Beautiful nails are not only eye-catching but are a great indication of a body’s overall health. And just like your very complex biological system and its needs, healthy nails require more than just a slick of polish to help them be their strongest.
With our immediate gratification society, brittle-nailed war battlers may blissfully hope that there is one vitamin or supplement that can improve the look and overall health of our nails. And having healthy nails is important because you need them for a lot of things! Our bodies wouldn’t sprout nails at all if they didn’t serve a major purpose.
And no, the purpose isn’t picking at our skin or clawing at our siblings. You need healthy nails to pick things up, turn pages in a book, scratch an itchy scalp, and so on.
Imagine if you didn’t have nails at all? Do you want to? If you’ve ever lost a toenail after a marathon or slammed a nail under a hammer, you quickly remember just how important they are. The best way to protect against painful situations like this is to infuse your body with the best minerals and vitamins possible to support the structure, and ultimately, the strength of your nails.
Here we will unveil some of the most important elements to ensure proper functioning and care of your nails.
The recommended daily allowance for Biotin is 30mcg and one study which gave those with brittle nails a biotin supplement for six months saw their nails grew in thickness by 25 percent. Naturally occurring biotin is found in meat, eggs, fish, seeds, and nuts. So, if some of these things don’t agree with your diet, utilizing a biotin supplement can largely improve the thickness of your nails.
Folate, or vitamin B9, is effective in strengthening nails because it contributes to red blood cell development, among other new cells. This means more oxygen and nutrients for the nails. A deficiency here not only decreases the color of nails but also causes dry, rigid, cracked nails. It also helps improve shine and overall growth.
If you look at a person’s nails and they look dull and bumpy, you can tell they aren’t consuming enough folate. Folate can be found in beef liver, spinach, black-eyed peas, asparagus, and Brussel sprouts. So, if none of these suit your fancy, it’s time to look for a supplement that can keep your folate levels optimal.
What isn’t vitamin C good for? This essential protein helps us produce our body’s collagen. Collagen is a primary ingredient for nail strength. If you’ve ever had a nail break, you know the agony associated with it (and possible tears – hey, it really does hurt!).
The recommended daily allowance for Vitamin C in adults is 90mg daily for males or 75mg daily for females. So, if you commonly have brittle, breaking nails, examine your diet and see if you are getting enough red or green bell peppers, orange juice, oranges, grapefruit juice, kiwi, and broccoli.
And if it’s challenging for you to meet the quota, find an easily digestible vitamin C supplement – it will do your entire body good.
The term “pumping iron” is often associated with strength, and this is no different for your nails. A deficiency can make your nails look dark or blue, which can be one of the first ways to determine if you aren’t getting enough. Iron absorption is important to make sure your red blood cells are being produced aplenty to shoot more blood flow to your nails.
Vitamin B12 can often be challenging to consume because it is found in meats and dairy, so vegetarians can especially suffer. 2.4 mcg per day is what you should be aiming for, so if you can’t consume enough, find a recommended iron supplement.
Zinc is crucial for the development and division of cells. Your nails are made of a certain type of cell that grows and divides rapidly, so if you aren’t getting enough your nails won’t grow and your nail bed will start to deteriorate.
Animal proteins are rich sources of zinc, but you can also find it in soy, chickpeas, black beans, nuts, and seeds. So vegetarian or not, there are options for you – or you can find a once-per-day ingestible.
Magnesium is responsible for protein synthesis, which is a requirement of nail growth. If you begin to see vertical ridges in your nails, this could be the contributing factor. Approximately 60 percent of people in the world aren’t getting enough magnesium for a variety of reasons.
But if you want to up your intake, start looking at foods such as rich, leafy greens, quinoa, whole wheat, almonds, edamame, and black beans.
In essence, your body needs nutrients to function at its best. Nails are an important part of your body so if they are suffering, you can bet that other body functionality isn’t at its most optimal. The best way to get these important vitamins and minerals is through food consumption, but under normal circumstances, supplements may help do the job. Try to focus on what you are eating and see where you can make some improvements. You can eliminate discomfort for your nails as you begin to feel your body improve.