Just as certain foods can affect energy level, what you eat can also influence how you look. Anyone who has feasted on chocolates or greasy foods, only to break out the next day with pimples, knows this to be true. But food does not only have a negative effect on your outside appearance. A sufficient intake of nutrients from foods can influence internal health which in turn is reflected on the outside through clear skin, strong nails and healthy hair. Certain vitamins and minerals are essential for maintaining beautiful hair, skin and nails. Adequate intake of foods rich in these vitamins and minerals can make a striking difference.Vitamin A is vital for growth, development and maintenance of healthy skin and teeth. A deficiency interferes with the delicate balance of the skin and results in loss of cells that produce lubricants necessary for soft and supple skin. Retinol, a form of Vitamin A, is present in animal products. Carotenes from fruits and vegetables are good sources of Vitamin A. Retinol is abundant in liver, fish liver oils, kidneys, dairy foods and eggs. Carotene is found in carrots and dark or yellow vegetables, the darker the vegetables, the more carotene it contains.Niacin assists in the proper functioning of the digestive system, skin and nerves. A deficiency can result in pellagra, the symptoms of which include skin inflammation. A good source of niacin includes meat and meat products, potatoes, bread and fortified breakfast cereals.Riboflavin and pyridoxine are B vitamins crucial for growth and help release energy from carbohydrates. Lack of these vitamins can cause skin lesions or sores especially at the corners of the mouth, eyelids and genitals. Great sources of these vitamins are milk, meat, fortified cereal products and egg.Vitamin C is needed to maintain healthy tissues. Deficiency in Vitamin C results in bleeding from gums and from blood vessels underneath the surface of the skin. Vitamin C rich foods consist of fruit and fruit juices, potatoes, peppers, cabbage and other vegetables.Iron is essential for the maintenance of healthy cells. Prolonged lack of iron can cause nails to become brittle and thin as well as hair loss and itchy skin. There are two sources of iron animals and vegetable sources. Iron from animal and animal products is better absorbed in the body. Meat innards such as liver and kidneys are good sources. Fatty acids which help make up the skinfs structure are crucial for maintaining skin surfaces. Some types of fats are termed essential because the body cannot produce them so they must be derived from food. The essential fatty acids are referred to as omega 3 or omega 6 fats. Good sources of essential fatty acids include oily fishes, vegetables and red meat.So, if you want to achieve flawless skin and glossy hair, a balanced diet rich in foods mentioned above is a good starting point.
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