Hair loss, thinning of hair, pailing of skin, scalp dryness, brittle nails, these are some common problems which most of us are encountering with. Thanks to our erratic lifestyle and bad eating habits which are taking a high toll on our overall health including hair and skin.
Do you know diet plays a vital role in healthy hair & skin?
Best Nutritionist in India explains, ‘’There are several factors on which the growth of your hair depends. Diet, Genetics, Age and health are the prime factors that play a vital role. While you cannot alter your age and genetics, diet is something which you can work upon to get the visible results.”
If you want to have beautiful skin and healthy hair, this article is for you!
Eating a balanced diet with all the essential nutrients not only keeps you healthy but also boost your confidence by enhancing your beautiful appearance.
There are certain best foods which you must include in your diet for healthy hair & skin.
What is heart disease called?
The foods listed below not only nourish your hair but also strengthen them to prevent hair fall. As skin, hair and nails are constitute of similar cells, the nutrients present in the food below are vital for their development:
Avocado is considered highly beneficial food for glowing skin and hair. Loaded with healthy fats, Vitamin E and Vitamin B, Avocado works miraculously at the cellular level to improve your skin texture deeply. Vitamin E repairs the damaged scalp while Vitamin B is essential for the growth of hair. Antioxidants help in fighting the free radicals and also helpful in preventing the inflammation. It is included in the diet plan for a healthy heart a well.
Loaded with protein, Omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin D, it is one of the healthiest foods for maintaining a healthy scalp. Mackerel and Herring are also beneficial as they contain essential nutrients for hair growth. Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids are linked to improved hair density and reduce hair loss.
Dense in nutrients like Zinc, Oysters support the growth and repair of hair. Telogen effluvium is a reversible condition of hair loss which is generally caused due to the deficiency of Zinc in the body.
However, taking zinc can reverse the condition. But including excessive Zinc in your diet may also lead to hair loss. Hence, instead of taking Zinc supplements, it is recommended to include the zinc-rich foods like Oyster to keep the zinc doses at moderation.
When there is a deficiency of Vitamin B in your body, it leads to brittle nails and hair loss. The Egg yolk contains biotin which is Vitamin B. Healthy levels of Biotin strengthen your nails and prevent hair loss. The protein present in albumin also helps in hair growth. Your hair follicles are mostly made up of protein.
When you experience protein deficiency, it also leads to hair loss. Biotin is responsible for a hair protein called Keratin which boosts exceptional growth of your hair. People with biotin deficiency are recommended to include more biotin in their diet to promote hair growth.
Other hair-healthy nutrients such as selenium and zinc are also present in the egg to make it a superfood to be included in the diet for optimal hair growth.
Yellow and Red Bell Peppers
Loaded with beta-carotene and Vitamin c, Red and Yellow bell peppers keeps the skin firm and strong with the production of collagen. Yellow Bell pepper contains as much as 5 times of Vitamin C as compared to an orange. These are also a great source of Vitamin A which is crucial in the development of healthy skin and hair
Vitamin A stimulates the production of sebum and speeds up the growth of hair.
Enriched with Vitamin C, Tomatoes include major carotenoids like lycopene, lutein and Beta Carotene which preserve the skin against damage from sun rays and also defer the ageing process. Vitamin C is an important antioxidant which prevents hair breakage and strengthens hair follicles.
Shrimp is a popular shellfish which is loaded with certain nutrients which is beneficial for skin and hair. The presence of Zinc, Vitamin B, Vitamin D and Iron makes it a great food to include in your diet for healthy hair and skin.
As it is low in fat, you can include it in your diet regularly. Although it is a small source of Omega 3 fatty acids, it is still useful in promoting hair growth.
Beta Carotene present in Sweet Potatoes acts as a natural sunblock for your skin. The body converts the Beta Carotene into Vitamin A which contributes to hair growth. It helps add warm tones to your skin and make it appear healthier. Vitamin A also thickens the hair and promotes hair growth by preventing the Hair Follicles from regressing.
Oat is whole grains which are high in protein, potassium, biotin and magnesium. They contain the anti-inflammatory properties, are the rich source of antioxidants and also contain high fibre. They play an incredible role by providing exceptional nutrition for hair.
Dark Chocolates protect the skin from UV rays damage and keeps the skin hydrated. The chocolate which has 75% or higher cocoa is highly beneficial for the skin.
