If you’re an avid fan of forensic series, you’ve probably have come across an episode where a hair is used to tell the health of a person. It’s true, our hair strands grow about 1-2 cm every month, and within each tiny bit of hair length, the nutrients available in our skin tissues and blood vessels are exhibited by the health of the hair during a specific span of time. Same goes for our skin and nails. Symptoms of overall body health are exhibited by our skin condition, as well as by the grooves, color and growth of our nails.
The condition of your skin, nails and hair give away the health of your internal body. Problems with them are probable signs that you are lacking or taking too much of some essential vitamins. Ensuring the health of these three not only improves your looks but much more importantly, they will be highly effective in acting as your primary physical barriers against invading pathogens. Here are important nutrients for a beautiful and a well-protected body: Vitamins A, B and D are of primary importance.
This triangle of vitamins are commonly found in cosmetic products as they have the ability to shred, replace or repair damaged cells and combat dryness to produce beautiful skin, hair, and nails.
- Vitamin A or beta-carotene can be found on carrots, tomatoes and other red, orange or yellow colored fruits and vegetable. The richer or deeper the orange or red color, the more beta-carotene is in there. Why vitamin A for hair? Vitamin A, beta carotene or caroteniod helps in metabolizing protein, and promotes skin, nail, and hair growth. Deficiency in vitamin A can cause dry, brittle nails, and the common hangnail.
- Vitamin D is mainly for calcium absorption, good bone and hair follicle integrity. With good and regular intake of vitamin D, hair roots become strong and healthy, able to absorb nutrients needed for hair growth. For the nails, calcium deficiency leads to brittle, flaking and dry nails, which is why vitamin D is essential for our nails, hair and overall skin health.
- Biotin is a B-complex vitamin commonly denoted as Vitamin B7 or vitamin H. It’s a water-soluble type of vitamin, essential coenzyme in breaking down fatty acids and leucine, and production of glucose. In other words, for the whole body, it maintains the blood sugar level, preventing it from getting too high. What is the role of Biotin for hair, skin and nails? Diabetics normally have problems with hair growth due to high sugar levels. This B-complex vitamin can help control sugar in the blood and therefore promote good growth of hair strands. In the bigger picture, biotin maintains strength between the hair roots and hair strands, preventing hair fall and eventual hair loss (baldness).Biotin can be found in egg yolks, liver, peanuts and other protein rich food. Traces of natural biotin can also be found in fruits and vegetable like banana, avocado and soy protein isolate. Biotin can be available in vitamin B complex supplements.
In general, these three – vitamin A, D and biotin plays an essential role for strong hair, nails and healthy skin. Other vitamins that play the same role are vitamin C, E, and minerals like zinc and calcium. Some of these vitamins have antioxidant properties that help your body control naturally occurring free radicals that damage your body cells. A quick explanation of free radicals is that they are unstable molecules in your body that naturally occur and while “traveling” inside of you they “steal” electrons from your body. Vitamins with antioxidant capabilities protect your body by giving away their electrons instead of your bodies. So basically you cannot entirely prevent the damage of free radicals in your body but you can severely reduce it over a lifetime by consuming antioxidants.
Moreover, minerals are also vital especially for the hair and the nails. Intake of zinc is highly recommended for those with falling hair and brittle nails. For the later problem, one should increase their intake of foods high in iron and calcium such as red meats, dairy products and those fortified with these minerals.
Aside from vitamins and minerals, ample consumption of omega-3 is often recommended. This essential fatty acid has anti-inflammatory properties for maintaining beautiful skin and is a very good moisturizer to prevent dryness. You can receive some of these benefits by adding flaxseed, mackerel, salmon, walnuts and other such sources of omega 3 in your diet
Looking at these vitamins and minerals for your dream hair, skin and nails, you will probably notice that there is no one food that will magically do the job alone. Either you pack your diet with the key nutrients mentioned above or look for supplements especially formulated for this reason. There is no magic pill but your body needs many vitamins and minerals that, together, can help your body maintain its healthy condition. Also keep in mind that this is a long term process. Unless your body severely needs a certain vitamin, you probably will need a few weeks of adding these vitamins to your diet before you can see noticeable changes.