Nutrients to support Skin, Hair and Nails Health
A healthy, balanced and varied diet is critical for getting all the key nutrients that the body needs to help you look and feel your best.
There are certain key nutrients that help keep your hair, skin and nails healthy. You ought be able to get all of these nutrients through food, but if you're worried your diet may be lacking some of them then you may want to consider taking a supplement.
If you think you have a deficiency, you should contact your personal doctor, as this can sometimes point to a condition that may need to be treated.
Also known as retinol, vitamin A plays a key role in skin health as it supports the maintenance of healthy skin. Rich sources of vitamin A include cheese, eggs, oily fish, fortified low-fat spreads and dairy products.
Riboflavin (vitamin B2)
Riboflavin helps maintain healthy skin, and is found in milk, eggs and rice. It is destroyed by ultraviolet light, so always store these foods out of direct sunlight. Vitamin B2 deficiency is uncommon, but symptoms include scaly patches on the face. Food rich in vitamin B2 are fish, meat, and poultry, such as turkey, chicken, beef, kidneys, and liver, eggs, dairy products, asparagus, artichokes, avocados, cayenne, currants.
Niacin (vitamin B3)
Meat, fish, wheat, eggs and dairy products are good sources of niacin, another vitamin which supports healthy skin. Food rich in vitamin B3 are meat (especially red meat and liver), oily fish (such as mackerel or salmon), poultry, eggs, milk and dairy products.
Biotin (vitamin B7)
Biotin is also known as vitamin B7. It's made naturally by bacteria in your gut and helps to maintain healthy hair and skin. If your diet contains a wide variety of nutrients, it's likely that your gut is making enough biotin. Vitamin B7 is found in a number of foods, though in small amounts. This includes walnuts, peanuts, cereals, milk, and egg yolks. Other foods that contain this vitamin are whole meal bread, salmon, pork, sardines, mushroom and cauliflower. Fruits that contain biotin include avocados, bananas and raspberries.
Vitamin C helps create collagen, a protein that supports healthy skin. Foods rich in vitamin C include citrus fruits, most berries, spinach, tomatoes, cauliflower and potatoes.
Vitamin E contributes to the protection of cells from oxidative stress and supports healthy skin. Foods rich in vitamin E include vegetable oils (such as wheat germ, sunflower, safflower, corn, and soybean oils), nuts (such as almonds, peanuts, and hazelnuts/filberts), seeds (such as sunflower seeds), green leafy vegetables (such as spinach and broccoli), fortified breakfast cereals, fruit juices, margarine, and spreads.
Astaxanthin is a natural antioxidant carotenoid, it is said to have many health benefits. It's been linked to healthier skin, endurance, heart health, joint pain. The natural sources of astaxanthin are algae, yeast, salmon, trout, krill, shrimp and crayfish.
Copper is an essential nutrient for the body. Together with iron, it enables the body to form red blood cells. It helps maintain healthy skin bones, blood vessels, nerves, and immune function, and it contributes to iron absorption. Copper — which is vital to your health — is found in a wide range of foods, from meat to vegetables. Particularly good sources include oysters, nuts, seeds, shitake mushrooms, lobster, liver, leafy greens and dark chocolate.
Selenium contributes to the maintenance of healthy hair and nails and protection against oxidative stress. Foods rich in selenium include brazil nuts, fish (like the yellowfin tuna is particularly excellent source of selenium), ham, pork, beef, turkey, chicken.
Zinc is a metallic mineral that's known to maintain healthy skin, hair and nail and to contribute to the normal metabolism of Vitamin A. Zinc occurs naturally in many foods, including meat, dairy products, nuts and seeds, legumes (beans, peas and lentils) and shellfish. Zinc is absorbed most effectively when taken with a protein-rich meal.