Your Inner Health Reflects on the Outside
6 Ways to Improve Your Hair, Skin, and Nail Health
In the early 2000s, when I worked at a YMCA, my complexion was horrible. I had what appeared to be cystic acne that left huge scars on my face, shoulders, and chest. Since I worked in a swimsuit teaching water exercise and swimming, I was embarrassed by how I looked. All I could think was, “I thought acne was for teenagers!” At that time, I was in my late 30’s and early 40’s. I thought I was doing well with my healthy living plan, but I discovered later what was feeding the problem.
My doctor’s visit for abdominal pain, bloating, and gastric issues led to a diagnosis of celiac disease. I cut gluten out of my diet and felt relief in two weeks. I felt even better after a month, and my skin began to clear! Gluten triggered an immune response from my skin. I had removed gluten from my food, but I also learned that gluten in my personal care products kept me from regrowing hair that had fallen out. Some stubborn zits and skin “burns” disappeared completely. My nails were no longer pitted, ridged, and split. They actually looked normal. My belly bloat diminished so much, I could stop wearing elastic waist pants all the time! Later on, I discovered an egg allergy and food sensitivities, which caused odd bumps on my skin upon occasion. A good portion of my problem was autoimmune disease and allergies wreaking havoc with my body.
The overall condition of our health hits our hair, skin, and nails hard, but not all of these issues are related to a disease. Many of my clients find that their appearance improves when they substitute healthy foods for the unhealthy foods they once loved. They regained the youthful glow they once had in their teens and twenties—without the zits. When they felt better, they looked better. When they liked what they saw in the mirror, they began to change their clothing, make-up, and style their hair. These ladies also began to show greater self-confidence. What they ate made a big difference in their outward appearance and how they felt about themselves.
Making Healthy Swaps
Our hair, skin, and nails are made up of proteins. Without enough healthy proteins, our bodies cannot repair cell damage. But these also need healthy fats since the outer portion of our cells is made of lipid bi-layers. The rest of the health of these crucial parts of our bodies comes from vitamins and minerals we eat in our grains, fruits, and vegetables. So here are some great ways you can swap out unhealthy foods for delicious healthy ones:
- Consume lean proteins and healthy fats to prevent your skin from drying out and reduce acne. Lean proteins help rebuild our cells due to cellular damage and turnover. Coldwater fish and eggs, Reduce animal fats but don’t eliminate them totally. We need some saturated fats to maintain cellular integrity, but a modest 10% of our fat intake is saturated fats. Instead, we need to consume foods like nuts, flax, and olive oil which comprise 20% of our daily fat intake. Our skin will remain smoother and clearer. (WebMD, Mayo Clinic)
- Drink more water. Our skin, hair, and nails need water to maintain optimum health. Coffee, tea, and other caffeinated beverages and foods tend to dry our skin out, so limiting these foods will help. However, applying caffeinated skincare products could benefit by managing oxidative stress and reducing puffiness under the eyes (Cleveland Clinic).
- Eat more fruit and vegetables. Foods like blueberries, strawberries, kale, and pecans contain powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties (Healthline). Vitamins and minerals from a varied diet promote healthy hair and nail growth as well (Healthline).
- Cut down on sweets, salt, caffeine, and highly processed meats. All of these types of foods cause inflammation and acne. People who live on these foods primarily also risk heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and more. They don’t tend to eat as many fruits and vegetables, thereby starving their hair, skin, and nails, among many other parts of their body (Cleveland Clinic).
- Supplement as recommended by your healthcare provider. Due to long-term undiagnosed celiac disease and autoimmune disease activity, I supplement with a biotin-containing supplement called Nordic Hair Volume (I don’t get compensated for this mention). Biotin helps with healthy hair and nail growth. Collagen protein helps with healthy skin cell production and elasticity. Ask your doctor about supplements before you take them, though (Consumer Reports).
- Avoid allergens and food intolerances. If you have belly pain, chances are your hair, skin, and nails groan along with you. If your belly is crabby, ask your doctor to check it out. Your hair, skin, and nails often reflect internal health issues. Once those are under control, you will likely see an improvement of your outer appearance (Very Well Health).
Practicing Good Stewardship Looks Great On You
Good stewardship of our bodies means practicing self-control with our food (Titus 2:12). Although He has given us all things to enjoy, not everything is beneficial (1 Corinthians 10:23). When we eat healthy foods, like Daniel and his friends did, we will indeed look better. Our hair, skin, and nails will begin to reflect our healthy lifestyle.
For Discussion: Are you struggling with the self-control part, and it shows in your overall appearance? What foods are your worst culprits for hair, skin, and nail issues?
Special Announcement: Registration for Healthy Lifestyles begins from December 26, 2021 through January 2, 2022. Also, Christian wellness coaching is available to help you achieve better total health. Let me know how I can help you, Feel free to contact me.
May God bless you!