What you put inside your mouth shows on your skin and your hair. There are many food fads going around that claim to give you great skin and hair, fit body by cutting out even food essentials. But nutrition experts say that to get great skin and hair you must not cut out on foods that give your essential vitamins and minerals. Celebrity skin care expert and cosmetic physician Dr. Rashmi Shetty in her book Age Erase writes “We need vitamins to ensure that the cell regeneration is healthy, and our immune system is in top shape.” She gives us a list of vitamins that you need to get great skin and hair. Here’s her list:
Vitamin A: Stimulates cell turnover. It also helps to produce healthy sebum.
Best food sources – Sweet potato, carrot and spinach, peaches and cod liver oil.
Daily Equivalent Nutrition Source: So one medium sized carrot coupled with 1 bowl of salad with greens every day should give you the required amount of Vitamin A.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C helps you grow strong skin, hair, and nails, and fights sun damage.
Best food sources – Blueberries, gooseberries, strawberries, and oranges.
Daily Nutrition equivalent – A cup of blueberries and a cup of strawberries can help you get your required amount of Vitamin C.
Vitamin E: Adds moisture to your cells, and makes skin and hair shine with health. It also works to stabilize the cell membranes. This vitamin also works with the mineral selenium to ward off attacks on the cells in your follicles.
Best food sources – Sunflower seeds, almonds, papaya, bell peppers.
Daily Equivalent Nutrition Source: A quarter cup of sunflower seeds along with 20 Almonds in a day can make up for the required amount of Vitamin E. Recommended daily intake is 15mg per day.
Vitamin B6: There is more than anecdotal evidence, as several small-scale clinical studies have shown positive results with vitamin B6 as a hair growth agent. Vitamin B6 does a number of things in the body that will aid the overall health of the hair, ranging from boosting the immune system to aiding in the formation of red blood cells.
Best food sources – Tuna fish, lean cuts of poultry, potatoes, sunflower seeds and banana
Recommended daily intake – 1.3 mg/day.
Vitamin B12: In regards to human hair, the hair follicles require B12 in order to properly replicate and if they are not able to, they cannot grow hair effectively. The follicles also require oxygen just like the rest of your body and if a shortage of B12 prevents red blood cells from being properly made in the bone marrow, the follicles don’t receive proper nutrients and the result is hair loss and a slowing down of hair growth. Vegetarians and vegans will require B12 supplementation.
Best food sources – Oily fish, lean cuts of meat and curd.
Recommended daily intake – 2 to 3 ug/day.
Biotin: Biotin is a vitamin that is needed by our body in the metabolism of various nutrients and the establishment of a number of hormones and enzymes. This substance is needed to support a number of biochemical reactions, including the formation of antibodies. Biotin plays a role in the formation of hormones and enzymes in the body. This vitamin is required for the metabolism of carbohydrates, fat, and protein and this metabolism is very important in the maintenance of hair and prevention of hair loss.
Best food sources – Eggs, Swiss chard, liver, almonds and walnuts.
Recommended daily intake – 35 to 70 ug/day.