fats are fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, and sardines. However, you can also get them from avocados, walnuts, flaxseeds, and chia seeds.
4. B Vitamins for Healthy Skin and Nails
For better skin, hair, and nails, opt for a mixed B-vitamin complex. A healthy dose of B vitamins will also boost your energy and improve carbohydrate digestion. There are a total of eight B vitamins, all of which can do wonders for your aesthetic well-being.
For example, niacin, also known as vitamin B3, is known to brighten your complexion and improve its tone and texture. It can help reduce fine lines and boost hydration and also acts as an anti-inflammatory, which is useful if you have sensitive skin. However, niacin is known to cause a “flush” in many people as a side effect. This is harmless, but you might want to avoid taking before a public appearance it if you’re shy about having a red face. Biotin, also known as vitamin B7 and folate (B9), are also important ones. They are believed to strengthen hair and nails, and may even promote their growth.
Foods high in B vitamins include salmon, dark leafy greens, eggs, sunflower seeds, and most dairy and meat products.
5. Beta-Carotene to Repair Damage
Beta-carotene is found naturally in red and orange fruits and vegetables. It’s what gives them their bright color, so imagine what it can do for your skin. Not only that, but beat-carotene is digested by your body into vitamin A, which helps repair and prevent any damage. As a supplement, beta-carotene is not advised to be taken with alcohol, as it can lead to liver problems, and it is not a good idea to take excessive amounts of it, either.
Natural sources of beta-carotene include carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, mangoes, and bell peppers. It’s also found in many green vegetables such as spinach and kale.
6. Silica for Collagen Production
If you’re struggling with dry skin or fine lines, silica can help boost your collagen production. As an antioxidant, it can help protect your skin from damage. You can also combine it with CoQ10 for added benefits. As a supplement, it’s best to take between 180-360mg/day, but you can also get it by eating more green vegetables such as asparagus, celery, cucumber, and spinach.
7. Copper to Improve Elasticity
This is one supplement you should be careful with, as too much copper can be dangerous. However, in adequate amounts, it can give your skin a more plump appearance and improve its elasticity. Some of the best foods for copper include liver, shellfish, spirulina, shiitake mushrooms, and nuts.
8. Vitamin C to Heal Scarring
Vitamin C is known to help collagen production and heal scarring. Applied topically, it can be useful for hyperpigmentation. Natural sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, broccoli, tomatoes, strawberries, and bell peppers.
Always Ask Your Doctor
If you’re already taking a multivitamin, you may want to check if your brand has some of these key ingredients. Even they do, you may benefit from taking a secondary supplement. However, it’s always a good idea to check in with your doctor before self-medicating, even if it is all-natural.
There are a couple reasons for this. First, many nutrients are necessary for our bodies to function, but it is possible to take too much. Second, certain supplements can interfere with medications, or not be suitable for people with medical conditions. For these reasons, it’s best to consult a professional before adding any vitamins or supplements to your diet.
Of course, it is always best to get your vitamins and minerals from natural sources instead of a pill. Although adding in a few vitamins and supplements or “nutricosmetics” can offer many benefits, they should never be a substitute for a poor diet.