Proper nutrition is an important part of looking your best. Eating right helps supply vital nutrients that can make a difference in your hair, skin, and nails. For example, vitamin C encourages collagen formation, which fights sagging skin and speeds the repair of minor cuts and scrapes. The mineral zinc is another useful nutrient in healing. Calcium and magnesium are important building blocks for strong bones and beautiful teeth. Vitamins E and A are said to be especially beneficial for your skin and may even slow some signs of aging. Protein, B vitamins, zinc, and a number of trace minerals contribute to healthy hair and nails. A deficiency in such substances can cause dry, brittle hair and nails that break easily. The best way to get the nutrients you need is by eating a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and lean meats. Avoid fad diets that limit your selection to a few foods or few groups. If you feel that you eat fairly healthy, but still aren't getting the recommended daily allowance of vitamins and minerals, you might consider a supplement. Just remember, it's best to get the bulk of your nutrients from food whenever possible.