Have you thought much about your nails? What are they there for? For many reasons, scientists think. They help us have more precise hand movements, grip things, give our fingers sensitivity, and protect them from injury.
If you have brittle nails, chances are that you’ve had to think about your nails because they’re splitting, peeling, or just not tough like they should be. After all, nails should be tough. They’re made of one of the toughest proteins in nature - keratin, which is found in animals’ claws and horns (and our nails).
So if your nails are weak - listen up! You can make them much stronger by getting optimal nutrition and using natural compounds.
Below are foods that contain nail-bolstering nutrients that will keep the ends of your fingers shiny and strong.
Foods For Your Nails
1. Leafy Greens
If you think greens are boring, it's time to reevaluate. Get into them! Find some salad dressings that you like, so that you can enjoy leafy greens, or even mix greens with fruit in a blender and have a sweet smoothie.
Leafy greens are a good source of the sulphurous compound MSM, which produces the hard protein keratin that gives your nails their strength 1.
Spinach is an especially good green to eat because it contains high amounts of biotin. Researchers have shown that biotin specifically helps with brittle nails 2. As a side benefit, biotin also helps your hair grow 2.
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Egg yolk is filled with B vitamins, including nail-supporting biotin and vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid).
When researchers studied the effect of vitamin B5 on nail health, they found that people with “dull, thin, lusterless, and fragile nails” had significant improvement in the appearance and quality of nails 3.
If you can find a nice piece of salmon (preferably wild-caught) to munch on, you’ll be supporting healthy nails. The vitamin B6 in salmon enhances the building of keratin, the tough protein in hair and nails 4. Vitamin B6 is needed to incorporate the amino acid cysteine into keratin so that it can be strong 4.
Salmon is also a good source of biotin and vitamin B12. You already know how important biotin is for your finger ends. Vitamin B12 is also important for keeping your nails healthy. Without the vitamin, you can grow abnormal nails with hyperpigmentation 6.
Ever heard of millet? There are many other grains out there besides wheat.
Millet has been popular in China for thousands of years, and in today’s west, it has made its way into health foods at your grocery store. Some cereals, breads, and veggie burger patties contain it.
Millet is another good source of vitamin B6 and will enhance keratin production in your nails so that they won’t be weak and brittle.
Nuts are best eaten raw, or raw and sprouted. (Sprouting makes them easier to digest.). Cooked nuts have some of the nutrition roasted out of them, and the roasting process also generates toxic compounds.
The high zinc content of nuts should help the strength of your nails. At least some research shows that having enough zinc in your body is important for healthy nails 5.
Have a bowl of porridge … or oatmeal.
Oats have plenty of silica in them, which is an important mineral for skin and nail health. Silica is stored in your nails and plays an important role in creating the keratin protein 7. It has been long considered a beauty mineral because it keeps your hair, skin, and nails looking youthful.
Oats also have an array of B vitamins that are good for nail health.
Do you have dry skin, brittle nails, and frizzy hair?
Did you know that you can achieve healthy hair, skin, and nails at the same time by consuming the right nutrients?
You also won’t have to depend on harsh chemical products or an extensive morning and night routine just so you can look your best! And it all comes down to these simple, beautifying principles.
Our lead nutritionist Evan Burns shares his most effective all-natural remedies and holistic approach to giving you soft skin, strong nails, and smooth hair!