If you’re on a quest for glossy hair, strong nails, and glowing skin, look no further than what’s in your kitchen. While it takes some effort, it doesn’t take a cartload of expensive produce and supplements to grow healthy hair, skin, and nails. In fact, most of what your body needs most can be purchased cheaply and prepared easily.
Protein: The Key to a Healthy Foundation
Keratin. Collagen. Elastin. Your body is a mix of proteins that are built from vitamins and minerals. Protein is crucial for adequate and efficient cell development and turnover, so this is not an area of your diet you should neglect.
Healthy proteins include beans, nuts, lean meats, seeds, seafood, tofu, and cheese. Whether you’re a meat eater or a full-on vegan, there are many protein options available.
Fats: Don’t Neglect Them
While your body doesn’t get much benefit from cookies, cakes, and pies, it does need fat. We’re talking Omega fats; Omega-3, Omega-6, the good stuff found in fish such as salmon, sardines, and tuna. Studies indicate the typical Western diet is full of Omega-6 fatty acids and lacking in Omega-3 fats, so do your best to balance your intake.
You can do this by seeking out a variety of Omega-3 fats including ALA (found in flaxseed, canola, and soybean oils, walnuts, and peanuts as well as EPA, DPA, and DHA (those found in the fish listed above).
Iron: Restore Lustre and Vitality
In addition to proteins and fats, your body needs iron to function properly. If you’re feeling tired, have brittle nails that have vertical strips, or have very pale skin that’s itchy and cracking, you might be iron deficient.
Boost your stores by eating lean red meats and legumes and whole grains. If you don’t eat meat or animal products, make sure to have plenty of Vitamin C in your diet as it helps your body absorb the iron from the food you eat.
Hydration: Drink up for Health
Hydration is another key component of a healthy body. While there are many drink options out there, not all are created equal when it comes to maintaining a healthy body. Do your best to stick to tea, water, and limited alcohol intake (more than 2 glasses of red wine in one day cancels out all of your daily efforts!).
The Healthy Hair, Skin, and Nails Shopping List
Shopping at local farmers’ markets is a great way to save on organic produce, and buying local, in-season foods will help trim your grocery receipt. The next time you head out for groceries, throw the following into your cart or basket:
- Citrus fruit
- Dark green, leafy veggies
- Beans, nuts, legumes
- Salmon, sardines, tuna
- Whole grain bread, pasta, oats
- Tomatoes, watermelon
- Sweet potatoes
- Red, orange, and yellow bell peppers