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The Best Vital Nutrients for Your Hair, Skin, and Nail Health

Glowing and Healthy Hair

If your nails keep breaking, your hair is falling out, or your skin is always dry – consider these vitamins to improve your hair, skin, and nails.

We all understand the significance of nutrition for our overall health. But knowing which foods have the vitamins our bodies need is key to achieving the best results.

That’s why we’ve gathered the best nutrients for healthy, strong, and beautiful – hair, skin, and nails.

food-with-biotin, brown eggs on table

Biotin

Biotin is often one of the main ingredients in health supplements and multivitamins. That’s because of its broad range of beneficial qualities.

This nutrient also referred to as vitamin H or B-7, helps regulate your metabolic, nervous, and digestive systems.

It also aids the body in processing beneficial nutrients. Biotin prevents hair loss, brittle nails, and dry skin.

And it does this by helping the body effectively absorb other water-soluble nutrients.

Being biotin deficiency is uncommon. Most individuals are already meeting their daily recommended value by eating a normal, healthy diet.

Those at risk for developing a biotin deficiency are pregnant women and heavy drinkers. Drinking puts an access amount of sugar in your body and sugar contributes to unhealthy skin.

If you want to naturally bump up your biotin intake, try consuming more of these nutrient-rich foods:

  • Eggs
  • Whole Grains
  • Organ Meats
  • Legumes (like lentils, beans, and peas)
  • Mushrooms
  • Nuts (like peanuts, almonds, and walnuts)
foods-with-keratin, bowl of quinoa with vegetables

Keratin

Keratin is a structural and protective protein that is produced naturally within the body. This protein makes up the outermost layer of your hair, skin, and nails.

Besides offering protection from damage, keratin provides strength, structure, and flexibility. It also promotes healthy cell growth and gene expression.

Staying hydrated increases the production of the protein alpha-keratin. Alpha-keratin is what makes your nails look glossy and protects them from becoming weak.

A keratin deficiency can lead to wrinkles, sagging skin, lackluster nails, and thin hair.

Eating a good diet, staying safe in the sun, and avoiding bleach or heat-treatments to your hair are all ways to protect and fortify your body’s keratin supply.

Consuming enough dietary biotin can improve the way your body uses and retains keratin. Some examples of keratin-boosting foods are:

  • Kale
  • Quinoa
  • Garlic
  • Eggs
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Low-fat Dairy Products
foods-with-folate, whole and cut mangos

Folate

Folate, also known as folic acid, when created synthetically, is another water-soluble B-vitamin. It aids in cell growth and red blood cell health.

Meaning, folate helps your hair and nails grow longer and stronger.

It keeps your skin looking healthy and has been shown to stave off fatigue, mood swings, and anemia.

Consuming folate or folic acid while pregnant can help prevent birth defects from occurring.

A folate deficiency can lead to anemia, exfoliative dermatitis, and other health complications.

Women who are in or have gone through menopause still need to consider their folate intake. There are several skin conditions that can present or worsen because of menopause. Visit our blog Tips for Better Skin After Menopause for more information.

Some foods like enriched bread flour and breakfast cereals are fortified with folic acid. However, experts suggest that it’s best to consume folate because the process in which the body converts folic acid to folate takes time.

To incorporate more natural sources of this helpful vitamin, try these fruits and vegetables:

  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Peas
  • Oranges
  • Mangos
  • Kidney Beans
  • Beets
foods-with-collagen, Vine tomatoes and tomato wedges

Collagen

Collagen is the amplest protein in your body. It’s found everywhere, from your muscles and bones to your skin and vital organs.

Collagen fibers function like ropes, capable of stretching without breaking. These fibers provide support for various tissues in our bodies, like our skin and muscles.

Collagen is the key to youthful skin’s supple, smooth resilience. But what happens to collagen as we age?

Without ample collagen, we begin to develop wrinkles, dry skin, and other ailments.

