The condition of your skin, hair and nails is a direct reflection of your internal health. Rather than simply treating yourself to expensive beauty products and procedures, why not pamper yourself from the inside?
Flawless skin, glossy hair and neat nails are three features that are conducive to our impression of ‘beauty.’ We spend hundreds if not thousands of pounds every year on keeping our manes thick and shiny and our nails shaped and polished. Simply keeping our skin cleansed, exfoliated, toned and moisturized as well as anti-aged is becoming an expensive full time job!
When you dash to your local beauty counter and reach for the latest miracle serum, stop for a moment and consider what you are putting inside your body… After all, our skin, hair and nails are the windows of our wellbeing. They reflect how happy our body is inside. If skin is dull, blemished or ageing prematurely, if hair is lifeless and if nails are brittle – perhaps it is your local food market that should receive an emergency visit, not the beauty department!
Our skin, hair and nails reflect how well we are nourished and common deficiencies can lead to blemishes, thinning hair and broken nails – no matter how much you spend on your manicure!
Despite the commonly held view that those white flecks on your nails are due to a calcium deficiency, it is in fact a lack of zinc which sprinkles unsightly white spots on your talons! Zinc is a significant beauty mineral. Not only is it important for strong nails but also for skin repair and maintenance. Foods rich in zinc include oysters, liver, eggs, pumpkin seeds and mushrooms.
Thinning hair is a common beauty complaint, especially given the current ‘big’ hair trends! Protein is an essential hair nutrient, as it contains amino acids – important components of keratin which helps make up the hair’s matrix. Keratin is also an important feature of skin and nail structure. Good beauty-boosting proteins include eggs, lean poultry, fish, legumes and seeds.
Blemishes on the skin are an expression of inflammation. Whether this is due to hormonal imbalance, nutritional deficiencies or stress – the anti-inflammatory pathways in the body require support. Reducing red meat and dairy intake is advisable as these are pro-inflammatory foods. Support your body’s anti-inflammatory pathways with plenty of omega-3 rich foods like oily fish, nuts and seeds, as well as fresh garlic, ginger and turmeric. Omega 3 is also a nutrient celebrated for its anti-ageing properties.
A poorly functioning liver often chooses to express its struggle on your face. Drinking plenty of fluids is the first step to supporting your detoxification organ. 2-3 liters of fluid a day is recommended. The trick here is variety – who wants to be sipping plain water all day long?! Get your liquid from fruits and vegetables (especially watermelon, pineapple and other juicy delights), dilute fresh fruit juices and choose from delicious herbal teas like rooibos, green and ginger varieties. Staying well hydrated is shown to help keep hair naturally shiny and complexion lines less visible.
A high level of toxicity in the body puts strain on the skin as it is an organ of detoxification. Getting plenty of high fiber foods in your diet is important for the removal of toxins from the system. Include beans, lentils, pulses, oat bran and prunes in your diet as well as plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit. Always wash your fresh produce thoroughly and go for organic choices where possible.
A wide range of factors influences the appearance of our skin, hair and nails. Poor digestion, constipation, sun exposure, weakened immunity and hormonal imbalance are just some examples of why you may not be looking your best. A nutritional consultation could help to identify the underlying reasons as to why your external features are exhibiting weakness. A nutritional program would then be designed to meet your unique requirements and help develop an inner harmony that makes your nails strong, your hair shine and your skin glow.
Author Rachel Henderson