How To Improve Hair And Nails Through Your Diet
This article was co-authored by Ritu Thakur, MA. Ritu Thakur is a healthcare consultant in Delhi, India, with over 10 years of experience in Ayurveda, Naturopathy, Yoga, and Holistic Care. She received her Bachelor Degree in Medicine in 2009 from BU University, Bhopal followed by her Master’s in Health Care in 2011 from Apollo Institute of Health Care Management, Hyderabad.There are 14 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 100% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 95,965 times.
The saying “You are what you eat” is certainly true when it comes to the appearance of your hair and nails. Before you spend money on expensive products that tout a miracle cure, learn how to improve hair and nails through your diet. To improve your outer appearance, all you have to do is improve your inner health with the right foods and supplements.
Five Natural Ways To Improve Hair Skin And Nail Health
Healthy and strong hair, skin, and nails can say a lot about your overall wellbeing. A balanced diet full of protein, healthy fats, and fresh fruits and vegetables can help you get shiny hair, glowing skin, and strong nails. To make sure you are getting the nutrients you need, the health experts at Envolve, an integrated healthcare solutions company, have put together five natural ways the food you eat can boost the health of your hair, skin, and nails.
1. Lead with Protein. Protein supplies the body with the amino acids it needs to produce keratin, the main building block of your hair, skin, and nails. About 20% of your daily calories should come from protein. There are plenty of healthy and delicious foods that can help you get the recommended amount of protein each day. Try adding lean meat, beans, or eggs to your diet. A balanced breakfast with eggs as the star is a good place to start. Try scrambled or over-easy eggs in the morning with whole grain toast for a nutritious, energy-boosting meal.
2. Absorb Antioxidants. Some foods have antioxidants that are important to a well-balanced diet. Berries, avocados, and sweet peppers are good sources of antioxidants that can also serve as a healthy snack during the day. Antioxidants can help protect hair follicles, improve hair strength, and may promote hair growth. Try a mid-morning snack of fresh strawberries to get high levels of vitamin C, which can prevent hair breakage.
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What To Eat For Healthy Hair And Nails
Biotin can improve hair that is splitting or thinning as well as strengthen weakened nails. Taken with zinc and the corticosteroid clobetasol propionate, biotin has even been used to treat alopecia, an autoimmune skin disease marked by the loss of hair. Nina DiBona, RD, dietitian and nutritionist at the Sports Club/LA in Boston, agrees. “A deficiency in biotin may result in brittle hair or even hair loss.” An easy way to remember: The H in vitamin H stands for “haar and haut,” which means “hair and nails” in German, DiBona notes.Foods to Try: Bananas, beans, cauliflower, eggs, lentils, peanuts and salmon.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
To get shinier hair, introduce more omega-3s into your diet, which “help support scalp health and may give your locks extra luster and shine,” according to DiBona. The three active ingredientsalpha-linolenic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acidare all essential fatty acids and “are important components of the stratum corneum, which is the outermost layer of the epidermis that contains keratin and has water-holding capabilities. Deficiency in essential fatty acids can result in dry scalp or dandruff,” she says.Foods to Try: Eggs, flaxseed, fish oil, mackerel, salmon, sardines, spinach, tuna and walnuts.
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Grow With Greek Yogurt
Its packed with protein, the building block of your locks. Greek yogurt also has an ingredient that helps with blood flow to your scalp and hair growth. Its called vitamin B5 and may even help against hair thinning and loss. You may recognize pantothenic acid as an ingredient on your hair and skincare product labels.
Foods That May Help Our Hair Skin And Nails
We all are well aware that grabbing an apple from the refrigerator is healthier than finishing off a bag of chips from the pantry. But did you know that our choice of foods might also affect the condition of our hair, skin and nails?
Research has shown that various foods and vitamins may have a positive influence on skin and hair health, the strength of your nails and other aspects of our appearance.
What to eat for healthy, glowing skin:
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, some research suggests that people who eat a diet with a low glycemic index meaning foods that dont cause a spike in blood sugar see their acne significantly improve.
For example, you may want to add more foods that are generally high in fiber:
The Mayo Clinic also suggests foods containing antioxidants to help protect your skin. This could include:
One food group that you may not want to overdo it on is dairy products, as several studies suggest that some dairy products, especially skim milk, may make acne worse.
What to eat to help preserve your luscious hair:
Hair loss can be part of the aging process and it can affect all ages and genders. But dont fret there are some simple additions you can make to your diet that may help slow the process.
