6 Foods With Crazy Skin & Hair Benefits

In recent years, I've had to start paying more attention to how diet affects skin and hair health. In the past, as long as I remembered to wash and moisturize my face twice a day, and do my weekly coconut oil hair treatments, my skin and hair would usually look pretty healthy — despite the fact that I pretty much lived off of tacos and cheeseburgers in my late teens and early twenties. Now, if I go even one day without eating right and drinking enough water, my skin and hair are absolutely going to pay for it. It's super annoying, but it has forced me to stay stocked up on foods with skin and hair benefits.

If you've also started to notice that your skin requires more than a good face wash to stay clear, or that your usual hair treatments aren't doing enough to keep your hair healthy, then you might want to try switching up your diet. After all, we are what we eat; and although skin and hair vitamins like biotin are definitely helpful, no amount of vitamin popping can compete with getting your vitamins straight from the source. Plus, there are so many delicious foods with crazy skin and hair benefits, that you'll probably be pleasantly surprised by how easy it is to incorporate more healthy foods into your diet.

Here are six foods that have crazy skin and hair benefits.

1. Bell Peppers

As you may already know, bell peppers are high in vitamin C, and vitamin C happens to be one of the most essential vitamins for strong hair and vibrant skin. Bell peppers also boost collagen production, while their high levels of vitamin C simultaneously brightens skin and fights hair breakage and split ends. On top of that, they're crisp, crunchy, flavorful, and you can buy them in miniature for optimum snackage!

2. Blueberries

Not only are blueberries a scrumptious way to make oatmeal and yogurt less boring, they're rich in both vitamins A and C. As we've already discussed, vitamin C helps to prevent hair breakage and promote hair growth, but what you may not know is that it also works to neutralize free radicals and stop premature aging. And that's just what vitamin C can do. The vitamin A found in blueberries not only reduces wrinkles — it removes dark spots and fights breakouts by keeping your hormone levels under control.

3. Oysters

OK, so I've never actually tried oysters because their sliminess kind of kills my appetite. That said, oysters are so full of skin and hair benefits that I just might have to give them a try soon. As it turns out, oysters are super high in zinc, and zinc actually works to repair and renew skin cells. Zinc is good for your hair and nails, too, and it's even been shown to improve eye health.

So, even if oysters weird you out, consider giving them a try. I mean, they're basically magic.

4. Sweet Potatoes

If you only eat sweet potatoes on Thanksgiving, you might want to change that. Sweet potatoes are chock-full of the beta-carotene that your hair desperately needs to stay strong and healthy. Plus, the beta-carotene found in sweet potatoes turns into vitamin A in our bodies, and vitamin A deficiencies are one of the biggest contributors to dull, dry skin.

If you're looking for a food that will work to strengthen your hair while simultaneously giving your skin something to glow about, try whipping up some sweet potato fries.

5. Sea Buckthorn

I'll be honest with you, before researching for this article, I'd never heard of sea buckthorn. Evidently, though, sea buckthorn is a favorite among nutritionists because it contains a ton of omega 7s. Since omega 7s aid in both the strength and growth of hair and nails, while also helping skin stay moisturized, I think sea buckthorn could end up being a favorite of yours and mine, too.

I haven't tried it yet myself, but from what I've read, sea buckthorn isn't the yummiest food out there. So maybe try blending it into a fruit smoothie instead of eating it raw.

6. Spinach

Though spinach has been losing the popularity contest to kale in recent years, this doesn't mean you should underestimate the health and beauty properties of a good spinach salad. Spinach contains vitamins A and C, as well as a hefty dose of beta-carotene. As you should know by now, all three of these antioxidants work to strengthen, protect, and nourish your skin and hair.

If you just can't get past the admittedly rubbery texture of the stuff, consider tossing some spinach leaves in your blender. It may not end up being the tastiest snack you've ever had, but the skin and hair benefits that come from consuming spinach are well worth the 20 seconds it'll take you to chug down your spinach smoothie. Trust me, your hair and skin will thank you.

Want more women's health coverage? Check out Bustle's new podcast, Honestly Though, which tackles all the questions you're afraid to ask.

Images: Pexels, Sharunas Jurevic, Owen Young, Stacey Spensley, Maja Dumat, Daniella Segura; Flickr