Nutrition for healthy skin, hair and nails

Nutrients for Healthy Skin: Inside and Out

What we put on our plate is even more important than what we put on your skin.The reverse is true as well.The less attention we pay to what goes in our mouth, the more problems we may see cropping up with our skin.

Skin requires a variety of vitamins and nutrients to keep it healthy, glowing and youthful. The benefits of a balanced diet are also visible in the mirror.


To look good and feel great, invest in the long-term benefits of food that makes a real difference from top to toe. Essential nutrients for skin include protein, essential fatty acids, vitamin A, vitamin C, E, the B vitamins especially B12, zinc and water.

Protein Skin is predominantly protein. A deficiency of proteins is indicated by the skin becoming slack and loose. Thus, adequate protein is necessary for healthy hair, skin, and nails and for firm skin tissues.

Essential fatty acids (EFA) found in oily fish help to nourish skin and add luster and softness to the complexion. So eat seafood at least three times each week. The fish that contain the most EFAs are salmon, mackerel and tuna. EFAs are also found in almonds and flaxseed. The best-known essential fatty acids are omega 3 and omega 6, which must be in balance for good health (and good skin). Though we all get enough omega 6, many people lack omega 3s. Fish, walnut, and flax seeds and oil are among the best sources.

Vitamin A is essential for beautiful soft skin. It is needed for healthy blood circulation, which gives a glow to the skin. A lack of this vitamin can result in rough, dry skin. Include plenty of dark orange (carrots, orange, papaya, mango) and dark green (broccoli, spinach,) vegetables — all of which are high in vitamin A. Low-fat yogurt is not only high in vitamin A, but also acidophilus, the “live” bacteria that is good for intestinal health. Anything that helps keep digestion normal is also going to be reflected in healthy-looking skin

Vitamin C helps to fight wrinkles and aids in collagen formation. It also plays a role in the healing process. Citrus fruits, strawberries, black currants, guavas, kiwi, peppers are all good sources.

Vitamin E Include nuts and seeds rich in Vitamin E such as walnuts, almonds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds as snacks to prevent sagging facial muscles, age spots and provide skin lubrication.

Vitamin B is vital for clear, luminous skin, youthful looks. Whole grains, pulses, lean meat aids in new skin cells formation and get rid of that washed out look.

Zinc found in shellfish, pulses, pumpkin seeds and whole grain cereals helps your skin to heal quickly and prevent skin infections.

Oils including flaxseed oil, olive oil and sesame oil can also serve as internal moisturizers for smooth, wrinkle-free skin. Oils for healthy skin are those labeled cold pressed, expeller processed, or extra virgin. The unsaturated fats in vegetable oils contribute to your own natural oils to give the skin sheen, plump out fine lines, and create the fresh-faced look of youth.

Foods rich in antioxidants such as strawberries, plums, citrus fruits, orange, red, yellow fruits and vegetables, wheat germ, nuts counteract free-radical damage and help reduce some of the aging effects of smoke and environmental pollution.

Iron is essential for healthy nails, skin color, and hair growth.

Water is essential for skin hydration to keep it moist, soft, supple & clear and helps cells move nutrients in and toxins out. When properly hydrated, we also sweat more efficiently. Doing so helps keep skin clean and clear as well. In case of insufficient intake of water, the body will draw on all its water reservoirs, including those of the skin, resulting in dehydration of the skin. Drink at least 8 glasses of water daily; intersperse these with fruit juices, including citrus, apple and pineapple; also vegetable juices, especially carrot, tomato and celery. Green tea have anti-inflammatory properties that may also be beneficial to skin health overall.

Healthy Do’s and Don’ts


Drink at least eight to ten glasses of water every day — add a slice of fresh lemon or lime for extra flavor and zest

Eat seafood at least three times each week for the oils found in fish that help nourish your skin Eat five to eight servings of fruits and vegetables every day (choose a variety of different colors — red tomatoes, green peppers, orange )

Instead of refined white carbohydrates, go for moderate amounts of complex ones like whole-grain bread, brown rice and whole-wheat pasta

Make sure your diet includes 20 to 30 percent of calories from healthier fats such as avocado, olive oil, canola oil and the oils in wheat germ and flaxseeds to prevent dry skin


Drink alcohol

Eat snack foods that are high in fat such as fried foods and processed foods such as burgers and chips containing large amount of salt, sweets, snacks, fast foods, fizzy drinks and alcohol and chocolate. Diet rich in these deprives the body of key vitamins and minerals needed for a healthy skin and should be restricted.

Essential micro nutrients and their sources
Micro nutrient Sources
Fat soluble vitamins
Vitamin A Liver, Kidney, Milk fat, Fortified margarine, Egg yolk, Yellow and Orange Fruits & Vegetables, Dark green leafy vegetables, Apricots, Peaches, Mango, Broccoli
Vitamin D Vitamin D Fortified milk, Milk fat, Liver, Egg yolk, Salmon, Tuna, Sardines, Butter
Vitamin E Wheat germ, Vegetable oils, Green Leafy vegetables, Sunflower seeds, Milk fat, Egg yolks, Nuts, Soybeans
Vitamin K Liver, Soybean Oil, Other vegetable oils, Green Leafy vegetables, Wheat Bran
Water soluble vitamins
Thiamine (B1) Organ Meats, Legumes, Whole Grain and Enriched Cereals and Breads, Wheat Germ, Potatoes
Riboflavin(B2) Milk and Dairy Products, Green Leafy Vegetables, Enriched Cereal and Breads, Eggs
Niacin (B3) Fish, Liver, Meat, Poultry, Whole Grains, Eggs, Peanuts, Milk, Legumes, Enriched Grains
Pantothenic acid (B5) Eggs, Kidney, Liver, Salmon, Dairy Products, Mushroom,Broccoli, Chicken
Pyridoxine (B6) Pork, Glandular Meats, Cereal Bran and Germ,Milk, Egg yolk, Oatmeal and Legumes
Folate (Folic acid) Green Leafy Vegetables, Organ Meats (liver), Wheat, Eggs, Fish, Dry Beans, Lentils, Cow Peas, Asparagus, Broccoli
Vitamin (B12) Liver, kidney, Milk and Dairy foods, meat, eggs, Fish
Biotin Liver, Mushrooms, Peanuts, Yeast, Milk, Meat, Egg Yolk, Most Vegetables, Banana, Grapefruits, Tomato, watermelon, Strawberries
Vitamin C Citrus Fruits, Tomato, Melon, Peppers, Greens, Raw Cabbage Guava, Strawberries, Lemon, Orange, Pineapple, Potato, Kiwi
Inositol Fruits, Grains, Vegetables, Nuts, Legumes and Organ Meats such as Liver and Heart
Iron Liver, Meat, Egg yolk, Legumes, Whole or enriched Grains, Dark Green Vegetables
Zinc Oysters, Shellfish, Herring, Liver, Legumes, Milk, Wheat Bran, Mushroom, Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds
Copper Liver, Shellfish, Whole Grains, Cherries, Legumes, Kidney, Poultry, Oysters, Chocolate, Nuts, Mushroom, and raisins
Selenium Grains, Onion, Garlic, Meats, Milk, Wheat germ, seeds, Bran