What to eat to help make your nails stronger:
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What To Eat For Brittle Hair:
Healthy hair always needs protein to thrive. Without it hair can thin out, break or be brittle. And eggs are natures most easily digested protein that is easily used by the body. B vitamins are also important and eggs are a rich source of biotin a key B vitamin for healthy hair, making it more resistant to breakage. They also contain a modest amount of fat, which helps hydrate hair. The egg yolk is especially rich in nutrients, including vitamins D and E. And the good news is that whole eggs are fine to eat, according to the American Heart Association one whole egg a day can be part of a healthy diet.
Tree nuts like almonds also have a top nutrient combination for healthy hair: complete protein and heart-healthy fats. Almonds contain two-thirds of your daily vitamin E intake and lots of B vitamins. They also contain a wide range of nutrients many people dont get enough of, like magnesium, manganese and copper. Not a fan of almonds? Walnuts and pistachios are other nuts with heart-healthy fats and protein.
The 5 Best Foods To Eat For Stronger Nails And Healthier Hair
Take care of your body from the inside out.
— intro: Looking good is just as much about taking care of your body on the inside as it is about using products on the outside. And we’re not just talking about your skin:
“A nutritious diet promotes healthy nails and hair, too,” says Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research in the department of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.
But there’s no need to add a refrigerator’s worth of new foods to your diet. “Since both hair and nails are made of keratin, through a similar process in the body, it’s thought that nutrients that help one can also help the other,” says Dr. Zeichner. Ready to say bye-bye to brittleness? Read on for foods that give your hair and nails a boost.
quicklist:1category: The 5 Best Foods to Eat for Stronger Nails and Healthier Hairtitle: Whey proteinurl:text: “Your hair needs protein to produce keratin, the proteins that make hair strong,” says Dr. Zeichner.
“If hair doesn’t receive enough protein, it can go into a ‘resting phase,’ causing noticeable hair loss,” adds Beth Warren, author of Living a Real Life with Real Food.
Try adding a scoop of whey protein to your morning smoothie for simple boost.
quicklist:1category: The 5 Best Foods to Eat for Stronger Nails and Healthier Hairtitle: Red meaturl:text: A juicy steak is loaded with protein, and it also has another nutrient that’s important for hair and nail health: iron.
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Oils Fatty Fish And Fermented Foods
Apart from whole foods and plants, there are some other foods that can be beneficial for beauty.
Healthy Mediterranean Salmon Bowl
- Olive oil and Coconut oil provide essential fatty acids and vitamin E, needed to maintain the skin barrier function. Also, these nutrients are important for the absorption of carotenoids found in vegetables. Carotenoids are important for healthy complexion and are considered a natural sunscreen.
- Whole grains and legumes might contain prebiotics, but fermented foods like yogurt and sauerkraut contain probiotics. Both of these improve digestion, your overall health and your skin health. The difference between prebiotics and probiotics is that prebiotics are the food for the bacteria inside your gut, while probiotics are the actual bacteria that youre trying to bring into your gut. Probiotics are very important whenever youve taken antibiotics to bring the microflora back to normal.
- Last but not least, fatty fish like salmon, mackerel or tuna. Rich in omega-3s, protein, vitamin B12 and Selenium, all important for your skin health. However, fish also contains a lot of mercury and toxins, so eat that in moderation.
Together these foods provide all the essential nutrients we need for healthy skin, hair and nails vitamins and minerals, fiber, prebiotics, probiotics, phytochemicals, essential fatty acids and protein.
NOTE: Some of the beauty foods might not be suitable for you.
Juan Jos Valencia Anta / Unsplash
Love trail mix? You’ll love this news: There are 14.72 micrograms of biotin in 1/4 cup of almonds. A healthy portion of your daily dose but not all of it, according to WebMD, which states that the daily recommended intake is 30 mcg for adults. Pair the nuts with another biotin-rich ingredient like oats, for a breakfast with major beauty benefits.
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Iron Vitality And Lustre
Tired and lacking in energy? This may be a symptom of low iron. Hair, nails and skin can also suffer if youre lacking in iron. Skin may be very pale, become itchy, or there could be cracking at the side of the mouth. Nails can become brittle and develop vertical stripes, or even become spoon-shaped. You could shed more hair and it will be noticeably more dry, brittle and dull.
- HFG tip: Meat is the best source of iron: the redder the meat, the more iron it contains. If you dont eat meat, you can get iron from legumes and whole grains but its less readily absorbed, so add vitamin C to meals to enhance absorption.
