|Vitamins and Minerals|
|Vitamins and Minerals - Beauty Care from Within|
The body has certain daily requirements that, no matter how hard we try, are almost impossible to meet. While we may try to eat right, stress and environmental factors such as pollution are large contributors to the depletion of important nutrients. Once these stores are depleted, the body is forced to steal from its internal reserves found in hair, skin, nails and other tissues. In order to keep hair, skin and nails strong and healthy, vitamins and minerals must be brought to the surface from within.
Take, for instance, B vitamins. Although found in high concentrations in hair, skin and nails, the water-soluble B vitamins are easily "burned out" by stress. Antibiotics, oral contraceptives and alcohol can further deplete the body's store of nutrients. The body needs these B vitamins to function properly and will steal from nutrient stores in the hair, skin and nails if it does not receive its daily requirements through food or supplement sources. The result is dry, brittle hair that breaks or falls out easily, nails that peel or crack, dry skin, cold sores, dermatitis, eczema and even fatigue. Replenishing these nutrients several times daily is therefore important, as most B vitamins are washed out of the body within six to eight hours. However, because high doses of a single B vitamin may deplete your body of other B vitamins, experts recommend taking a combination of biotin, inositol, folic acid, paramino benzoic acid (PABA), pantothenic acid, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine and B6.
Antioxidants and essential fatty acids are also important in maintaining a healthy complexion. Individuals with acne, blemishes and dry skin, for example, are often deficient in vitamin A and beta-carotene. Additionally, vitamin C can reduce some of the effects of aging due to cigarette smoke or chemicals in the environment. Selenium is yet another antioxidant recognized for its ability to help the skin retain collagen, and vitamin E has lone been used both internally and externally for its skin-protecting and enhancing effects.
The essential fatty acids, such as omega-3 fish oils or gamma linolenic acid from evening primrose oil are also said to help in nourishing the skin and keeping fingernails strong.
And let's not forget calcium or the many other minerals found in hair, skin and nails. Calcium, magnesium and zinc all work to help strengthen and fortify the body, hair and nails. Silica, sulfur and sulfur-bearing amino acids are also important in protecting health and beauty. However, because silica levels decrease with age, and sulfur is easily destroyed through cooking, storing or mild processing of food, supplementation of each of these may just be the internal police force your body needs to help it maintain and protect its health and beauty.
Daily Beauty Regimen for Keeping Hair, Skin and Nails Strong
Massaging the scalp may increase blood flow and help prevent or lessen hair loss. Remember that it is normal to lose 50 to 100 hairs per day.
Take care of skin by avoiding fried foods, animal fat and heat processed supermarket oils. Limit soft drinks, products that contain refined sugar and junk foods, and avoid excessive sun exposure.
Drink plenty of water and liquids, as cuts and cracks in the nails can indicate a need for more liquids. Besides hydrating dry skin, water carries nutrients throughout the body and helps to flush out harmful toxins.
Louise Mac Intosh is currently employed as a nutritional consultant. She has been involved in the vitamin and supplement industry for over five years, and is now working towards obtaining her Master's degree in nutrition.