An easy way to get shiny, healthy hair

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9 foods to eat for shiny hair
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An easy way to get shiny, healthy hair

A trip to the refrigerator can set you on your way to beautiful hair and healthy nails.

Protein

Both your fingernails and hair are actually made of a protein called keratin, so it makes sense to stock up on this essential building block. That lean chicken breast and after-workout shake will definitely help in this department.

Biotin, AKA Vitamin H

There’s a reason this super-element’s on most hair care product ingredients’ list -- in addition to strengthening hair and nails, biotin has also been attributed to slowing hair loss and thickening follicles from the root. Egg yolks are a great source, so allow yourself to skip the "whites only" omelette option now and then.

Beta-carotene

Your body turns beta-carotene into vitamin A as its processed, which, in turn, helps promote a healthy scalp and hair growth. Your locks will look and feel healthier if you nosh on carrots. Not a fan? Sweet potatoes are also a great source.  

Iron

Think of iron as the 24hr delivery service that brings oxygenated blood from your heart to your fingertips and scalp. Without iron, you may run the risk of thinning hair, and even hair loss. So allow for some lean red meat (or lots of whole grains if you’re a vegetarian) every week to keep the juices flowing. 

Zinc

Though not directly responsible for hair and nail health, zinc helps build the hormones and enzymes that produce the protein that regulates hair and nail growth. Throw back just one oyster and you’ll meet your day’s recommended dosage. A handful of cashews a day also works.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Fatty acids just don't quit when it comes to making everything better. The big three (alpha-linolenic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid) attach moisture to the keratin that builds your hair. Salmon is a fantastic one-stop-shop for your omega needs.

Vitamin C

You might think the C practically stands for "citrus," but it turns out yellow bell peppers have five times the stuff, compared to oranges. Snack on one or add it to a salad, and your hair shafts and follicles will thank you, as C makes them stronger and will prevent breakage. 

H2O

Drinking plenty of water everyday seems a bit of a no-brainer when it comes to eating and drinking yourself beautiful, but it’s worth stating again. Your body won’t be able to process the other vitamins and minerals on your menu unless you’re well-hydrated. Drink up! 

Baking Soda

Our final tip might be found in the kitchen, but shouldn’t make its way onto your plate. Before you shower, add a hearty pinch of baking soda to your daily dollop of shampoo. This will bring a surprising amount of extra volume to your hair, and once the Summer swimming season starts will also help remove chlorine with every lather. 

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Fighting brittle hair and nails isn't just about buying the right products, it's about eating right too. Your diet helps determine not only how strong your hair and nails will be, but also how quickly they grow and how shiny and clear they are.

Here are nine foods that can help you have shiny hair and strong nails.

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