Everyone knows that having a healthy diet is important. However, many people don’t realize that a good diet is essential to healthy skin and nails! While the key to health is maintaining a balanced diet; it can be helpful to know exactly what nutrients and vitamins are beneficial. Below is a list of important nutrients to keep hair and nails looking healthy!
Vitamin A and Vitamin C
Vitamin A and vitamin C both help to maintain healthy, younger looking, skin. Vitamin C can be found in almost all fruits, such as apples and oranges. Vitamin A can be found in low-fat dairy products such as skim milk and low-fat yogurt. Incidentally, yogurt also has the live bacteria, acidophilus! While that may not sound too appetizing, bacteria can help with digestion, which also leads to healthy skin.
Folic Acid and Keratin
Folic acid and keratin both promote strong nails. Foods such as lentils, beans and spinach have high folic acid content. Keratin is found in lean meats, such as poultry, pork loin and turkey.
Calcium and Magnesium
Both these vitamins help to protect skin from harmful irritants, like sun damage. A good source of these nutrients can be nuts, (particularly almonds), and soy milk.
Fatty acids make up our cell membranes. The membrane is responsible for transport of wastes and nutrients, as well as maintaining correct water concentration in our cells. Both lead to shiny looking skin and strong nails. The fatty acids with the most benefits are omega 3 and omega 6. These can be found in salmon, flax seed, walnuts, and canola oil.
Antioxidants help to prevent damage from free radicals. This is caused from sun exposure. Antioxidants also help to block toxins. This nutrient can be found in beta-carotene, and vitamins C, E, and A. Fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants and it can be helpful to eat many different colors of these foods to assure you are consuming each vitamin. Even tomato paste can be beneficial! This contains the antioxidant, lycopene, which also promotes strong skin.
Iron promotes strong nails that don’t flake. Iron-rich foods include eggs, spinach, and fortified cereals. Women need to make sure they’re getting enough iron in their diet- iron deficiency can make you feel tired and weak.
Not just any oil… healthy oils! Since oil can be quite fattening, it’s important to consume healthier oils, such as extra virgin olive oil. These oils can help you skin look shinny and can even be rubbed on nails to prevent dryness!
Selenium is a nutrient that can protect skin from damage, such as sun damage. Selenium can also help protect against cancer! This nutrient can be found in grains, such as whole-wheat bread, muffins, and cereals. Also, Brazil nuts, tuna and turkey also have high amounts of Selenium.
Water is not only essential to your overall health, but also helps to maintain healthy nails and skin! You should be drinking lots of water every day- if you don’t, it will affect every part of you, not just your hair and nails. Dehydration can take a toll on the body and cause skin to look aged and wrinkled. Limited water can also cause nails to become weak.
While the path to healthy skin and nails can seem overwhelming. A balanced diet is the best route. Overall, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, healthy grains, healthy fats, and protein contains all of these nutrients. A multi-vitamin can also help to assure many of these nutrients are consumed. Good luck and happy eating!