There are various types of nuts available in the market such as peanuts, almonds, cashew nuts and walnuts. These nuts are rich in antioxidants, omega fatty acids another mineral which prevents the skin ageing and also nourishes the skin. It is recommended to include these nuts in the diet in moderation for the healthy growth of skin, hair and nails.
Spermidine present in Soyabean largely contributes to the growth of healthy hair. The longer the hair Follicles stay in the anagen phase, longer the hair will grow. Spermidine is responsible for extending the anagen phase and thus promote healthy hair growth.
Green vegetables like Spinach and Kale are filled with powerful antioxidants which prevent the hair breakage and skin pailing. These vegetables are also helpful in repairing the damage caused to skin due to the exposure of UV rays. Vitamin C present in them boost the collagen levels which improves the skin elasticity. Phytonutrients present in them have anti-inflammatory and antioxidants benefits.
The presence of folate, Vitamin A and Iron in spinach also promotes hair growth. Vitamin A is responsible for producing sebum which moisturizes the scalp and keeps your hair healthy. Just 30 gm of Spinach can accommodate your daily recommended Vitamin A up to 54%.
It is also a great plant-based rich source of Iron which aid repair and growth of hair.
Loaded with minerals, antioxidants and Vitamin C, Berries are best as fruits to repair the damaged hair, Improve skin elasticity and prevent skin ageing. Antioxidants play a vital role in preventing the damage caused to hair follicles by free radicals.
If you include 1 cup of berries in your diet every day, it suffices 141% of your daily vitamin C needs. Vitamin C also helps in absorbing iron in your body. Low iron levels lead to anaemia which also leads to hair loss. Berries boost collagen production to improve your skin.
Most of the seeds are low in calories and high in essential nutrients for hair like Selenium, Vitamin A and Zinc which promotes healthy skin and hair. Seeds like Chia seeds and flaxseeds are high in omega 3 fatty acids which promote healthy skin.
Seeds like Sunflower seeds are high in Vitamin E. A mixture of seeds is highly recommended to consume to increase the widest variety of nutrients in your diet.
This plant-based protein is good to promote hair growth. They also contain zinc which accelerates the repair cycle and hair growth. Beans are the good source of biotin, and Iron which promotes the hair growth.
As we have listed certain foods which are highly beneficial for healthy hair and skin, here are certain tips which help in getting nourished skin and hair:
Tea and Water – Flavonoids and Fluids
To improve the skin hydration and condition, flavonoid and carotenoids play a vital role. It is recommended to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water every day to keep your skin hydrated. Flavonoids and Fluids improve blood circulation and speed up the delivery of nutrients. Drink Green, White or black tea in moderation every day to achieve flawless skin.
Exfoliation is important
Exfoliation is significant to remove the dead skin and unleash the glowing skin beneath. Dead skin clogs the skin pores leading to blackheads and acne. Hence, exfoliation using a mild exfoliator can help.
What grows hair faster?
A skincare regime starts with using natural skin care products. Using harsh skin care products or shampoos can take a toll on your skin and hair. Wash your face regularly if you have oily skin. Use a good moisturizing cream, if you have dry skin.
Use of conditioner is recommended after shampoo to prevent hair breakage.
Follicles under your skin from the root to your hair. While genetics play a major role in the growth of hair, the diet has a significant impact on hair growth. The oxygen supplied to this follicle by the blood helps in the growth of hair. As the hair starts growing from the follicles, it pushes through the skin and passes by the oil gland.
Here are certain ways to grow hair faster:
Higher intake of nutrients
Nutrients like Biotin, Vitamin A, B, C, and E, Zinc, Iron, Omega 3 and Omega 6 acids must increase in your diet to get the visible hair growth results.
Say No to restrictive dieting
Restrictive dieting obstructs the supply of essential nutrients to your hair which leads to hair loss. Compared to other body functions, hair growth is the least priority. Hence, when you adopt restrictive dieting, it starts impacting your hair negatively.
Use essential Oils
Oils like pumpkin seed oil jojoba oil, peppermint oil and rosemary oil are considered beneficial for faster hair growth.
Increase your protein intake
Protein intake is crucial for the faster growth of hair. 50 gm of protein is recommended for daily intake. Protein is considered as the building blocks of the body which accelerate the cell repair and impact the hair growth.
