The appearance and condition of your hair, skin and nails is not just an indicator of how much time you spend primping and grooming yourself. The condition of your hair, skin and nails can actually provide an accurate reading of your physical health. If you’re experiencing skin, hair or nail woes, your body may be lacking the sufficient amount of essential vitamins.
Maintaining Healthy Skin, Hair and Nails
According to nutritionists, eating the right kinds of foods rich in vitamins and minerals is the best way to make sure you are gorgeous inside and out. Make sure you aren't missing out on these nutrients your body needs:
Vitamin A and Beta Carotene
Beta carotene is an antioxidant crucial for healthy skin which helps locate and destroy harmful free radicals in the body. Free radicals are chemicals capable of causing extensive damage to your skin cells. Beta carotene is also converted into Vitamin A by the liver. Vitamin A is an essential vitamin which helps renew skin cells and produce sebum, an oily substance found in hair follicles. Sebum acts as a natural moisturizer and conditioner for a healthy scalp and great looking hair. Vegetables like broccoli, spinach, squash and carrots are great food sources to get beta carotene and Vitamin A into your system.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
According to studies, a deficiency in omega-3 fatty acids can cause dry scalp and dull-looking hair. These fatty acids also have an anti-inflammatory effect which can help combat the redness and swelling of the skin in conditions like dermatitis and eczema. They also help moisturize the skin. Fish such as tuna, sardines, mackerel and salmon are great sources of omega-3 fatty acid. Flaxseed is also a strong plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids.
This mineral helps build, repair and protect cells in your body, thus playing an important role in the renewal of skin cells. Zinc also helps maintain moisture in the skin and keeps your complexion looking revitalized. A deficiency in zinc can also lead to weak nails and hair loss. The best food sources for zinc are red meat, nuts and beans.
Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant that aids the body in healing itself after damage. It is great for preventing acne scars and wrinkles. Vitamin E also facilitates healthy circulation enabling more oxygen and nutrients can be carried by the red blood cells to the skin layers. Sunflower seeds, nuts and vegetable oils are good sources of Vitamin E.
Vitamin C assists in the production of collagen in your body. Collagen is a protein which acts as a glue, holding body tissues together. If there is collagen deficiency in the skin, sagging and wrinkles may develop. Therefore, Vitamin C helps maintian supple skin and is also an essential antioxidant for fighting skin damage. You can get the most Vitamin C from citrus fruits, red and green peppers, cauliflower and tomato.
Vitamins B2, B5 and B12 are all essential for healthy skin and promoting skin cell growth. Another B Vitamin which is vital for hair and nail health is biotin. Biotin is a nutrient that promotes healthy hair growth and fights nail brittleness. According to research, biotin can significantly increase the firmness and hardness of your nails. Food sources of biotin are legumes, peanuts, milk and eggs.
The next time your skin, hair and nails have you hiding from the mirror, don’t reach for more beauty products--take a look in your kitchen.