All of the B Vitamins are important for healthy glowing skin, and strong healthy hair and nail growth. There are a few which stand out!
Vitamin B12 is really important for cell production, so it’s essential for healthy skin, hair and nails and that youthful look. It’s important to prevent dull skin, treat eczema, prevent drying of the skin (good for moisture retention), preventing skin pigmentation, skin lesions and white patches, and for good skin healing. Deficiency of B12 can lead to premature hair loss or slow hair growth, and lack of hair pigmentation as well as brittle and rough and pale nails (You’ll also experience memory loss, fatigue and poor mood!).
B12 is mostly found in animal products, so vegetarians are at risk of a deficiency. You can find it in liver, meat, eggs, shellfish , cheese, meat, fish, fortified milk (including Soy), fortified yeast and some sea leaves. As we age our stomachs can lack the stomach acids which are needed for B12 absorption, so the elderly are more at risk of a deficiency, as are people with stomach or gut issues.
We all know that Folate (Vitamin B9) is important during pregnancy to prevent birth defects, but it’s also really important for healthy skin and hair. It is a firming agent for the skin and is great for glossy hair. Food sources include lentils, peas and beans, sunflower seeds, liver and yeast (vegemite), vegetables (spinach, asparagus, edamame/ soybeans, artichoke, brussels sprouts, lettuce, broccoli and beets), fruit (avocado and papaya), Grains (enriched pasta and braids),
Sunlight (UVB) absorbed by the skin destroys folate, yet it stimulates the all too important Vitamin D production. Albumin is a blood protein which prevents a lot of UVB destruction of folate. It is produced in the liver and requires sufficient amounts of protein in your diet (chicken, dairy, eggs, nuts). Pregnant women getting a lot of sun exposure should ensure they are getting enough albumin and folate.
Vitamin B6 is also important for healthy skin, amongst its many other roles, as it helps to stabilise hormones which prevents hormone imbalances which can cause skin breakouts (particularly important in teenagers!). You can find B6 in tuna, salmon, chicken, beef, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pistachio, cabbage, chickpeas, and avocado.