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Food

30 foods to eat for healthy hair and skin

Posted May 11

The largest sweet potato producer in the United States runs a farm in Nash County. Johnny Barnes of Spring Hope is a busy man this time of year, shipping potatoes to Thanksgiving dinner tables across the country.

Americans spend over $55 billion a year on their appearances, according to a 2014 report on the cosmetics industry. People spend plenty of time and money on hair, clothes and even physical enhancements, such as plastic surgery.

But there are many ways achieve aesthetic benefits without a salon or a pill — naturally, through the food you eat. We are constantly bombarded with new studies and articles telling us that the food we're eating is bad for our health. But there are some fruits and vegetables that have natural benefits, spanning beyond simply helping shrink your waistline.

HealthGrove identified five vitamins and minerals that support skin and hair health, based on multiple reputable journals and health sites, including the National Institutes of Health and WebMD. The health data site, part of the Graphiq network, then created a Healthy Hair and Skin Index on these micronutrients and found the 30 foods from their nutrition topic with the highest index scores. Data for nutrition information comes from ESHA.

After calculating the index, the list was pared to remove obscure foods. Ties go to the food with a higher "nutrient score," a rating developed by HealthGrove to evaluate the overall nutritional benefit of a food. It's calculated by dividing the "good" nutrient content of a food (such as vitamins, minerals and fiber) by the "bad" nutritional content (such as fat and sodium). HealthGrove also added a recipe as an example of how to cook each food.

#30. Pacific Halibut

Healthy Hair and Skin Index: 81.6
Calories per serving: 94
Serving size: 3.0 ounces (85.05g)
Nutrient score: B+
Good source of: Vitamin D (49.1% DV)

Try this recipe for Thyme & Sesame Crusted Pacific Halibut.

#29. Zucchini

Healthy Hair and Skin Index: 81.6
Calories per serving: 18
Serving size: 0.5 cup (120g)
Nutrient score: A+
Good source of: Vitamin A (26.8% DV)

Try this recipe for Mediterranean Zucchini Noodles.

#28. Steamed Clams

Healthy Hair and Skin Index: 81.7
Calories per serving: 126
Serving size: 3.0 ounces (85.05g)
Good source of: Vitamin C (31.3% DV)

Try this recipe for Scott Ure's Clams and Garlic.

#27. Cranberry Juice

Healthy Hair and Skin Index: 82.1
Calories per serving: 116
Serving size: 1.0 cup (253g)
Nutrient score: B-
Good source of: Vitamin C (39.2% DV)

Try this recipe for Homemade Cranberry Juice.

#26. Oil-Roasted Almonds

Healthy Hair and Skin Index: 82.1
Calories per serving: 238
Serving size: 0.25 cup (39.25g)
Nutrient score: A-
Good source of: Vitamin E (50.63% DV)

Try this recipe for Ginger Almonds.

#25. Green Peas

Healthy Hair and Skin Index: 83.3
Calories per serving: 59
Serving size: 0.5 cup (72.5g)
Nutrient score: A
Good source of: Vitamin C (48.3% DV)

Try this recipe for Crunchy Roasted Green Peas.

#24. Sunflower Seeds

Healthy Hair and Skin Index: 84.5
Calories per serving: 204
Serving size: 0.25 cup (35g)
Nutrient score: A
Good source of: Vitamin E (61.14% DV)

Try this recipe for Lime Toasted Sunflower Seeds.

#23. Lemon

Healthy Hair and Skin Index: 84.7
Calories per serving: 24
Serving size: 1.0 lemon (84g)
Nutrient score: A
Good source of: Vitamin C (74.2% DV)

Try this recipe for Healthy Lemonade.

#22. Pea Pods

Healthy Hair and Skin Index: 85.8
Calories per serving: 34
Serving size: 0.5 cup (80g)
Nutrient score: A+
Good source of: Vitamin C (63.9% DV)

Try this recipe for Spicy Grilled Pea Pods with Chili Soy Glaze and Mint.

#21. Red Grapefruit

Healthy Hair and Skin Index: 86.3
Calories per serving: 48
Serving size: 0.5 cup (115g)
Nutrient score: A-
Good source of: Vitamin C (59.8% DV)

Try this recipe for Ruby-Red Grapefruit Cocktail.

#20. Broccoli

Healthy Hair and Skin Index: 86.3
Calories per serving: 26
Serving size: 0.5 cup (92g)
Nutrient score: A+
Good source of: Vitamin C (61.5% DV)

Try this recipe for Light & Easy Broccoli Salad.

#19. Brussels Sprouts

Healthy Hair and Skin Index: 87.2
Calories per serving: 28
Serving size: 0.5 cup (78g)
Nutrient score: A-
Good source of: Vitamin C (80.6% DV)

Try this recipe for Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Apples and Walnuts.

#18. Lima Beans

Healthy Hair and Skin Index: 87.4
Calories per serving: 320
Serving size: 1.0 package (311g)
Nutrient score: A-
Good source of: Vitamin C (66.3% DV)

Try this recipe for Succotash of Fresh Corn, Lima Beans, Tomatoes and Onions.

