Before jumping into the food list, we should first understand how our hair and nails grow, the protein and nutrients they need to stay healthy and strong, and how aging changes them.
Our hair and nails are made of keratin, and they grow through cell division.
Your nails grow longer when new cells are added to your nail bed, pushing the old cells away from it, and your hair grows when new cells form in the hair bulb inside the hair follicle, pushing the old cells up.
The proteins keratin and collagen are essential in our hair and nails' growth, strength, and resilience.
Aside from making up your hair and nails, keratin regulates the size of the cells and how they divide and grow. Keratin also makes sure these cells are healthy and strong against damage.
In addition, collagen’s amino acids strengthen your hair roots and protect your hair follicles from graying and damage.
Your body naturally produces keratin and collagen, but certain nutrients increase their levels— vitamin A, biotin, and silicon.
Vitamin A and biotin work together to create keratin, and biotin and silicon boost collagen production. And silicon does more by preventing hair loss and adding more shine to your hair.
The benefits of biotin are most likely because it turns food into energy for our cells. That means biotin helps our cells perform their functions, including growing our hair and nails.
Eating all kinds of foods rich in protein also helps because they provide your body with amino acids that can be used to create keratin and collagen.