Your Head-to-Toe Food Guide
Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes! Check out the best foods for each part of your body, from head to toe and everywhere in between.
When it comes to shiny hair, eggs are your best friend. Eggs provide protein and biotin, which are two nutrients crucial to hair growth. Remember to eat the whole egg to get all of that nutrition in. Spinach and other leafy greens are great at preventing hair loss because they contain iron, which allows oxygen and nutrients to transport all the way up to your hair follicles.
Feeling drained and tired all the time? The best brain foods to improve alertness are blueberries, broccoli, dark chocolate, green tea and nuts. Blueberries and broccoli contain very powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients, which prevent against brain aging and brain-related diseases. Studies have shown that those who ate dark chocolate more often actually did better on some mental tests, including some that involve memory – just make sure to keep the portion in check.
One study found that eating fish twice or more per week was associated with a lower risk of hearing loss in women. Don’t worry guys, eating fish is good for your hearing too. This is because fish contain a high amount of Omega 3s, fatty acids that help improve your hearing (and your heart health). Other foods that contain Omega 3s include walnuts, flax and chia seeds.
The old saying that rabbits have great eyes because they eat plenty of carrots isn’t too far-fetched. Carrots are great for your eyes because they are full of vitamin A, which helps the retina absorb light. Other foods that can help your vision include a variety of orange and yellow produce because of the beta-carotene and vitamin A.
There aren’t a lot of foods that can improve your smell, but there are foods that can help you smell other things better! The best foods to improve your sinuses and help reduce congestion are hot and spicy foods. These improve your sinuses because they increase your body temperature, which is effective in relieving symptoms.
Teeth and Bones
You need strong teeth to chow down on all the other healthy foods mentioned in this blog. The best choices for healthy teeth are foods rich in calcium and vitamin D. Milk, yogurt, cheese and almonds are good for strong teeth and bones, and eating vitamin D-rich foods, like hard-boiled eggs, tuna fish and mushrooms will aid in the absorption of calcium and protein.
Neck pain is often caused by inflamed joints or wear and tear of the vertebrae in your neck. A lack of magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants can lead to an increase of inflammatory chemicals and contribute to skeletal pain. Some foods to combat this include salmon, beans and tart cherries.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, killing more people each year than all forms of cancer combined. Foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, potassium and magnesium are great for your heart. Focus on fish, almonds, walnuts, papaya and cantaloupe.
Immune and Digestive System
If you’re looking for a way to avoid common colds and boost your immune system, load up on food rich in probiotics. Probiotics are live bacteria that are good for your digestive system and help direct food through your gut. Kombucha, yogurt, cucumbers and miso soup are all probiotic options supercharged with ingredients for a healthy immune and digestive system.
Protein-packed foods, such as beef and chicken, are usually the go-to for building strong muscles. If you are vegetarian or are looking for some other options, try black beans, sunflower seeds, oysters, almonds, milk or yogurt. Chickpeas are also a fantastic source of protein.
Keep joints moving and tendons flexible to avoid arthritis later in life. To reduce inflammation, look for foods with anthocyanins, vitamin C and polyphenol. Tasty foods to try are ginger, raw oats, green tea, turmeric, flaxseeds and citrus fruits.
We all want glowing, acne-free skin, but achieving a beautiful complexion can be difficult. Put your face wash aside and stuff your mouth full of carotenoid-filled foods, such as watermelon, tomatoes, pumpkins, apricots, carrots and other red-, orange- and yellow-pigmented produce. This blog post breaks down good foods for your skin for more specific options.
If you liked this, check out:
- Five Ways to Boost Your Immune System
- The Road To A Healthier Gut: Digestive Disorders 101
- Keep your brain in tip-top shape for a lifetime
Photo credit: Theo Crazzolara