"Skin, including your scalp, is a reflection of overall health," says David L. Katz, M.D., director of the Yale University Research Center. Healthy skin relies on detox organs such as your liver and kidneys, circulation from the heart and blood vessels, and a robust immune system. "It makes sense that foods that support these organs and systems support good skin and hair, too," he says.
But we promised no starvation diets, and we meant it. On the list of good-skin eats: unprocessed, low-sugar foods (the leafy greens, lean proteins, and whole grains we're always talking about), antioxidants (colorful fruits and veggies), and omega-3 fatty acids (healthy fats from nuts, avocado, or fish). We asked Abby Langer, R.D., to create a menu brimming with skin- and hair-healthy eats for your next detox day.
Poach 2 eggs and serve in a whole wheat tortilla with chopped tomatoes, 1∕4 avocado, and raw or sautéed spinach. The protein in eggs is essential for both hair and skin, plus yolks are a source of biotin, which helps hair stay healthy. The tomatoes provide a dose of lycopene, a potent antioxidant that can help protect skin cells from damage.
Go with leafy greens topped with 1∕2 avocado, black beans, toasted almonds, 1∕3 cup quinoa, and 1 oz goat or feta cheese. Toss with lime vinaigrette. Avocado is rich in good fat and the antioxidant vitamin E, while black beans are a good source of protein and anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants.
Broil 4 to 5 oz trout, salmon, or halibut with olive oil and garlic. Serve with 2 cups steamed bok choy and 1∕2 cup wheat berries. Fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, while wheat berries (or another unprocessed whole grain) are less likely to trigger skin-damaging inflammation.
Morning: Reach for grapefruit, which is rich in antioxidants like vitamin C—a nutrient needed for collagen production (the stuff that keeps skin smooth). Go ahead and drizzle with maple syrup.
Afternoon: Munch on 1∕4 cup hazelnuts (really, any nut will do) for a dose of skin-moisturizing fatty acids.
This story originally appeared in the April 2017 issues of Dr. Oz The Good Life.
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