There are so many products on the market the promote “shiny healthy hair” and “beautiful strong nails.” But one of the best ways to give your hair and nails a boost is from the inside out! It’s your overall health, what you eat and how you take care of yourself that has the biggest impact.
Feed Your Hair
Eating for healthy hair and nails has to do with biotin, also known as vitamin H (think of it as “h” for hair!) Biotin is one of the B complex vitamins that help the body convert food into energy. In fact, the word biotin comes from the ancient Greek word “biotos,” which means “life” or “sustenance.” B vitamins, and specifically biotin, help keep your skin, hair, eyes, liver, and nervous system healthy.
Biotin is water soluble, which means your body doesn’t build up reserves of biotin. You need to make sure you ingest small amounts of vitamin B7 almost daily to keep your body’s supply high enough. Most of us are able to do this as long as we have a healthy diet with protein, fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Although the research on the impact of biotin on hair and nail health is not conclusive, a healthy “biotin” diet is recommended as one step you can take to keep nails strong, and stimulate healthy hair growth.
Biotin-rich Foods include: egg yolks (not the whites), organ meats (liver, kidney), nut butters, nuts (almonds, peanuts, pecans, walnuts), soybeans and other legumes, whole grains/cereals, cauliflower, bananas, mushrooms and avocado.
Food-processing techniques like cooking can take away the good effects of biotin, so remember to choose raw or less-processed versions of these foods.
Ways to Promote Healthy Hair:
- Protect hair from UV rays in the summer by wearing a hat
- Use conditioner when swimming, especially in chlorinated pools
- Don’t over-wash or over shampoo. Let your natural oils keep your hair shiny.
Ways to Promote Nails:
- Wear gloves when gardening, or doing housework.
- Regularly clip nails to keep them strong and prevent splitting
- Rub cuticle oil into the cuticles at the end of each day before you put on hand cream.