The body produces millions of skin, nail and hair cells over the course of your lifetime. It transforms raw materials from food into keratin which is a tough protein. Keratin forms the basic building block of hair, skin, and nails.
Proper nutrition is essential for healthy development of hair, skin, and nails because the skin is a living tissue and hair and nails are its accessory structures.
Healthy skin, hair, and nails add great value to the aesthetics of personal grooming. Taking good care of yourself can lift your morale and increase your self-esteem. In this article, we will discuss the essential nutrients that enhance the health and beauty quotient of your skin and its accessories.
Tyrosine is essential for the maintenance of structural integrity of hair strands and the cells of hair follicles. A low level of vitamin C in the blood is highly correlated to dry and splitting hairs and also hair loss. Vitamin C helps fight free radicals that can damage your hair and can make it weak and brittle.
Scientific studies show that vitamin C inhibited the production of DKK-1 protein, otherwise known as the baldness protein and stimulates hair growth. Vitamin C helps the body to produce collagen, a vital protein for healthy hair.
Spinach, blueberries, citrus fruits, Kiwi, and pineapples are some of the foods rich in vitamin C.
It is otherwise called as cobalamin. Vitamin B12 is used by your body in the replication of DNA, an essential process for healthy hair. It is important for metabolism and can boost the metabolism of your skin. Due to this more nutrients can reach your scalp and you’ll grow strong and healthy hair.
Vitamin B12 keeps the pigmentation of your hair vibrant. It is important for the creation of new collagen which is essential for the healthy texture of your hair.
Lisa Drayer author of the book “Beauty Diet” says vitamin B12 helps in healthy hair growth by the formation of red blood cells. These cells serve the purpose of carrying oxygen to the living portion of the hair strands. Without enough oxygen, your hair won’t sustain healthy growth.
Foods rich in vitamin B12 are eggs, milk, meat and dairy products.
Niacin also known as vitamin B3 brings in more blood flow by dilating the blood vessels to the scalp thereby increasing the nutrients and oxygen to the hair follicles. Niacin transforms carbohydrates into energy. It helps to maintain the structure of blood cells and improves blood circulation, thereby helps in the growth of your hair.
Niacin not only stimulates hair growth but also minimizes the accumulation of cholesterol. When cholesterol builds up on the scalp, it is converted into enzyme five alpha reductase. An increase in this enzyme results in balding in men and women.
Fish, shrimp, lean red meat, beans, dairy, almonds, celery, and carrot, are all rich in niacin.
Biotin or Vitamin B7
Biotin is a B-complex vitamin vital to cell proliferation, and thus it is a valuable tool in hair growth. Biotin reacts with cell enzymes and plays an important part in producing amino acids. These are the building blocks of proteins.
As you’re well aware, hair is made up of a protein called keratin. So consuming foods rich in biotin promotes hair growth.
Biotin is essential for skin cells. Healthy skin cells play a major role in the health of hair follicles. Weak or unhealthy hair follicles leads to hair loss. If you don’t get enough biotin you may lose your eyelashes and eyebrows.
Peanuts, almonds, soybeans, fish, egg yolk and avocado are great sources of biotin.
Vitamin E helps your hair repair from inside. It helps stimulate oxygen and increases circulation to the scalp. The antioxidant properties of vitamin E help repair damaged hair follicles and prevents tissue corrosion which in turn encourages healthy hair growth.
It deeply conditions your hair from root to shaft to make it shinier and prevents premature graying. Mix contents of 2 vitamin E capsules to 2 tbs of warm coconut or olive oil and massage onto your scalp. Allow it to sit for 30 minutes and then wash your hair. Repeat this treatment for 2-3 times a week for gorgeous hair.
Hair follicles are highly sensitive to hormones. Vitamin D is a hormone that plays an important role in cell growth differentiation, calcium homeostasis, and immune regulation. Proper hormonal balance results in healthy hair follicles.
Research studies say that insufficient levels of vitamin D can lead to alopecia areata or spot baldness which is an autoimmune disease.
