How does dieting play a role in healthy hair, strong nails, and clear skin?


How does dieting play a role in healthy hair, strong nails, and clear skin?

What ways can you boost your metabolism and lose weight the right way without doing any dietary supplements?

Yes, food plays a role in the health of your hair, nails, and skin. Hair and nails are similar in that they are rigid proteins containing sulfur. So if you don’t eat enough foods with complete proteins (meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, soybeans), then hair and nail growth could be affected. In the U.S., most people eat enough protein daily. An adult female over 18 years of age needs 53 grams of protein a day. That is equivalent to consuming 2 cups of milk and 5 ounces of protein foods (see above). This wouldn’t include the protein in whole grains, pasta, rice, and vegetables which would make your protein consumption even higher.

Hair can dry out from styling products as well as hair dryers and flattening irons. Talk to your dermatologist about products that will retain moisture in your hair especially the ends. Hair grows about 1 inch a month so long hair is older hair which has been exposed to styling products, dryers, and irons for a longer time Plan days where you use no styling products, blowers, or irons letting your hair dry naturally.

Nails can also become dry and there are some good nail moisturizers available. Talk to your dermatologist about products to retain nail moisture. Nails can sustain damage due to fever, illness as well as damaging the nail bed caused by a hand injury. Most nails take about 9 months to grow from nail bed to the end of your finger so any nail damage will be visible for a while. White spots on your nails are also visible damage to the nail.

BTW your nail beds should be pink which indicates a normal amount of iron in your blood. Iron is part of hemoglobin which is in red blood cells that carry oxygen around your body to your organs and muscles.  If your nail beds are light, ask your doctor to measure your blood iron levels especially if you are menstruating which causes a monthly blood loss. Red meat is the best source of heme iron a highly absorbable form of iron.

Skin is the largest organ your body has. Research about acne suggests that certain foods such as skim milk and foods high in carbohydrates such as chips and bread may contribute to acne. Chocolate had been blamed for acne breakouts but was based on a small study of 14 men and has since been disproven. While research does not suggest completely eliminating these foods, it would be wise to not overeat them. Eating greasy food is not responsible for acne tho working over frying food is when oil vapor coats the skin. Good face and hand washing is the first path to keeping skin clear of excess oil and plugged pores. The primary causes of acne are non-food related such as hormones, some medications, and stress.  I would highly recommend talking to your dermatologist about any acne you have and the best treatment.

While it is important to drink sufficient water, water alone will not protect your skin from the sun, dish detergents and smoking. To protect your skin from the sun, wear a sunscreen of SPF 30 or more when out in the sun. The sun is an excellent source of vitamin D but it depends on where you live. Wear rubber gloves when washing dishes to protect your hands from the drying effect of dish detergents. If you smoke, quit smoking as it causes tiny lines around your mouth.

Exercise provides a 15 hour sustained increase in your metabolic rate. If you want to lose weight, plan to exercise 60 minutes 5 days a week. Break a sweat but make sure you can carry on a conversation otherwise, your heart rate may be too high which will cause your body to burn your blood sugar and muscle-stored glycogen as fuel rather than body fat. This just makes you hungry when you finish exercising.

To lose weight, you need to eat less food than you need to maintain your weight and exercise. If you want to know how many calories to eat,  try my Healthy Body Calculator® and select to lose either 1 or 2 pounds per week. HBC will not calculate a Calorie Daily Value less than 1,200 calories as it would not contain enough food to provide the protein, vitamins, and minerals you need.  Then if you want a personalized healthy eating plan, copy your calculated Calorie Daily Value into my HELP Healthy Eating for Life Plan®. You can select what type of milk, meat or not, beans or not, and snacks or not. Then on your healthy eating plan, click on each food group to view foods you can plan menus with.  If you plan what you are going to eat ahead of time, you are less likely to eat food that is fast and convenient when you are hungry. Also, eat every 4 to 6 hours to anticipate hunger.

Dietary supplements i.e. vitamin and mineral supplements are not necessary if you eat a wide variety of foods from all food groups – meat, poultry, fish, dairy, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats (olive, peanut, Canola, tree nuts, avocado). What we consider in balanced eating is what you average over a week rather than each day. You want to aim for 100% of your RDA average over 1 week. For instance, one day you may eat carrots or broccoli which are high in vitamin A.  On other days, you may eat green beans or iceberg lettuce which are not.