Nutrition plays an important role in the functioning of our bodies, from the tips of your fingers to your toes. In fact, your nails can tell a lot about your nutritional status. You should eat the right foods to care of your nails

and eating right can help take care of your whole body as well.

Nutrients deficiencies that cause nail problems

Nail problems Possible nutrient deficiency
Brittle, weak and dry Calcium, Vitamin A
White spots Iron, Zinc
Cracking and breaking Protein, Iron
White lines Zinc, Protein
Curved nail end and darkening Vitamin B12
Reddish-brown spots Folic acid, Protein and Vitamin C


Food sources that can help your nails 

As you are aware, many common nail problems indicate that there is a deficiency of certain vitamins or minerals in your body. If you notice any of these symptoms, you may need to include more of these nutrients in your daily diet.

The main food sources of nutrients related to healthy nails are:

  • Milk and dairy products are good sources of protein, calcium, zinc and vitamin B12, and can help keep your nails strong.
  • Include lean meat, fish and chicken in your diet to ensure adequate intake of proteins, iron and zinc. Another good protein-rich food for healthy nails is eggs which are rich in vitamin B12 and folic acid.
  • Whenever you can, consume cooked organ meats (liver, Kidney) which are rich in iron, vitamin A, vitamin B12 and folic acid.
  • Enrich your diet with legumes (lentils, dried beans etc), which are high in fibre and provides you with protein, zinc, iron and folic acid thus lessening your nails from cracking and developing white spots.
  • Increase your intake of green leafy vegetables (spinach, broccoli etc), which are good sources of calcium, folic acid and vitamin A.
  • A daily intake of citrus fruits and vegetables (green pepper, cabbage etc), which are rich in vitamin C are helpful if you are having reddish-brown spots on your nails.
  • Strong nails also need vitamin A that is mainly found in yellow or orange vegetables like carrots.
  • Biotin is also an essential nail-building material that is found in liver, meats, milk, egg yolk and most vegetables.
  • Don’t forget to drink enough water (8 glasses a day) to keep your body and your nails completely hydrated.

Lifestyle tips

1. Keep your nails clean and short
2. Wear gloves whenever you do house work
3. Avoid polish removers containing acetone
4. Wear 100% cotton socks and air out your work boots and athletic shoe

Be Careful!

Changes or abnormalities in your finger nails or toenails are likely to indicate nutritional deficiencies but it may also indicate serious health problems. Always refer to your physician if you have any queries or concerns.

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