Hair, Skin and Nails—the Mirrors of Health



How our health on the inside is often reflected on the outside


   Have you ever noticed how people can be healthy and not have any obvious symptoms of illness, but thanks to their dry brittle hair or cracking skin, they end up looking ill?  In many ways, our hair, skin and even our fingernails are all representatives of our overall health.  We can feel as healthy as possible, but if any of these parts are dull, dry or cracking, we might not be as vibrant as we feel.


While it is certainly normal to experience dry skin or other symptoms during certain times of the year (like in the summer when we get cracked heels from wearing too many flip flops or something), overall, our skin, hair and nails should be healthy.  In an effort to keep our skin soft and hair shiny, lots of us spend a lot of money in the health and beauty aisle of our grocery stores.  From fancy conditioners to enriched lotions, we love to slather ourselves with products that promise to help us look fabulous.


In many ways, however, these nice-smelling products just mask the symptoms of hair, skin and nail issues.  In other words, they don’t do anything to address why we have cracking heels and brittle nails in the first place.  What many nutritionists and naturally-inclined physicians recommend instead is nourishing our bodies with skin, hair and nail-healthy nutrients. This approach should help heal our bodies from the inside out.


Sounds great!  What supplements should I be looking for?


   Overall, there are about a dozen and a half nutrients that have been shown to help with hair, skin and nail health.  For example, the antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E are a great place to start. Free radical damage is notorious for making our hair, skin and nails less than healthy, so by taking regular amounts of these nutrients, free radicals should be kept at bay.  Another antioxidant called astaxanthin also helps with this job.


Biotin, a member of the B-vitamin family, has been found to help form keratin, a key protein found in both hair and nails.  In addition, minerals like selenium, iodine, and zinc have all been linked to healthy hair, skin and nails.


By helping to eliminate toxins from our system, the amino acids L-cysteine and L-methionine can also help our hair, skin and nails stay healthy and strong.


Silica, which as its name suggests is naturally-rich in silicon, is a great nutrient to take, and MSM has been found to keep skin smooth.


No discussion of skin health would be complete without mentioning essential fatty acids found in borage and flaxseed oils.  Study after study have shown that taking the omega-3 and omega-6 rich oils can lead to improved skin health.  In addition, they have been shown to help alleviate many skin conditions, including eczema.


Next, collagen Type II may help reverse the aging of the skin, and white tea extract, oat bran, milk thistle, and black pepper, along with some trace minerals, are also needed for overall health.


In most cases, taking this combination of nutrients should lead to a visible improvement in hair, skin and nail health within about a month or so.  While you can still use your lovely-smelling lotions and shampoos, it’s nice to know that you’re doing everything you can to nourish your body on the inside, and the resulting healthy glow will certainly show the world that you are truly vibrant and healthy!




Various internet sources



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