7 Top Nutrients for Healthy Hair, Skin, and Nails

7 Top Nutrients for Healthy Hair, Skin, and Nails

Featuring our Outliers Keanna and Nash on the topic of self-love, the Outliers Studios has been stewing up ways to actually practice it IRL. We’ll be showing you a new aspect you could be more mindful of – and this time, it’s for the physical body. 

Today, we’re doing #WellnessWednesday on 7 top nutrients for healthy hair, skin, and nails (plus a crash course on the gut and why it is important to watch what you eat!)

Wellness is defined as the act of practicing healthy habits daily to attain good health – both physically and mentally. With all that we do in our daily lives, we turn towards these nutrients for a little help when it comes to taking care of ourselves just a bit more.

Collagen

Collagen is one of the major proteins found in skin, nails, and bones. Consuming collagen helps with the structural support to our connective tissues as well. Collagen peptides also contain arginine, an amino acid that transports nitrous oxide to the nail beds.

Sources: bone broth, fish, chicken, beef, and collagen supplements.

 

 

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is needed for the synthesis and maintenance of collagen. It is an antioxidant that helps protect your cells from free radicals, which are the same molecules produced by the body when exposed to tobacco smoke and radiation from the sun.

Sources: kakadu plum, peppers, and citrus fruits.

 

Biotin

Biotin is vitamin B7. It aids in the metabolism of protein bulding amino acids that are essential for healthy and strong hair, skin, and nails. It also keeps the eyes, liver, and nervous system healthy.

*Sources: organ meats (liver, kidney), egg yolks, fish, mushrooms, bananas and walnuts.

*Because food-processing techniques like cooking can render biotin ineffective, raw or less-processed versions of these foods contain more active biotin.

 

Iron

Iron is a type of protein in our red blood cells that carry oxygen from the lungs to all the parts of the body. Many Iron supplements are marketed towards workaholics because an iron deficiency means that there are not enough red blood cells to transport oxygen, which can lead to fatigue.

Sources: beef and chicken liver, shellfish, lentils, and dark leafy greens.

 

Omega 3

Omega 3 is an essential nutrient that your body cannot produce on its own – it must be consumed through your diet. This nutrient may aid in preventing or controlling the following:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Lupus
  • Eczema
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Cancer

Sources: fish, hemp hearts, flaxseeds, algae, cold pressed cod liver oil, avocado, and eggs.

 

Zinc

Zinc is required for the growth and division of cells. It is also essential in healing damaged tissue and supporting a healthy immune system.

Sources: red meat, chicken, oysters, nuts, and legumes.

 

Protein

Adequate protein intake is essential for keratin production, a type of protein that forms the cells of your nails and makes them strong.

Sources: meat, hemp seeds, legumes, eggs, nuts, and seeds

 

 So, why is it important to watch our health and what we eat, as early as we can? Well, we want you to read all about one important tell – the gut.


The Gut

The gut is the foundation of everything. From digestion to absorption and others, gut health is on of the most essential health tells of the body. When the gut is healthy, it helps process energy from the foods we eat, clear toxins, fight against diseases, and boosts the mood. 

An imbalance in the gut can lead to inflammation in the body, diarrhea, heartburn, constipation, bloating, and abdominal pain.


The Gut-Skin Axis

The gut-skin axis refers to the relationship between the gut and skin, and as inflammation in the gut occurs, it manifests it into inflammatory facial occurrences such as rosacea and acne. Factors like genetics, cultural heritage, environmental factors, lifestyle and diet, is believed to have the largest influence on the gut’s microbiome – which is the total of all microorganisms and bacteria in an individual (good AND bad).


Here are a few steps to start healing the gut:

To increase the protective microorganisms in the gut, it is recommended to consume seeds, nuts, roots, and fruit and vegetables.

Avoid the use of potent chemical cleaning products, antibacterial oils, pesticides, artificial hormones, and GMOs. 

Reduce (but not restrict) inflammatory foods such as sugar, dairy, gluten, and alcohol.

Repair the gut lining with supporting nutrients. See list above.

Lastly, we recommend getting formal testing done by a qualified health practioner.

Well, we’re off. We’ll leave you with our favorite bone broth recipe that is gut-healing, simple, and delicious. 


Gut Healing Chicken Broth by Real Food with Dana


Prep Time: 5 mins

Cook time: 24 hours

Serves: 3 quarts


Ingredients

  • About 3 lbs chicken bones (raw or cooked)
  • enough water to cover the bones by 2 inches (about 3 quarts)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped into large chunks
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp sea salt
  • 4 bay leaves

Directions

  1. Combine the bones, onion, apple cider vinegar, garlic, sea salt, and bay leaves in a slow cooker or instant pot. Pour enough water on top to cover the bones by about 2 inches (but don’t overflow your pot! Make sure you leave at least an inch of space from the top.)
  2. Secure the lid.
  3. For a SLOW COOKER, cook on LOW for 24 hours.
  4. For the INSTANT POT, press manual and set the timer to 90 minutes. Once it’s done cooking, allow the pressure to come down for about 10-15 minutes before quick releasing the steam (you could also let the pressure naturally release on its own).
  5. Transfer the bones, bay leaves, onion, and leftover garlic from the broth to a bowl using a slotted spoon. Allow them to cool before throwing them away.
  6. In batches, transfer the broth from your pot to a large bowl by straining it through a wire mesh sieve (or large strainer). Allow to cool in the bowl slightly before transferring to glass jars to store in the refrigerator.

NOTES: This broth will last 5-6 days in the fridge. Freeze leftovers in ice cube trays and store for later use.

 

As always, seek the advice of a licensed naturopathic or medical doctor for recommendations that suit your unique needs.  

 

 

Referencences:

De Pessemier, B., et al. Gut-Skin Axis: Current Knowledge of the Interrelationship between Microbial Dysbiosis and Skin Conditions. Microorganisms 9 (2021).
Fitz-Gibbon, S., et al. Propionibacterium acnes strain populations in the human skin microbiome associated with acne. J Invest
Gattermann, N., Muckenthaler, M. U., Kulozik, A. E., Metzgeroth, G., & Hastka, J. (2021). The Evaluation of Iron Deficiency and Iron Overload. Deutsches Arzteblatt international, 118(49), 847–856. https://doi.org/10.3238/arztebl.m2021.0290
Monsees, Dana., The only broth recipe you'll ever need. Gut Healing Chicken Broth, (2018).
Tan, J.K. & Bhate, K. A global perspective on the epidemiology of acne. Br J Dermatol 172 Suppl 1, 3-12 (2015).

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.