If you think your day was a tough one, think about what your nails go through. They are on the frontlines of everything your hands do. It often seems like the minute you’ve grown them out the perfect length, one (or more) will start to break after you’ve done the dishes or even just picked up a package.
Even if you treat yourself to regular manicures, there may be one crucial lifestyle factor causing your nail problems. The condition of your nails can be visible proof that your diet is lacking vital vitamins and nutrients. But don’t worry. Regularly eating these foods is the best and tastiest way to help your nails grow strong and long, without treatments, supplements, or products with harsh chemicals. Your nails can thank us later.
Known as the beauty vitamin, Vitamin E is crucial to maintaining healthy nails. A serving of almonds (23 almonds) has 60% of your daily recommended dose of vitamin E, making them the most delicious way to get this important vitamin. They are also high in zinc, another essential nutrient for strong, healthy nails.
2. Brown Rice and Oatmeal
Grains such as brown rice and oatmeal are great ways to add zinc, copper, biotin, silicon, and cysteine to your diet. Be sure to have some oatmeal at breakfast, the most important meal of the day. Or a side of rice a with your lean protein or legumes.
Nails are made of a protein so special it has a special name – keratin. Your body needs a good source of amino acids to make this super-strong protein. When your nails are lacking in protein, they become discolored and brittle. Eggs are such a nutritional powerhouse that they help almost every part of your body. They are a good source of high-quality protein as well as vitamin E and biotin.
4. Lean Meats
The same way that protein helps you build strong muscles, it’s also a wonder drug for your fingernails. Adding more protein to your diet is one of the best and easiest ways to keep your nails in tip-top shape. Add lean poultry, fish, pork, and beef to your diet.
5. Blueberries and Strawberries
Eating plenty of fresh fruit is a delicious way to get a ton of nutrients and vitamins in your diet. These tasty little nuggets of goodness are also great for your nails. Blueberries have the highest content of antioxidants, those little wonders that help protect your body from free radical damage. Strawberries have high levels of vitamin C, which helps your body produce collagen. Collagen makes nails more resilient.
6. Dark Leafy Greens
Seriously, what doesn’t kale do? Leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and broccoli give your body the iron, folate, and calcium it needs to help make and keep your nails healthy.
7. Beans and Legumes
If you stick to a plant-based diet, don’t worry, your nails don’t have to suffer. Beans and legumes such as lentils are excellent sources of protein and biotin. Beans are packed with biotin and legumes such as lentils provide nine essential vitamins, including the all-important biotin.
A key nutrient for keeping your nails supple is a specific type of essential fatty acid called linoleic fatty acid. This oil is found in fish, as well as, in many of the healthy fats we’re told to increase in our diets, such as olive oil, avocado oil, rapeseed oil, and nuts.
Water is a beauty booster for your skin and your nails. Be sure to get your eight glasses a day.