7 essential nutrients for healthy hair, nails and skin
We’ve all suffered from dull hair, brittle nails and dry skin at some stage in our lives. Poor nutrition, life style stresses, hormonal imbalance and ageing are often the reasons why we suddenly get lifeless hair, weak nails and discoloured skin.
Balanced diet is the key
Having a balanced and healthy diet packed with vitamins, minerals and amino acids are necessary for overall wellbeing.
Listed below are the key nutrients that could boost your diet to support shiny hair, radiant skin and strong nails.
2. It’s a natural antioxidant and helps manage free radical damage. It’s essential in the production and absorption of collagen within the body. Vitamin C deficiency can cause a dry and flaky scalp, split ends and spots. Top up your Vitamin C reserves daily by including foods that are rich in Vitamin C such as oranges, parsley, red peppers, kale, brussel sprout and berries.
3. Do you ever get peeling, cracking or white spots on your nails? It could be a sign that you need to add more vitamin D in your diet. Unlike other essential nutrients, Vitamin D is produced in the body after exposure, to sunlight, or it can be obtained from the diet. The food sources for vitamin D includes fatty fish, such a halibut and salmon and eggs. Maitake mushrooms are also high in vitamin D.
4. It’s an essential vitamin for healthy skin and acts as an anti-ageing agent. Similar to vitamins A and C, it has antioxidant properties and reduces environmental damage on skin and hair. It repairs damaged skin and with its anti-inflammatory qualities it heals acne and eczema. Vitamin E plays a key role in skin regeneration and promotes circulation to the scalp making the hair look fresher and healthier. You can obtain vitamin E from green leafy vegetables and nuts. Avocados, kiwis, and mangos are also rich in vitamin E.
5. Skin is made up of 90% collagen protein. Collagen is also a key component of the hair and nails. A collagen-rich diet helps to maintain healthy skin, hair and nails. A homemade bone broth is a rich source of collagen and will help strengthen nails and hair. If you consume a well-rounded diet that supports collagen production and absorption (e.g. Vitamin C) you’re likely to see its benefits on your health.
6. This lubricating liquid is produced naturally by the body. It has a large capacity to retain water in the skin. If you suffer from dry scalp, dandruff or flaky skin increasing the hyaluronic acid intake could promote the much needed hydration to make them stronger and healthier. Broths containing chicken/beef bones are a good source of hyaluronic acid.
7. Zinc supports hair growth. Lack of zinc can cause a dry and flaky scalp, and in extreme cases baldness. Like vitamin E, zinc acts as an anti-inflammatory agent to tackle skin conditions such as eczema and acne. Nuts and seeds such as almonds and pumpkin seeds are high in zinc. Probiotics are also needed to increase the absorption rate of zinc. Make sure to include fermented foods in your diet such as kefir, yoghurt and raw cheeses.