In order to have glowing skin, shiny hair and strong nails, we need to give our body enough of the nutritional building blocks to make them that way.
Although many of us may think that shiny hair and strong nails are a priority, they aren’t essential for survival. This is why if we’re not getting enough protein, the body will forgo what is required for the hair and nails first and provide this to our more vital organs for survival. For this reason, it’s often our hair and nails that show signs of nutritional deficiencies first.
Below are the 9 key nutrients that if you prioritise daily - your skin, hair and nails will thank you later.
Our hair and nails are literally made up of proteins – rather than calcium as some people think. Hair that lacks a glossy luster and brittle nails are both common signs of a protein deficiency. Making sure you get lots of good quality protein in your diet is a good place to start. Where possible, add in free-range and organic beef, chicken, fish and eggs. Great plant-based options include beans, lentils, chickpeas and nuts. BePure Collagen+ is a great source - with a hefty dose of 10 grams of premium-grade marine collagen in each serve.
Zinc is essential for healthy hair and nails, our health and is required for many different functions in the body including building keratin, the formation of collagen and facilitating cell division that makes hair growth possible. Those white marks that sometimes appear on your nails are likely due to a zinc deficiency. Great sources of zinc are beef, chicken, and oysters (free range and organic, where possible). To find out if you are low in zinc, you can take a quick zinc taste test - we have also added a high strength, highly bioavailable form of zinc, called zinc picolinate to BePure Collagen+ that will help to fill in gaps from your diet.
Antioxidants protect us against free radicals which are molecules that cause oxidative damage in the body. Antioxidants promote oxygenation, protect against sun damage and can slow the process of ageing on the skin. Free radicals target collagen which is a protein that makes up our skin.
To help increase your antioxidants you can find a good source in blueberries, goji berries, green leafy vegetables, tomatoes and pecans. We've also added a powerful base of antioxidants to BePure Collagen+ to offset oxidative damage and soothe inflammation at the root cause of skin conditions.
Omega 3s are strong anti-inflammatory molecules that are very important for skin health. They control inflammation in the body and are particularly helpful for inflammatory skin disorders such as dermatitis, eczema and psoriasis. You can find omega-3s in fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and tuna. Alongside getting as many omega-3s from food as possible, we recommend a high strength fish oil supplement like our BePure Three.
Vitamin E is a specific antioxidant in BePure Collagen+ that is worth mentioning. It’s potent for protecting the skin from damage. It also has an immune-regulatory role in the skin which can help to decrease skin reactivity. Our body stores vitamin E in our fat cells, and we depend on adequate dietary intake to keep these levels optimum.
Whole food sources of vitamin E include spinach, turnip greens, chard, sunflower seeds, almonds, bell peppers, asparagus, collards, kale, broccoli, and brussels sprouts. Olive oil also contains a moderate amount of vitamin E.
6. Vitamin A
Our skin cells are very sensitive to vitamin A and it’s very important for keeping our skin vibrant which is why it is the second antioxidant worth mentioning in BePure Collagen+. Vitamin A plays a role in sun protection and repair for our skin. It also helps to keep the collagen levels in our skin balanced.
The best source of vitamin A is in liver (not a fan favourite!), but its precursor can be found in carrots, pumpkin and dark leafy greens.
7. Vitamin K
Do you ever get dark circles under your eyes? Vitamin K plays a key role in blood coagulation and circulation - this means that it can improve the appearance of what are essentially ‘bruises’ under our eyes. Ensuring that you have sufficient dietary vitamin K is important.
There are also studies that have looked at using vitamin K in a topical cream which may be something to try! Ensure you find a topical cream that also contains vitamin A and E. Vitamin K can be found in green leafy vegetables, natto (the source of our vitamin K in BePure One), fish, liver and fermented raw dairy products.
8. Vitamin C
We all know vitamin C has an important role to play in our immune system, but it’s a multi tasking nutrient. As a powerful antioxidant, it promotes oxygenation of the skin and can help bring life back to dark under eye circles.
In the clinic, we often see dark circles associated with adrenal fatigue and allergies. Vitamin C acts to support the adrenal glands and helps to decrease histamines associated with allergies, as well as promoting natural collagen production within the body. We have included it in BePure Collagen+ and BePure Super Boost C is a tasty way to ensure you're getting your recommended daily dose of vitamin C.
Water is not technically a nutrient... but we wanted to mention it because hydration is so important. Hydration ensures that our cells work as well as possible and this includes our skin cells.
If you are dehydrated, you are more likely to suffer from allergies. Allergies can cause the reduced blood flow and so to get to the underlying issue, we need to address the allergies. Hydration can make big improvements to allergies but have a look here for more on addressing any adrenal issues. Skin dryness can be a sign of chronic dehydration.
To work out how much water you need to drink daily, use this formula. Your body weight in kg x 0.033 = how many litres you should be drinking everyday.
Cover all your bases by taking a high quality collagen like BePure Collagen+ which is the most bioavailable for of collagen in the New Zealand market and has been specifically formulated as a complete skin support.
To make sure you're covering any nutritional gaps in your diet, we recommend taking a high quality daily multivitamin such as BePure One which contains all of the minerals, vitamins and antioxidants you need on a daily basis to achieve optimal inward and outward health. This goes alongside our BePure Three which is a high strength fish oil, containing 1400mg of omega-3s per serve.