Your nails can tell you a lot about your diet and your health. Vitamin deficiencies will often show up on your nails in changes of texture, strength, and appearance. By incorporating the right vitamins and nutrients into your diet, as well as taking care of your nails from the outside with regular manicures, you can ensure your nails are long, strong, and healthy.
When you think of hair, skin, and nail vitamins, biotin is the one that probably comes to mind. It’s a B-complex vitamin that can strengthen brittle nails, helping them grow longer and stronger. While there are many biotin supplements on the market, you can also get biotin from the foods you eat. Liver, egg yolk, dairy, salmon, avocado, sweet potato, nuts, and seeds are all great natural sources of biotin to incorporate into your diet.
Folate and other B vitamins
Folate and other B vitamins such as B-12 are essential for optimal nail health. These vitamins encourage the development of red blood cells and other cells which bring oxygen to your nails. A deficiency in B vitamins will also take a toll on your nails causing pigment changes or ridges. There are a variety of foods that can help you increase your folate and B-12 vitamin intake.
For more folate, eat things like green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, beans, lentils, avocado, nuts, and seeds. If you need to boost your B-12 intake, animal products such as meat, poultry, fish, dairy, and eggs are your best option.
Vitamin A, a form of retinol and beta-carotene, is known to be good for your skin, and the same goes for your nails. This vitamin is a fat-soluble vitamin known to hydrate and regenerate growth in nails that are thin and brittle. In combination with other vitamins, it can be a game-changer for the overall health of your nails. For a healthy dose of vitamin A, eat orange foods like cantaloupe, carrots, sweet potato, and squash. You’ll also get vitamin A from foods like broccoli, liver, and tuna.
Since our nails are made of keratin, and protein boosts keratin production, it’s essential to get enough protein in your diet to maintain strong and resilient nails. If your nails are cracking or breaking, it’s time to add that scoop of protein to your morning smoothie. Otherwise, you can get adequate protein in your daily diet by eating animal products like poultry, meat, fish, eggs, and dairy. Are you plant-based? Plants like lentils, nuts, soy, legumes, and seeds are great sources of protein.
Iron provides your cells with oxygen which in turn bring oxygen to your nails so they can grow healthy and strong. Ridges or spoon nails may be a sign you could be deficient in iron. Women in general tend to be more deficient in iron than men. To bump up your iron intake, eat foods like red meat, shellfish, legumes, nuts, dried fruit, and dark chocolate. Yes, I said chocolate.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3s are known to lubricate and moisturize your nail beds promoting healthy growth and preventing dry, brittle nails. Boost your Omega-3s by eating fatty fish such as mackerel, salmon, and sardines. You’ll also find them in walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and eggs.
Calcium is best known for healthy bone growth, but it’s also important for your nails. If your nails are brittle and weak, you may need more calcium in your diet. The best source of calcium comes from dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese. If dairy is off-limits for you, you can increase your calcium intake from fortified juices and plant milks as well as things like tofu, kale, and bok choy.
Magnesium is important for protein synthesis which aids in healthy nail growth. Vertical ridges in your nails may be a sign you need more magnesium in your diet. Studies show that over 60% of people aren’t getting the recommended amount in their diet. Max out on magnesium with foods like whole wheat, dark leafy greens, edamame, black beans, quinoa, and nuts.
If you see white spots on your nails, you may need more zinc into your diet. Zinc is necessary for cell growth which in turn, promotes healthy nail growth. Animal products like poultry, beef, fish, and eggs have a great supply of zinc. Alternatively, you can get your daily zinc intake from chickpeas, black beans, almonds, and cashews.
On top of getting the right vitamins in your diet, regular manicures are a great way to ensure your nails are at their optimal health. The bases and sealers that SNS uses with their dip powders during the application process have carefully selected nutrients like Vitamin A, E, B5, D3, and Calcium that are known to nourish the nail bed, promoting healthy growth ensuring your nails are always beautiful and healthy.