Nutrition Q&A: Eat foods high in antioxidants for healthy skin

Nutrition and Dietetics expert, Parvathy Radhakrishnan answers readers’ questions on nutrition. Get your doubts cleared and see them featured on our FAQ page every Wednesday.
This week’s answers:

1. Dear Madam, I am losing hair for the last 6 months. Please suggest a diet plan.
Hair loss could be due to insufficient intake of proteins and iron. Also B-complex vitamins, Vit A, zinc are all important for good hair growth.
Make sure you include pulses, nuts, milk, fish, egg, yellow and green leafy vegetables, whole grains and citrus fruits in your daily eating. You can also take a multi vitamin tablet.
There are other reasons for hair loss like prolonged stress, hypothyroidism, crash diets, hormonal changes, diabetes, dandruff, extensive use of hair chemicals, etc. I suggest you consult a dermatologist and identify the real issue.

2. Hi. I weight train a lot. What is the best time to eat energy foods?
You need high energy foods about 3 hours before you work out. You may also need to eat energy foods after the work out but only if you are trying to gain weight.

3. Any idea for protein intake for a pure vegetarian. I am prone to bloating if I eat rajma or channa.
Good sources of protein would be peas, beans, lentils and whole grains (eaten together so as to get all the aminoacids), nuts, seeds, tofu, paneer, milk and yoghurt.
The protein in soya beans is comparable to those from animal sources.
Milk is a wholesome food and including it daily in your diet is essential. Incorporate nuts and seeds into your daily eating plan by using it in cooking and in salads.
You could try eating smaller quantities of channa and avoid eating it at night.

4. Dear Mam, please suggest a diet for good skin. Currently i am troubled by acne in winters.
Foods high in antioxidants are essential for a healthy skin. These are yellow and green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, yellow fruits, fish, nuts and lentils.
1. Avoid fried foods and high carbohydrate snacks, beverages and desserts as these are harmful for the skin causing aging.
2. Drink enough water (6 to 8 glasses) in a day.
3. Exercising daily helps good blood circulation resulting in a glowing skin.
4. You may need to consult a dermatologist for acne treatment.

Parvathy is a trained Nutrition & Dietetics expert and a member the Research Society for the Study of Diabetes in India.

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