Scalp massage not only relieves stress and promotes relaxation, but it also improves the blood circulation across the scalp which promotes healthy hair growth.
Diet Plan for healthy hair & skin
If you are sceptical on how to include all the foods listed above in your diet to get the result, here we go:
Breakfast : Muesli made from oats/ Oats/ Eggs with walnuts, flaxseeds and dried apricots can give your day a good start. You can include low-fat milk or yoghurt to complete your meal healthily.
Lunch : Choose a whole grain roll stuffed with salmon or tuna. Take a bowl of salad like cucumber, tomato along with a kiwifruit.
Snack : A handful of nuts or seeds
Dinner : 2 cups of vegetable soup with a small piece of meat. Accompany them with a bowl of steamed vegetables.
What foods are bad for your skin?
As we already discussed the importance of the quality of diet, we have listed some of the foods which adversely affect your hair growth:
Refined Flours and Sugar : People with higher consumption of sugar and refined flours are likely to be 30% more at the risk of developing acne. The refined carbohydrates have adverse effects on the insulin lend blood sugar which leads to the development of acne.
Fast Foods : Most of the fast foods have low nutritional value and are high in carbohydrates leading to the increased risk of acne. These foods are responsible for altering the hormone levels and the regular consumption of fast food is linked to acne development.
Omega-6 fatty acids rich foods : Omega 6 fatty acid in moderation is beneficial to the skin. However, excessive intake of Omega-6 fatty acid leads to an inflammatory state and acne severity
Increased intake of dairy products : Milk is associated with increasing the insulin levels of the body. Hence the people with higher intake of dairy products are more likely to develop acne than those who don’t.
Whey Protein Powder
It is a popular protein supplement which is high in glutamine and amino acids. It divides the skin more quickly, leading to the development of acne.
How can I Improve my nail health?
If you encounter a problem of brittle nails, switching to a healthy diet can largely help. Here are some tips on improving nail health:
- Avoid water exposure as it makes your nail weak
- Biotin supplements can help
- Avoid using harsh products on your nails
- Acrylic nails and gels lead to peeling of your nails and damage in the long run
- Keep your nails short to avoid unwanted breakage
- Use lotion to keep them hydrated
- Avoid using nails for tasks
- Drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated
Nails explain a lot about your health condition. If you are experiencing brittle or weak nails even after adopting the tips above, this may be due to some underlying health condition. Contact your doctor to unleash the root cause of your nail weakening.
What foods should I eat to strengthen my nails?
Here are the 7 recommended food which strengthens your nails:
- Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Bell Peppers and Tomatoes
- Berries and Fruits like blueberries, strawberries, avocados
- Salmon, Tuna, Mackerel
- Lean meats and Protein-rich foods
- Dark Leafy green vegetables like Kale, Spinach and Broccoli
- Seeds and Nuts like Almond, Sunflower seeds, Flax seeds, Chia Seeds
- Fortified Milk
- Whole grain like oatmeal and rice
Frequently Asked Questions
Foods rich in Vitamin A, B and C improves the skin. Food such as lentils, beans, spinach, nuts, Carrots, and nuts are highly recommended for healthy skin.
Lots of fresh fruits are the secret to glowing skin. You should include the fruits like oranges, papaya, Lemon, Watermelon, Pineapples, Mango, Apricot, Avocados, Apple, Strawberries and musk melon to your diet regularly to get the flawless and glowing skin.
Here are some of the tips on consuming a balanced diet to keep your skin and hair healthy:
- Drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated
- Take enough of sleep
- Avoid using harsh creams and other skin products
- Protect your skin against UV rays with sunblock creams
- Say ‘no’ to drinking and smoking.
Fruits containing vitamin C are considered best for skin and hair development. The antioxidants in Vitamin C prevents skin ageing. Include fruits like blackcurrant, kiwi, papaya, oranges and strawberries in your diet.
'You are – what you eat'! Your diet plays a significant role in promoting your hair and skin health. If you are experiencing the deficiency of vital nutrients like Vitamin A, B, C, D, zinc, protein, biotin or iron, your hair and skin are bound to suffer adversely. No matter if you are looking for a diet for ‘My 22 BMI’ or for healthy skin and nails, it should be inclusive of all the essential nutrients which supports the proper functioning of your body.