When you think about improving the health of your hair, skin and nails, the first thing you think of might be going to a beauty counter. I promise.
However, you can also take a detour to the supermarket. What you wear may be just as important as what you wear.
“Your skin and body are a reflection of what you put into it,” says Alan Michon, medical director of the Ottawa Skin Clinic and a board-certified medical expert at the American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine.
It seems doable—delicious. But is it possible to eat healthier hair, skin and nails?Here’s the study and her three expert opinions.
You may have heard that science supports the idea that certain foods can support heart health.
But what about hair, skin and nails? Research is evolving and sometimes mixed.
skin and nails
A 2022 review suggested that eating a plant-based diet may benefit skin barrier health and function.
on the other hand,
Nails are rich in keratin and nutrition can affect your health.
Although research is progressing, particularly in nails and skin, nutrition is a low-cost, low-risk way to improve hair, skin, and nail growth.
Here’s what some nutritionists and dermatologists suggest putting on your plate.
Katie Tomaszko, MS, RDN, says seafood rich in omega-3 fatty acids is beneficial for hair and skin.
“Omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce inflammation and redness in the body and skin,” says Tomaszko, a practitioner in Buffalo, NY. A nutrient that supports the production of keratin. “
The fish she recommends are:
Tomaszko says sweet potatoes are rich in the carotenoid beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A.
“Vitamin A boosts the production of keratin, which is essential for skin and nail health,” says Tomaszko.
nuts and seeds
According to Tomaszko, some seeds, especially sunflower seeds, are an excellent source of:
Nuts such as almonds and walnuts also contain the antioxidant vitamin E, which helps fight oxidative damage, according to Paula Doebrich, MPH, RDN at Happea Nutrition.
She also says that vitamin E also has anti-inflammatory properties that help absorb energy from UV rays and protect against skin damage and visible signs of aging, such as fine lines and sunburn.
Avocados are full of healthy fats and nutrients that promote healthy skin and nails, says Tomaszko.
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin E
This review also included research showing that vitamin C can help produce collagen and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
However, this review fell short of asserting that this nutrient can combat aging.
Protein is an essential part of a healthy diet for hair, says Daubrich.
“Our hair is made of a protein called keratin, so a diet lacking in protein can make our hair brittle.
Boasts 1 extra-large egg
dark leafy vegetables
Eating plenty of leafy greens provides your body with nutrients that are beneficial for your hair, skin, and nails.
Examples of dark leafy greens include:
- swiss chard
- collard green
Step into the Oyster Bar. Thank you for your hair and skin.
“Oysters are an excellent source of zinc,” says Daubrich. “Zinc is needed for hair growth and tissue repair.”
1 cup of oyster
Drinking water isn’t the only way to increase your intake. According to Tomaszko, the following foods are high in water:
Tomaszko says you don’t need to cut anything out of your diet completely unless you have an allergy or intolerance.
Still, certain items should be consumed in moderation.
Tomaszko suggests that if you want to toast with something every night, do a “cheers” with something other than alcohol.
“Alcohol dehydrates you, makes our bodies obsessed with filtering it out, and prevents our bodies from doing their normal daily maintenance, which includes keeping our skin and nails healthy. says Tomaszko.
- puffiness under the eyes
- Midface volume loss
- Enhanced visibility of blood vessels
- upper facial line
Moderate drinking was associated with puffiness under the eyes and a decrease in midface volume.
Avoiding ultra-processed foods can reduce your risk of skin problems.
“These foods can cause inflammation in the body, which can harm the health of your skin and nails,” says Tomaszko.
Foods to consider for an “occasionally” treat include:
super sweet drink
Tomaszko recommends limiting consumption of:
- sweetened iced tea
- sugary coffee
Want to learn more about the relationship between food and hair, skin and nails? Get the facts below.
Can supplements help hair, skin and nail growth?
Michonne says there is some evidence that the supplement can boost hair, skin, and nail growth.
Still, he advises people to be careful and talk to their providers.
“It’s important to note that supplements should not replace your regular diet,” he says. “Instead, use supplements in combination with the whole foods you’re consuming.”
According to Doebrich, most people in the United States get enough nutrients from their diet alone.
What are the best vegan foods for hair, skin and nails?
Protein is believed to be associated with hair and skin health, but following a vegan diet can provide these and other benefits, says Doebrich.
- nuts and seeds
- fruits and vegetables
- Plant-based sources of iron, such as dark leafy greens.
- Soy-based foods such as tofu, tempeh, and soy milk
What foods are bad for your hair, skin and nails?
The good news: Unless you have an allergy or intolerance, no food is completely off-limits, says Doebrich.
On the other hand, there are foods that should be eaten occasionally, such as ultra-processed foods, fried foods, sugary snacks and drinks, and alcohol.
These foods are associated with problems such as hair loss, skin aging, skin dehydration, and atopic dermatitis.
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) points out that there’s mixed evidence about whether dairy products, especially milk, can make acne worse. Dairy products contain other nutrients, so consult your health care professional before cutting them out of your diet.
There is evidence to suggest that several vitamins, minerals, and dietary types can help boost hair, skin, and nail health. Includes a protein, low-glycemic diet.
Try salmon, nuts, avocados, fruits and vegetables, and more.
It’s best to avoid ultra-processed, sweetened foods. You don’t have to get rid of them all together, but limiting your intake can help reduce inflammation and skin dehydration, which can improve hair, skin, and nail health. can be improved.
Always consult your healthcare professional before taking any supplements. Most nutrients can be obtained through diet alone, and long-term supplementation carries risks.
Beth Ann Mayer is a New York-based freelance writer and content strategist specializing in writing about health and parenting. Her work has been published in Parents, Shape and Inside Lacrosse. She co-founded her digital agency Lemonseed Creative and is a graduate of Syracuse University. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.