You can often tell a lot about a person’s health and diet by their hair, nails, and skin. There are many foods that inflame our cells and end up tearing apart the collagen, keratin, and elastin. Toxic overload, stress, and a poor diet all contribute to lackluster skin, dry hair, and brittle nails that never seem to grow.
What’s great about consuming a healthier diet is the fact that you will often see a quick difference in your hair, nails, and skin. Some foods contain more nutritional properties than others for supporting the growth and health of your body.
The following 5 superfoods offer some of the most complete overall nutrition that leads to amazing hair, nails, and skin:
1. Raw Organic Almonds
You will find plenty of vitamin E in raw almonds. Vitamin E is a natural antioxidant that supports the production of collagen1. Almonds contain plenty of natural protein, amino acids, and help to strengthen the body in numerous ways. Almonds also have plenty of calcium, which helps to support the hair, bones, teeth, skin, and nails.
Almonds are also alkaline-forming when consumed raw, compared to acidic nuts like cashews and peanuts (technically legumes.) Alkaline foods support detoxification and healthy pH levels, which prevent inflammation, acidity, and poor health. You will also find a lot of the B vitamin biotin in almonds which helps to strengthen your hair and nails.
When choosing almonds, always go for organic and raw with no salt added. When nuts or seeds are roasted, they become more acidic and are often coated with pesticides, toxins, and mold. Raw almonds also contain enzymes that help with the digestion of nutrients.
2. Leafy Greens
Your body absorbs all the nutrients found in greens like a sponge. Leafy greens contain vitamins A, C, E, K, B, and iron. You can choose from a variety of green leafy vegetables including spinach, watercress, collards, kale, and broccoli. These foods are rich in potassium, magnesium, and calcium which are crucial to the health of your nails, hair, and skin.2.
It’s always best to go with darker green foods that are from a whole food source. Spirulina, a dark green seaweed is also a fantastic source of biotin, protein, iron, and Vitamin B12 that will support your nails, hair, and skin even further. It is suggested that you drink a whole food green smoothie each morning to make sure you are getting all the necessary nutrients and vitamins found in leafy greens.
3. Orange Root Veggies
Sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, and winter squash all contain high amounts of Vitamin A which support your nails, hair, and skin. They’re also rich in vitamin C which can lower stress levels in the body and combat the negative effects on elastin, collagen, and keratin3. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that fights free radical production and can help reduce the effects of aging.
Be sure to always steam, bake, or use a slow cooker instead of frying your vegetables as it will enhance the antioxidant content without overcooking them. It’s best to eat root vegetables, like carrots, raw when possible.
4. Raw Organic Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are the most potent, nutritious, and alkaline seed you can eat! They contain a large amount of iron, potassium, magnesium, biotin, omega-3 fatty acids4, and protein. They are similar to almonds in that they help the body to maintain an alkaline state. Not only do pumpkin seeds improve your mood and energy, but they are also full of nutrients that improve that health of your nails, hair, and skin.
Always go for raw and organic pumpkin seeds instead of roasted and salted.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive superfood, consider eating more oats. Whether you eat wild rice, wheat products, oats, barley, rye, brown rice, black rice, or quinoa, they’re all filled with certain properties that provide your body with support.
Oats have protein, B vitamins (including biotin), magnesium5, and potassium which benefit your hair, nails, and skin. They also are anti-inflammatory, filled with fiber, and have plenty of antioxidants. Including oats in your diet will help your body to fight inflammation, reduce stress, provide nutritional support to your cells, and clear the skin.
When possible, choose non-GMO organic rolled or steel cut oats rather than instant oats. They contain more nutrients and are less processed.
You can also try the following foods to help with your hair even further:
- All green vegetables
- Wild rice
- Chia seeds
- Hemp seeds
- Tahini (sesame seed butter)
- Edamame (young green soybeans)
1. https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/skin-health/vitamin-E, Vitamin E and Skin Health
2. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamins-for-nails, Top 8 Vitamins and Nutrients for Healthy, Strong Nails
3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5579659/, The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health, 2017 Aug; 9(8): 866
4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4112259/, The influence of selected ingredients of dietary supplements on skin condition, 2014 JunPMC4112259
5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4455825/, Magnesium basics, 2012 Feb; 5(Suppl 1): i3–i14