Want to take better care of your hair, skin, and nails? Learn more about the essential nutrients that will help you nourish them.
What is the role of nutrients?
Our bodies need an array of nutrients to function properly. Without them, our cells and organs can’t do their jobs effectively. There are two categories of nutrients that are essential for your physical health: macronutrients and micronutrients.
Your body needs larger amounts of macronutrients. These include carbohydrates (sugars), lipids (good fats), protein, and water. You need to consume macronutrients on a daily basis to support your physical, cognitive, and metabolic health.
Micronutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, are also essential to the body, but in smaller quantities. Micronutrients include all vitamins, such as vitamins A, B, and D, and all minerals, commonly called trace elements, such as calcium, zinc, and magnesium.
Most of the nutrients you need are found in food, so a varied diet will help you get the vitamins and minerals you need to avoid nutritional deficiencies. Deficiencies affect not only the functioning of internal organs, but also the appearance and health of your skin, hair, and nails.
Nutrients for healthy skin
Well-nourished skin is luminous, smooth, and well hydrated. The pores are almost invisible and there are no imperfections.
Top nutrients for better skin
- Vitamin A: This vitamin can significantly diminish the effects of aging and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. It’s found in orange and dark green vegetables, milk, and eggs. You can also apply a serum that contains retinol, an ingredient derived from vitamin A.
- Vitamin B3: Vitamin B3, also known as niacinamide, provides deep nourishment and improves skin texture. It’s mainly found in fish, like tuna and mackerel, and in certain meats, such as chicken and pork.
- Vitamin B5: When applied directly to damp skin, vitamin B5 retains moisture and keeps the skin soft and elastic. Ever heard of hyaluronic acid? It’s an ingredient derived from vitamin B5 that’s found in an increasing number of deeply moisturizing skincare products. You can find a wide variety of hydrating serums formulated with this ingredient at your local pharmacy.
- Collagen: Collagen is the main structural protein of the skin: almost all the desirable traits of healthy skin are linked to collagen and its benefits. The more collagen your skin has, the more plump, firm, and radiant it appears. This protein is synthesized naturally in the body from a number of other essential nutrients, such as vitamin C and zinc. However, it can also be taken as a powder or liquid supplement. Don’t hesitate to consult your pharmacist for more information.
- Peptides: Peptides, another form of protein, promote collagen production and rebuild damaged cells. Their antioxidant properties neutralize the damage caused by exposure to free radicals (harmful chemical elements in the environment) and slow down the skin’s aging process. Peptides are effective for all skin types. They’re found in fish, as well as in plant products such as soy, wheat, and oats.
- Silicon: This essential micronutrient stimulates the production of collagen and elastin, two proteins that promote skin regeneration. Dietary sources of silicon include whole grains, legumes, and nuts.
- Water: Did you know that the average body is 65% water? It’s important to drink enough water to stay properly hydrated. Water helps to deeply hydrate the skin and improve its suppleness, firmness, elasticity, and natural radiance!
Nutrients for healthy hair
Healthy hair is shiny, supple, strong, and soft to the touch. If this doesn’t sound like your hair, it may be lacking in hydration or nutrients.
Split ends or dull, brittle hair can signal that your locks aren’t getting the nutrition they need. To add shine and nourish your tresses, try a protein treatment or a mask with coconut, shea, or avocado oil.
However, if your hair is dry, tangled, and frizzy, it may need hydration. In this case, choose products with hydrating ingredients such as aloe vera, glycerin, or honey. Make sure to drink plenty of water, too.
Top nutrients for better hair
- Protein: Our bodies need protein to synthesize keratin, which makes up 95% of our hair. It strengthens the hair cuticle, restores shine, and protects the hair. Protein is found in fish, eggs, meat, whole grains, legumes, and dairy products.
- Omega-3: Omega-3 fatty acids are lipids that help repair the hair fibre. Tuna, salmon, and nuts are all excellent sources of omega-3s.
- Copper: This micronutrient plays an important role in hair pigmentation.
- Zinc and iron: For stronger, less brittle hair, make sure to get enough zinc and iron in your diet!
- Biotin: Also known as vitamin B, biotin promotes protein synthesis, which helps keep hair healthy!
Nutrients for stronger nails
Are your nails soft, brittle, or splitting? These are signs that they need more vitamins and minerals.
Top nutrients for better nails
- Vitamin B6: This vitamin ensures normal skin cell function and is especially important for nail health. It’s found in a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, like bananas and avocados, and animal products, like salmon.
- Calcium: Calcium is mainly stored in our bones, teeth, and nails. It helps keep our nails strong and healthy. Dairy products, nuts, and oranges all contain calcium.
- Keratin: Keratin is the main protein in our nails and hair. It forms a protective layer on our nails and keeps them strong.
Generally, all these nutrients are found in the foods you eat on a daily basis. Eating a healthy, balanced diet will ensure that you get all the nutrients you need to keep your hair, skin, and nails healthy.
However, if you feel that you could benefit from more nutrients, don’t hesitate to talk to your pharmacist. They’ll be able to go over all the options available to you, including supplements. Before starting any new supplement, it’s important to ensure that there are no contraindications.
Last updated on February 28, 2023