Biotin-Rich Foods for Your Healthiest Hair and Nails Ever
Could more biotin be the secret to stronger hair and nails? Experts think so. Find out more and get the foods you need to add to your shopping list for fast results.
The power of biotin
Vitamin B, formerly known as vitamin H or coenzyme R, is often touted as a cure-all for brittle nails and thinning hair, especially during pregnancy. Because of the vitamin’s ability to stimulate new cells, speeding hair and nail growth, it remains a regularly buzzed-about beauty solution today. “Biotin is needed so that the body can metabolize the protein known as keratin and fatty acids, which are essential elements in hair growth,” says Keri Glassman, RD, a celebrity nutritionist and the founder of Nutritious Life.
Love trail mix? You’ll love this news: Almonds have 1.5 mcgs of biotin in 1/4 cup. A healthy portion of your daily dose but not all of it. According to the National Institutes of Health, adults need 30 mcg per day. Pair the nuts with another biotin-rich ingredient like oatmeal, for a breakfast with major beauty perks (and the health benefits of almonds don’t stop there, either).
The root vegetable continually lands on “best of” lists detailing foods for healthier hair, skin, and nails. Yes, it clocks in with 2.4 mcg of biotin per half-cup, but it’s also packed with other skin-friendly vitamins and minerals, such as beta-carotene and dietary fiber. Find out more superfoods for your skin.
Your favorite morning meal is a bit of a catch-22 when it comes to biotin for hair growth. “Egg yolks are believed to be the highest food source of biotin,” explains Glassman, while also cautioning that eating raw egg whites could hinder the vitamin’s absorption. Follow this Non-Dairy Avocado Eggnog recipe that calls for six large egg yolks for a festive spin on the classic eggnog that also improves hair’s strength and shine. Or try these egg recipes for a quick delicious meal any time of day.
Overnight oats are having a moment, and that’s great news for your look. While a cup of oatmeal contains 0.2 mcg of biotin, these whole grains are higher in the vitamin than many other foods. Check out these overnight oats recipes that you should make a part of your regular breakfast rotation and you’ll get your fill. (Don’t miss these signs that your hair desperately needs vitamins.)
Find an excuse to throw tomatoes into just about every dish, they’re that good for you. Add one cup of tomatoes to salads, sandwiches, or soups, and voilà, you get a dash of the hair- and skin-saving nutrient. Try this Cucumber Salad with Chickpea, Tomato and Broccoli Rabe by Glassman, which offers up Mediterranean inspiration, while incorporating the right amount of nutrition. Here are even more health benefits of tomatoes.
Almonds may be the golden child of biotin-packed nuts, but peanuts are a close second. These yummy legumes offer just under half the amount of almonds, shares Glassman. Follow this jazzed-up mixed nut recipe for a double dose of biotin.
Yes, they’re a stellar source of biotin, but carrots have loads of other skin and hair benefits. “Beta-carotene [in carrots] works to counteract everything from dry skin, to dandruff, to wrinkle formation,” says Glassman. It’s also known to improve blood circulation, meaning that eating the popular veggie can yield stronger hair and nails and improve skin’s radiance. (Biotin vs. collagen: here are the differences you should know.)
If you’re still curious about the pill route, there are options like ORB Hair, Skin, Nails + Collagen that deliver a whopping 500 percent of the biotin you need in a day per serving. “Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin, which means that any extra will flush out of the body if you take too much,” says Glassman of the supplement’s mostly harmless nature. But as with any new supplement, talk to your healthcare provider about possible interaction with medication. “Taking biotin may decrease how the liver breaks down some medication,” Glassman cautions as an example. Here’s how to know if you really need hair vitamins.
- Keri Glassman, RD, a celebrity nutritionist and the founder of Nutritious Life.
- National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. "Biotin Fact Sheet for Health Professionals."