9 foods to eat if you want healthier skin, hair and nails

You’ve probably heard of biotin in the context of healthy hair, skin, and nails. And that is exactly what the nutritional benefits are. “Biotin is one of the B (B7) vitamins and it’s what your body uses to metabolize fats, carbohydrates and amino acids,” says Melissa Koller, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. Since biotin has metabolic functions, it helps transform the food we eat into energy so that our body can function efficiently.

And there is another reason why it is such a powerhouse. “It is also involved in the regulation of genes and cell signaling and may contribute to the health of hair, skin and nails given its role in the production of the protein keratin”, explains Meredith Rofheart, MS, RD, Culina Health registered dietitian.

So yes, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting enough biotin if you want your hair, skin, and nails to grow.

Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to get enough biotin through your diet, although Rofheart says some populations, such as breastfeeding women and those with a rare genetic enzyme disorder called biotinidase deficiency, might. having trouble getting the recommended amount. “Biotin deficiencies are very rare. Most people with a varied diet will have no problem meeting their biotin needs, ”explains Claire Virga, RDN, MS, CDN, registered dietitian at Rooted Wellness, a private practice dedicated to women’s health. However, alcoholism can increase the risk of biotin deficiency because alcohol blocks the absorption of biotin. Eating raw egg whites regularly can also increase the risk of deficiency. Raw egg whites contain a protein called avidin, which blocks the absorption of biotin. “

Virga adds that adults are recommended to consume 30 micrograms of biotin per day, while breastfeeding women may need 35 micrograms per day. “Although biotin requirements do not increase during pregnancy, lower biotin levels are common in pregnant women because the body breaks down biotin faster during pregnancy,” she says. “This is one of the many reasons why all pregnant women should supplement their diet with a high quality prenatal supplement, in addition to a varied and balanced diet.”

As to how to tell if you are lacking in the vitamin, Rofheart says it’s a bit difficult to assess for several reasons: there is a lack of precise test markers, it is not produced naturally by the body, and so on. is water-soluble vitamin, so it is not stored in the body for very long.

There are still a few signs to watch out for. “Although symptomatic biotin deficiency is very rare, signs of a deficiency include thinning and hair loss, brittle nails, conjunctivitis, and a red scaly rash around openings in the body (mouth, nose , etc.) “, explains Virga. If you notice these symptoms and suspect that you are suffering from a biotin deficiency, you can talk to your doctor to see if this is a deficiency or signs of something else.

And when it comes to those biotin supplements you’ve probably seen all over the place – there are so many varieties available – you’ll want to exercise caution. Every expert we spoke to said that it is best to start with your diet, especially since there are many foods that contain the vitamin.

Virga says it could be a waste of money to add biotin supplements to your routine if you don’t really need them. “There is no research to support that there are benefits to taking a biotin supplement in individuals who are receiving adequate amounts of biotin in the diet,” she explains. “Biotin is a water soluble vitamin, so we don’t store it in the body. Any excess that we take in from food or supplements is flushed out into our urine. Of course, if someone is suffering from true biotin deficiency. , focusing on eating foods rich in biotin while taking a biotin supplement may help improve symptoms. “

But if you do decide to go the supplement route, you will need to be careful about how much you consume. Koller warns that taking too much biotin supplements can cause an upset stomach or even skin problems.

If you want to start your diet with foods rich in biotin, take a look at some great sources of nutrients below.

1. Eggs

Rofheart says eggs are a great source of biotin, as the yolks are particularly high in biotin and other B vitamins. And Virga adds that egg yolks also contain vitamin D, which is an important nutrient that stimulates the system. immune system and not found in many foods.

Vital farms Large Grade A Eggs, 12 units ($ 6)

2. Meat

The nutrient can also be found in animal sources like hamburger meat and pork, Rofheart says.

3. Walnuts

“Most nuts and seeds provide a good dose of biotin,” says Virga. “Walnuts are an exceptionally good source of biotin, containing 9.5 micrograms per serving.” Koller suggests adding raw nuts for crunch to your oatmeal or salad or having them as a midday snack.

Happy belly Nuts ($ 14)

Virginie Dinner Unsalted Virginia peanuts ($ 20)

4. Nutritional yeast

Bragg Nutritional yeast ($ 6)

Koller suggests sprinkling nutritional yeast on your food for a biotin boost.

5. Sunflower seeds

Virga says sunflower seeds are another great source – a quarter cup provides about 2.6 micrograms of biotin.

Superfoods Terrasoul Sunflower seeds ($ 13)

6. Salmon

“Salmon is truly a superfood! A three-ounce serving of salmon contains 5 micrograms of biotin in addition to the anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D and selenium,” says Virga.

Whole Foods Market Farm-raised Atlantic salmon fillet ($ 11)

7. Mushrooms

“Adding more mushrooms to your diet is a great way to get more biotin,” says Virga. “I love using mushrooms in plant-based dishes because they offer a meat-like texture and flavor and are packed with nutrients.”

Costs Whole organic Bella mushrooms ($ 2)

8. Lawyers

“Avocados are a good source of biotin, healthy fats, and vitamin E, making them a great option for anyone looking to improve the health of their skin,” says Virga.

Whole Foods Market Large Haas Avocado ($ 2)

9. Sweet potatoes

And Virga says sweet potatoes are one of the main plant sources of biotin. They are also a great source of beta-carotene, a nutrient that supports healthy skin.

Whole Foods Market Organic garnet sweet potatoes ($ 2)

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This article originally appeared on The Thirty

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Patricia J. Callender