The Secrets of Healthy Skin, Hair & Nails

By: Jacqueline Gomes, RDN, MBA

July 13th, 2018

What’s the secret to having beautiful hair, skin and nails? The answer can be found in your kitchen! There is no one magic ingredient that will keep us looking young forever, but an overall well-balanced diet (with lifestyle and attitude) plays a huge role in how we look.


Focus on Protein, the building blocks of skin, hair and nails (keratin, collagen and elastin).  Foods: Lean meats, seafood, poultry, legumes and eggs

If your diet is lacking in the power of protein, you may notice hair loss, brittle nails or dry skin. Protein should be about 10-35% of your daily calorie intake for healthy growth and maintenance.


Go Fish! Our bodies also need essential Omega-3 fats (ALA, DHA, EPA) to make shinier hair, clearer skin, and stronger nails. Oily fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, and sardines are full of Omega-3’s. Can’t do fish? Plant sources like walnuts, flaxseed and peanuts also contain Omega-3’s. No need to go mega-dosing on fish oil supplements; all you need is 8-ounces of fish per week.


Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are full of health boosting antioxidants our bodies love. Focus on these to get the most benefits.

  • Dark leafy green vegetables: kale, spinach, Swiss chard, mustard greens, arugula
  • Red, yellow, and orange vegetables: red peppers, tomatoes, carrots, yellow peppers
  • Brightly colored fruits: blueberries, strawberries, oranges, pomegranate, cherries, citrus fruits
  • Whole grains: rye, oats, brown rice


Tuna Nicoise Salad

Prep: 10 minutes

Total time: about 30 minutes

Makes: 4 servings


  • 1 ½ pounds small red new potatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Coarse salt & pepper
  • 2 pints grape tomatoes
  • 2 bunches arugula (4 to 6 ounces), end trimmed, washed and dried
  • ¼ cup Lemon Vinaigrette
  • 12 ounces tuna in olive oil (about 2 cans), drained
  • ½ cup pitted Kalamata olives



  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from water and place potatoes on rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with oil, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Roast for 10 minutes. Add tomatoes to potatoes on baking sheet and toss. Cook until potatoes are tender and tomatoes are lightly browned and soft, about 10 minutes.
  3. In a medium bowl, toss arugula with 2 tablespoons vinaigrette. Arrange roasted vegetables, arugula, tuna, and olives on platter; drizzle with remaining vinaigrette and serve.