Strong and shiny from head to toe

Strong and shiny from head to toe
PHOTO: Shutterstock.com

Eat your vegetables, drink your milk and finish your fruit.

You are what you eat, as the saying goes.

There are TV shows that promote healthy eating, and a check on the Internet will easily yield ideal diets to protect the body against illnesses.

But counting calories and keeping to a strict diet do not have to be daunting, as three experts tell The New Paper on Sunday.

HAIR

According to traditional Chinese medicine, nutrition is the foundation for beautiful hair, says a consultant from hair care centre Beijing 101.

"For example, he shou wu (a Chinese plant also known as fo-ti and Fallopia multiflora) helps to prevent greying hair," offers the consultant.

"Others like lingzhi and ginseng help to improve other conditions like oily hair and dandruff. It also prevents hair loss."

Mr Ronald Ong, 29, says he has benefitted from that knowledge.

The ship broker confesses he had felt insecure when clients started to give him odd looks when he was delivering presentations.

He soon realised that he had what looked like a "greasy mop" on his head.

He says: "I was worried and couldn't understand why my hair was so oily even though I had shampooed that morning."

Worry soon gave way to embarrassment, and he went in search of a solution and found it through Beijing 101 in 2014.

He says: "The physician told me my hair condition was the result of my diet. He asked me to avoid spicy and deep-fried food, which I loved."

The physician also advised on the importance of having regular meals.

"I didn't pay attention before because I was so busy with work," adds Mr Ong, who also opted for a customised Scalp Purification treatment with the hair care centre.

"It has really worked and I'm so much more confident now."

NAILS

A healthy diet made up of fruit and vegetables is essential if you want pretty and strong nails, says Dr Chan Yuin Chew, a dermatologist from Gleneagles Medical Centre.

"Having a nutritious and well-balanced diet and exercising regularly all play a role in getting great-looking nails as well as accelerating nail growth," he says.

Dr Chan says that fungal infection of the nails and ingrown toenails are the most common problems he sees.

The right care for nails also extends beyond a proper diet.

He says: "Try not to over wash your hands. Wear protective gloves when washing dishes because frequent exposure to soap, detergent and water can damage your skin and nails."

SKIN

Aside from what you eat, staying away from certain foods is just as important, says Dr Low Chai Ling, the medical director of The Sloane Clinic.

Among the "biggest culprits" behind ageing skin include white rice, pasta, bread and sweets.

These indulgent foodstuff quicken the process of ageing by turning your internal health topsy-turvy.

Dr Low says: "The food causes inflammation in the body and that can make the skin age quicker."

Some common issues she sees are problematic acne and skin deterioration from sun exposure.

"Natural" food sources can help you overcome such problems.

Dr Low says: "I advise my patients with acne problems to avoid unrefined sugars." They cause collagen to deteriorate, resulting in skin losing its elasticity and brightness.

She adds: "Eating more tomatoes and other food made from them, such as salsa and ketchup, offers increased UV protection, thanks to the lycopene content that has skin-protecting benefits."


This article was first published on March 13, 2016.
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