As women age, they may begin to experience brittle and dull hair and nails. If your hair falls out suddenly or if you have recurring nail problems, it may be a good idea to see a doctor because this could be a sign of an underlying medical condition.
A person's diet does not have much of an impact on hair loss or hair growth. However, getting a correct balance of vitamins and minerals can strengthen and add shine to hair and nails.
Nuts are jam-packed with a triple whammy of essential fats, B vitamins, and vitamin E, which can strengthen the hair and nails. These three nutrients have been shown by studies to significantly improve the appearance of both hair and nails, nourishing them from within. Nuts, like all the foods on this list, are good for you overall and part of a well-balanced diet.
Oily fish, for example sardines, is rich in biotin, the main vitamin used to strengthen nails and hair. For over health, it is recommended to eat oily fish two or three times a week. Other sources of biotin include nuts, eggs, and a variety of fruits and vegetables.
Consuming enough iron can breathe new life into brittle nails. Liver is one of the most iron rich foods out there, and can be cooked in a multitude of different meals. Lean beef and eggs are also excellent sources of iron, and vegetarians can also rely on soy products and red kidney beans in order to reach their quota.
Eggs are one of the richest sources of biotin. Biotin, also known as vitamin H, is not found in many foods, but it is one of the only vitamins proven to help strengthen hair and nails.
Vitamin C is one of the best-known vitamins for its nutritional properties. A diet deficient in vitamin C can lead to problems among all soft tissues in the body, as well as brittle nails and hair loss. It also assists in the absorption of iron. While oranges are the most commonly thought of providers of vitamin C, it is less well known that strawberries are also a great source of this vital nutrient.
Though biotin and vitamin C are vital in maintaining healthy nails and hair, they cannot be absorbed by the body properly without sufficient quantities of manganese, one of the lesser-known essential minerals. One of the best sources of manganese is pineapples, but raspberries and avocados are also rich in manganese.
Eating the foods listed above on a regular basis will not only strengthen your hair and nails, but they also offer proven health benefits. Click here for further information on brittle nails during menopause.
- Evert, A. (2013). Iron in diet: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. Retrieved October 17, 2013, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002422.htm
- Evert, A. (2011). Vitamin C: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. Retrieved October 17, 2013, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002404.htm
- National Health Service UK. (2013). Nail abnormalities. Retrieved October 17, 2013, from http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/nail-abnormalities/Pages/Introduction.aspx
- National Institutes of Health. (2011). Biotin: MedlinePlus Supplements. Retrieved October 17, 2013, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/313.html
- Mayo Clinic Staff. (2014). Fingernails: Do's and don'ts for healthy nails. Retrieved November 24, 2015 from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/nails/art-20044954
- Price, C.T. , Koval, K.J. & Langford, J.R. (2013). Silicon: A Review of Its Potential Role in the Prevention and Treatment of Postmenopausal Osteoporosis. International Journal of Endocrinology. doi: 10.1155/2013/316783
- Riordan, R.D. , Khonsari, M. , Jeffries, J. , Maskell, G.F. & Cook, P.G. (2004). Pineapple juice as a negative oral contrast agent in magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography: a preliminary evaluation. The British journal of radiology, 77(924), 991-999. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15569640
- Ros, E. & Mataix, J. (2006). Fatty acid composition of nuts--implications for cardiovascular health. The British journal of nutrition, Suppl 2, S29-35. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17125530
- University of Maryland Medical Center. (2013). Vitamin H (Biotin). Retrieved November 24, 2015, from https://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/vitamin-h-biotin