Does food affect hair, skin and nails?
You’ve probably heard of scientific support for the idea that certain foods can support heart health.
But what about hair, skin and nails? This research is evolving and sometimes hybrid.
A 2020 review of 24 articles that included more than 1,700 patients suggested that a Mediterranean diet rich in raw vegetables and fresh herbs, as well as diets rich in protein and soy, may be a useful adjunctive treatment for alopecia areata. be a wound
A 2016 study found that women who eat low-glycemic diets rich in complex carbohydrates, vitamins A, B, and C, and minerals like zinc and magnesium may experience less hair loss during menopause.
A small 2019 study of 39- and 41-year-old women found that limiting mercury-rich tuna consumption could reverse early menopausal hair loss.
A 2019 review has shown that micronutrient deficiencies, such as diets lacking biotin, vitamins A and C, and zinc, can affect hair health.
skin and nails
A 2022 review suggested that eating a plant-based diet can benefit skin health and barrier function.
On the other hand, the 2020 Review of Nutrition and Skin found that there is not enough research to conclude whether diet can prevent signs of aging.
Nails are rich in keratin and nutrition may affect their health.
An older 2010 review found that almost any nutritional deficiency, such as calcium or iron, can affect nail growth.
A 2019 review People with micronutrient deficiencies, such as biotin, vitamins A and C, and zinc, are more likely to have healthier nails and skin.
What foods should we eat and why?
Although research on nails and skin in particular is advancing, nutrition can be a low-cost, low-risk way to improve hair, skin, and nail growth.
Here’s what some nutritionists and dermatologists suggest you put on your plate.
Seafood rich in omega-3 fatty acids can benefit hair and skin, says Katie Tomaschko, MS, RDN.
Omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce inflammation and redness in the body and skin, says Tomaszkowik, a private physician in Buffalo, New York. ”
The fish he recommends are:
Tomashko notes that sweet potatoes are rich in the carotenoid beta-carotene, which he says is a precursor to vitamin A.
“Vitamin A boosts keratin production and is essential for healthy skin and nails,” says Tomashko.
An older 2004 study found that anthocyanins in purple sweet potatoes have antioxidant properties that may improve skin inflammation. Antioxidants can also help protect against free radicals, which can cause premature aging.
A 2012 study suggested that people with vitamin A deficiency may have harmful effects on their hair and skin.
Nuts and seeds
Tomaschko says some seeds, especially sunflower seeds, are good sources of:
Paula Dubrich, MPH, RDN of Oxygen Nutrition Nuts like almonds and walnuts also contain the antioxidant vitamin E, which helps fight oxidative damage.
He also says that vitamin E also has anti-inflammatory properties that may help absorb energy from UV light and protect against skin damage and visible signs of aging, such as fine lines and sun spots.