Taking good care of your nails doesn’t stop with merely regular maintenance at your favorite mani/pedi spot. Having and keeping healthy nails, or helping them start to get stronger, is greatly affected by the foods you eat every day. With the right combination of nutrients, your nails can become more attractive, durable and, most importantly, healthier. Try to start incorporating into your diet…
Foods with Zinc or Iron
As one of the most important nutrients for healthy nail beds, having a deficiency of zinc in your body can cause splotchy white areas on your nails, very much like what happens when too much pressure is put on them. Red meats like beef, pork, lamb and hard-boiled eggs or pumpkin seeds are great sources to get zinc from. Lacking iron in the body can cause nails to grow unevenly with ridged edges instead of the smooth edges healthy nails have. Eating leafy greens like broccoli, prunes, grains and tofu will all give your body an iron kick-start.
Foods with Vitamin A or Vitamin C
Vitamin A, which is abundant in beet and collard greens, carrots, squash, sweet potatoes and liver, prevents nails from becoming dry and dull looking. A healthy amount of vitamin C in your diet reduces the odds of getting hangnails. Sweet fruits like oranges, strawberries, watermelon, kiwi, mangoes and cantaloupe are powerhouses of Vitamin C.
Foods with B Vitamins
If there is a lack of B vitamins in your body, specifically vitamin B-12 and biotin, your nails can also get brittle and dried out. Incorporating into your diet carrots, tomatoes, leafy green lettuce, nuts, peas, oatmeal and beans will all raise your levels of biotin. Vitamin B-12 is found mostly in hearty foods such as eggs, meat and dairy products like cheese, milk and yogurt.
Foods with Calcium or Protein
Without calcium, nails loose their elasticity and are prone to breaking easily. Calcium most benefits the body when it is ingested along with vitamin D-rich foods including tuna, mackerel and salmon. Calcium is mostly obtained through dairy products like yogurt and cheese, but a lot of people don’t know that kale is also a great source of this bone-strengthening nutrient. Protein does the nails well too, since nails are made of keratin, which is a protein to start with. Consuming protein from beans, meat, eggs and soy makes the nails strong and resistant to wear and tear.
Rather than biting your nails, take a bite out of something that’ll do your nails some good for once. After all, we’ve been told forever that we are what we eat. Maybe we should take a hint.
Check back here every other Tuesday for more reviews and tips on how guys are Nailing It when it comes to their grooming.