Why I Also Take A Hair Skin And Nails Supplement
Like I said, Im always an advocate of food first over supplements. Get the proper nutrients from your meals as much as you can. However, as Ive gotten older, I have noticed that when combined with a healthy diet that includes the above foods, taking a Hair Skin and Nails supplement gives me an extra boost. Plus, the one I take is actually made with whole food ingredients that are naturally glow inducing.*
Its New Chapters Perfect Hair Skin & Nails and it contains probiotic-fermented Biotin as well as a rare plant-nutrient from organic algae called Astaxanthin. Astaxanthin is clinically proven to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.* Andfun factits what gives salmon that juicy pink color!
Perfect Hair, Skin & Nails also contains a blend of superfoods and herbs for stress, energy and digestive supportwhich are major factors that affect the look and health of your skin!* So start with food first, and add in a whole food supplement like New Chapters when you can. Youll be glowing in no time!
You can purchase New Chapters Perfect Hair, Skin & Nails supplement from Amazon or their website .
This is a sponsored post from New Chapter Vitamins & Supplements, who provided me with a free product for our review. We only partner with brands that align with our mission of health, wellness, and positivitywhose awesome products we think can actually improve your daily life. All opinions are my own.
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Foods To Eat For Glowing Skin And Healthy Hair
Turns out, Mom was right . You really are what you eat. So, if youre looking for healthy hair and glowing skin, try these fabulous foods today
Ready to nosh your way to better hair and skin? You can. Research is now showing that its possible to influence your looks simply by choosing specific foods.Hair growth , skin collagen production, hormone balance and more are all tied to what you choose to eat.
First thing to know, dont skimp on rich, healthy ingredients this season, even if you are trying to slim down. Our body has no idea what a calorie is, says Ciara Foy, a Toronto-based holistic nutritionist. Thats important to understand with respect to eating whole foods because they contain tons of nutrients, phytochemicals and enzymes that work synergistically to keep us healthy.
Here are our must-eats to help you get your glow on.
Vitamins To Support Skin Nail & Hair Health
A healthy, balanced and varied diet is important for getting all the key nutrients that the body needs to help you look and feel your best. There are certain nutrients that help keep your hair, skin and nails healthy. You should be able to get all of these nutrients through food, but if you’re worried your diet may be lacking some of them then you may want to consider taking a supplement. If you think you have a deficiency, you should contact your GP, as this can sometimes point to a condition that may need to be treated.
Also known as retinol, vitamin A plays a key role in skin health as it supports the maintenance of healthy skin. Rich sources of vitamin A include cheese, eggs, oily fish, fortified low-fat spreads and dairy products.
Riboflavin helps maintain healthy skin, and is found in milk, eggs and rice. Its destroyed by ultraviolet light, so always store these foods out of direct sunlight. B2 deficiency is uncommon, but symptoms include scaly patches on the face.
Meat, fish, wheat, eggs and dairy products are good sources of niacin, another vitamin which supports healthy skin.
Biotin is also known as vitamin B7. It’s made naturally by bacteria in your gut and helps to maintain normal hair and skin. If your diet contains a wide variety of nutrients, it’s likely that your gut is making enough biotin.
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Most Important Nutrients For Healthy Hair Skin And Nails
Hair, skin and nails are all made of similar cells the proteins keratin, collagen and elastin so they all require the same nutrients to grow healthily. There are also certain nutrients such as healthy fats, iron, zinc and antioxidant vitamins essential to glowing, well-hydrated skin and strong and healthy-looking hair and nails. Once you understand why these nutrients help, it will make it easier to ensure you are eating a healthy diet including foods packed with these nutrients every day.
The bonus? These nutrients are not only essential for healthy hair, skin and nails, but also for supporting fitness and overall health and wellbeing.
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Nuts And Seeds Including Almonds And Sunflower Seeds
Snacking on nuts and seeds provides a hefty dose of healthy fats that your nails might be craving. Registered dietitian Ashley Koff explained to Health magazine that almonds are a pretty great source of protein and magnesium, adding, “Vertical ridges in your nails may be a sign of inadequate magnesium.” So if you’re seeing those, you may want to start snacking on some almonds.
And sunflower seeds are also the perfect antidote to weakened nails, according to Vivian Goldschmidt, a nutrition expert. Aside from plenty of magnesium, she says, “sunflower seeds contain the trace minerals manganese and copper, which are essential for the synthesis and production of connective tissue in bones and cartilage,” thus also strengthening nails.She adds, “These crunchy seeds also contain Vitamin B6, zinc, and Vitamin E. All of these minerals and vitamins contribute to healthy fingernails and strong bones.”