Who here struggles with nail discoloration, dry skin, or hair prone to breakage? Don’t worry, you are definitely not alone. We all know the feeling of removing a beautiful manicure only to be faced with weak, brittle nails. Vitamins and minerals are vital to upkeep your body’s health and keep everything functioning well. In return, we benefit from radiant glowy skin, strong nails, and luscious locks. 

Did you know that, according to the Dietary Reference Intakes, 92% of the American population suffers from at least one mineral or vitamin deficiency? The health of your hair, skin, and nails will reflect on your general health and give an indication as to whether you are experiencing a deficiency.  

It is important to research the right vitamins and minerals for your body, before purchasing. Here are some vitamins and minerals to help boost your health, their function, and what foods you can find them in. 

For Hair

  • Biotin - It is extremely beneficial in supporting your hair growth. You can purchase shampoo containing biotin, which can stimulate hair growth and thicken hair. 

  • Vitamin D3 - It helps generate gene expression in cells, including hair follicles. It is essential to encourage regular, routine cycles of cell growth and replication. (Cod liver oil, tuna, salmon, and plenty more oily fish dishes)

  • Vitamin C - This affects protein metabolism, which is linked to hair loss. If you intake sufficient amounts of vitamin C, your hair will be thick and strong. (Citrus fruits, broccoli, kale, etc.)

Nails 

According to The Telegraph in 2019, the beauty industry has contributed £7 billion in tax revenue in the United Kingdom.

Many of us love to get a manicure, to feel put-together and beautifully powerful. However, manicures will be better if applied onto a strong nail base. Flaky, discoloured nails can be frustrating. If this is the case, you will most likely be lacking in certain vitamins and minerals. 

  • Vitamin D - A deficiency in Vitamin D can result in dry skin and flaky nails. You can take Vitamin D tablets in order to restore the balance, or alternatively you can find it in egg yolks, beef liver, cheese, and oily fish.

  • Omega 3 - It helps nourish and replenish cells. (Fish, flaxseeds, walnuts)

  • Zinc - This will prevent discoloration and weak tips. (Nuts, shellfish, meat, and whole grains)

  • Folic Acid - It is used to promote cell growth and maintain shiny, healthy nails. (Oranges, milk, and eggs)

  • Calcium - This is one of the most rewarding minerals for a healthy lifestyle. It strengthens nails and bones. (Cheese, seeds, and beans)

  • Biotin - Biotin promotes healthy nails. (Eggs, salmon, pork)

  • Iron - It promotes the formation of red blood cells to take oxygen around the body to cells and organs. If your body parts are starved of oxygen, they will appear dull and weak. (Beans, lentils, spinach, and dark chocolate)

  • Protein-Protein is essential to produce keratin, which strengthens nails. (Meat, fish, dairy, eggs, legumes, and whole grains)

Skin 

  • Biotin - Once again, Biotin is proving very beneficial. Biotin can help with eczema and acne. Insufficient amounts can result in dermatitis and other skin conditions. 

  • Fish Oil and Omega 3 Fatty Acids - These can help lubricate the skin and keep it moisturized. 

Advice for Vegetarians and Vegans 

Vegetarian and Vegan diets will not provide the same vitamins and minerals as a meat-based diet. Supplements are essential to replicate those found in meat. Many vegetarian foods will supply the same minerals, but not the same quantity. For example, Vitamin D and protein won’t be very present in a Vegan meal. Vitamin B12 is a great alternative for vegans in place of meat. By pairing protein sources with Vitamin C, the absorption into the body will be faster. 

Look after your body and your mind, therefore what you eat will impact your vitamin and mineral levels.