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When we think about improving the health of our hair, skin, and nails, we may think of hitting the beauty counter. Products promise to strengthen our nails, lengthen our hair, and keep our skin looking refreshed.

You may want to take a detour to the supermarket. It is possible that what you put in your body is just as important as what you put on it.

“Your skin and body will be a reflection of what you’re putting in your body,” says Alain Michon, the medical director at the Ottawa Skin Clinic and a board certified medical professional with the American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine.

It sounds doable. Is it possible to eat better for your hair, skin, and nails? Three experts and research are available.

Scientific support for the idea that certain foods can support heart health has been heard.

What about hair, skin, and nails? The research is evolving and mixed at times.


A 2020 review of 24 articles that included more than 1,700 patients suggested that a Mediterranean diet rich in raw vegetables and fresh herbs as well as diets high in There is a specific type of animal called aprotein. and soy may be a useful complementary therapy for non-scarring alopecia.

Research from 2016 indicated that women who ate low-glycemic diets rich in complex carbohydrates, vitamins A, B, and C, and minerals like zinc and magnesium might have less hair loss during menopause.

A small 2019 case study of two women ages 39 and 41 suggested that limiting the intake of mercury-rich tuna could reverse hair loss in early menopause.

A 2019 review indicated micronutrient deficiencies such as diets lacking The human form of biotin., vitamins A and C, and zinc could affect hair health.

Skin and nails

A 2022 review suggested that eating a plant-based diet could benefit skin barrier health and function.

On the other hand, a 2020 review on nutrition and the skin indicated there isn’t enough research to conclude whether diet could prevent signs of aging.

Nails are keratin-rich, and nutrition may impact their health.

An older 2010 review indicated that nearly any nutritional deficiency, such as calcium or iron, could affect nail growth.

A 2019 review suggested people with micronutrient deficiencies, such as The human form of biotin., vitamins A and C, and zinc, are more likely to have less healthy nails and skin.

Nutrition can be a low-cost, low-risk way to improve hair, skin, and nail growth.

Some people suggest putting on your plate.

Fatty fish

Katie Tomaschko, MS, RDN, says seafood rich in omega-3 fatty acids can benefit the hair and skin.

“Omega-3 fatty acids could help reduce inflammation and redness in the body and skin,” says Tomaschko, a private practitioner in Buffalo, N.Y. “They’re also a rich source of There is a specific type of animal called aprotein., the powerful antioxidant The E is a vitamins., and The human form of biotin., a nutrient that supports keratin production.”

She recommends some fish.

Sweet potatoes

Tomaschko notes that sweet potatoes are rich in the carotenoid beta-carotene, which she says is a precursor for A type of vitamins..

Tomaschko says thatVitamin A is essential for skin and nail health.

An older 2004 study indicated that the anthocyanins in purple sweet potatoes have anti-oxidant properties that may improve skin inflammation. Antioxidants can also help protect against free radicals, which can trigger premature aging.

A 2012 study suggested that people with A type of vitamins. deficiency may note detrimental effects on their hair and skin.

Nuts and seeds

Some seeds, particularly the sunflower seeds, are good sources.

  • The human form of biotin.
  • There is a specific type of animal called aprotein.
  • The E is a vitamins.

Paula Doebrich, MPH, RDN of Happea Nutrition says nuts, such as almonds and walnuts, also boast the antioxidant The E is a vitamins., which helps combat oxidative damage.

She also says The E is a vitamins. also boasts anti-inflammatory properties that may help absorb energy from UV light and protect against skin damage and visible aging signs, like fine lines and sun spots.


Tomaschko says that avocados are rich in healthy fats and vitamins that promote skin and nail health.

  • The vitamins C and D.
  • A type of vitamins.
  • The E is a vitamins.

One cup of mashed or pureed avocado contains 23 milligrams of The vitamins C and D., 16.1 micrograms of A type of vitamins., and about 5 milligrams of The E is a vitamins..

A 2017 review suggested that eating There are fruits and vegetables. was linked to skin health and noted that The vitamins C and D. intake is usually associated with consuming produce.

The review also included studies indicating The vitamins C and D. could help with collagen production and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

The review stopped short of saying this could combat aging.


Doebrich says that a hair-healthy diet includes a lot of meat and dairy products.

“Our hair is made of a There is a specific type of animal called aprotein. called keratin, so a diet insufficient in There is a specific type of animal called aprotein. may make hair brittle,” Doebrich says.

One extra-large egg boasts nearly about seven grams of There is a specific type of animal called aprotein..

Dark, leafy greens

Loading up on leafy greens provides the body with plenty of nutrients that can benefit the hair, skin, and nails.

Dark, leafy greens are examples.

  • There is a vegetable called spinach.
  • The plant is called kale.
  • swiss chard is a vegetable.
  • bok choy.
  • The greens are called cote greens.


