Super grains for super hair and skin

7 October 2015 by
First published: 3 April 2015

We all want to look gorgeous, but who knew it was as easy as eating these five super grains for super hair and skin? Spring is around the corner so it’s time to inject you skin and hair with some TLC. What we put into our body is just as important as what we put on it, and if your skin and tresses aren’t getting the right nutrients, it will show. Premature wrinkles, breakouts and brittle strands are all signs that you need to rethink your diet, and when it comes to boosting your complexion and your mane, loading up on super grains is a great place to start. Pile your plate with these beauty-boosters today.



We can’t get enough of this gluten-free grain – not only is it waistline-friendly but it’s an amazing wrinkle-blaster too. ‘As it’s a complete protein with nine essential amino acids, in addition to improving overall health, it can nourish and strengthen hair, promoting collagen production to improve the appearance of skin,’ says Tracy Kane, of Community Foods, a leading organic and free-from food company that distributes the Orgran range, ‘And for anyone battling with acne, it’s a great, natural way to combat excessive sebum production, which is a major contributor to the condition.’



Technically not a grain but a fruit seed, amaranth was a staple in the diets of the Pre-Columbian Aztecs, who used it as part of their religious ceremonies because they believed it had supernatural powers. And they weren’t wrong! This ancient superfood helps to keep hair and skin looking their best. ‘Amaranth contains one of the highest levels of protein of any grain, high levels of fibre and eight essential amino acids – including lysine, which is often missing from many other grains. Amaranth can have a strengthening effect on the overall body – think hair, bones and skin,’ says Tracy.



Again, buckwheat is not actually a grain but a fruit seed and part of the rhubarb family. Super-versatile and easy to prepare, buckwheat is a wonderful complexion-booster. ‘Diets that contain buckwheat have been linked to a lowered risk of high cholesterol and high blood pressure,’ says Tracy. ‘Other beneficial effects are due in part to its rich supply of flavonoids, particularly rutin, which strengthens capillary walls. This is great for preventing or helping with the appearance of varicose veins as well as helping to improve the quality of skin and hair.’


Brown rice

There’s a huge difference between brown rice and the white stuff – and we don’t just mean in colour. This nutritional powerhouse is an excellent source of fibre and complex carbohydrates, which helps to regulate blood-sugar levels. Studies show that having stable levels helps to ward off breakouts. This grain is also high in magnesium, which helps to keep your heart healthy. Super-cheap and versatile too, it has a nutty taste that goes with just about anything. Use it in a salad or serve it as a side dish to a curry or a stir-fry.



Lusting after super-glossy locks? Load your plate with millet. Commonly used in Asia, millet is a great plant-based protein source that helps to keep hair strong and healthy. This fill-you-up food has a similar texture to fluffy couscous and takes around 10 minutes to cook. It’s also high in energising B vitamins and fibre, plus it’s gluten-free, making it a great choice for anyone with a wheat intolerance.