I know I’ve been writing a lot about food lately, but I can’t stress enough how important proper nutrition is to your overall health. You can exercise all day, but if your diet consists of junk, you still won’t be healthy.

Proper Nutrition Promotes Healthy Hair, Skin, and Nails

Millions of cells are produced by the skin, hair, and nails. That much work requires a usable fuel source. Certain vitamins, minerals and proteins protect the skin by promoting healthy cell regeneration and growth. Luckily, there are plenty of places to find the best fuel available. Farmer’s markets often carry local and regional fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole food goodness. Of course, the grocery store is where many of us go for our sustenance. Let’s look at foods that promote overall health, because when the body is running smoothly, the skin, hair, and nails tend to shine.

Fruits and Vegetables

Blueberries and purple grapes contain Vitamins A and C which are antioxidants that repair skin damage by attacking free radicals.

Bananas are rich in vitamin B6, vitamin C, and biotin. Okay, so bananas provides many other nutrients that support a healthy body and the immune system, too.

Broccoli, citrus fruits, and strawberries are full of vitamin C. Vitamin C aids in cell repair and production of collagen.

Carrots, spinach, and sweet potatoes contain vitamin A in the form of carotenoids. The body uses the nutrients to make vitamin A.

Meats, Grains, and Nuts

Lean red meat is a source of protein and zinc. The body is able to use protein to make keratin which is a building block of the skin and hair.

Poultry is a solid source of biotin, zinc and proteins. Biotin is usually used to thicken brittle nails.

Fish like salmon and tuna are a great source of omega-3. Omega-3 reduces inflammation and promotes a healthy scalp, therefore, healthier hair.

Almonds and walnuts are protein sources also packed with magnesium and omega-3. Magnesium helps fight the effects of stress, a lack of which can result hair loss and nail ridges.

Whole grain cereals and whole wheat breads are often fortified and provide helpful quantities of zinc, biotin, vitamin A and vitamin B6.

Vitamins and Minerals Are Behind it All

Vitamins and minerals essential for hair, skin, and nail health are usually best found in a well-balanced diet. Choose fruits and vegetables from the color spectrum, along with lean meats, nuts, and whole grains. Sensible choices ensure natural sources of many vitamins (A, C, B3, B6, B12, H-Biotin), minerals (zinc), and essential fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6). There are supplements that can boost vitamin and mineral deficiencies, but finding a highly soluble form is key.