Eating for Better Hair, Skin, & Nails

You are what you eat. You may not believe it, but the saying is true. Your diet not only affects your weight, but it also affects your skin, hair, lips, eyes, and nails. The outward features on your body can often be very telling of what is happening inside your body. Eating processed, fried, or sugary foods can have a negative impact on how you feel, and most certainly how you look. Luckily, the same is true for the opposite. Eating nutrient-dense, whole foods can not only reduce your risk of chronic diseases like cancer and diabetes but can also have a positive effect on your outward appearance. If you’re wanting young, glowing skin, shiny healthy hair, and strong nails, there are many foods you can add to your diet to boost your health from the inside out, in addition to drinking a lot of water of course.

Protein plays a vital role in the creation and maintenance of every cell in our body. It is no surprise that it benefits our appearance as well. Our skin, hair, and nails are mostly protein. These proteins- keratin, collagen, and elastin – help prevent wrinkles and provide strength and elasticity. Chicken is a great source of protein, with 7g per ounce, and a healthy dose of iron, it directly feeds hair and nails. Eggs are another great source of protein, with the yolk containing numerous nutrients including biotin, a vital vitamin for hair, skin, and nails. 

Salmon is also high in protein and contains omega-3 fatty acids which are great for scalp health and in turn promote hair growth. It also has important vitamins like Vitamin D, which helps stimulate new and old hair follicles, and B12, which can make hair color vibrant and protect the skin from sun damage. 

Healthy fats, like the ones found in salmon, are an important staple when eating for healthy hair, skin, and nails. A Japanese study found that women who ate 50g of fat daily had less skin elasticity than those who ate 74g per day. Balance is key, as some evidence suggests that overconsumption can make wrinkles worse. Fat is a building block of skin tissue, so the correct amount can improve its health, elasticity, and help you appear younger. Other great sources of healthy fats are avocado, olive oil, and nuts. Walnuts have omega-3s along with biotin which help with a healthy scalp and prevent hair loss.

Berries are one of the best foods you can eat for hair and skin. Blueberries have the highest antioxidant properties of all fruits and vegetables, and it shows in their ability to fight off free radicals and other aging influences. In addition to keeping you looking young, they are also great for fighting acne. Raspberries are also packed with antioxidants that prevent the damaging effects of the sun, redness, and premature aging. Another skin superfood is sweet potato. It contains beta-carotene, which acts as a natural sunblock and also adds warm tones to the skin, contributing to an overall healthier appearance. 

Overall, if you want to feel good and look good, eating clean is the best thing you can do for your health. Food is the greatest medicine and making small improvements and better food choices every day could have a huge impact on your future self. Whole foods and quality ingredients will take care of your body from the inside out, and it will surely show in your glowing skin, thick shiny hair, and strong nails.