Are There Any Foods That Will Help Strengthen Your Hair And Nails, And Give You Complexion a Much- Needed Boost?

Are There Any Foods That Will Help Strengthen my Hair And Nails, And Give my Complexion a Much- Needed Boost?

Awith age comes wisdom but also wrinkles, crow’s feet and thinning hair, thanks to genetics and hormonal changes. It’s a sad fact, but as we get older, production of the building blocks that keep our skin, hair and nails firm and strong begins to decrease. Plus, external factors, such as stress, sun exposure and smoking, can make matters worse and speed up the process by releasing harmful free radicals.

Are There Any Foods That Will Help Strengthen Your Hair And Nails, And Give You Complexion a Much- Needed Boost? Photo Gallery

Of course, protecting yourself from these elements is essential, but before you head to the plastic surgeon, your simplest beauty solution could be right in your pantry. The good news is studies have shown that a diet comprised of antioxidant-rich foods will not only help counteract and defend your cells from the oxidation process and reduce inflammation, but allow your body to rebuild the structural proteins needed to keep you looking your best.

Summertime is ripe with foods high in the superstar nutrients that will help give you a radiant and glowing complexion, including: vitamin C (guava, mangoes, berries, oranges, peppers, broccoli); vitamin E (almonds, sunflower seeds, avocado, Swiss chard); beta-carotene (cantaloupe, apricots, sour cherries, carrots, kale); and selenium (Brazil nuts, wild salmon, canned light tuna, shrimp). You can even indulge once a day in an ounce of dark chocolate, which is loaded with compounds that nourish your skin. And try a cup of green tea in lieu of your usual morning coffee.

On average, we lose about 100 hairs a day. But if your hair is breaking and doesn’t feel as lustrous, amp up your intake of iron-rich protein and veggies (spinach, clams, lean beef, turkey, tofu, Brussels sprouts), as well as vitamins B6, B12 and folate (whole-grain breads and cereals, chickpeas, lentils, low- fat dairy). Two additional key vitamins that will help strengthen and grow hair and nails are biotin, a B vitamin also known as vitamin H (eggs, wild salmon, peanuts, walnuts), and zinc (oysters, pork, turkey, low-fat yogurt and cheese).

Topical versions and supplements of these vital nutrients might also help fend off the inevitable signs of aging. A recent study of women who took collagen/peptide chews showed promising results with an increase in collagen production. However, it’s still too early to say if this holds the answer to the fountain of youth.

Beauty starts from the inside out. You may not be able to stop Father Time or completely reverse the damage already done, but you can do your part to help slow him down. Ultimately your best line of defense to a more beautiful you starts with a balanced diet, proper hydration, regular exercise and adequate sleep. —L.D.

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