Direct sun exposure is an efficient way to get vitamin D. Sit in the sun for about 10-15 minutes to absorb about 10,000 units of natural vitamin D. Increase your vitamin D levels by including halibut, eel, salmon, swordfish, white fish, portabella mushrooms and maitake mushrooms in your diet.
Omega 3 Fats
Omega 3 fats support hair thickening,m nourish your hair and reduce inflammation that can lead to hair loss. According to a study in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology supplementation of omega three fatty acids for six months resulted in increased hair growth, reduction in hair loss and improvement in hair diameter and hair density.
Foods such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, egg yolk, sardines, white fish, and walnuts are great sources of omega three fats.
Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5)
Vitamin B5 supports adrenal glands which support hair growth. A study published in British Journal of Dermatology says that including this vitamin results in significant increase in the diameter of scalp fibers, which means you’ll have strong hair. It resulted in hair thickness and increased pliability of hair which gives the hair better ability to withstand force without breaking.
Zinc is an important cofactor for many enzymes and greatly boosts the health of the hair follicles. It inhibits hair follicle regression and speeds up the recovery of hair follicles. This action promotes hair growth.
Scientific literature says that low zinc concentrations in our body can lead to alopecia areata, female pattern hair loss, male pattern hair loss and telogen effluvium (hair loss due to stress). Researchers found that zinc supplementation for patients suffering from alopecia areata resulted in hair regrowth.
Iron helps to digest nutrients and carries them to hair follicles through the bloodstream which results in hair growth. Researchers at Tehran University of Medical Sciences found that iron deficiency in women between the ages of 15 -45 was associated with telogen hair loss.
To boost iron levels in your body include spinach, egg yolks, navy beans, black beans and Swiss chard.
Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant. It gives the fruits its red color and is found abundant in tomatoes. It is most powerful against singlet oxygen, a highly reactive oxygen molecule and a primary cause of premature skin aging.
Lycopene is also found in cell membranes and maintains cell integrity when it is under assault by toxins. Research has shown that high-lycopene foods in the diet can reduce the damage caused by skin by UV exposure.
When ingested lycopene gets converted to retinol. It promotes the production of collagen and melatonin which boosts skin health and reduces effects of aging.
Lycopene reduces skin darkening and age spots. It soothes rough skin and promotes the growth of new skin cells.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant needed for the maintenance of healthy skin. The primary role of vitamin E in the skin is to prevent damage caused by free radicals.
Vitamin E prevents the formation of wrinkles by boosting collagen production, a connective tissue that keeps skin elastic. It keeps wrinkles at bay by supporting new cell growth and speeds up cell regeneration.
Chlorophyll has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and wound healing properties. It prevents scarring and infections by killing germs. The alkaline formulation of chlorophyll is good at fighting Candida albicans which cause yeast infection in the private parts.It stimulates the lymphatic system and oxygenates the skin.
It fights acne breakouts. It is a natural chelate and cleanses your blood and helps in detoxification of skin. The central atom in chlorophyll is magnesium which is good for combating skin allergies.
Chlorophyll has skin protecting antioxidants and natural sunscreen properties and so it reduces the wrinkles. Chlorophyll has odor absorbing properties and fights smelly skin odor. Include chlorophyll-containing serum to your beauty routine and eat lots of green leafy veggies to boost your skin health.
Gamma Linoleic Acid
This essential fatty acid is important for the suppleness, moisture content and smoothness of the skin. Dietary deficiency of gamma linoleic acid results in dry and flaky skin, weak cutaneous capillaries and decreased wound healing.
It forms the structural components of cell membranes where it ensures fluidity and stability that results in healthy skin. GLA maintains epidermal barrier function and acts as gatekeepers that lock in the moisture while keeping toxins out. Hemp oil, borage oil, and spirulina are rich sources of GLA.
Vitamin A is necessary for the maintenance and repair of vital skin tissue. It works by normalizing skin functions, and so it corrects all skin conditions. It helps to reduce the symptoms of rosacea.
It exfoliates making skin smooth and even toned. Vitamin A repairs the cellular structure of the epidermis, thereby optimizing UV protection. It decreases the clustering of melanin granules and thereby reduces brown spots or pigmentation.
