Want to know the most fun thing you can do to make your skin look amazing?
When it comes to healthy skin, hair and nails, a healthy diet makes a big difference. That’s because your diet affects your body’s ability to produce keratin. Keratin is a type of cell that makes up our skin, hair, and nails - basically the entire outer layer of our body! And, being that the outermost layer of us is what people see, the health of our keratin cells plays a big role in how we are presented to the world.
Despite the fact that once keratin cells become our skin, hair and nails, these they are, in fact, dead, we can still help them look their best as they grow out. This is where nutrition comes in. Our body forms keratin cells through a complicated process that involves amino acids and protein synthesis. If you’re sporting dry or brittle hair, skin and nails, it may be a sign that your body doesn’t have a healthy toolbox for keratin production.
So what are the most important nutrients we need for creating healthy skin, hair and nails? Let us lay out the essentials for you here. The good news? You can get these simply through eating!
We’ve made a list of the nutrients every healthy body needs. Read on to make sure your body is getting the nourishment it deserves!
Did you know that fat is actually super important for creating bouncy skin and very necessary for transporting fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin A & E? Upping your intake of omega-3 fatty acids is doubly great, as it not only comes in healthy sources of fat, but it is also anti-inflammatory and regulates the oil-production that nourishes our skin, hair and nails.
You might need more if you: have rough skin, dry hair and soft or brittle nails.
Fix it by eating: mackerel, salmon, sea bass, oysters, seaweed and algae, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and flaxseed
Collagen is a complex protein that contains a whole host of amino acids, some of which are extremely important in creating keratin for our skin, hair and nails. Additionally, collagen makes up 70% of our dermis, the middle layer of our skin. Our dermis is important, too, because it contains glands that produce the oils that give us that oh-so-coveted shiny hair.
You might need more if you: are experiencing sagging skin, wrinkles and stiff joints.
Fix it by eating: bone broth (one of the most recommended foods for collagen), or protein rich foods in conjunction with citrus fruits, peppers, tomatoes, broccoli and greens
Vitamin B usually refers to a group of water-soluble vitamins, but the most important ones to note here are B3 and B7. Niacinamide (B3) has been shown to be extremely beneficial to building our skin barrier. B7 (biotin), on the other hand, probably sounds familiar because of its ubiquity in hair & nail supplements. Biotin is very important to the health of our hair and nails, as it works with other B vitamins to create amino acids that help boost keratin production.
You might need more if you: are experiencing hair loss, scaly red skin, or confusion and nausea (Note: vitamin B deficiency is rare if you eat a balanced diet!)
Fix it by eating: salmon, trout, liver/organ meats, eggs, beef, pork, legumes, avocados and nutritional yeast
Free radicals are unstable atoms that can lead to oxidative stress, which has been associated with aging and even damaged hair follicles! Antioxidants like vitamin A, C and E have been shown to be powerful defendants against free radical damage. Additionally, vitamin C plays an important role in natural collagen synthesis, which helps us create healthier keratin cells.
You might need more if you: Want healthier skin and hair. Most people benefit from upping their intake of antioxidants, since it is more for prevention rather than correction.
Fix it by eating: a variety of fruits and vegetables. Sweet potatoes, spinach, tomatoes and broccoli are especially beneficial!
You know how people say “I’m losing my hair over this?” While this may sound dramatic, it actually has some factual basis - hair loss is an indicator of chronic stress. Magnesium has been shown to calm the body and prevent calcium buildup on our scalp, which can lead to dandruff. Magnesium also helps with protein synthesis for growing healthier hair and preventing those gray strands!
You might need more if you: are experiencing tingling in extremities, muscle contractions and cramps
Fix it by eating: dark chocolate, avocados, cashews, almonds, brazil nuts, black beans and pumpkin seeds
We’ve always known that being conscientious about our diets makes us feel better both physically and mentally. It turns out there’s more benefits, too - by adding these foods to your diet, you’re well on your way to healthy skin, hair, and nails!
And for those days you just need a little extra glow, argan oil is great for skin and hair as well. It’s a great moisturizer for the face (so you can keep that glow all day), and a great tool for dealing with dry hair and split ends. Check out Paradox's Marrakesh Liquid Gold - it's a high-percentage argan oil sourced from all-women's co-ops in Morocco.
However you decide to get your glow on, we hope you’ve learned a little bit about what you might need in your diet, and hope you have fun eating your way to healthy skin, hair, and nails. Don’t forget to check out our insta @paradox for daily tips like these!
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Instead of focusing on what you should be cutting out of your diet, start adding enough of the good stuff with these nutrient-dense recipes for glowing skin and radiant health.