Losing collagen is a natural side effect of aging. It can begin earlier than most people expect, starting as early as their mid-twenties.

Keeping yourself in good health is the best way to boost your collagen levels. A well-balanced diet increases your vital amino acids that protect your collagen levels.

Get more of these foods to increase your intake and help curb the side effects of collagen loss:

  • Berries (like strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries)
  • Leafy greens (like spinach, kale, and cabbage)
  • Avocados
  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Tomatoes
  • Bone Broth
foods-with-elastin, bowl of mixed nuts

Elastin

As the name implies, elastin gives elasticity and structure to your skin. This structural protein, much like collagen and biotin, prevents skin from wrinkling and sagging.

Elastin is what allows you to bend and stretch without damaging your skin.

Your nails and hair also benefit from elastin, as the protein lends them strength and luster. Factors like aging, UV exposure, and air pollution can contribute to a loss of elastin, as well as a nutrient-deficient diet.

Protecting your skin and hair from the sun and environmental irritants aren’t enough. You’ll need to consume foods that help elevate your elastin levels.

Luckily, many foods that contain elastin also help promote the production of vital amino acids.

Here are some great sources of elastin that are found naturally in the following foods:

  • Walnuts
  • Fish
  • Egg whites
  • Almonds
  • Broccoli
  • Green tea
  • Cucumbers
foods-with-coq10, jar of olive oil

Coenzyme Q10

Despite its clinical-sounding name, the antioxidant coenzyme Q10 (or CoQ10 for short) is naturally produced by the body. Its main role is to regulate the growth and health of your cells.

This antioxidant curbs premature aging by reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. It can also remove and treat acne-causing bacteria and prevent UV damage.

Though CoQ10 is found naturally in many foods, it’s difficult to consume enough to make a measurable difference.

Those who experience a deficiency in this antioxidant are likely to be older or suffering from heart disease. These individuals should stake a supplement to restore their CoQ10 levels to normal.

For a small (but still helpful) increase to your CoQ10 levels, have some of these foods:

  • Nuts (like pistachios, peanuts, and walnuts)
  • Sesame seeds
  • Organ meats (like chicken liver)
  • Oils (like olive and canola)
  • Red meat
  • Legumes
foods-with-vitaminc

Vitamin C

This powerful and essential antioxidant fends off free radicals before they can cause damage to your hair, skin, and nails.

Vitamin C assists the body in processing collagen and iron. Both of which are responsible for making your hair look and feel stronger and shinier.

In addition to keeping your skin healthy, vitamin C protects your blood vessels and cartilage from deterioration.

Vitamin C also helps your skin repair and regenerate itself. It even defends against oxidative stress caused by an excess of cell-damaging free radicals.

Antioxidants like Vitamin C contribute heavily to hair, skin, and nails. And this nutrient is extremely easy to find in a healthy diet.

Just keep Vitamin C crushing habits like smoking to a minimum.

Some natural sources of this important antioxidant include:

  • Potatoes
  • Oranges
  • Grapefruit
  • Strawberries
  • Kiwifruit
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cauliflower
foods-with-vitamin-d, dairy products milk, cheese, eggs, and butter

Vitamin D

This nutrient is often lauded for its contribution to strong bones and teeth, but its beneficial effects don’t stop there.

Vitamin D can also stimulate new hair growth and promote a healthy rate of cell turnover.

A deficiency of vitamin D can present itself in the form of hair loss and inflammatory skin disorders, like psoriasis.

Being vitamin D deficient can come from both dietary and environmental factors. The sun provides us with vitamin D. Those who don’t get enough sunlight will be unable to absorb an adequate level of vitamin D through their skin.

If being in the sun for a few minutes a day is not an option, ingesting vitamin D can also help you avoid becoming deficient.

