A healthy diet and vitamin supplements are important for your overall health, well-being and immune system. A well-balanced diet and proper vitamin intake can help stimulate healthy nail and hair growth, giving you a younger, fresher and healthier appearance. Certain vitamin and mineral deficiencies result in thin, weak nails that break easily. Deficiencies can also deprive you of strong and healthy hair, sometimes resulting in early-signs of baldness.
Vitamins for Nails
The appearance of nails is important, because it can be a sign of your overall health. Brittle, deformed or unsightly nails can be a sign of nutritional deficiency. Vitamin A is essential for nail growth, while vitamin B2 or riboflavin promotes healthy nails. Vitamin C is important for your overall health, but a deficiency in vitamin C is associated with deformed nails. Vitamin B8 or biotin strengthens keratin, which is a protein from which nails are formed. Calcium helps make nails stronger, and contributes to proper development of bones and teeth. Iron is also important for strength, as brittle nails can be a sign of an iron deficiency.
Vitamins for Hair
Biotin, a part of B vitamin family, is needed for the production of fatty acids that are vital for healthy hair and can help treat signs of balding or thinning hair. Hair loss occurs when your diet is inadequate in the B vitamins, especially B6, biotin, inositol and folic acid. Healthy hair is associated with the immune health, and vitamin E is believed to stimulate hair growth by enhancing the immune function.
Vitamins in Food
Vitamins that are good for hair and nails can be found in many foods, which would reduce your need to take them in supplement forms. Biotin can be obtain from food sources such as brewer's yeast, brown rice, bulgar, green peas, lentils, oats, soybeans, sunflower seeds and walnuts. Other B vitamins can be found in leafy green vegetables like kale, collards, spinach. Vitamin C is most commonly found in citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruits and Vitamin A is available in cantaloupe, carrots, sweet potatoes. Vitamin E is in foods such as whole grains, sardines, egg yolk, nuts and seeds. Calcium is found in dairy such as milk and cheese.