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Ask HER: How to Add More Protein to Your Diet, Treating Your Toenail Fungus, PLUS Eating for Healthier Hair

Ask HER: How to Add More Protein to Your Diet, Treating Your Toenail Fungus, PLUS Eating for Healthier Hair
It's YOUR time on HER Radio. Be a part of the show... send your comments and ask your questions by email, AThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . It's time to Ask HER. Today, on HER Radio you wanted to know:

It's not a pretty topic, but curious if you have any thoughts on addressing toenail fungus? I am hesitant to take prescription medication, but I think (in my case), it's severe enough that might be my only option. As a woman, it's especially embarrassing during spring/summer sandal season!

Nail fungus is actually pretty common. Typically, it starts with a yellow or white spot underneath your toenail and as the fungus goes deeper it can start to discolor your nail. If the nail fungus isn't bothering you, you're better off leaving it alone.

However if it is bothering you, you may want consider your treatment options which include, anti-fungal drugs, medicated nail polish, medicated nail cream, nail removal, or a light-based laser therapy.

What can I eat for healthier hair?

Being healthy doesn't necessarily have to do with your weight. In fact, your hair can be a huge window to something that may not be healthy inside your body.

If you're looking for ways to repair damaged hair, you may want to consider eating a balance of protein, iron, vitamin D, and other nutrients.

How can I add more protein to my diet?

Adding protein to snacks or meals will have an amazing benefit on your health. Here's how you can add more protein to your diet:

  • Eggs
  • Nuts
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Turkey
  • Protein Shakes
  • Cottage cheese
  • Lentils
  • Tofu
  • Nut butter
  • Pumpkin seeds

If you have a personal health question you want answered, Pam and Michelle encourage you to send them in to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

RadioMD Presents:HER Radio | Original Air Date: May 14, 2015
Host: Michelle King Robson & Pam Peeke, MD

It's your time on HerRadio. Be a part of the show. Make your comments. Ask your questions by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling 877-711-5211. Time to AskHer.

PAM: Hi. I'm Dr. Pam Peeke. Michelle is off today. Well, we've got several really hot questions. I just love them.

The first one is "It's not a pretty topic" one of our listeners says, "but curious if you have any thoughts on addressing toenail fungus. I'm hesitant to take prescription medication, but I think in my case, it is severe enough that it might be the only option. As a woman it is especially embarrassing during spring-summer sandal season."

Hey, girlfriend, we hear you. Yes. It can be a real problem. Let's sort of back up here and talk about this issue. Nail fungus is a really common condition. You can oftimes see it as a beginning as a little white or yellow spec under the tip of your fingernail or toenail and then it goes deeper. Then, it causes your nail to discolor, thicken, and crumble at the edge.

In other words, it doesn't look very good. And then you are wondering what in heaven's name is going on here? If it is mild you might not need to seek much treatment. What I usually ask you to do-- whenever you see anything like this, seek medical attention immediately. Then get a game plan going. Don't just sit there and read on-line sites until you are blue in the face. You might need some more aggressive therapy.

Don't be diagnosing yourself. Oftimes your doctor may suggest, for instance, a combination of prescription drugs and other approaches. Let's talk about those. There are some oral antifungal drugs out there.

One thing to keep in mind before you take one of those is to make sure that you know that many of these do have side effects and they do affect liver metabolism because most of them are metabolized through the liver.

That is why you need to discuss this at length with your doctor. There are medicated nail polishes. These, in particular, you use for about seven days. You just keep piling on more layers of the polish and then you take it off with alcohol and you start all over again. One of the things you have to keep in mind about treating something like toenail fungus is the fact that it doesn't get fixed overnight. This is one of those cases where you've got to pop a patience pill in a big way because it is a slow go as you are treating it.

There are also medicated nail creams. It is really important, too, make certain that you really see an expert who can look at your nail and say, "Well, maybe you need something even more aggressive." We do have some brand new medications out there.

