Tatiana Kochkina/Getty Images
Many people fight for strong and healthy nails. The condition of his fingernails is often a good predictor of a person’s overall healthespecially when it comes to diet – and eating healthier foods can improve the appearance of your nails. Nutrient-dense ingredients, in particular, can have a long-lasting impact on the look of your manicure. So if your nails are weak, brittle, slow growing, or dull, it might be a good idea to look at your diet.
According Sarah Mirkin RD, CPT, your nails, like the rest of your body, require a nutritious diet to thrive. If you’re malnourished, vitamin or mineral deficient, or skimping on protein, your fingernails will be one of the first parts of your body to show it.
Brittle nails, or those with horizontal ridges, are usually caused by a lack of iron, calcium, magnesium, B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin D, or insufficient water and protein intake. Mirkin notes that an anti-inflammatory, high-protein diet rich in fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and healthy fats will provide your nails with the nutrients they need to be strong and healthy.
To learn more about how to grow better nails, we spoke with a few experts about their dietary recommendations.
Water and foods containing water
Hydration is essential, according to Grace J.nail stylist and founder of The editorial highlight. She suggests that cuticle oil is needed on the outside, but water is essential on the inside. “Water helps deliver nutrients and oxygen to cells,” says Gracie J.
Mirkin confirms this, adding that dehydration can cause brittle, dry nails that break easily. “Don’t wait until you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated by then,” she says. “Drink water or other hydrating fluids throughout the day. Try to include hydrating foods like fruits, vegetables, yogurts and soups.
Foods rich in fatty acids promote the development of healthy cells, which contributes to the growth of healthy nails and hair, according to Gracie J. Flaxseed, in particular, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and thiamin, has been associated with improved hair and nail health. “Flax seeds are also high in magnesium, which many people don’t get enough of,” Mirkin says. “Magnesium is essential for maintaining nail health and preventing ridges from forming on the nail bed.”
Gracie J, which is packed with vitamins A and C, as well as fiber, is one of Gracie J’s favorite foods for nail health, but its antioxidant content, notes Mirkin, is what makes the citrus fruit a favorite. optimum choice. This fruit is rich in beta-carotene, lycopene, and flavonoids, all of which are antioxidants that can protect your nails from free radical damage. Mirkin explains that grapefruits are also high in water to help with hydration. “Grapefruit seed extract has potent antifungal qualities, making it an effective natural therapy for nail fungus and athlete’s foot,” she says.
Eggs are a fantastic food for stronger, shinier nails, says Deborah Lippman, celebrity manicurist and founder of Deborah Lipman, a line of lacquers and care products for nails, hands and feet. Morning Classic is high in protein, vitamin D, B12, and biotin, making it a great choice for nail growth. “Because protein helps in the formation of keratin, it goes a long way in developing stronger nails,” says Lippman. “I love recommending eggs because they contain biotin, which helps with nail thickness.”
According to Mirkin, it’s possible that a vitamin D deficiency can make your nails dry and brittle – and that’s where eggs, which contain this nutrient, come in. “Eggs are also one of the sources of protein the most bioavailable,” she says. “Keratin is a protein found in the nails. Getting enough protein in your diet is essential to maintaining strong, healthy nails.”
Salmon is rich in vitamin D, protein, biotin, zinc, copper, selenium, vitamins B6 and B1, and omega-3 fatty acids, all of which improve your nails. These micronutrients ultimately prevent your nails from breaking, splitting, or disintegrating all together. Gracie J says salmon is also one of her favorite foods because it’s high in fatty acids and helps maintain cell growth, which promotes the growth of healthy nails and the hair.
Salmon is high in vitamin B12, which is needed for the development of healthy red blood cells, along with other meats and dairy products, Mirkin says. Nail discoloration – due to a lack of vitamin B12 – can be brown or gray, so be sure to monitor your nails for any telltale signs of a deficiency.
Lentils and beans are excellent vegan options to keep nails strong and healthy. They’re a fantastic source of biotin, says Mirkin, which creates a longer, thicker manicure. “Lentils and beans contain iron, which prevents anemia, a condition that wreaks havoc on your nails. They are also high in protein, which is necessary for the formation of keratin,” she says.
Nutritional yeast is another protein-rich vegan superfood, which is necessary for the formation of keratin. It’s also high in B-complex vitamins. According to Mirkin, just 2 tablespoons provides more than three times your daily intake of vitamin B12 and about 69 percent of the daily value of biotin. Use nutritional yeast to add a cheesy, nutty or savory flavor to a variety of recipes, while providing a nutritional boost to your body and nails.