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Between the lotions, argan oil and nail growth polish, the hair, skin and nails department really stretches the income. Instead of spending your hard-earned money on these products, I suggest spending it on groceries. Dietitian Diane Dressel says your diet is a major contributing factor to the condition of your hair, skin and nails, and if you’re on point with your nutrition, natural beauty usually follows.
“When you’re getting the right amount of vitamins and minerals every day, your body will function better,” Dressel says. “That means hydrated skin, shiny hair and strong nails.”
Though you should be getting the 100 percent daily value of every vitamin and mineral, essential hair, skin and nail vitamins include: A, E, D, and iron. Dressel points out one mistake many make is trying to consume too much of one vitamin or taking unnecessary supplements on top of an already balanced diet.
“When you take an excess vitamin, sometimes it can cause a depletion of another,” Dressel says. “Your body also gets rid of what you’re not using, causing you to waste money on unnecessary supplements.”
A prime example is zinc and copper. Research shows those who ingest an excess amount of zinc, often experience a depletion of copper, a mineral important in bone health.
The extra supplements, while necessary for some, are not for all. If you’re eating a balanced diet of vegetables, fruits, grains, lean proteins and healthy fats, you shouldn’t need the pricey biotin, according to Dressel. If you’re going to take any supplement, it should be a multivitamin that provides 100 percent of the essential vitamins and minerals.
Incorporating your essential vitamins, healthy fats and proteins are absolutely key.
“The healthy fats provide hydration to your hair, skin and nails,” Dressel says. “Your hair is primarily made of protein, so protein intake is necessary for hair growth.”
Lacking essential vitamins and minerals can not only prevent you from acquiring radiant hair, skin and nails, but it can also make them worse.
Individuals who participate in low-calorie or low-carbohydrate diets sometimes experience thinning and breaking of hair strands. Carbohydrates provide a significant amount of calories, and when drastically reduced, it may not be enough energy needed to support hair growth. Instead, the calories provide energy to the vital organs and tissues in the body. Dressel also adds when people greatly restrict their calories, they may not get enough of the essential nutrients, especially those healthy fats and proteins.
“25 to 30 percent of your calories should be coming from healthy fats,” Dressel says. “20 percent should be coming from protein, and 45 to 50 percent should be carbohydrates.”
Keep a balanced diet, and your hair, skin and nails will thank you.
Here’s a quick guide to some foods that will aid your flawless hair, skin and nails:
- Olive oil
- Canola oil
- Omega 3’s (healthy nuts such as almonds)
- Lean red meat
For healthy nails, calcium intake is important:
- Cottage cheese
- Plain/Vanilla Greek Yogurt