Here are a few vitamin D-rich foods to try:

  • Fish (like trout, salmon, and sardines)
  • Collard Greens
  • Beef Liver
  • Cheese
  • Soy milk
  • Spinach
  • Yogurt
foods-with-vitamin-e, raw cut up broccoli florets

Vitamin E

Vitamin E supports your hair, skin, and nails and is used in many products to improve the health of each.

This antioxidant can restore hair’s shine and prevent hair loss and breakage by increasing blood flow to the scalp.

Additionally, it improves dry skin without increasing oil production.

As an oil, Vitamin E can be applied to your cuticles and nail beds to keep them soft and manageable.

Many people also use it, along with Vitamin C, as a face serum to fend off damaging free radicals from the sun and air.

The benefits of consuming and using Vitamin E as a skin, hair, and nail supplement are numerous. This is particularly true when it comes to skin aging around the eyes.

Getting enough of this vital nutrient by eating a balanced diet is fairly easy.

Deficiencies are rare since a lot of foods are fortified with Vitamin E to increase their nutritional value.

To make sure you’re getting enough dietary Vitamin E, choose these foods:

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Nuts (like hazelnuts, peanuts, and almonds)
  • Vegetable oils
  • Broccoli
foods-with-vitamin-a

Vitamin A

While Vitamin A is most commonly associated with vision, it plays a vital role in overall health.

Vitamin A deficiency is associated with hair loss and can also increase your risk of acne.

Vitamin A is also the primary vitamin responsible for healthy hair. If you don’t have enough vitamin A you may notice your scalp and hair is far too dry, leading to dandruff.

Retinol, a form of vitamin A, is often used to treat wrinkles and other signs of skin aging.

Vitamin A has been linked to health complications when taken in large doses. It’s a good idea to consult your doctor before beginning to take this supplement.

As with iron and omega-3 fatty acids, most people get enough Vitamin A through diet alone.

Here are some foods rich in Vitamin A to add to your routine:

  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Low-Fat Dairy Products
  • Red Pepper
  • Mango
  • Tomatoes and Tomato Juice
  • Black-eyed Peas
  • Dried Apricots
foods-with-omega3, prepared fillet of salmon with herbs and vegetables

Omega-3

Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for heart health, among other aspects of good health. They’ve proven to have positive effects on a variety of skin conditions including rosacea.

Omega-3 has also shown to greatly effect hair growth. People who aren’t taking in enough of this nutrient are at high risk for hair loss.

Even if you don’t suffer from any particular condition, getting enough of this nutrient is important for your skin’s health.

Experts have confirmed the positive effects of omega-3 fatty acids on cell membranes. An increase in omega-3 fatty acids correlates with the prevention of dryness and wrinkles.

To keep your skin looking soft and youthful, try including these sources of omega-3s in your daily diet:

  • Seafood, especially fish
  • Oils, including Soybean, Linseed, and Canola
  • Seeds like Chia, Hemp, and Flax
  • Seaweed and Algae
  • Edamame
  • Walnuts
  • Eggs
foods-with-iron, bowl of mixed beans

Iron

Iron deficiency anemia has long been linked to health problems. From brittle nails and pale skin to a host of other symptoms that are unpleasant and dangerous.

While iron is essential for everyone, women are at a high risk for iron-deficiency anemia.

Iron deficiency is a major cause of Koilonychia or abnormally shaped nails.

If you experience fatigue or other symptoms linked to low iron levels, you should talk to your doctor. You may need an iron supplement or other form of treatment to replenish the iron in your body.

Most people can get enough iron through a healthy diet. Here are some top foods for iron intake:

  • Dark, Leafy Greens like Spinach or Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Turkey
  • Shellfish, such as Oysters and Clams
  • Red Meat
  • Beans and Lentils
  • Quinoa

A healthy diet containing adequate levels of these nutrients is crucial to your well-being. The right vitamins will go a long way toward maintaining healthier skin, hair, and nails.

When nutrition alone isn’t enough, we’re here to help. Contact us today to learn more about our skincare products and services. We look forward to meeting you!

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