30 foods to eat for healthy hair and skin

Posted May 11, 2016 8:05 a.m. EDT
Updated June 12, 2017 3:08 p.m. EDT

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.

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

If you are reading this story on the WRAL News app, click here for more.