superfoods

You can often tell whether or not your diet contains enough essential nutrients by the way you feel and how your body reacts. And though biotin supplements have been promoted for skin and hair health in doses up to 300mg per day, there’s more you could be doing to promote skin, hair, and nail health. An unhealthy diet will specifically impact your hair, skin, and nails. When foods inflame the body’s cells and cause them to breakdown, it leads to the tearing apart of your body’s collagen, keratin, and elastin.

As collagen provides supple skin, keratin provides smooth and strong hair, and elastin provides strong nails, all of these elements of your appearance can be directly impacted by a poor diet. Although women spend an average of $144 a year on beauty, you could easily improve your hair, skin, and nails by changing up what you eat. Let’s explore four superfoods that contain the nutritional properties that allow your hair, skin, and nails to thrive.

Almonds

These simple nuts are rich in Vitamin E, a natural antioxidant that provides anti-inflammatory benefits for your body and supports collagen production. Almonds can further support your body’s collagen growth with the large amount of plant-based protein that they contain.

Almonds are also an excellent source of calcium. This mineral provides nutritional support for your hair, skin, and nails as well as your bones and teeth. With 32% of people saying they’re concerned over the look of their teeth, many people may find that incorporating foods like almonds into their diet will improve their appearance in more than one way. If you do choose to munch on almonds more regularly, be sure to purchase raw, organic almonds. Inorganic almonds are often contaminated with pesticides and toxins while roasted nuts are more acidic and processed.

Orange Root Vegetables

Carrots, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, and winter squash all have significant amounts of Vitamin A, another nutrient that supports your nails, skin, and hair. It is especially helpful for your hair, as it helps your body produce sebum.

Sebum is a conditioning substance for the scalp and keeps your hair looking and feeling healthy. Naturally producing more of this substance could help make the 88% of women who say their hair has a direct effect on their confidence feel more confident about their hair more often. Orange root veggies can further boost confidence with their high levels of Vitamin C, an antioxidant that combats free radical production that can lead to aging. When you’re cooking up these veggies, remember to steam, bake, or cook them in a slow cooker rather than frying them to enhance their antioxidant content.

Greens

The human body loves the nutrients it can get from green foods such as spinach, kale, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, watercress, and collards. These leafy greens are filled with Vitamins A, C, E, and K as well as B vitamins and iron. They also contain helpful minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium that are crucial to the health of your hair, skin, and nails.

As water-rich foods, greens won’t dehydrate your body and they can even help clear toxins out of your system. You can easily incorporate them into your diet by including them in salads, wraps, entrees, and green smoothies. By doing this, you’ll also be closer to meeting the World Health Organization’s recommendation to eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day. Remember to choose organic and non-GMO greens and go for darker green vegetables for the highest amount of nutrients possible.

Oats

Whole grains are essential for nearly everyone’s diets, whether they’re in the form of wild rice, barley, rye, or quinoa. Oats are wonderful whole grains that can provide great benefits for your hair, skin, and nails. Oats contain nutrients like biotin and other B vitamins, magnesium, protein, fiber, and antioxidants. These nutrients can help your skin get clearer and your hair grow longer and stronger. Hair grows an average of half an inch per month. If your hair isn’t keeping up with this average growth, you may want to try including more oats in your diet to encourage it to grow.

Oats are easy to prepare for breakfast and taste especially good when soaked overnight with coconut yogurt. Of course, they’re also the main star of oatmeal, which you can doctor up with plenty of delicious and healthy ingredients. Toss in a few dark chocolate morsels (which we can thank the Aztec people for) and some dried fruit and you’ve got a delicious meal. Remember to purchase organic, non-GMO old-fashioned rolled oats or steel-cut oats instead of instant oats for the healthiest option.

If you’re experiencing issues with your hair, nails, or skin, know that you aren’t alone. Approximately 33% of women experience hair loss at some point in their lives. Many women also face daily struggles with dry skin and brittle nails. Put these superfoods in your cart the next time you go grocery shopping and you may just find that you won’t be able to live without them.