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7 Worst Diet Mistakes for Your Hair and Nails

Are you suffering from excessive hair fall or overly brittle nails that break with the slightest of touch? Keep in mind that these problems are occurring due to unhealthy eating habits and bad diet mistakes, along with some bad lifestyle habits, such as smoking.

You see, just like the skin and body, our hair and nails also experience the impact of the foods we add to our daily diet. If you’re worried about losing the glossy sheen of your hair or your nails becoming weakened, it is important to understand that both, the nails and hair, tend to become brittle, weak and dry when they are deprived of the right variety of nutrition. It is only natural for your hair to become thin and start falling out if you’re depriving yourself of the essential nutrients that are needed to boost the strength of the hair, for instance, protein.

If you’re feeding your body poorly, your hair and nails will deteriorate along with the rest of your body, and naturally, if you’re obtaining all your essential nutrients, you will experience the positive results in your overall health and beauty.

We’ve picked out all the wrong dietary habits that are harming the health of your hair and nails. #dietmistakes #brittlenails #brittlehair
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Credit: Health Insider

Both, our hair and nails, are formed from a similar protein, known as keratin, so it is natural that similar food items would affect them both equally. Now, it is also important to understand that some of our lifestyle choices also play a detrimental role on the health of our nails and hair. For instance, smoking tends to reduce blood circulation, and it can reduce the amount of biotin present within the bloodstream. Biotin is essential to strengthen the health of both, our nails and hair, which is why it is often found in nail and hair products.

There is a lack of sufficient research to understand the effects of various food on the health of our nails and hair as opposed to the research available to understand the impact of dietary choices on your skin. However, researchers have warned us against the consumption of certain foods if we are worried about excessive hair thinning or brittle nails.

We’ve picked out all the wrong dietary habits that are harming the health of your hair and nails.

Here, take a look:

1. Vitamin A

When consumed in extremely high doses, vitamin A can often cause hair loss. If you’re consuming multivitamins, it’s highly unlikely for it to contain a hazardous amount, however, if you’re taking an individual vitamin A supplement, it can trigger rapid hair loss. Research reveals that it can also be caused by certain compounds that are found in some medications, which explains why hair fall and hair thinning is often a side-effect of certain medicinal treatments.


2. Sugar

Sugar is extremely bad for our skin and cause countless ailments, similarly, sugary foods are unhealthy for our nails and hair.

If you consume too many sugary treats, they will cause a blood sugar spike, and this will cause the body to pump out insulin to curb the rise in blood sugar.

Moreover, it will also lead to increased level of androgen, which is a male hormone that can cause the hair follicles in both, men and women, to shrink abnormally.

3. High-Glycemic Foods

Research reveals that foods that rapidly break down into sugar tend to cause severe damage to our nails and hair. These foods include, cakes, pastas, brownies, white breads and other starchy foods, which are capable of triggering a negative response within our body, leading to severe hair thinning.

Researchers further reveal that a diet that is purely based on high-glycemic foods can cause a rapid increase in androgen levels, while foods that are low on the glycemic index tend to reduce and normalize the amount of androgen levels within our body.


5. Fish High in Mercury

Most people may not know this, but your daily diet has a great deal to do with problems such as brittle nails and hair thinning.

Research reveals that one of the biggest culprits of this ailment tend to be an excessive consumption of fish. Certain varieties of fish contain high levels of mercury, and consuming high amounts of mercury tends to cause hair loss.

If you’re consuming too much fish, particularly sushi, at least four or five times a week, you’re overdoing it. Even though mercury poisoning is extremely rare, it is best to limit your consumption of fish varieties that contain too much mercury. For instance, mackerel, swordfish and certain kinds of tuna. On the other hand, salmon, shrimp and canned light tuna are extremely low in mercury.

6. Deficiency of Iron & Zinc

Most people tend to believe that the tiny white flecks that tend to emerge on our nails are an indication of a calcium deposit. But research reveals that these little spots are a sign that your daily diet does not contain sufficient amounts of zinc and iron.

You can obtain both these essential minerals naturally from seafood and red meats, for they are extremely instrumental for the formation of keratin, and a deficiency of these minerals can cause several nail and hair ailments.

If you’re a vegetarian, it can be tough for you to obtain these two minerals, but you can still stock up a hefty amount of zinc and iron from certain beans.


6. Lack of Sufficient Protein

Our nails and hair are formed with protein, and if your daily diet lacks sufficient amount of protein, you are highly likely to experience hair loss, hair damage and brittle nails.

Usually, this tends to occur amongst individuals who suffer from eating disorders or have severe dietary limitations.

If you’re a vegetarian, you don’t have to deprive yourself of protein entirely, for it doesn’t always have to come from meats.

You can also obtain protein from tofu, lentils, beans and spinach amongst many other sources.

You can also add foods, like wheat germ, red peppers, pork, and broccoli that contain cystine to your daily diet, which is basically the amino acid that generates keratin.

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