Do you have dry, brittle nails that split easily? If broken nails regularly leave your manicure looking uneven and ragged, help is at hand.
Although skincare treatments and products which you apply directly to your nails might bring about an improvement, it’s temporary at best. Spending a fortune on a topical solution is senseless; as soon as your nails grow out, the problem will be back again. You need to treat the cause of your brittle nails. Although genetics play a role in your nails’ ability to grow, except for some extremely rare conditions, brittle nails are not hereditary.
The way you treat your nails and environmental conditions can make brittle nails worse. Dry heat in winter can dehydrate your skin and nails, exposure to household chemicals and products such as nail polish remover can weaken them, and regularly immersing your nails in water will cause nails to soften and become brittle. However, the most common reason people have brittle nails is a deficiency of nutrients that promote healthy nail growth. If you have brittle nails, you shouldn’t ignore it.
Nails need keratin and bones collagen to grow strong and healthy. These substances come from the same types of food. If your nails are brittle, it could be a sign that you also have insufficient bone mineral density and are at risk of osteoporosis. Changing your diet to help your nails grow stronger won’t only benefit your appearance but can also help to prevent a severe health condition.
What nutrients do you need for healthy nails? Nails consist of layers of a protein called keratin, but protein is not all you need for healthy nails. Your diet should also include omega-3 fatty acids and a variety of vitamins and minerals. Vitamin B reduces brittleness, while iron prevents ridges from forming on them, and calcium makes your nails strong. If you ingest enough zinc in your diet, your nails won’t get white spots, and vitamins A and C prevent dull, dry nails. It’s also important to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated.
Although it’s easy to reach for a bottle of vitamins, food as skincare and a remedy for brittle nails is healthier. Nutrients contained in food also tend to absorb into the body better, and you won’t run the risk of overdosing on vitamins your body doesn’t need. If you maintain a well-balanced diet with all the nutrients you need, your nails and skin will look naturally healthy. What are the best foods to eat if you want to get rid of brittle nails?
Here’s our list:
• Protein: Nails consist of keratin, which is a protein, so it follows that protein is the most important thing to add to your diet. Our bodies are made of protein, and the building blocks of protein are amino acids. Eggs and fish are rich in amino acids as well as omega-3 fatty acids. It would help if you also ate poultry, beef, and pork to make sure your body receives enough protein containing all the amino acids it needs to turn your brittle nails into healthy nails.
• Gelatin: While we’re talking about protein, let’s bust a myth. There’s no need to swallow a revolting spoonful of unflavored gelatin on an empty stomach. Even though gelatin is nutritious and contains the sulfur-rich amino acids glycine and proline that promote collagen and keratin formation, there are many other kinds of food with a higher protein content which could help your nails to grow stronger quicker.
• Protein for vegetarians: If you’re a vegetarian and you can’t eat meat or gelatin (made from animal bones) to strengthen your brittle nails, don’t worry. Many other sources of food are also rich in protein. Soybeans, lentils and pulses, nuts, seeds, quinoa, and other grains all contain the amino acids your body needs to grow stronger nails.
• Vitamin A, B, and C: There are vitamins in every kind of fresh food. Meat, eggs, grains, fruit and leafy green vegetables are a rich source of vitamin B, and if you drink alcohol, the yeast in a moderate serving of beer has a healthy dose of vitamin B as well as other vitamins and minerals that will combat brittle nails. Fresh fruit such as citrus and mangoes, and vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, and carrots are a rich source of vitamin A and C, which are essential for skin care as well as healthy nails.
• Iron: Green vegetables, lentils, grains, nuts, and seeds contain iron which will help your body to grow healthy and smooth nails. Try sprinkling lemon juice over your leafy greens. Iron is not readily absorbed into the bloodstream, but if you add vitamin C to an iron-rich meal, your body will absorb it more easily.
• Calcium: Milk and milk products, green vegetables, fish, and nuts contain all the calcium your body needs to grow resilient nails and bones. Although the amount of calcium your body needs to be healthy varies at different stages of your life, women always need more calcium than men. If you have brittle nails, make sure that you include enough calcium-rich foods in your diet.
• Zinc: Seeds, nuts, dairy products, shellfish, and dark chocolate are only a few foods that contain zinc. White spots on your nails are the perfect excuse to reach for a chocolate bar but remember that zinc is a trace element and your body only needs a little every day.
On average, a person’s nails grow 3mm per month. Fingernails grow four times faster than toenails, and the nail on your index finger is the fastest growing nail on your body. Nails on your dominant hand grow faster, and your nails will grow long more quickly in summer than in winter. Pregnant women’s nails grow faster than other adults, and your metabolism affects the speed at which your nails grow. If you lose a nail entirely, it will take four to six months to regrow. With so many variables it’s difficult to say how long it will take until your brittle nails recover entirely but it’s fair to say that within a month you will notice an improvement. Start eating healthy foods today; you can get rid of brittle nails and have a healthier skin and body too.