Barbara Mendez is an integrative nutritionist and registered pharmacist who specializes in functional nutrition, emotional eating habits, and the science of how food, medicine, and supplements affect happiness and well-being.
When it comes to beauy, Americans are willing to spend—billions. Last year, Americans shelled out 50 billion dollars at hair and nail salons, all for the pursuit beauty. That’s a lot of highlights and manicures! And while these services are one way of having luxurious hair and strong nails, to really glow from within, you need to explore the foundation of beauty.
Your outward appearance is a reflection of your overall health, and it holds clues to what might be happening generally in your body. Before you empty the bank account enhancing your appearance on the outside, try these tips to get pretty from the inside out. Not only will they result in more nourished hair and nails, they'll improve your overall health.
1. Improve Digestion
If you are prone to bloating, indigestion or bowel irregularities, you may not be digesting your food properly, which can lead to poor assimilation of nutrients and weakened hair and nails. In addition to removing processed foods, consider supplementing with probiotics. They re-colonize beneficial bacteria, helping you maximize nutrient absorption from your diet. Added bonus: recent studies show that probiotic supplementation can help with weight loss and may ward off depression.
2. Include Omega-3 Essential Fats
Contained in salmon, flax and walnuts, these high quality fats can help nourish and hydrate hair and nails. They have also been shown to help improve mood. Shoot for three servings of salmon a week, a handful of walnuts a day and consider using flax oil in your salad dressing for optimal results.
3. Sip Bone Broth
Make your soups with this delicious and nutritious stock. Nutrition’s latest superstar contains collagen, the key building block for hair and nails, and boosts your immune system. It’s also a good source of calcium and other nutrients that will help strengthen hair and nails, preventing breakage and chipping.
4. Load Up on Carotene
Carotene-rich foods such as carrots and yams enhance Vitamin A production, which helps to strengthen nails and nourish the scalp for healthier hair growth. Snack on carrots and include yams in your diet up to three times a week.
5. Brew Up Some Nettle Tea
Loaded in vitamins and minerals, drinking nettle tea regularly can help improve circulation to the scalp helping with hair growth while preventing loss. Have one to two cups a day.
6. Try MSM
This sulfur-containing supplement can help your hair and nails grow in thicker, stronger and faster by boosting collagen production. Talk to your pharmacist or health care practitioner to determine what dose is right for you.
7. Massage in Rosemary Oil
This fragrant essential oil has been shown to stimulate new hair growth. Dilute rosemary oil in a little almond oil to prevent irritation, and massage into scalp once or twice a week.
To learn more about Barbara or to sign up for her weekly Motivational Monday series, visit barbaramendeznutrition.com.