The best foods to eat to grow hair & nails

Updated February 21, 2017

While proper grooming and beauty products can promote healthy hair and nails, without a healthy diet you might be sabotaging all of that hard work. Since hair and nails, like the rest of your body, require vitamins and minerals to maintain health, if you are looking to increase the health of your hair and nails, there are certain foods rich in these essentials that can help.


Salmon is a wonder food that gives your body protein along with healthy omega-3s. Since hair and nails are protein-based, it's no wonder they need it to grow healthy. Salmon has also been found to increase the health of your scalp and prevent dryness, which in turn promotes generally healthy-looking hair. The fish also contains iron, which is another needed nutrient for hair and nails.


Meat contains both iron and protein each which will keep hair and nails strong. When eating meat, avoid eating meat that is high in fat, such as greasy foods. Stick with lean meats like super lean minced meat or high quality fillet cuts. Lean chicken and turkey are other good meat sources. If you have a craving for some fast food, skip the drive-through and go purchase a lean version of the meat at your local grocer, then cook it up at home adding your own flavourings.


Green veggies are another food that pack pow for both your hair and fingernails. With green veggies, think the darker the better --- spinach, kale, broccoli and peas. Lighter green veggies such as lettuce and celery aren't bad for you, but don't contain as much of the vitamins, calcium and iron that darker veggies carry.


Eggs not only make for a number of yummy breakfast options, but also a great booster for hair and nails, thanks to the protein and vitamins they contain. One way to double-up on the healthful benefits for your hair and nails is to pair eggs with another healthy food, such as a spinach omelette or a veggie-egg scramble.


Avocados contain many nutrients, including vitamins such as A and E and minerals that promote moisture and strength in both your hair an nails. Another added benefit of avocado is that it can be used as both an internal and external boost for hair and nails. The next time you make guacamole try saving some avocado to use as a 10-minute hair mask, and rub a little over your cuticles for five minutes, then rinse.

Low-Fat Dairy

Low-fat milk and milk products are filled with calcium without all the calories, making them good for both hair and nails along with your figure. Calcium is an essential requirement for hair and nail growth, so try eating foods like low-fat cottage cheese, low-fat cheese or sipping on a glass of low-fat milk with your breakfast.

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About the Author

Amy Davidson is a graduate from the University of Florida in Gainesville, with a bachelor's degree in journalism. She also writes for local papers around Gainesville doing articles on local events and news.