We look at the top four beauty problems – from acne to cracked lips – that can be caused by nutritional deficiencies, and what to eat to remedy them.

Possible causes: Lack of Vitamin B. 
Eat more: Foods rich in Vitamin B such as eggs, legumes, dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, avocado, mushrooms, beef and chicken. 
Meal plan: A Mexican wrap filled with spicy beans, brown lentils, avo and soft boiled eggs. Tip: Coat lips with a nourishing lip balm or petroleum jelly like Vaseline.

Possible causes: Hormonal changes, stress, anaemia or scalp conditions. 
Eat more: Foods rich in iron, vitamin B and D. For iron try spinach, egg yolks or black beans. Get your vitamin B from eggs, legumes, dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, avocado, mushrooms, beef and chicken. We get vitamin D from the sun’s rays, as well as from cod liver oil and fish such as tuna and mackerel. 
Meal plan: Add bone broth to lentil and bean soup or to beef stews. ‘Bone broth has essential amino acids which are the building blocks needed for great hair, skin and nails,’ says Cape Town-based nutritionist, Nicola Zaina. See our bone broth recipe below. 
Tip: Massage your scalp with castor oil to treat any underlying scalp problems such as dandruff or fungal conditions. Try a treatment like the NativeChild hair growth stimulating castor oil

Possible causes: Poor nutrition. ‘If you see vertical splits on your nails it could be a sign of low stomach acid,’ says Zaina, ‘and this could lead to poor nutrient absorption.’ 
Eat more: Cucumber and celery. This will help ease digestion and even out low stomach acid levels. Also get a full spectrum of your vitamins and minerals with a multivitamin. 
Meal plan: Start your morning with lemon water and follow with a green juice. Grate cucumber, celery and a piece of ginger. Squeeze out the juice through a sieve and it’s ready to drink. Follow the rest of your day with our other suggested meal plans. 
Tip: Soak hands and nails in milk and follow with a good hand cream like Vaseline hand lotion

Possible causes: ‘Acne is a sign that the body is struggling to eliminate waste,’ says Zaina. ‘Ditch fried foods from your diet to assist this process.’ If your acne is hormone related, it might help to reduce foods that negatively affect hormones, such as dairy and soya. 
Eat more: Zinc-rich foods such as pumpkin seeds, beef and spinach, and copper-rich foods (sunflower seeds, lentils and beef liver). Zinc reduces inflammation and boosts immunity and copper aids in skin regeneration. Yellow and orange fruit and veg, dark green leafy veg and legumes are also great for the skin. Also, drink plenty of fresh water. 
Meal plan: Make your own granola with oats, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. Guavas and grapes will give you an extra copper boost. Garlic and chickpeas in your diet will provide extra zinc. 
Tip: Try a face mask like Young Solution Triple Take 3-in-1 (available at Jet Mart).

Cooking time: Beef broth: 48 hrs; Chicken broth: 24 hrs
  1. Save 900g of leftover roast beef or chicken bones. Place in a large pot and add 3.5 litres of water and 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Set aside for 20-30 minutes for the nutrients to be released.
  2. Chop 1 onion, 2 carrots and 2 stalks celery. Add to pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer (chicken bones for up to 24 hours and beef for up to 48 hours). Now and then scoop out and discard the foamy layer on top.
  3. During the last 30 minutes, add fresh garlic and parsley. Remove from heat and strain. When cool, refrigerate for up to 5 days, or freeze for later use.

Text Deevya Vasson Lalla

EAT YOURSELF BEAUTIFUL EAT YOURSELF BEAUTIFUL Reviewed by Michelle Pienaar on August 29, 2018 Rating: 5
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