Your physical appearance can tell you a lot about your internal health.
Most natural health practitioners include a physical examination since the condition of your hair, skin, and nails can be indicators of underlying health issues, like nutrient deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, and the health of your digestive system.
The growth and maintenance of healthy hair, skin, and nails is dependent on your intake, and absorption of a variety of nutrients, including plenty of vitamins and minerals.
You should regularly check out the appearance and condition of your hair, skin, and nails for clues as to what foods, and therefore what nutrients your diet may be lacking.
Physical signs that you may be lacking something in your diet
FINGERNAILS & TOENAILS
Healthy nails are clear, smooth, and flexible. Like hair, healthy nails should be in a continuous cycle of re-growth.
The following color or texture changes in your nails are common signs of nutrient deficiencies:
WHITE SPOTS – If you notice white spots on your nails, you may not be getting enough zinc in your diet.
Good sources of zinc include:
- Pumpkin seeds
- Dark chocolate
- Red meat
- Leafy green vegetables
HORIZONTAL RIDGES along your nails may indicate either a zinc or iron deficiency.
Good sources of iron include:
- Red meat
- Beans & legumes
- Leafy green vegetables
- Dried fruit
To enhance your body’s absorption of iron, pair iron-rich foods with a good source of vitamin C, like citrus fruits, strawberries, or bell peppers.
Did you know that the health of your skin is closely tied to the health of your gut and liver function?
These two rather essential organs (your skin & liver) are processing and detoxifying everything – including foods, drinks, supplements, and medicines – pretty much everything you take in from the outside world.
Inflammatory skin conditions, like acne, eczema, and skin rashes are common symptoms of leaky gut syndrome – when the walls of the small intestine become thin and too permeable or “leaky”.
If you’re interested in learning more about how leaky gut can be affecting your health in ways you’re not aware, check out my detailed blog post on Leaky Gut: The connection with digestive health to autoimmunity, mental health, and more.
Breakouts and rashes can also be symptoms of a sluggish liver. Your liver’s primary responsibility is detoxification. So a poor diet, medication, and excessive alcohol intake can result in a slow, congested liver that is less efficient at doing its job.
Inflammatory skin conditions can also result from food intolerance and/or allergies. Many people have intolerances to gluten and dairy products. Additionally, excessive intake of sugar and refined carbohydrates can also disrupt normal gut function that often results in skin irritations.
Dry or flaky skin can signal a lack of healthy Omega-3 fats in the diet.
Avoiding foods you are intolerant to, adding in more Omega-3-rich foods, and supplementing with probiotics, plus a high quality fish oil may benefit your skin.
Not sure what your food intolerances are? Struggling to identify what’s causing your issues? Sign up for my free 30 min consultation below where I’ll go over your Whole Body Health Profile and see where the main imbalances are in your body and what can be causing your symptoms.
Healthy hair is soft, elastic, and should also be in a continuous cycle of re-growth. Hair should NOT easily break or fall out.
While no one wants to deal with premature hair loss, that’s exactly what can happen if your diet is lacking certain nutrients and/or you have an undetected health issue.
If you are noticing you’re shedding a few hairs each day though — RELAX! That’s totally normal as hair follicles move through their growth cycle.
However, excessive shedding that results in noticeable hair thinning and/or changes in hair texture, like dryness or brittleness, can result from:
Thyroid hormone imbalance, resulting in hypo or hyperthyroidism
- Have blood levels checked regularly
Not enough protein – the main building block of new hair growth
- Include a good source of protein, such as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, beans, or nuts, with each meal to meet your daily requirements
- Another issue could be that you’re struggling with a protein intolerance. To find out more about a potential protein intolerance, check out my blog post here which goes into details on proteins and amino acids: their importance, how to find out if you’re intolerant, and how to avoid becoming intolerant.
Not enough omega-3’s – healthy fats help keep hair and scalp conditioned with the production of natural oils
- Consider taking a fish oil supplement and frequently include good sources of Omega-3’s, like walnuts, chia seeds, and fatty fish, in your diet
- For more information on how omega 3’s help with inflammation, brain and mental health, heart health, and ideal amounts, check out my detailed post on Omega 3’s – The fats we love to love.
Lacking vitamins & minerals
- B vitamins
Raw nuts and seeds are good sources of Omega-3 fats, as well as key minerals like zinc. Making your own trail mix is an easy way to combine essential nutrients that help promote healthy hair, skin, and nails. A mix of nuts such as walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, and coconuts makes for a delicious snack full of nutrients! You can also add in dark chocolate chips and raisins which are good sources of iron and punch up the flavour & fun of your mix too.
Healthy hair, skin, and nails is really a reflection on what’s going on internally from your digestive system, food intake and mineral and vitamin absorption to the health of your detoxing organs.
Just taking a supplement that is designed to support your hair, skin, and nails is not going to have much of an effect if your digestive system is compromise, your liver is sluggish, and you have unresolved food intolerances or allergies.
If you’ve been struggling to get healthy looking hair, skin and nails, sign up for a free 30 min consultation with me where we’ll go over your Whole Body Health Profile and see where the main imbalances are in your body and what can be causing your symptoms.Book me in!