Hair, skin and nails act as a window into our health. Their growth and appearance can be affected by many things including hormones, our diet, medical conditions and the environment. If you’re wanting shiny hair, glowing skin and strong nails, make sure you’re including these six essential nutrients in your diet each day!
The following gives you a list of nutrients that can support your natural beauty. If you want to know which ones are made for you, make sure to take your free health assessment on www.vitable.com.au!
1. Vitamin C for that vibrant-skin glow
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant found in a range of fruits and vegetables. One of its roles is to create collagen. This important protein helps to provide strength, durability and shape to our hair, skin and nails.
Research has shown that vitamin C can help reduce the damage caused by UV light exposure from the sun. It doesn’t act like a sunscreen, but the antioxidants of vitamin C help protect against dangerous cells (known as free radicals) that UV damage creates in the body.1
Some studies have also found people following vitamin C rich diets have better skin appearance and less skin wrinkling.2,3
Vitamin C rich food includes:
2. Zinc for revitalised skin and reducing irritating acne
Zinc is an important trace element that plays a variety of essential roles.
It is found in many areas of the body, but is rich in the very top layers of the skin. Zinc is essential for skin health as it helps to create and repair collagen fibres; a protein involved in providing structural support to tissue, muscles and skin.4 It is also important for helping the skin heal after an injury.4
There is also emerging evidence that indicates that zinc may play a role in the treatment of acne. This is due to zinc’s anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties which may help to clear acne-causing bacteria from the skin and reduce inflammation.5
3. Biotin for strong nails and healthier hair
Biotin is one of the eight important B vitamins. It is a water-soluble vitamin and helps the body convert nutrients from food into energy to be used by the body. Not having enough biotin in the diet can cause hair loss and scaly red rashes appear on the skin.6
Keratin is an important protein that is found in the hair, skin and nails. There is some evidence that suggests that biotin may play a role in hair growth due to its role in helping to produce keratin. Some studies have also shown biotin supplements may promote the growth of thicker hair and prevent against hair loss.7
Biotin supplements have also been shown to help treat brittle nails and improve their thickness.8
Biotin can be found in:
4. Vitamin B-Complex for healthy skin and boosting your energy levels
B-complex vitamins are often known as a nutritional powerhouse. Inside a B-complex there are eight vitamins; thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, biotin, folic acid and vitamin B12. Together, these eight important vitamins play a variety of roles in the body including converting energy into food, red blood cell production and skin health.
Riboflavin is one of the eight that are of particular importance for skin health. It functions as a powerful antioxidant; boosting energy and ensuring the proper function of the immune system, healthy skin and hair.9 Not having enough riboflavin can cause the skin to crack as well as itching and dermatitis around the mouth.10
Riboflavin rich foods include:
- Low-fat milk
If you want to have healthy, strong hair it is also important to ensure you are getting enough vitamin B12. This essential vitamin helps to produce new hair cells and promote hair growth.11 Deficiency can cause hair loss, as well as feeling tired, having poor balance and memory problems.11
Vitamin B12 is highest in:
- Nutritional yeast
- Fortified plant-milks or low-fat milk
5. Vitamin E for keeping your skin healthy and protected
Vitamin E is an essential fat-soluble nutrient that has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It helps to support the immune system, cell functioning and skin health. 12
Studies have shown that this powerful antioxidant may be beneficial at reducing UV damage to the skin.13
Vitamin E can also be used as an excellent moisturiser with dry, patchy skin. Its thick consistency makes it perfect for dry areas such as nail cuticles and elbows.
Vitamin E rich foods include:
- Sunflower seeds
Should I be supplementing?
Vitamin C, E, B-complex, biotin and zinc can all be found in food. However, if you find it difficult to maintain a balanced diet, or limit certain foods from your diet due to preferences or intolerances it may be beneficial to consider a supplement. Supplementing with Vitable’s range can leave your hair shining, nails thick and healthy and skin glowing!
- Biotin for strong nails and thick healthy hair.
- Zinc to support collagen production for glowing skin.
- Vitamin B-complex for vibrant skin and red blood cell production.
- Vitamin C for protection against UV damage.
- DARR, D., COMBS, S., DUNSTON, S., MANNING, T. and PINNELL, S. (1992). Topical vitamin C protects porcine skin from ultraviolet radiation-induced damage. British Journal of Dermatology, 127(3), pp.247-253.
- Cosgrove, M., Franco, O., Granger, S., Murray, P. and Mayes, A. (2007). Dietary nutrient intakes and skin-aging appearance among middle-aged American women. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 86(4), pp.1225-1231.
- Purba, M., Kouris-Blazos, A., Wattanapenpaiboon, N., Lukito, W., Rothenberg, E., Steen, B. and Wahlqvist, M. (2001). Skin Wrinkling: Can Food Make a Difference?. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 20(1), pp.71-80.
- Nrv.gov.au. (2019). Zinc | Nutrient Reference Values. [online] Available at: https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/zinc
- Decker, A. and Graber, E. (2012). Over-the-counter Acne Treatments: A Review. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol., 5(5), pp.32-40.
- National Institute of Health (2019). Office of Dietary Supplements – Biotin. [online] Available at: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Biotin-Consumer/
- Ablon, G. (2015). A 3-Month, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study Evaluating the Ability of an Extra-Strength Marine Protein Supplement to Promote Hair Growth and Decrease Shedding in Women with Self-Perceived Thinning Hair. Dermatology Research and Practice, 2015, pp.1-8.
- Hochman, L., Scher, R. and Meyerson, M. (2019). Brittle nails: response to daily biotin supplementation. Cutis, 51(4), pp.303-5.
- Nrv.gov.au. (2019). Riboflavin | Nutrient Reference Values. [online] Available at: https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/riboflavin
- Mahabadi, N., Bhusal, A. and Banks, S. (2019). Riboflavin Deficiency. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing.
- Nrv.gov.au. (2019). Vitamin B12 | Nutrient Reference Values. [online] Available at: https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/vitamin-b12
- Nrv.gov.au. (2019). Vitamin E | Nutrient Reference Values. [online] Available at: https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/vitamin-e
- Maalouf, S., El-Sabban, M., Darwiche, N. and Gali-Muhtasib, H. (2002). Protective effect of vitamin E on ultraviolet B light-induced damage in keratinocytes. Molecular Carcinogenesis, 34(3), pp.121-130.