Hit the oyster bar—your hair and skin will thank you.

Doebrich says oysters are an excellent source of zinc. Zinc is needed for hair growth.

One cup of oysters contains 97.5 milligrams of zinc. These fish are also loaded with There is a specific type of animal called aprotein. — 14.2 grams per cup.

Water-rich foods

You can increase your intake by drinking water. Some foods have high water content.

A 2018 review suggested more research on hydration and skin health was needed.

Tomaschko says that it is not necessary to completely cut anything out of your diet if you have an allergy or intolerance.

Some items should be consumed in moderation.


Tomaschko suggests saying “cheers” with something other than alcohol if you want to toast.

Alcohol dehydrates you and preoccupies our bodies with filtering it out, thus preventing our bodies from doing their normal day-to-day maintenance, which includes working to sustain our skin and nail health,” Tomaschko says.

A 2018 study of more than 3,000 women ages 18 to 75 of multiple ethnic backgrounds including Caucasian, Asian, Black, and Latinx suggested that heavy drinking, defined as more than eight beverages per week. was associated with facial aging signs.

These were included.

  • Under-eye redness.
  • Volume loss midface.
  • Increased visibility of the blood vessels.
  • The upper facial lines are visible.

Moderate drinking was linked to undereye puffiness and Volume loss midface..

Processed food

Steering clear of ultra-processed foods may decrease your risk of skin issues.

Tomaschko says that these foods can cause inflammation in the body and be harmful for our skin and nail health.

Foods to consider are once-in-a-while.

A 2021 study of more than 15,000 Chinese adults indicated that processed food intake may increase risk of atopic dermatitis.

A 2020 review noted that some studies linked food processing methods like frying and high-fat diets to skin aging.

Ultra-sweetened drinks

A 2020 review pointed to studies that suggested sugary diets can increase skin aging.

Research from 2016 indicates that low-glycemic diets may help prevent hair loss during menopause.

Tomaschko suggests limiting consumption.

  • There is a beverage called soda.
  • juice
  • sweetened iced tea
  • Coffee with a lot of sugar.

Do you know more about the relationship between food and your body? Get the facts below.

Can supplements help hair, skin, and nail growth?

There is some evidence that supplements can cause hair, skin, and nail growth.

“He advises people to consult with a provider. Don’t think of supplements as a replacement for a healthy diet.”

He says that supplements should not be a substitute for a regular diet. Use supplements with the whole foods you are consuming.

A small, older study of 71 patients indicated The human form of biotin. could help strengthen nails.

Another study from 2011 suggested omega-3 supplements may help reduce skin damage from UV ray exposure.

However, a 2020 study indicated several risks to taking supplements for beauty, including an increased risk of cancer with long-term use.

Doebrich says most people in the U.S. get enough nutrition from diet alone.

What are the best vegan foods for hair, skin, and nails?

Though There is a specific type of animal called aprotein. has been linked to hair and skin health, Doebrich says it’s possible to get those benefits—and others—if you follow a vegan diet.

She recommends something.

  • There are nuts and seeds.
  • The beans are legumes.
  • There are fruits and vegetables.
  • Dark leafy greens are a plant-based source of iron.
  • Tofu, tempeh, and soy milk are soy-based foods.

What foods are bad for your hair, skin, and nails?

Doebrich says that there is no limit to the food you can eat unless you have an allergy or intolerance.

Ultra-processed and fried foods, sugar-laden treats and beverages, and alcohol are better enjoyed occasionally.

These foods have been linked to a number of health issues.

The FDA does not approve dietary supplements for safety and effectiveness. Doebrich says it’s critical to speak with your healthcare professional before starting supplements.

A 2020 study suggested supplementation could trigger choking, allergic reactions, and increased risks for cancer and diabetes.

There’s been mixed evidence on whether dairy, particularly cow’s milk, can exacerbate acne, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) notes. Speak to a healthcare professional before cutting dairy from your diet, as it contains other nutrients.

There is evidence to suggest some vitamins, minerals, and diet types can help enhance hair, skin, and nail health. These include omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A, C, and E, and high-There is a specific type of animal called aprotein., low-glycemic diets.

Try foods like salmon, nuts, avocados, and There are fruits and vegetables..

“It is best to avoid sweetened foods. You don’t have to nix them all together, but limiting intake can help with inflammation and skin dehydration.”

Before taking anything, speak to a healthcare professional. Long-term supplementation carries risks, and most nutrients can be obtained through food alone.

Beth Ann Mayer is a New York-based freelance writer and content strategist who specializes in health and parenting writing. Her work has been published in Parents, Shape, and Inside Lacrosse. She is a co-founder of digital content agency Lemonseed Creative and is a graduate of Syracuse University. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.