We invest in our health and appearance in many ways: exercising, eating healthy foods, a rigorous twelve-step skin care routine…the list goes on. However, one area often overlooked is our nail health (and no, painting your nails or getting acrylics doesn’t count!). Healthy nails contribute to our overall well-groomed appearance, and their state is often indicative of our overall health. Nails that are brittle, discolored, or ridged can be a sign of underlying health conditions or nutritional deficiencies. Moreover, unhealthy nails can lead to discomfort, pain, or even infections.
Our nails are made up of keratin, which is a type of protein that requires specific nutrients to grow strong and healthy. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to our nails and get the right nutrients in our diet to boost our overall health—and in turn, our nail health. The good news is that there are a ton of delicious options that are nutrient-rich and contribute to stronger, healthier nails. Here are 5 foods that are easy to incorporate into your regular diet:
Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which is a type of healthy fat that our bodies cannot produce on their own. Luckily, we can get this type of essential fatty acid through our diet. Research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids can help strengthen nails and prevent nail brittleness. Salmon is also packed with protein and a good source of biotin, which helps encourage keratin production.
Eggs are an excellent source of protein, biotin, and vitamin D, among many other nutrients. Biotin, also known as vitamin B7, plays an important role in maintaining healthy nails (as well as healthy skin and hair). Protein helps maintain the structural integrity of our nails. Vitamin D facilitates the absorption of calcium, which helps to strengthen our nails.
This popular leafy green has a high content of nutrients like iron, vitamin E, vitamin C, and folate. An iron deficiency can lead to brittleness and breakage, so it’s important that you incorporate iron-rich foods into your diet to strengthen nails. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that protects our cells from free radical damage, which can negatively affect the nails and lead to—you guessed it—breakage and weakening. Vitamin C, another antioxidant, is a vital role in collagen production, which in turn improves the structure and strength of our nails. Spinach is also rich in vitamin B9 (also known as folate), which supports the growth and repair of nails.
Just like salmon and eggs, almonds are a nutrient-dense food that boasts high levels of vitamin E, and protein. They also contain other nutrients that are important for nail health, such as magnesium and zinc. Magnesium helps to improve blood circulation, which is crucial for nails to get the nutrients they need. Zinc can help reduce inflammation in the nails and prevent the formation of those dreaded white spots that you might see when you’re lacking essential nutrients in your diet.
Yes, we all know that blueberries are delicious and nutritious, but they are also rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and other nutrients that contribute to our nail health. Blueberries are also a good source of fiber, which help to regulate blood sugar levels and can prevent inflammation—two things that are beneficial to overall health.
It’s important to remember that what we put on our bodies can be just as important and impactful as what we put into them. Healthy foods are important, but topical treatments like a strengthening nail serum can also help to ensure that your nails get the essential nutrients they need to stay strong and healthy. Look for natural or plant-based ingredient formulations that include nourishing oils like ylang-ylang, which helps prevent brittleness, and geranium, which helps promote healthy nail growth.
The VOS Nail and Cuticle Serum is a natural, plant-based serum that features potent essential oils and seed oils to nourish the cuticles, strengthen nails, and keep the tips of your fingers looking healthy and feeling their best.