While humans go through seasons of shedding hair and stronger nail growth, you may have noticed that your hair doesn’t come back as strongly as it once did. To reduce the risk of thinning hair and brittle nails as you age, consider a regimen of supplementation to keep your hair and nails healthy and strong.
1) Vitamin C
Collagen is key to growing strong hair and nails. It’s also critical for healthy teeth and firm skin. To make sure you’re getting enough Vitamin C, check your daily diet as well as your supplement cabinet. Men should aim to take in 90 mg and women 75 mg of this critical nutrient every day. You can get Vitamin C from a daily drink mix as well as from
- citrus fruits
- red bell peppers, and
- dark green vegetables
2) Ashwagandha Root
Ashwagandha root is a powerful herb used in the Ayurvedic health tradition. This tea provides protection against inflammation and stress, blocking cortisone production and protecting both your scalp and your brain. It can be found in a variety of the best beauty supplements on the market in combination with other products or can be enjoyed as a simple tea.
Zinc is particularly important for healthy nail growth. Poor zinc intake can lead to ineffective cellular growth in the nail plate, leading to weak nails with white spots as the nails try to grow out. To boost your nail strength, animal proteins offer the most efficient source of zinc. If your diet is low in animal proteins, consider increasing your intake of black beans, almonds, and seeds.
Women need at least 8 mg of zinc per day, while men should strive for 11. If you start a routine of zinc supplementation, be patient as you look forward to stronger nails and healthier hair; zinc promotes cellular division, and your body may take a bit of time to overcome the shortage.
4) Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Moisture is a major component to healthy nails and hair. Of course, you use water to wash your hands and hair, but the addition of omega-3 fatty acids will reduce inflammation at the growth source and add protective lubrication to your new growth, resulting in shiny hair and healthy nails.
A fish oil supplement is a good way to boost your fatty acid intake. Many people struggle to take this supplement and may experience an unpleasant aftertaste. Try freezing your fish oil capsule and taking it with water before a meal to move the capsule further down the digestive tract to avoid this aftertaste.
Your hair and nails need keratin; in fact, your nails are comprised nearly entirely of this crucial protein. To keep your protein intake high as an omnivore, simply strive to eat a balanced diet that includes low-fat meat products, eggs, and dairy. When making your choices, try to avoid meat products that are highly processed, such as smoked or salted meats. Excess salt can creep into your diet via these products and impact your blood pressure, and there is anecdotal evidence that blood pressure medication can cause thinning hair.
Vegetarians will want to keep an eye on their food combinations; rice and beans are a great protein combo as are hummus and pita. Whole grains like amaranth, quinoa, and buckwheat can add variety if rice gets old, and a peanut butter sandwich is always a treat!
A healthy diet will go a long way toward boosting your hair and nail growth. However, genetic concerns and environmental factors may be out of your control, so a supplement regimen focused on protecting your scalp and promoting nail bed health is a great choice.