The integumentary (enveloping or external layer) system of the body has hair, skin, and nails as pillars of its enormous framework, another common factor is Keratin, which is a tough protein contained in hair and nails. Beyond its insurmountable functions; which are to protect the body from various kinds of damage such as loss of water and damage from outside, it’s a show of beauty and class and it’s why the Cosmetic Skin Care market in the U.S. was estimated at US$39.2 Billion in the year 2020 according to Research And Markets.
Since the hair, skin, and nails consist of relatively similar types of cells, they also require similar nutrients for their nourishment and proper growth. And these nutrients can be found in what you eat; the right balance of these nutrients does the body a lot of good. The nutrients include Vitamins such as A, C, D and E, Zinc, B complex; Minerals such as Iron, Biotin, proteins, and essential fatty acids. The lack of these severely affects the quality of hair, skin, and nails. However, when there is a deficiency in any of these nutrients, we can easily pick these up from food sources we will look at below:
These are important sources of dietary zinc, which is really important for the growth and function of skin cells. Oysters contain particularly high amounts of zinc, with 6 medium oysters providing 32 mg or 291% of the daily recommended value.
- SWEET POTATO
These have antioxidants that help to have stronger hair, skin, and nails. Sweet Potatoes also consist of beta-carotene which may act as a natural sunblock. It has also been proven that beta-carotene adds warm tones to the skin, which shows an overall healthier look.
A very good source of Vitamin E, Vitamin B, and are also a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids. Vitamin B is essential for hair growth, Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps repair damage on the scalp, and may also slow or prevent hair growth.
Egg yolks contain biotin, which is part of the class of B Vitamins. A whole, cooked egg (50 grams) provides approximately 10 mcg of biotin or approximately 33% of the DV. Low biotin levels lead to brittle nails and hair loss, so healthy foods that cover for deficiencies such as eggs do well in reversing the negative effects.
- LEAFY GREENS (SPINACH, KALE)
These are a good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect against the oxidative stress caused by free radicals. In addition, your body needs vitamin C to create a protein known as collagen which is an important part of the hair structure. Vitamin C also helps your body absorb iron, a mineral necessary for hair growth.
Berries are LOADED with potent antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. These fruits are some of the best to eat to heal the damage to hair, skin, and nails.
This helps prevent breakouts and maintain clear skin.
These are high in antioxidants hence protecting one from sun damage. The component in tomatoes is called lycopene and it is a very effective antioxidant. About 85% of lycopene in the western diet is obtained only from tomatoes and the best place to find it is in tomato paste.
The pineapple is high in vitamin C and the enzyme bromelain, which is known to be an effective skin softener. They help the body synthesize collagen, which supports skin structure, while vitamin C and amino acids aid in cell and tissue repair, giving you a youthful appearance.