Food for Healthy Nails
If you want to have beautiful healthy nails, it may not cost you a trip to the salon. Commit to a healthier diet, better habits and pick up some pretty nail polish for an at-home manicure. With a little time, discipline and dedication, you can enjoy healthy, strong and shiny nails with little effort.
If you keep your nails healthy and strong, you should notice changes in the composition and color of your nails. Keeping your nails healthy holds a double benefit gorgeous fingertips and tootsies and a helpful clue to learn if anything might be wrong elsewhere in your body. And while we don’t necessarily think of nails as gauges of our health in most cases, we sure do love getting dolled up and showing them off!
To begin your quest for healthy nails, first make a commitment to eating healthier foods. You can still enjoy the foods you love, but you should make a conscious effort to consume healthy fruits and vegetables, nuts, fish and eggs, among other nail-friendly foods.
A lack of B vitamins, specifically biotin and vitamin B12, can lead to dryness of the nails. Moreover, the nails become dark. Eat more carrots, tomatoes, leafy green lettuce, liver, peanut butter, nuts, peas, oatmeal and beans – these products are rich at biotin. But vitamin B12 can be found in meat, eggs and dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cheese.
Zinc and Iron
Those white areas on the nails, similar to the marks that occur as a result of pressure on nails can be caused by zinc deficiency. Pumpkin seeds, beef, pork, lamb, dairy products and hard-boiled eggs are perfect sources of zinc. If your nails grow with ridges rather than with a smooth surface – your body needs more iron that can be found in leafy greens, prunes, grains, seeds, red meat, broccoli and tofu.
Calcium and Protein
If you consume calcium not sufficiently, it can cause the nails to be fragile and dry. Calcium benefits the body most when it is absorbed along with vitamin D, so milk is a great source of calcium. Other calcium sources include yogurt, cheese and kale. Protein benefits nails as well, since nails are made of keratin, a type of protein. This important nutrient can be found in beans, legumes, meat, eggs and soy.
Vitamin A and Vitamin C
Vitamin A, which can be found in beet greens, collards, carrots, squash, sweet potatoes and liver, can prevent nails from becoming dull and dry. A lack of vitamin C can cause hang nails. Bell peppers, cauliflower, oranges, watermelon, mangoes, tomatoes, strawberries, kiwi, cantaloupe and grapefruit are all sources of vitamin C.
Unhealthy nails can have slow growth, ridges, dents, white spots, rips and an unusual color. Minerals and vitamins found in certain foods can improve the health and appearance of nails. Although eating certain foods will not provide a quick fix for nails, eating foods for healthy nails can help to contribute to nail health when combined with proper care and maintenance, such as cleaning and moisturizing.
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