#17. Strawberries

Healthy Hair and Skin Index: 88
Calories per serving: 45
Serving size: 20.0 berries (140g)
Nutrient score: A-
Good source of: Vitamin C (137.2% DV)

Try this recipe for Chocolate-Covered Strawberries.

#16. Carrots

Healthy Hair and Skin Index: 88.2
Calories per serving: 16
Serving size: 1.0 carrot (46g)
Nutrient score: A
Good source of: Vitamin A (156.7% DV)

Try this recipe for Roasted Carrots.

#15. Orange

Healthy Hair and Skin Index: 88.6
Calories per serving: 107
Serving size: 1.0 cup (170g)
Good source of: Vitamin C (201.2% DV)

Try this recipe for Carrot-Orange Juice.

#14. Sockeye Salmon

Healthy Hair and Skin Index: 88.9
Calories per serving: 161
Serving size: 4.0 ounces (113.4g)
Nutrient score: B+
Good source of: Vitamin D (125% DV)

Try this recipe for Broiled Sockeye Salmon with Citrus Glaze.

#13. Canned Pumpkin

Healthy Hair and Skin Index: 89.2
Calories per serving: 42
Serving size: 0.5 cup (122.5g)
Nutrient score: A
Good source of: Vitamin A (381.3% DV)

Try this recipe for Black Bean, Corn and Pumpkin Stew.

#12. Bitter Melon

Healthy Hair and Skin Index: 89.3
Calories per serving: 21
Serving size: 1.0 melon (124g)
Good source of: Vitamin C (173.6% DV)

Try this recipe for Stuffed Bitter Melons.

#11. Swordfish

Healthy Hair and Skin Index: 89.4
Calories per serving: 163
Serving size: 4.0 ounces (113.4g)
Nutrient score: B
Good source of: Vitamin D (158.2% DV)

Try this recipe for Pan-Roasted Swordfish Steaks with Mixed-Peppercorn Butter.

#10. Pacific Oysters

Healthy Hair and Skin Index: 89.6
Calories per serving: 92
Serving size: 4.0 ounces (113.4g)
Good source of: Zinc (125.6% DV)

Try this recipe for Pacific Oysters with Sweet Soy and Ginger.

#9. Rainbow Trout

Healthy Hair and Skin Index: 90.2
Calories per serving: 160
Serving size: 4.0 ounces (113.4g)
Nutrient score: B+
Good source of: Vitamin D (180% DV)

Try this recipe for Rainbow Trout Baked in Foil with Tomatoes, Garlic and Thyme.

#8. Spinach

Healthy Hair and Skin Index: 90.2
Calories per serving: 21
Serving size: 0.5 cup (90g)
Nutrient score: A+
Good source of: Vitamin A (188.7% DV)

Try this recipe for Banana, Chia and Spinach Smoothie.

#7. Butternut Squash

Healthy Hair and Skin Index: 90.6
Calories per serving: 41
Serving size: 0.5 cup (102.5g)
Nutrient score: A+
Good source of: Vitamin A (228.7% DV)

Try this recipe for Butternut Squash Soup.

#6. Beet Greens

Healthy Hair and Skin Index: 91
Calories per serving: 19
Serving size: 0.5 cup (72g)
Nutrient score: A-
Good source of: Vitamin A (110.2% DV)

Try this recipe for Simple and Delicious Beet Greens.

#5. Papaya

Healthy Hair and Skin Index: 91.2
Calories per serving: 84
Serving size: 0.25 large (195.25g)
Nutrient score: A-
Good source of: Vitamin C (198.2% DV)

Try this recipe for Tropical Papaya Boats.

#4. Collard Greens

Healthy Hair and Skin Index: 91.4
Calories per serving: 31
Serving size: 0.5 cup (85g)
Nutrient score: A+
Good source of: Vitamin A (195.4% DV)

Try this recipe for Vegetarian "Southern-Style" Collard Greens.

#3. Kale

Healthy Hair and Skin Index: 91.7
Calories per serving: 18
Serving size: 0.5 cup (65g)
Nutrient score: B+
Good source of: Vitamin A (177.1% DV)

Try this recipe for Baked Kale Chips.

#2. Red Bell Pepper

Healthy Hair and Skin Index: 92.3
Calories per serving: 25
Serving size: 8.0 slices (80g)
Nutrient score: A
Good source of: Vitamin C (170.3% DV)

Try this recipe for Spanish Quinoa Stuffed Peppers.

#1. Sweet Potatoes

Healthy Hair and Skin Index: 93
Calories per serving: 162
Serving size: 1.0 large (180g)
Nutrient score: A-
Good source of: Vitamin A (691.8% DV)

Try this recipe for Mediterranean Baked Sweet Potatoes.

Learn More About Your Favorite Foods on HealthGrove

Note: HealthGrove does not calculate the nutrient score of foods that have insufficient values for certain nutrients, reported by the USDA.

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