Top 9 Nutrients for Healthy Hair, Skin and Nails

Top 9 Nutrients for Healthy Hair, Skin and Nails


healthy-hair-skin-nailsIt is what you put on your hair, skin and nails that matters most, but what you put into your body that matters too.

There is no magic potion that gives you healthy hair, skin and nails. There are products on the market that will enhance and help you take care of  what you already have.

The state of your hair, skin and nails reflects what’s going on inside your body. If you are eating a diet that consists of mostly junk food, then overtime, this will show in your hair, skin and nails.

It is very important that you eat a balanced and healthy diet, because it helps with your hair, skin and nails. Supplements are great, but you should get most of what you need from your food.

Do not depend on a supplement to give you all the vitamins and minerals that you need for healthy hair, skin and nails.  Be sure to include the following in your diet:

1.  Protein

Protein builds and repairs the body.

Sources of Protein: beans, legumes, grains, nuts, soy, figs, olives, vegetables, apricots, avocados

2.  Omega -3 Fatty Acids

Omega -3 Fatty Acids are essential and we must get this from our food. It is beneficial for hair, skin and nails.

Sources of Omega -3 Fatty Acids: ground flax seeds, flax oil, walnuts, green leafy vegetables, beans, legumes, citrus fruits, cherries, melons

3.  Zinc

Zinc works in protein synthesis and collagen formation.

Sources of Zinc: pumpkin seeds, lima beans, brewer’s yeast, mushrooms, pecans, soy beans, sunflower seeds.

4.  Biotin

Biotin aids in cell growth, fatty acid production, and the metabolism of carbohydrates and proteins. It is important in maintaining the strength of  the hair and nails.

Sources of Biotin: beans, grains, and yeast

5.  Iron

Iron produces hemoglobin and carries oxygen to red blood cells. Iron deficiency symptoms include: brittle hair, nails that are moon shaped or that have ridges running lengthwise, hair loss, fatigue, paleness, dizziness and anemia.

Sources of Iron: green leafy vegetables, whole grains, avocados, beets, blackstrap molasses, brewer’s yeast, dulse, kelp, kidney and lima beans, millet, parsley, peaches, pears, dried prunes, pumpkin, raisin,s rice and wheat bran, sesame seeds and soybeans

6.  Vitamin A

Vitamin A supports healthy skin and can aid in preventing acne. Aids in tissue and skin repair. Slows the aging process.

Sources of Vitamin A: alfalfa, apricots, asparagus, beets, broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots, dandelion greens, garlic, kale, peaches, red peppers, spirulina, pumpkin, yellow squash, turnip greens and watercress

7.  Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)

Vitamin C is an antioxidant required for tissue growth and repair. Essential in collagen formation.

Sources of Vitamin C: green leafy vegetables, strawberries, raspberries, cherries, plums, pears, summer apples, melons, citrus fruits, asparagus, avocados, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, grapefruit, mangos, lemons, mustard greens, onions, pineapples, tomatoes, turnip greens and watercress

8.  Selenium

Selenium is a vital antioxidant and trace element that needed in tissue elasticity.

Sources of Selenium: Brazil nuts, brewer’s yeast, broccoli, garlic, molasses, onions, vegetables, wheat germ and whole grains.

9.  Silica

Silica is a trace mineral that is known to slow the aging process.   It is present in collagen and helps give luster to the hair, strengthens nails and tones the skin.

Sources of Silica:  horsetail, bamboo, bean sprouts, cucumber, onion, celery, cabbage, sunflower seeds,  strawberries, leeks, cauliflower


Eating a variety of foods is the key to healthy hair, skin and nails.  Stay away from refined carbohydrates, processed foods, and foods that don’t bring life to your body.

This blog focuses on plant-based foods and if you don’t see any animal foods listed, that’s why.

Eat the color of the rainbow!

Source of Information:

Vitamins & Minerals from A to Z (Ethno-Conscious Series)

Skin Candy Vitamins


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

About the Author

Evelyn Parham started this site in 2010. She enjoys writing, reading, and dabbling in photography and video editing. Learn more about her here.

19 Enlightened Replies

Trackback  •  Comments RSS

  1. Nikki says:

    Evelyn, this is a fantastic list. I like your detail and explanation. I noticed on the list you mentioned these are plant based items. It is amazing how some simple changes in our diet and eating the right foods can improve our health and prevent certain diseases. I wrote a short blog post about the documentary “Forks Over Knives”- which advocates a plant based diet. If you get a chance, take a look.
    Keep up the good work!

  2. Claudia says:

    Hi Evelyn, this is a well needed list. I think we sometimes think more about taking care of our hair then we do our own bodies.

    Thank you for this post. I was getting ready to go shopping. This will help.

  3. Jenny says:

    Hey Evelyn..thanks for the reminder..Actually I am going through some hair problems these days and found out your blog. I guess my problem may be because of lack of nutrients my body is getting. I will have to start up now with fruits and vegetables, the veggy diet and avoid the junk food!!!

  4. Michelle says:

    Thanks for sharing Eve! I have incorporated many more colors into my diet. My hair and skin are both thriving 🙂

  5. Ambika Mahajan says:

    Very rightly pointed out.What we put inside our bodies is much more important than what we apply on them for a healthier skin, hair and nails. Proteins are important, of course. So are the various vitamins and minerals listed by you in the write up above.A surprise addition for me was OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS!I had no idea they could be vital too. Most of us seem to be on a spree to eliminate fats from our diet totally, in a bid to get to that elusive size zero figure. Thanks for sharing valuable info!

    • Hi Ambika!

      I honestly believe that a little bit of fat is not bad. Our bodies and the cells actually need a certain amount of fat. We just have to make sure we put the right kinds of fats in our bodies.

      Fat doesn’t make you fat, it’s a combination of things, at least that’s what I believe.

      Thanks for chiming in!


  6. Zukidaru Ru says:

    hey Evelyn, nuts are a source of protein, but my knowledge, nuts can cause acne. It’s true or not?

  7. msfullroller says:

    Hey Evelyn! Awesome post! I tell you I’ve noticed a difference in my hair and nails as they are longer than they have ever been. Not saying I’ve got super growth because it’s still slower than most but it’s waaay better than when I was not incorporating the foods mentioned in this post.

  8. Excellent list, Evelyn! Thank you. All one need to do is begin to incorporate a daily regime and they will begin to see awesome results.

    • Evelyn says:

      Thanks, Ms. Carolyn!

      Yeah, that sounds like a great plan. After writing this post, I will be doing the same thing. 🙂

      Take care,


  9. Protein is most important for hairs and nails, because they are made of keratin, which is a type of protein.

    • Evelyn says:

      Hi Jupitor!

      You’re right about protein being the most important. That’s why I listed it as #1. 🙂 Glad to know I’m not too far off.

      I appreciate your feedback and glad you stopped by!


  10. Jee says:

    Great list of nutrients evelyn.

    We don’t need to eat them all in one time, but we have to plan for it.

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *