By : Apeksha Thakkar Clinical Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator and Nutrigenomic Counselor

Role of Nutrients for Healthy Skin and Hair

The old adage, ‘you are what you eat’ has never been more true when we talk about glowing skin and lustrous hair.

Coping to balance between demands of home and work or studies along with social pressure to look a certain way—can take a toll on any woman and disrupt her eating choices and habits.

We all understand that our diet has a direct impact on our overall health. But how many of us have ever wondered about the effect of our diet on our skin and hair. Beautiful, healthy skin and hair provides an insight into your internal health which requires a steady supply of key nutrients.

Protein – the building blocks

Skin and hair are made up of proteins called – keratin, collagen and elastin which ward off wrinkles and provide strength and elasticity to the skin and promotes hair growth. Incorporate milk & milk products, egg, fish, chicken, pulses & legumes, dry fruits, soya products to add proteins to diet. 

Consult with a dietitian to understand your daily protein requirement or check at


Healthy Essential Fats



Two types of healthy fats -- omega-3 fatty acids moisturizes your skin and hair follicles which keeps the scalp from flaking and hair from drying out and omega-6 fatty acids promote hair growth and support skin cell renewal

Include food sources like avacados, walnuts, fish and shellfish, flaxseed, soya oil, canola oil, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and leafy vegetables.


Super Antioxidants 


Vitamin A

Vitamin A enhances the skin and cell renewal rate. It also keeps skin and hair scalp moisturized. Good sources of vitamin A are sweet potatoes, carrots, most dark green leafy vegetables, red and yellow fruits & vegetables, egg, cod liver oil etc.


Vitamin C

Vitamin C is essential for making collagen and promotes radiant skin, help to heal scars and blemishes and boost hair growth. The best sources are citrus fruits, berries, papaya, guava, broccoli, sweet potatoes etc.


Vitamin E

Vitamin E works as a shield against free radicals, which damage the skin. Good sources include wheatgerm, vegetable oils like sunflower oil, safflower oil ,nuts and  seeds, green leafy vegetables such as spinach ,broccoli.


Other Vitamins

B - Vitamins

It keeps the skin hydrated and carries oxygen & nutrients to the scalp which aids in hair growth. An inadequate amount of B-vitamins in the diet can lead to dry, itchy skin and brittle hair structure and hair loss.

For B vitamins include whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, eggs and dairy products and a wide variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet. 


Healing Minerals


Iron is an essential nutrient that carries oxygen to the cells including hair follicles and skin cells. Symptoms of iron deficiency can include pale or itchy skin, cracking at the sides of the mouth and dry, dull and brittle hair.



Zinc is involved in the normal functioning of the sebaceous glands (which produce oil) in the skin and hair follicles which prevents drying of the skin and hair scalp.


Copper protects skin from oxidative damage, improves skin elasticity and plays a role in melanin synthesis (pigmentation of skin and hair). A deficiency of copper can cause steely-hair syndrome (white and silver hair).


Selenium is a powerful antioxidant. It works alongside other antioxidants to protect skin against damage and promote healthy hair growth and skin by destroying the harmful free radicals. 





Magnesium protects the skin against acne and other outside attackers reducing the dryness, wrinkles and aging effect. It is also important for promoting follicle hair growth, which leads to healthy hair growth.

 (DOI: 10.1177/1535370214537745)

Dry fruits, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans, whole grains, dark leafy greens, avocados, fish, shellfish, eggs, low-fat dairy are packed with these minerals.

And the most important WATER, elixir of life!

Water is a known natural cleanser of our body, flushing out toxins, thus keeping our skin pores and hair follicles clean, healthy and hydrated. 6-8 glasses a day and then some more flavoured with slices of  lemon, cucumber, watermelon or berries and mint will only plus the benefits.

Protect Yourself From

Diet rich in simple sugars and high fats which increases insulin levels, stimulates excess sebum (oil) secretion which causes inflammation of skin and scalp leading to acne, wrinkles and excessive hair loss.  (

Smoking and Alcohol which accelerate skin pigmentation and impairs the skin’s antioxidant defence system. (

Stress and irregular sleep habits increase cortisol (stress hormone) which in turn causes excess oil production in the skin aggravating acne, eczema and damage to the hair follicles.



The Takeaway

Ultimately the answer to all your skin and hair related problems is a  balanced wholesome diet rich in protein, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre .Treat yourself with kindness and  optimise your nutrition.                                                                                      


                                                                                                      Recipes for a Glowing and Healthy You

Sprouts Kadhi (serving 4)

The simple kadhi gets a healthy nutritious boost with sprouts.


  • 1 cup mixed sprouts

  • 1 ½ cup whisked curd (low fat)

  • Water as required

  • 3-4 tbsp besan/rajgira flour

  • Salt to taste

  • 2 tsp oil

  • ½ tsp cumin and mustard seeds each

  • 1 tsp grated ginger

  • 1 tsp green chillies paste

  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves

  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder

  • 2 red chilles broken

  • ¼ tsp asafoetida (hing)


In a pressure cooker, heat oil.

Add mustard seeds and cumin seeds ,and when they crackle, add hing, red chillies.

Add grated ginger and green chillies paste and sauté for a few seconds.

Add the sprouts and mix well.

After a minute or so add the spices ,water ,salt and stir well.

Close the lid and pressure cook for 3 whistles on medium flame.

Once cooked ,let the cooker rest till steam is released.

Take a bowl and add the whisked curd in it.

Combine with half cup water and rajgira flour and whisk well until no lumps remain .It should not be too watery or thick ,adjust the consistency.

Add the curd mixture to the cooker and simmer for 4-5 minutes on low flame stirring continuously.

Remove in a serving bowl, garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.


Nutrition Information per Serving


108 kcal


13.7 gms


6.3 gms


3.2 gms


2.7 gms


Healthy Fruit Salad (Serves 2)

Filled with antioxidants, this plate of healthy delicious fruits is the key to natural healthy glow on your face! You can swap in any fruit in any amount.



  • 2 cups of mixed fruits (berries, oranges, sweet lime, grapes, kiwi fruit)

  • 1 cups lettuce, torn into big pieces

  • Salt to taste

For dressing

1 ½ tbsp lemon juice

1 ½ tbsp fresh orange juice

Few mint leaves chopped


Take a large bowl and combine together all the ingredients and mix well.

Serve immediately or chilled.

Nutrition Information per Serving


58 kcal


15 gms


0 gms


0 gms


2 gms


Bottom line

For most females, major hair loss is a result of low protein intake and other nutrients for hair loss management. GRD superior products available in different variants are loaded with important nutrients like proteins and other micronutrients, promoting good hair health.

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