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Your diet and supplementation can help you with much more than getting a toned physique and fueling an intense workout session. Several macronutrients and micronutrients are also integral in assisting you to maintain younger skin, stronger nails, and healthy hair. Here’s what you need to help achieve beauty inside and out.
1. Biotin (Vitamin B7)
The “beauty vitamin” is best known for helping maintain hair, skin, and nails by improving the infrastructure of keratin—a protein that helps form hair, nail, and skin cells. It’s found in chicken, fish, egg yolks, and nuts or can be easily supplemented by taking a multivitamin.
How Much? Minimum recommended intake: 30mcg daily
2. Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA)
GLA, a type of omega-6 fatty acid, plays a key role in stimulating nail, hair, and skin growth and repair by keeping oil levels in your body in check. This helps prevent cells from becoming less dry over time. The fatty acid can be found in most plant-based oils or in supplement form.
How Much? 500mg to 1,000mg daily
3. Vitamin C
This antioxidant has been shown to assist in preventing hair loss and dandruff while also helping hair look fuller. It may help reduce dry or tight skin while aiding in maintaining a brighter appearance. Outside of a multivitamin, vitamin C can be found in most fruits and veggies.
How Much? Minimum intake 75–120mg daily, up to 1,000mg daily
4. Vitamin E
Research shows vitamin E may help prevent age-related wrinkles and fine lines by fighting off free-radical damage to the skin. It also supports hair growth. It’s most commonly found in green vegetables such as spinach and kale, almonds, raw seeds, and hazelnuts.
How Much? Minimum intake 15–19mg daily, maximum 1,000mg daily
SEE ALSO: The Best Foods for Healthy Hair and Skin
A zinc deficiency is linked to hair loss, so supplementing with the mineral may help reduce the issue and assist in giving hair a thicker appearance. Zinc can be found in nuts, spinach, and eggs as well as in a multivitamin or ZMA supplement (a combo of both zinc and magnesium).
How Much? Minimum intake 8–12mg daily
6. Fish Oil
The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil help give skin a glow by regulating natural oil levels in skin cells. Supplements may also help prevent dandruff and keep nails stronger and less brittle.
How Much? Maximum of 3g daily
Crucial in helping the body use other vitamins and minerals more efficiently, magnesium also plays a role in maintaining cell structure. It can be found in spinach, nuts, fish, and whole grains, along with multivitamins.
How Much? 300– 350mg daily
Collagen serves as connective tissue for many body structures, including the nails, hair, and skin. Supplements can help ensure you’re maintaining adequate levels of the protein: A study comparing collagen supplementation with a placebo saw significant improvement in skin elasticity in women ages 35 to 55.
How Much? 2.5–5g daily according to one study
The mineral plays a key role in activating B vitamins, which work in the repair and upkeep of healthy hair, skin, and nails. Iron is also important in helping keep hair full and smooth. Key sources include chickpeas, seeds, soybeans, grains, and spinach.
How Much? 18–27mg daily for women 19–50 years of age; 8mg for women over 51