The Worst Diet Mistakes For Hair And Nails

Posted on: 08/12/2015, by @nika_kask

I know ladies, I get it! It’s important to look fabulous at all times, be fit and have a rocking body but sometimes – the things we do to achieve it - are absolutely ridicules! Sure, it does make sense to cut the carbs out of your regular diet, drink a lot of water, avoid sugary product and eat a lot of greens whenever we want to lose those extra 5 pounds we’ve oh-I-have-no-idea-how managed to gain but then again, there are some radical approaches that may seriously endanger our health in the long run.

Apart from the yo-yo effect (gaining back all the weight you’ve lost, sometimes even doubling it once you stop dieting), there are health risks that may cause your hair falling off, your nails breaking, skin damage, bloating, headaches, sometimes even teeth falling out! 

This is why we are giving you an insight into some of the worst diet mistakes you can make and ways to avoid them. Bear with us, and stay healthy!

Avoid Foods With High-Mercury Levels

The most common source of mercury is in certain types of fish. No matter how healthy it is for our overall health, you need to stay away from fish that contain too much mercury as high levels of mercury can lead to hair loss. Sushi is delicious but is not your friend, at least not when you consume it more than two times a week. As experts would claim, “while true mercury poisoning is rare, swordfish and mackerel do have high levels of mercury, as do certain varieties of tuna. Canned light tuna, salmon and shrimp are all low in mercury, according to the FDA”.

Sugar… Really?

The first rule of any diet is toning down or completely avoiding foods with a lot of processed sugar. Sugar will not only damage your skin, hair and nails but cause your blood sugar to spike. Dermatologist Jessica Wu, M.D., author of "Feed Your Face" explains “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”. Further, the research suggests that “a high-glycemic-index diet can increase androgen levels, while a low-glycemic-index diet can reduce them”.

Say NO to Too Much Vitamin A

While a typical multivitamin won't typically contain a dangerous amount, an individual vitamin A supplement might. When consumed in high doses, vitamin A can lead to hair loss. This is also true for particular medication intake, which could be why hair thinning is a side effect of some treatments.

Too Little Protein, Calcium, Iron and Zinc

Our nails and hair are made of protein which is why it’s essential you enrich your diet with it in order to keep both healthy and growing. People who are on strict diets or suffer eating disorders often experience hair falling off and damaged nails due to low levels of protein in their system. This is also true for calcium consumption; if it weren’t for calcium in our system, our bones would often break, teeth would start falling out and you’d be feeling fragile and ill. We can’t stress enough how important it is to consume it regularly through calcium-rich foods, dairy products, plant based calcium and vitamins.

Vegetarians, don’t get freaked out – protein doesn’t come with animal products only; keep in mind that you can find it in lentils, beans, spinach and tofu.

You know those little white flecks in your nails? Well, they are indicators your body is missing calcium and zinc. Both zinc and iron are key to keratin formation which is why skimping on these can cause hair and nail problems.

Since we’ve obviously become the generation of diets and we’re all so blindly following a particular dieting regimen (or at least try to – starting every Monday), at least let’s stay healthy while doing it while following the advice above. Good luck!