Those parts of the body which are visible are often a reflection of the health of the body as a whole, and rely on a wide spectrum of nutrients which work synergistically. Therefore, a constant supply of hair nutrition is essential.
Vitamin C is needed to form collagen, the “glue” which holds the cells of the skin together. In fact, collagen makes up 70 per cent of skin, so deficiency will really affect skin quality. For skin that glows with health, you also need a good supply of vitamin E – deficiency can cause dryness and dull, flaky skin. So too can lack of vitamin A – this vitamin is needed to help control the rate of keratin accumulation skin, and deficiency is linked to dry, rough skin. Antioxidants, such as carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin E and zinc prevent premature ageing and wrinkling of the skin. Carotenoids also provide natural protection against the harmful effects of the sun’s rays.
The cells of hair, skin and nails are constantly being renewed, and the energy to do so depends on an adequate supply of B vitamins, especially B5 (pantothenic acid). The high silica content of horsetail, a plant native to Britain, brings strength to brittle hair and nails – silica is a component of all connective tissue. Healthy hair and nails rely on a regular supply of amino acids, in particular cysteine, lysine and methionine. Minerals are also important for hair and nails and deficiency of some key minerals can even be visible. Ridges on nails can be a sign of iron deficiency, and white flecks on the nails can signify zinc deficiency – also linked to the skin problems eczema and acne. Another sign of zinc deficiency is poor hair growth, which is also a sign of insufficient amino acids such as lysine.
Finally, the one nutrient which is needed to make all the other nutrients work properly, and which is frequently overlooked is water – for all these vital nutrients to bring about health and beauty they need an optimal supply of clean, natural water. The warmer weather means that the body needs an even greater fluid intake.