Split nails. Split ends. Flaky skin. These are things that many women deal with but don’t always understand where they come from. We just try to cover them up with nail polish, hats, and makeup. Maybe you try all sorts of beauty industry remedies like treatments meant to fortify your nails, prevent hair breakage, and strengthen your epidermis. There are so many lotions, masks, and creams, all claiming to address these issues. The problem is that many just address the symptom, rather than the cause. We wouldn’t do that with any other issues popping up on our body. When you have a chronic stomach ache, you don’t just take Pepto Bismol every day. You speak to a doctor and try to find out what’s causing this, and what lifestyle changes you must make to turn things around. The stomach ache is actually an appropriate analogy here because, often, diet is the cause of a stomach ache, and it’s also the cause of brittle nails, breaking hair, and a less-than-satisfactory complexion.
Research has found that a nutritional deficiency can be the cause of hair loss. Hair is made of keratin – the same protein that your nails are made of – so it should be no surprise that both hair and nails are impacted by your diet. You may have already known about the link between the food you eat and the way your skin looks. The funny thing is that it’s pretty common knowledge that there is a link between our diet and how our organs function. We know there are foods that are good or bad for our heart, our liver, our kidneys, and beyond. And yet, we can forget that food also impacts the parts of our bodies that we see more as cosmetic. But they’re still parts of our bodies, and what we feed ourselves is ultimately reflected in our skin, hair, and nails. On that note, here is a grocery list to help and improve all three things.
Meat that’s high in iron
Iron plays a major role in hair growth and loss, if you’re low on it. Researchers aren’t entirely clear on iron’s role in hair loss, but suspect a lack of it contributes to an enzyme that slows the rate at which important cells in hair follicles divide. Some of the genes we carry in our hair follicles might also be regulated by iron. So if you’re low on iron, hair loss could be an unpleasant side effect. Meanwhile, an iron deficiency is also linked to brittle nails. Women between the ages of 19 to 50 need 14.8 mg of iron per day. One of the best sources of iron is red meat. One six-ounce steak offers a little over four mg of iron. While chicken liver may not be a very popular food, just 2.5 ounces of it gives you nearly 10 ounces of iron – more than half the daily amount.