Healthy Living

4 Foods That Are Bad For Your Nails, Hair, And Skin

Strong Hair
What are some foods that we should avoid that could be harming our nails, hair, and skin? Craig Cutler

The urge to look young and beautiful is something that many women — and men — experience daily. With the amount of creams, ointments, and rubs so readily available, the question as to whether any of these products actually work is in the minds of many consumers. The likelihood of these products changing your skin, hair, or nails depends on the product and how much it is being used. According to the Huffington Post, “the U.S. market for anti-aging products from about $80 billion now to more than $114 billion by 2015.”

How well will these over-the-counter beauty products work? Unfortunately, there is not a concrete answer. Creams and makeup products are not strictly regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because they are considered cosmetic — which means that they are only regulated for safety, not effectiveness. Not surprisingly, many of these products have a small effect on a person's appearance.

But before we focus on the things we dab onto the outside of our body, the focus should be on what goes into our bodies — ultimately, that is the basis for great skin, hair, and nails. Many lists and articles for beauty foods to make you look better are readily available. But what about those foods that are damaging your flowing tresses or glowing skin? Dr. Marina Peredo, M.D., owner of Spatique Medical Spa in Smithtown, N.Y., told Medical Daily that "sugar, salt, starches, fried foods and alcohol" are some of the worst foods for your looks. 

We’ve compiled a list of some other foods that could be damaging your nails, skin, and hair. 

1. Sugar — According to dermatologist Jessica Wu, M.D., author of Feed Your Face,  “eating sweets causes blood sugar to spike,” she told the Huffington Post. “As the body pumps out insulin in response to the rise in blood sugar, it also raises levels of androgen, a male hormone that can make the hair follicle shrink in both women and men."

2. Vitamin A — According to the American Academy of Dermatology, too much vitamin A can cause hair loss. This usually happens through a supplement of a medicine. Normal hair growth usually begins once vitamin A intake is managed.

3. Milk — The testosterone found in cow's milk affects the hormone levels of both men and women, thus affecting acne. In 2005, dermatologist William Danby wrote a paper about his findings on the strong relationship between cow's milk and acne. “Danby notes that milk from pregnant cows contains hormones that oil glands can turn into dihydrotestosterone, testosterone's most potent form," Scientific American reports.

4. Alcohol — Overdrinking or excessive drinking can not only affect your skin, but also harm your nails. Because alcohol is a diuretic, it drains the body of necessary fluids and nutrients. According to the Daily Mail, “Strong, healthy nails rely on a balanced intake of nutrients and from plenty of water, both of which are depleted with increased alcohol consumption.”

Eating a well-balanced diet will not only help you to look better physically, but also affect your overall health and happiness. Like author Virginia Woolf once said, “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” 

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