Eating for healthy skin and hair
General Nutrition • • 1 minute to read • By Dr Shunmukha Priya, INFS Faculty
AuthorDr. Shunmukha Priya. S
Nutrition is essential for the overall health of an individual. An unhealthy diet affects not only affects the internal organs, but it will also affect the skin and hair. . Hence, in clinical practice, even the skin and hair are examined to understand the nutritional status of an individual.
Nutrients essential for healthy skin and hair
Ideally, there is a need for a balanced diet to have healthy skin and hair. Still few nutrients play important role in the health of skin and hair. They are as follows:
Helps in maintaining the strength and integrity of the skin. Proteins are the building blocks of collagen that will keep skin young, elastin for flexible skin, keratin for healthy hair, and better muscles. A diet low in protein can make the skin, hair, and nail to be dull and lifeless.
Essential fats keep the skin thick, flexible, and moisturized. It will reduce the inflammation which would otherwise cause redness and acne. Lack of essential fat causes dry and itchy skin and dry hair. Also, it will make skin less sensitive to the sun’s harmful UV rays. Some studies state that fish oil supplements with essential fats help fight inflammatory and autoimmune conditions affecting the skin, such as psoriasis and lupus.
Having antioxidant properties, it delays the ageing process and enhances the skin condition and cell renewal rate in the skin. It promotes the growth of cells and tissues in the hair. Vitamin A helps the skin glands to secrete sebum which moisturizes the scalp and maintains the health of hair.
Vitamin - E
This vitamin also serves as one of the essential antioxidants for skin health. It protects against skin damage from free radicals. By preventing the action of free radicals, this vitamin delays the ageing process as well as helps to repair damaged hair.
This vitamin promotes skin elasticity and reduces wrinkles. It is an antioxidant that protects the skin from oxidative damage caused by the sun and the environment, which can lead to signs of ageing. This vitamin plays an essential role in collagen synthesis and collagen is the structural protein that keeps skin and hair strong as well as healthy.
Also known as B7 or vitamin H, promotes the keratin structure and thus the growth of hair. It produces fatty acids which nourish the skin and thus maintain a clear complexion.
This mineral prevents inflammation and helps in the formation of new skin cells and overall skin health. This mineral enables the body to generate natural oils thus ensuring soft skin and preventing dandruff.
The deficiency of iron leads to anaemia and pale skin. Also, studies reported that iron-deficient females tend to lose hair frequently, though relevant studies are missing.
Foods to be included for healthy skin and hair
**** To plan a diet for healthy skin and hair, it is essential to include the following foods.
Along with diet, personal hygiene, foods and clothing based on season, controlling stress and having proper sleep will ensure an individual a healthy skin and hair.
- Schagen, S. K., Zampeli, V. A., Makrantonaki, E., & Zouboulis, C. C. (2012). Discovering the link between nutrition and skin aging. Dermato-endocrinology, 4 (3), 298–307. https://doi.org/10.4161/derm.22876
- Katta, R., & Desai, S. P. (2014). Diet and dermatology: the role of dietary intervention in skin disease. The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology, 7 (7), 46–51.
- Almohanna, H. M., Ahmed, A. A., Tsatalis, J. P., & Tosti, A. (2019). The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Hair Loss: A Review. Dermatology and therapy, 9 (1), 51–70. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13555-018-0278-6
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