Jublia is one of them. Turns out it is very pricey. One would hope your health insurance might be able to help you out with that. It seems to be one of the most effective new medications out there. Something else to keep in mind is laser and light-based therapies. These are becoming more and more popular. They are oftimes used either alone or in conjunction with medications to be able to help nails improve. Again, it is one of those situations where you need to sit down with an expert to look at the entire spectrum of opportunities and resources and put them together for yourself. To our wonderful HerRadio listener who gave us this question – Get ye to an expert—right now! Have your toenails completely assessed. Devise a game plan.

Alright. Our next question is "What can I eat for healthier hair?"

Honey, we have all kinds of great stuff. First of all I'll give you a hint; it's not refined or processed foods. That's right. Wipe the shock off your face. How about salmon for shine? Fish like salmon, sardines, and mackerel are packed with these healthy Omega 3 fatty acids.

They give you gorgeous shine for your hair. We like that. More shine is where we want to go. Greek yogurt, who knew? It's packed with protein and this is the building block of your locks. Oh no, I'm starting to rhyme. Watch out. It also has ingredients that help with blood flow to your scalp and hair growth.

And that is called vitamin B5--known as pantothenic acid. We love that too. The next thing is spinach to battle brittle hair. That's right. It's got tons of vitamin A, iron, beta-carotene, folate and vitamin C and these work together for a healthy scalp.

We need that. They also keep your hair moisturized so it doesn't break. So, mix it up a little bit. Get some of that spinach cooking. Guava to prevent breakage. Who knew? It is a tropical fruit and it absolutely brims with vitamin C. That vitamin C is so important to be able to help keep your hair from breaking. Iron fortified cereals to prevent hair loss.

A lot of these fortified cereals also have something called "biotin" which is a water soluble B vitamin which is very powerful for both hair and nails. If you are really having a problem with hair and nails then you can even take biotin by itself as a supplement at about 5000.

By definition talk to a registered dietician or an expert about that. Remember iron fortified cereals in general, and these are whole food cereals, are also packed with wonderful vitamins, too. Remember, we want to get that protein on board so lean poultry helps us with, as it were, thickness. It stops those older hairs from falling out. We have got to be able to have lots and lots of protein on board. We've said that before. Now, if you want to get a little more shine in addition to the salmon, how about sweet potatoes? Who knew?

Sweet potatoes have a 'good for you' antioxidant called beta-carotene. Your body turns beta-carotene into your new best friend –Vitamin A. It helps protect you against dry, dull hair. It also encourages the glands in your scalp to make an oily fluid called sebum. We like that part, too. Cinnamon for circulation. Sprinkle this spice everywhere. I put it on my oatmeal. Not only that, though, it is good for your blood sugar, too. It helps blood flow. We love to be able to have the most optimal circulation on the planet. Finally, eggs are great.

Protein and iron are found in your eggs. They are rich in B vitamins and there is your biotin again—it's actually found in the yolk. You've got to be able to have that. I told you before with the biotin, you get a win-win. There you have it. Now, you have everything you need for that healthier hair.

Here's the third question. How to get more protein in your diet.

Eggs, nuts, Greek yogurt, turkey, protein shakes, cottage cheese, lentils, tofu, nut butter, pumpkin seeds, quinoa. I'm exhausted. You've got so many wonderful ways to be able to put that protein right back into your diet. Because it is so terribly important. When you put protein and fiber together it kills carb cravings.

That's right, you heard me right! It kills carb cravings. Again, you've got to be able to find a way of having protein in your diet all day long. I just told you in the other question about healthier hair how terribly important protein is as a building block for your wonderful hair and nails, for that matter. It's also incredibly important to be able to maintain the muscle throughout your body.

That is why starting with breakfast, your snacks, smoothies, whey protein powder; you can throw that in there, too. Again, eggs, nuts, Greek yogurt, turkey, protein shakes, cottage cheese, lentils, tofu, nut butters, pumpkin seeds. We've got so many ways of being able to do this. Don't forget your beans and your quinoa, too. Great combinations here. We've been covering everything here from toenails to healthy hair to protein in your diet.

Thanks for your questions for AskHer.

I'm Dr. Pam Peeke with Michelle King Robson. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and stay well.