Eating well with a wide variety of nutritious foods is key to being healthy inside and out, and specific macronutrients, vitamins and minerals can provide essential nutrients for healthy hair, skin and nails. What's the good news? All of these can be obtained from a well-balanced, healthy diet without the use of supplements.
Everything influences the health, vitality, and appearance of your skin, from what you eat and drink to how much sleep you get, your stress levels, and sun exposure.
Skin that is dry, dull, or inflammatory, as well as acne outbreaks, can indicate that your skin is unhappy and that your skin barrier has been disrupted in some manner.
Let’s take a closer look at your water intake and diet.
A skin-focused diet should be packed with healthy fats, unprocessed foods, lean protein sources and plenty of water. If you’re surviving on junk food, alcohol and caffeine, then you probably don’t have to look very far to find the cause of some of your skin concerns.
Nuts and seeds
Including almonds, cashews, walnuts (and more) as well as seeds in your diet is a great way to help your hair, skin and nails. Nuts are a good source of protein, vitamin E & B vitamins. Nuts, particularly walnuts and seeds like linseed are great sources of omega-6 fats as well. Grab a handful as a snack or spread a natural nut butter on your toast in the morning.
Avocado is a fantastic source of vitamin E, vitamin B and omega-3 fats. Avocados also contain fibre and vitamin C. Use avocado instead of butter on your toast, or chop and add to your favourite salad. Not only are avocados great for hair and skin, but a 2013 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey of US adults, published in Nutrition Journal, found those who eat avocado regularly have a better overall diet quality, lower BMI and lower risk of lifestyle diseases than people who avoid it.
Oats are one of the best whole grain sources. They contain protein and biotin — a B vitamin that helps support keratin development. Oats have the added benefits of being low GI so they keep you fuller for longer, as well as being high in a fibre called beta-glucan that helps reduce cholesterol absorption. Keep breakfast simple with a bowl of porridge or bircher muesli to reap the rewards.
Vitamin C is essential to make collagen which prevents hair breakage, boosts collagen production and repairs skin damage caused by UV exposure and environmental toxins. Berries, and other fruits including kiwifruit and citrus, are also loaded with potent antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. These fruits are some of the best to eat to heal damaged hair, skin and nails.
Greens like kale and spinach are another good source of vitamin C and also great sources of phytonutrients, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. Spinach also helps with the skin’s elasticity and is a good source of iron, particularly if following a vegetarian diet —just top it with a squeeze of lemon juice to help the absorption.
Many supplements claim to improve the health of your hair, skin, and nails, but they aren't necessary because you can obtain all the important nutrients you need from a well-balanced, healthy diet.