Healthy Skin, Hair and Nails

July 10, 2017

healthy skin hair nailsSummer is a great time to show-off your healthy skin, hair and nails! The condition of your skin, hair and nails is a reflection of your overall state of health. A variety of factors can affect their condition, including your exposure to tobacco smoke, sun damage, medications, drug use, and nutritional status.  Guess what is the best way to keep these parts of you looking shiny and healthy – a well-balanced diet! Be sure you are eating a lot of vegetables and fruits along with a smaller portions of protein, healthy fats and grains.

Sometimes vitamin supplementation is needed to support your body, especially if your thyroid gland is under stress (which can lead to pale skin, dull hair and brittle nails). Vitamin formulas for healthy hair, skin, and nails contain many of the same nutrients that your entire body needs for growth and maintenance of cells such as Biotin, the B vitamins, Vitamin D, Zinc, Vitamin C & E, and essential fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6). These vitamins also support the production of keratin which is the essential building block for your skin, hair and nails. Talk to your wellness practitioner about the following key supplements that can give strength and shine to your hair, skin, and nails.

Biotin and the mighty B vitamins. The B-complex (B3, B6 and B12) is vital for hair and skin growth. Biotin, also a B vitamin, is sometimes used to help reduce or prevent hair loss. Some people do not get enough biotin in their diet, resulting in a deficiency. In such cases, research has shown taking biotin supplements may help alleviate hair thinning. Biotin-rich foods include peanut butter, eggs, avocados, legumes, and bananas.

Vitamin D is important for hair follicle cycling, especially for individuals who live in northern parts of the United States where sunlight is limited. Salmon, mushrooms, beef liver, and grains are great sources of vitamin D.

Zinc is a key mineral for hair growth, wound healing, healthy skin, and immune function. Zinc is found in foods such as red meat, oysters, lamb, turkey, pumpkin seeds, and chocolate.

Vitamins C & E both have many important functions, including protecting cells from damage and boosting immunity. Good sources are seeds, dark green veggies, safflower oil, and citrus fruits.

Essential fatty acids. Omega-3 and omega-6 fats have been shown to reduce inflammation and support skin and scalp health. You can obtain essential fatty acids from eating cold-water fish such as mackerel, salmon, sardines, anchovies, tuna, pollock, or shrimp. However, these fish can contain high levels of heavy metals—that’s not a good thing. Limit your intake of these fish to just two or three times a month. If you are averse to eating fish, or are vegan, a flaxseed oil supplement is a good alternative.

Herbs are a delightful addition to your supplement routine and will make your skin, hair and nails be strong and glow.

Horsetail, Alfalfa and Nettles. These herbs are rich in flavonoids, biotin, calcium, potassium, silica and zinc which are vital to the functioning of rapidly growing tissues such as skin and nails. These herbs nourish, strengthen and fortify the hair and nails and help the resiliency, elasticity and connective tissue of the skin.

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