10 Magical Foods for Healthy & Strong Nails

What you put in your grocery cart is the first step toward maintaining healthy nails…..

You don't need a professional to get the glamorous nails you want. Although the strength of your nails is largely hereditary, the food you eat (or don't get enough of) can affect the status of your fingernails just as much as a fancy spa or mani-pedi treatment can. Nails are made of a fibrous protein called keratin that—when fed the right ingredients—will naturally grow stronger and healthier over time. 

Check out the list below for foods that will give you a healthy makeover without the hefty price tag,

Eggs

Many nail supplements contain biotin—a B vitamin—which many claim encourages healthy growth & there is evidence that also supports the belief that biotin positively strengthens nails. Biotin has been shown to improve fingernails. Furthermore, biotin-treated nails also showed fewer signs of nail splitting. Eggs are an excellent source of biotin, which is found in the bright yellow yolk.

Almonds

Another great source of biotin? Almonds. In addition to aiding weight loss, a serving of the protein and fiber-packed nuts contains 49% of your RDA of biotin. Furthermore, almonds also contain a healthy dose of vitamin E, which we've already established plays an important role in keeping your nails in tip-top shape.

Strawberries

That's right, the juicy, red fruits beloved by most have some serious benefits for your nails. Eating eight or more strawberries provides more vitamin C than an orange! And since vitamin C is essential for producing the collagen that keeps our nails resilient to breaks, the sweet red fruit is the perfect way to strengthen them.

Chicken

Fingernails are made largely of translucent keratin protein, so if you want them to grow healthier and stronger, eating a diet that's rich in the muscle-building, satiating nutrient is key. Simple, lean sources of protein will do the trick, such as chicken, turkey, or vegetarian-friendly tempeh.

Flaxseed Oil

Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are required for the proper structure and function of every cell in the body, and are important for optimal health. So far as nails are concerned, EFAs moisturize the nail bed, which increases the suppleness of thin, brittle nails. To get more of these superstar nutrients in your diet, up your intake of healthy fats, which can be done by adding something such as flaxseed oil to your diet.

Coconut Oil

Though it shouldn't be eaten constantly, coconut oil is another example of a healthy fat that can strengthen and nourish your nails. What's more? The ever-trendy food doesn't even need to enter your mouth to get the job done. In fact, many people use coconut oil topically, as it can be applied to nails to soften cuticles, prevent hangnails, and moisturize hands.

Lentils

Lentils are loaded with nine essential vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins and biotin. That means, not only are they great for your overall health, but they're especially suited to keep your nails looking great and feeling strong. A daily oral dose of 2.5 milligrams of biotin showed definite improvement, with firmer and harder nails after approximately five and half months. Though there's nothing wrong with taking a biotin supplement, getting the nutrient from whole foods is more beneficial overall.

 

Watermelon

Drinking lots of water is important to keep nails and cuticles hydrated, and in addition to making sure you drink plenty of water each day, you can also improve your nail health by eating foods with a high water content. Summer favorite watermelon, for example, contains about 92% water per volume. You can also add cucumbers to your diet to experience the same effects.

Whole Grains

Silica, the natural form of silicon, is a trace mineral that helps the body utilize calcium properly. It's also the predominant mineral in the composition of nails, which helps explain why it's so beneficial for them. According to Brazilian researchers, the presence of soft and brittle nails can indicate a systemic deficiency of silicon. Whole grains, such as wheat, barley, oats, and millet, are all excellent sources of silica.

Red Bell Peppers

In addition to keeping your skin firm and tight, collagen also helps your nails stay long and strong, that's why we suggest incorporating red bell peppers into your diet if you want your nails to look and feel their best. The bright veggies pack 190% of the day's recommended intake of vitamin C (an essential nutrient for producing collagen) and are also loaded with antioxidants that prevent free radicals from damaging and oxidizing our nail cells. Add some red peppers into a stir-fry, or dip the raw veggie in some hummus for a protein-packed snack.

 

Our dietary habits impact our overall health, skin, hair & nails in more ways than one. So take care of yourself & follow mindful eating!

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