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Foods to Help Grow Hair & Fingernails

By Joshua McCarron

Overview

Hair and fingernails have become as much a fashion accessory as anything else. Healthy looking hair and nails convey a sense of vitality and strength. Personal care products and creative styles can add some flare, but getting proper nutrients to your hair and fingernails will help them grow and keep them strong. Consuming specific foods that encourage nail and hair health is the key.

Biotin Foods

Biotin is a vitamin that is commonly known to enhance hair health, and also may help with brittle nails. Biotin is also known as vitamin B7 or vitamin H, and is often supplemented into the diet with capsules. Foods containing biotin include yeast, cooked eggs, cheddar cheese, soybeans, sunflower seeds, walnuts, green peas, brown rice and bulgur.

Beta Carotene

The Vitamin and Nutrition Center website states that beta carotene is a component of healthy hair. Beta carotene is converted to vitamin A once inside your body. Food sources of beta carotene include colorful vegetables like carrots, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, spinach, lettuce, broccoli, winter squash and cantaloupe, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Protein

Protein is one of the building blocks of the body, encouraging the growth of muscles, tissues, hair and nails. Valuable sources of protein to include in your diet are lean cuts of beef, chicken and pork, fish, dairy products, beans and eggs. Supplementing with protein powders such as whey, soy or hemp is another good way to add protein to your diet.

Iron

Iron is an important element to have in your diet to prevent hair loss and encourage healthy hair growth. Iron helps transport oxygenated blood throughout your body, and a shortage can result in the condition known as anemia. Good sources of dietary iron include organ meats, beans, lean beef, shellfish, leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains.

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are rich sources of many vitamins, minerals, enzymes and antioxidants, and will benefit both hair and fingernail growth. Consuming fruits and vegetables from a wide range of colors and textures will provide you with a good portion of the nutrition you need for healthy hair and fingernails.

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