Your nails will not grow without protein, zinc, iron, vitamins and Omega-3.

We’d like to start our article about food secrets of beautiful nails from the bottom line: if you have a healthy and balance diet, you’ll have your nails healthy too.

Like our hair, our nails are made of a tough protective protein keratin. It means what is good for healthy nails, is good for healthy hair too.

The growing part of the nail is under the skin at the nail’s proximal end under the epidermis, which is the only living part of a nail.

Nails peeling, breaking and splitting can ruin perfect manicure. The nutrients that can help restore them are: protein, iron, zinc, vitamin A, B, C, E and D, and Omega-3 fatty acids. And the foods rich in these essential nutrients are salmon, sweet potatoes, spinach, eggs, almonds, sunflower seeds, avocado, Greek yogurt, beans and lentils, broccoli, oranges, flaxseeds, and lean poultry.

 

Food secrets of beautiful nails

 

Interesting facts about nails:

 

  • The nail of the index finger grows faster than the one of the little finger
  • Fingernails grow up to four times faster than toenails.
  • Nails grow at an average rate of 3mm a month.
  • Fingernails require 3-6 months to regrow completely.
  • Toenails require 12-18 months.
  • Actual growth rate is dependent upon age, sex, season, exercise level, diet, and hereditary factors.

 

Essential nutrients for your healthy nails

 

Food secrets of beautiful nails

 

Here are essential nutrients for your healthy nails:

Proteins

Proteins are essential nutrients for nail health. Main sources of high quality proteins are animal sources such as meats, poultry, milk and dairy products, fish and eggs. Plant proteins include grains, legumes and nuts.

Iron

Iron helps nails to grow due to its involvement in numerous biological functions: supplying with oxygen, facilitating oxygen use, acting as a transport medium for electrons within the cells, being an integral part of various enzyme reactions. Rich sources of dietary iron include red meat, lentils, beans, poultry, fish, watercress, tofu, chickpeas, fortified bread, fortified breakfast cereals, spinach and other leafy green vegetables such as broccoli, kale and salad greens. Iron in meat is more easily absorbed than iron in vegetables. Iron deficiency can lead to dull, brittle nails.

What is good for healthy nails is good for healthy hair too.

Zinc

Your nails will not grow without zinc. Dietary sources of zinc are best absorbed from animal sources. Oysters, lobster and red meats, especially beef, lamb and liver have some of the highest concentrations of zinc in food. Plant foods such as wheat and various seeds (sesame, poppy, alfalfa, celery, and mustard) can also be high in zinc, but are less bioavailable.

 

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that regulates collagen synthesis, forms barrier lipids, aids the absorption of iron and takes part in many other biological processes. The richest natural sources of vitamin C are fruits and vegetables: Kakadu plum, rose hips, red bell pepper, parsley, broccoli, strawberry, blueberry, papaya, orange, kale, and pineapple.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a membrane antioxidant that protects your nails against oxidative damage. It can be found most abundantly in wheat germ oil, sunflower seeds, sunflower oil, corn oil, almonds, avocado and papaya.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are among the must-have foods for healthy nails because they are responsible for the health of the cell membrane – the passageway for nutrients to cross in and waste products to get out. Our body cannot make Omega-3 fatty acids itself, and therefore must be obtained through our diet: fatty fish (salmon, herring, sardines, trout and mackerel), seafood, canola oil, flax seed, avocado, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts.

Biotin

Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin of the B complex. Include biotin rich foods such as whole grains, liver, egg, soy flour and yeast. By the way, biotin has been used for decades to strengthen horse hooves.

 

Feed your nails with these foods

 

Food secrets of beautiful nails

 

Maintaining healthy and beautiful nails involves a combination of good nail care practices and a well-balanced diet rich in essential nutrients. Here are some of the best foods to support nail health:

Salmon

Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which contribute to overall nail health. Omega-3s help prevent nails from becoming brittle, promote hydration, and support the structure of the nail bed.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a good source of beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A. Vitamin A is crucial for promoting strong and healthy nails.

Spinach

Spinach is high in iron, which helps prevent nail brittleness and promotes healthy nail growth. Iron deficiency can lead to brittle nails and other nail-related issues.

Eggs

Eggs are rich in biotin, a B-vitamin that is essential for nail health. Biotin helps strengthen nails and prevent them from becoming brittle.

Almonds

Almonds are a good source of vitamin E and biotin. Vitamin E contributes to nail strength, while biotin plays a key role in preventing nail brittleness and supporting overall nail health.

Food secrets of beautiful nails

Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds contain vitamin E, which is essential for maintaining healthy nails. Vitamin E helps prevent nail damage and promotes a smooth and attractive appearance.

Avocado

Avocado is rich in healthy fats, vitamin E, and biotin. These nutrients contribute to nail strength and hydration, preventing issues like brittleness and dryness.

Food secrets of beautiful nails

Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is high in protein and contains probiotics that support overall nail health. Protein is crucial for nail structure, and probiotics contribute to a healthy gut, which is linked to strong nails.

Beans and Lentils

Beans and lentils are excellent sources of iron and protein, both of which are essential for nail health. Iron helps prevent nail brittleness, while protein supports overall nail structure.

Broccoli

Broccoli is rich in vitamins C and A, which are essential for collagen production. Collagen contributes to the strength and integrity of nails, helping to prevent issues like splitting and breakage.

Food secrets of beautiful nails

Oranges

Oranges and other citrus fruits are high in vitamin C, which promotes collagen synthesis. Collagen is essential for maintaining the strength and structure of nails.

Lean Poultry

Chicken and turkey are good sources of protein and biotin, supporting overall nail health and preventing issues like brittleness and breakage.

Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which contribute to nail health by preventing dryness and brittleness.

Bell Peppers

Bell peppers are high in vitamin C, which supports collagen production and helps maintain the strength and integrity of nails.

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Remember to stay hydrated, practice good nail hygiene, and avoid excessive use of harsh chemicals and nail products. A well-rounded diet that includes these nutrient-rich foods can contribute to healthy and beautiful nails from the inside out. If you have specific concerns about your nails, it’s always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or a dermatologist.

 

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