The Best Foods to Eat for Healthy Skin & Hair

Is there a way to improve skin with nutrition?

This is a great topic. My father used to look at me, shake his head, and say “You are what you eat.” when he found me with too much candy. It took me until college to realize he was right. So here are some tips for maintaining that great skin and hair from the inside.

Best Foods for Healthy Skin & Hair

  • Protein.  Best sources are chicken, fish, other lean meats, and carefully chosen plant sources.  If you’re vegan, consider protein matching.  There are several good books on this. Why? Our skin cells, keratinocytes, are largely made up of proteins.  Also, in the dermis, are the cells that make collagen and elastic fibers, etc. These are largely made up of protein. And our hair and nails…protein also. Soooo…protein really helps. I had a friend in college who went on a “juice” cleanse for 2 months.  Almost all her hair fell out due to protein malnutrition.  I’m not joking, and it was scary.  It did all grow back thankfully. How much protein? This is individual and depends on activity level. The average female who’s not very active needs approximately 40-50 grams a day. Ask a nutritionist to help you.
  • Fish and Fish Oils.  Salmon, black cod, and other higher oil content fish are great; salmon also contains biotin. I also take Wild Alaska Salmon Oil in capsules to supplement because I don’t eat fish every day. As your eye doctor will tell you, it’s often recommended for dry eyes. Why? The natural oils help to give skin and hair a natural glow and prevent dryness.
  • Avocados.  Same applies for these…great natural oils for glow and oil normalization. One of our patients used to eat an avocado every morning for breakfast, and then rubbed the pit on her face for a minute or two. That’s a bit tough for most of us to do, but you get the idea; avocados also contain Biotin.
  • Nuts.  These may be the best of all.  Protein plus natural oils plus biotin.  Almonds, peanuts, and walnuts are good choices. Biotin stimulates keratin production, increases the rate of hair growth slightly, and seems to make nails stronger. Biotin supplements are often recommended for hair and nail problems.

Hope this helps,

Dr. Brandith


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