Vitamin A reduces acne by decreasing the sebum production. It improves hydration of skin and helps in eradication of precancerous skin lesions. It increases the rate of wound healing. Sweet potato, carrots, and dark leafy greens are good sources of vitamin A.
Vitamin B3 or niacin can boost cell metabolism and cell turnover which reduces with age and helps to reveal younger looking skin. Niacin helps to heal wounds, repair hyperpigmentation and sun damage. It strengthens the skin barrier and improves the hydration and suppleness of the skin.
Scientific studies show that vitamin B3 reduces wrinkles and fine lines, elasticity, acne and red blotchiness. Nicotinamide in moisturizers produces significant improvements in rosacea. It is a chronic, skin condition that causes flushing, red bumps, and red facial skin.
Vitamin B3 is used to treat skin conditions called bullous pemphigoid and granuloma annulare. These conditions involve blistering of the skin, are very painful and causes infection.
Vitamin K reduces stretch marks, scars, spider veins, dark spots and stubborn dark circles under your eyes. Fragile capillaries that cause blood to leak into the skin are considered one cause of under eye circles. Vitamin K stops this seepage and improves capillaries strength and prevents bruising of capillaries.
Scientific studies say that vitamin K cream helps heal skin faster after pulsed dye laser treatments. They are used to erase spider veins in the face. Vitamin K improves skin elasticity by activating a protein called matrix-carboxyglutamic acid. This protein inhibits the calcification of skin tissues that leads to wrinkling according to researchers at the University of Maastricht in Netherlands.
Vitamin C contains ascorbic acid, which creates a firmer feeling, younger looking skin and greatly reduces signs of uneven skin tone. Vitamin C fades brown spots. It is a potent oxidant that rejuvenates aged and photodamaged skin.
According to University of Maryland Medical Center vitamin C may reduce sunburn caused by exposure to ultraviolet B radiation. It prevents the consequences of long-term skin exposure which can lead to skin cancer.
Bioflavonoids are plant metabolites that occur in nature. Quercetin, hesperidin, and rutin are three of the better-known flavonoids. They have the ability to prevent and reverse wrinkles, fight spider veins and reduce the appearance of age spots.
A study showed that quercetin and rutin when applied to dying skin cells, they were rejuvenated and began to reproduce again. Hesperidin fights age spots by limiting the capacity of the skin cells to produce tyrosinase.
Rutin maintains the health of capillaries and fights spider veins. Rutin keeps your skin looking younger by protecting against damage caused by advanced glycation end products. These products speed up the aging process of skin cells.
Vitamin B12 promotes skin health by helping to repair skin cells, and it moisturizes your skin and reduces dryness. It boosts your energy levels and prevents depression and stress. Research studies say that stress can lead to dermatological problems such as acne, brittle nails, and even hair loss. Ensure that you take the recommended vitamin B 12 levels in your diet.
This vitamin plays a major part in cell reproduction. Vitamin B12 can be applied to the skin for psoriasis and eczema because it reduces inflammation, redness and acne blemishes.
Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant which fights free radicals and supports healthy nail growth. It helps in cell differentiation, increases immunity thereby preventing nail infections and helps to grow strong nails.
Deficiency of vitamin A can lead to dry and brittle nails because the epithelial cells lose their moisture and become hard and dry. Vitamin A is essential for the keratinization process. Include liver, eggs, milk, carrots and leafy green veggies for healthy nails.
The benefit of biotin was first discovered when horses were effectively treated with biotin to correct problems with their hoofs becoming brittle and cracked. Dr. Richard Scher, an acclaimed dermatologist, believes that biotin improves the keratin infrastructure and gives you strong nails.
Dr. Susan Stuart, a board certified dermatologist, says brittle nails may have multiple causes, but taking biotin supplements may halt this process and help to reverse it.
Biotin helps to transport carbon dioxide from cells, so your cells get their healthy dose of oxygen. This action boosts the growth of healthy nail cells. Take a look at this Biotin supplement with great results for women around the world.
