The Vitamins & Minerals Critical to Healthy Hair and Nails
If you naturally have beautiful, strong hair and nails, chances are you’re in good health overall. Many illnesses, diseases and stress can be reflected or seen in hair, skin and nails. Brittle, thin, breaking hair and nails is often a sign that the body is undergoing extreme conditions, stress or neglect. The hair and nails are often the first to suffer damage from malnutrition or nutrient deficiencies.
It is true that hair and fingernails are only dead cells, but they are an excellent indicator of your health and wellbeing. A lack of nutrients, or to lose the ability to absorb nutrients properly, will cause the body to compensate the loss internally by using any available resource. The parts of the body used to compensate the deficiency then become weak. This weakness is too often reflected in the hair, nails or skin.
There are certain vitamins and minerals that can be consumed in order to improve the look and health of hair and nails. Foods rich in the following vitamins and minerals are crucial to hair and skin health:
- Vitamin A – Helps to produce healthy sebum in the scalp
- Vitamin B6 & B12 – Aid in the prevention of graying and hair loss
- Vitamin C – An antioxidant that is important for beautiful hair, skin and nails
- Vitamin E – Stimulates blood flow and circulation in the scalp and influences greatly the health of the hair, skin and nails.
- Biotin – Helps to produce Keratin, a substance crucial in hair and nail formation and strength.
- Inositol – Improves the health of hair follicles
- Niacin – Promotes healthy scalp circulation
Most of us consume vitamins in the foods that we eat. The following are foods that are naturally rich in vitamins that are important for beautiful skin, hair, nails and overall good health:
- Citrus Fruits (Lemons, oranges & limes)
- Green Vegetables
- Raw Seeds
- Whole Grains
- Lean Meats (Turkey, Chicken & Beef)
It is important to consume proteins and foods that are high in minerals, such as iron, calcium and magnesium.
Often, we are unable to get all the vitamins and minerals the body requires through diet alone. Supplements and other products are used to combat this problem. Some supplements are by prescription only, but there are hundreds available over-the-counter and online. Supplements are not regulated or required to pass FDA guidelines, so you must take care when choosing and consuming them. It is best to research thoroughly and consult with a healthcare professional before beginning any supplement regiment.