Since hair, nails, and skin are all made up of the same building blocks— proteins— what works for one often benefits the others. Eating high-quality plant-based foods support your body from the inside out, so good nutrition benefits your appearance, too.If you want to grow healthier, stronger hair and nails, eat more of these plant-based foods.
Legumes offer a great supply of protein— about 15 grams per cup on average. Legumes like white beans, soybeans, kidney beans, and chickpeas offer two main benefits for hair and nails: they result in faster growth, plus they strengthen to ultimately retain length.
Dark green vegetables like broccoli are rich sources of Vitamins A and C, which promotes oil production (sebum) in hair and nails that is necessary for healthy growth. The Vitamin C in broccoli also prevents free radical damage that weakens your hair and nails, causing breakage.
Kiwi are tropical fruit with incredibly high levels of Vitamin C, which scavenge free radicals and neutralize them so they can't damage healthy cells. The amino acid and Vitamin C content of kiwi also protects hair and nails from ultraviolet exposure that can cause further damage at the cellular level. Kiwi are also a great source of essential nutrients like zinc, phosphorus, and magnesium that promote blood circulation and stimulate hair and nail growth.
Pumpkin seeds offer a good supply of zinc, which is vital for hair and nail growth. Deficits of this essential nutrient can result in a weakened hair shaft. Pumpkin seeds are also a terrific source of omega-3 fatty acids that regulate sebum production. Sebum is important because it lubricates and protects hair and nails from breakage.
Avocados offer an abundant supply of vitamins and minerals like Vitamins A, D, and E as well as omega-9 fatty acids. All of these are crucial for maximizing hair and nail growth and supporting their structure. Vitamin E, in particular, reduces scalp damage to help hair thrive. Vitamin B stimulates cell turnover so that hair and nails are stronger and thicker.
Failing to get enough iron in the diet often leads to brittle and thinning hair and nails. Fortunately, leafy green vegetables like collard greens are a great source of iron. Collards also supply the body with Vitamin C that fights free radical damage for overall healthier hair, skin, and nails.
Carrots contain beta-carotene, which converts into Vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is important for cellular renewal, so the structure of your hair and nails is strong and healthy. Carrots also provide an abundant supply of Vitamin C that helps stimulate the production of important proteins, like collagen, elastin, and keratin.
Hair loss is often attributed to deficiencies in magnesium, an important mineral found in almonds. Additionally, almonds are an excellent source of protein, which is vital for strong, healthy hair and nails. Almonds also contain biotin, the B-vitamin known for its role in revitalizing weak nails and hair.
The champion of breakfast foods, oats are also a great source of the B-vitamin biotin that strengthens hair and nails. Oats contain other nutrients such as fiber, magnesium, iron, protein and omega-6 fatty acids that can alleviate dandruff and help hair look shinier.
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