Magnesium is essential for proper nail growth. Deficiency may cause brittle nails and poor nail growth. Vertical ridges in your nails may be a sign of inadequate magnesium according to health experts. Stress can result in unhealthy nails, the everyday wear and tear of the emotionally demanding situations may lead to stress. Magnesium is a great anti-stress mineral and helps you have gorgeous nails.
Iron deficiency may cause brittle nails. When you suffer from anemia caused by iron deficiency, your body cannot produce enough hemoglobin. This lack of oxygen results in poor growth of nails.
Deficiency of iron can cause spoon nails (Koilonychia), and detachment of nails from the nail bed (Onycholysis). Red meat, seafood, poultry, beans, dried fruits and dark leafy veggies are rich sources of iron.
Your nails are made up of keratin a type of protein and Sulfur helps glue the keratin fibers together contributing hardness to nails.
Sulfur fights against fungi. You can take Sulphur orally or topically. In Ayurveda Sulphur is used as a great remedy for fungal toenails. The condition is called as Onychomycosis. In this condition, your nails become brittle, turns yellowish and can emit afoul odor.
Mix a small amount of Sulphur with coconut oil and apply this paste to the affected nail. Allow it to stay for the entire night and wash it off in the morning. It gives great results if done on a regular basis.
Zinc is involved in the growth and division of cells. Fingernails need steady levels of zinc to produce healthy growth of nails. Zinc deficiency can appear as white spots or flecks on the fingernails. Zinc deficiency causes slow nail growth and nail splitting. Oysters, beef, pumpkin seeds, squash seeds and wheat germ are rich sources of zinc.
According to Rianna Loving founder of Organic Skin Care, Vitamin C maintains the integrity of nails by strengthening our skin, connective tissue, bones and blood vessels. Vitamin C helps the growth of nails and strengthens it. It prevents ‘hang nails’ by aiding collagen formation. Ingesting vitamin C is the best way to increase nail health. Include citrus fruits often in your diet to boost your vitamin C levels.
Oral vitamin E increases blood circulation thus improving the amount of blood flowing through the nail growth structures. Your nails are formed from dead keratin cells. The dead cells accumulate as a result of activity in nail growth structures. The activity consisting of cell formation and division will not be possible without enough blood supply.
Topical application of vitamin E can correct certain nail disorders such as yellow nails. This condition results in thick yellowish nails which can be a result of fungal infection. Oral vitamin E supplements can also be effective in treating this condition.
Iodine can be used to strengthen weak nails. Iodine deficiency can cause clubbing nails. It is characterized by bulbous enlargement of the ends of finger or toes. Cod fish, yogurt, turkey breast, navy beans, and eggs are rich sources of iodine.
If you suffer from weak nails, you can naturally strengthen it by applying white iodine. To fortify your nails with iodine apply it once a day for one week. Apply just one coat. After the first week, apply only a few times a week.
Riboflavin is essential for HBC production, which increases the oxygen to your nails and boosts nail health. It regulates the growth and reproduction of cells and ensures healthy growth of skin, nails, and hair.
Brittle nails are a symptom of thyroid imbalance and adequate riboflavin levels regulate proper functioning of thyroid glands. Riboflavin increases the natural immunity of the body and prevents nail infections. Riboflavin along with biotin helps form new tissues and assists to form stronger and smoother nails.
You can boost your riboflavin levels by including wild rice, eggs, dried peas, shellfish, asparagus, and spinach.
To have smooth, clear and glowing skin eat a healthy diet, manage your stress levels, treat your skin gently, keep it hydrated, protect yourself from the sun and quit smoking.
Healthy, well-manicured nails are an integral part of a neatly pulled together appearance. To achieve well groomed, healthy and elegant nails, avoid cutting your cuticles, use nail hardeners sparingly, moisturize your nail bed and cuticle, eat a healthy diet and avoid harsh chemicals.
To enjoy a beautiful, shiny and bouncy hair, eat nutrients that nourish your hair. Drink plenty of water and handle your hair gently. Use healthy washing and styling habits and opt for natural hair care products.
Stay away from dyes and other permanent treatments. Give your hair, oil treatments, protect your hair from extreme weather conditions and often trim your hair.Proper nutrition along with a little bit of TLC can help you have a healthy and beautiful skin, hair and nails.
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