When we’re trying to boost our skin, hair and nail health, our first course of action may be to hit the chemist for an all-in-one pill, but there’s a simpler, more wholesome alternative and it comes down to what we put on our plate. Here are our top 3 recommendations for glowing skin, strong nails and flowing hair.
Does food affect skin, hair and nail health?
Research from last year found that the foods we eat can impact our skin barrier, both negatively and positively, with a 2010 study indicating that nutritional deficiencies in calcium and iron can impede nail growth. Another study from 2019 found that deficiencies in nutrients like biotin, vitamin A and zinc increases your risk of having unhealthy skin, nails and hair. Interestingly, research found that women who consumed low-glycaemic diets with adequate nutrition had less hair loss during menopause. Let’s take a look at some of the foods rich in hair, skin and nail-healthy nutrients.
Avocados are loaded with healthy fats known to boost , along with skin-health boosting vitamins C, A and E. While you probably know about vitamin E’s benefits for hair, skin and nails, you might not be aware that immune-boosting vitamin C is also a nutrient you’ll want in your corner, and avocados happen to pack an impressive 12 milligrams of the stuff – keep in mind the daily recommended intake is 90 milligrams for men and 75 milligrams for women. Research shows that vitamin C may help boost collagen production along with slowing the signs of premature aging in the skin.
It’s the beta-carotene in sweet potatoes that make them so skin-healthy – this stuff boosts our vitamin A count, which in turn promotes keratin, an essential element of healthy skin and nails. A study found that a vitamin A deficiency could result in unhealthy skin and hair. If you opt for purple sweet potatoes, you’ll also get a good dose of anthocyanins – these are the antioxidants known to reduce inflammation and swelling in the skin, along with fighting the signs of premature aging.
Nuts and seeds
The biotin, protein, healthy fats and vitamin E in nuts and seeds are what make them so good for our hair, skin and nails. Almonds, cashews and walnuts are particularly rich in vitamin E, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which combat the signs of early aging. It may also protect against skin damage from UV exposure and reduce the amount of oxidative damage our skin undergoes. Oxidative damage results from everything from sunlight to pollution and poor diet, and it causes inflammation which then speeds up the aging process. It can cause early wrinkles, hair loss and brittle nails – and that’s where vitamin E comes in. It keeps our skin healthy and fights off free radicals in the body. Sunflower seeds, hemp seeds and flax seeds are all great options for vitamin E rich seeds, and they also pack a good dose of healthy fats and protein.
Take a look at some of the other nutrient-rich foods worth adding to your skin, hair and nail health routine:
- Olive oil
- Green tea
One thing that won’t help your skin is added sugar – if you’ve been having a little trouble reeling in your addiction to the sweet stuff, we’re here to help. We know it can be hard to stick to your health goals – especially when you’re trying to manage it alone. We’ll be quitting sugar and turning our health dreams into a reality with the support of our panel of experts like Jess. When you sign up with us, you’ll have access to clear-cut meal plans, community support and exclusive access to our sugar-free content. Here’s what’s on offer:
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