Strong nails look good and caring for them is easy. Brittle, cracked or discolored nails can be an indication of a lack of nutrients or even health problems, like hypothyroidism. You need to take care of your body if you want it to show in your nails. Though claims have been made that gelatin promotes nail growth, it is not true according to the Mayo Clinic. Eating a well-balanced diet filled with protein, vitamins and minerals keeps your body healthy and can help you in achieving stronger nails.
Fruits are loaded with vitamins that can help build strong nails. They are also a good choice for snacks and desserts, offering a wide variety of choices. Some good fruit sources for essential vitamins are dried apricots for vitamin A, kiwi for vitamin C and bananas for B6. Blueberries, blackberries and grapes are also high in antioxidants, which promote good health.
Vegetables are rich in minerals and vitamins for a healthy body and strong, healthy nails. Sweet potatoes, carrots and dark green vegetables–like broccoli and asparagus–are high in vitamin A. Carrots also contain vitamin B6, while spinach and other leafy green vegetables have calcium, iron and antioxidants. According to American Dermatological Society spokesperson Dr. D'Anne Kleinsmith, nails can curve if the body lacks iron.
Yeast and barley are just two of the grain products that contain the B-complex vitamin biotin and protein that can lead to healthy nails. Nutritionist Ian Marber, known as the Food Doctor, lists many whole grains that contain healthy complex carbohydrates, which work together with vitamins and minerals to build healthy nails. Brown rice, oats, rye and buckwheat are also rich in vitamins A and B. Brewer's yeast, used to make bread, has B-complex vitamins and zinc.
Eggs contain protein, a fuel for the body that can lead to healthy nails. Eggs also contain vitamins A and E, and calcium. Biotin is found in the egg yolk. This B complex vitamin may help restore brittle or dry nails, as explained on the Naturemade Wellness website. Additionally, eggs are also a low calorie and fat meal choice.
Lean meat products are good for a healthy body. Calves liver and kidney contain iron, protein and biotin, all of which contribute to making your nails stronger. You can also find high levels of protein and iron in red meats, like steak and ground beef.
If you are a vegetarian, or just want to avoid too much red meat, soybeans and other legumes are a good source of protein for a well-balanced diet. Soybeans also contain biotin. In addition to soybeans, lentils are a good choice for vitamin B6 and sulphur amino acids.