Glowing skin, shiny hair and strong nails may be some of the biggest beauty wants, however starting from within may be the only way to get the results you’re looking for.
When it comes to beauty regimes, hair, skin and nails often receive the most attention. Yet, despite Australians spending a combined $18.5 billion on beauty and self-care, according to a 2012 MoneySmart report, it’s these very assets that can show the first signs of ageing and compromised health.
With factors such as age, stress, inadequate diet and environmental factors all considered contributing factors of lifeless hair, dull skin and weak, splitting nails, silica deficiency can also be a key cause of visible signs of ageing, says registered nutritionist Mikki Williden (mikkiwilliden.com).
An essential mineral for developmental, structural and functional requirements, silica can be the missing link for those who are noticing the physical signs of ageing. While most abundant in our bodies when young, silica gradually depletes as we age, resulting in loss of skin elasticity, delayed wound healing as well as dry, brittle hair and nails.
An essential mineral for developmental, structural and functional requirements, silica can be the missing link for those who are noticing the physical signs of ageing.
When adequate amounts of silica are included regularly into the diet, skin and connective tissues can begin to repair, nails can become stronger and grow more quickly. Hair shafts also can be restored, adding lustre, shine and strength as the hair grows.
“Silica plays an important role in skin elasticity and maintaining the health of our connective tissues, by helping form components called glycosaminoglycans—these are important building blocks for skin health—promoting cell growth and hydration of the tissue,” Mikki says. “Deficiencies in silica has been found to affect wound healing and collagen formation, therefore we project that silica is also useful in slowing down the signs of skin ageing and oxidative stress.”
Silica plays an important role in skin elasticity and maintaining the health of our connective tissues, by helping form components called glycosaminoglycans—these are important building blocks for skin health—promoting cell growth and hydration of the tissue.
The naturally occurring nutrient is also essential to gut health, Mikki says, and helps maintain integrity of gut cell lining, which is helpful for those living with consistent stress.
“The underlying cause of almost all chronic disease is inflammation, and this starts at the gut level,” she says. “Therefore any nutrient involved in maintaining the resilience of the gut is essential to optimal health overall.”
While regularly eating foods rich in silica, such as apples, raw cabbage, carrots, cucumber, pumpkin, oats, honey, almonds and oranges is a good way to add to the body’s silica reserves, adding natural supplementation is also ideal for those who already have telltale signs of silica depletion: dry hair, scaly skin and brittle nails.
The underlying cause of almost all chronic disease is inflammation, and this starts at the gut level.
Brands such as Australian-made Qsilica offer offer high quality colloidal silica supplementation in gel and tablet forms. Silica gels are excellent for adding to smoothies, or can simply be taken with water. Adding horsetail herb to the daily diet can also be helpful. Steep the herb it in hot water to make a delicious tea. Once cooled, the tea can also be used as a topical hair rinse to add shine.
Signs of silica deficiency can include: Brittle nails, thinning, dull hair, wrinkles, poor skin tone and texture.
Chef Cynthia Louise’s Oats & Edible Plants Silica Smoothie
1/2 cup whole cut steel oats
1 frozen banana
2 cups of “life is a gift”
1/2 cup coconut flesh
1 big handful of greens
10 ml Qsilica Colloidal Silica Gel
1 cup water
Add all to your blender and blend ’til smooth and creamy.
Makes 1 serving.