Nutrition of nails!
4th July 2019
Its that time of year and we want our finger nails and toe nails looking perfect! There is so much you can do to improve your nail health, here are some of the top nutrients you need from food and good food sources to ensure excellent nail health!
- BIOTIN – egg yolk, liver, yeast, nuts seeds, cauliflower, salmon, dairy productsHelps to improve brittle nails
- PROTEIN - Nails are made from Keratin (protein). Nails are formed from dead cells pushed up by the body. Protein is needed for strength and resilience.
- IRON – Iron makes up the centre of red blood cells, red blood cells carry oxygen to all organs, tissues, cells around the body including your nails. A lack of oxygen can present as vertical ridges in nails. Nails may concave or spoon. A deficiency of iron is called anemia. Iron can be found in animal foods: organ meats (liver), red meat, chicken, fish, eggs. Plant sources are spinach, leafy greens, nuts, seeds. Vitamin C (peppers, strawberries, kiwi, oranges) should also be consumed as Vitamin C is needed by the body for iron absorption.
- VITAMIN C – Vitamin C is needed to build the protein collagen, the building block of hair, nails and teeth. Vitamin C cannot be made by the body so we must get it daily from food. Fruits like strawberries, kiwi, oranges and vegetables like spinach, broccoli, cabbage, green peppers are good sources.
- MAGNESIUM – Magnesium is a mineral and it has so many important functions in the body. Protein synthesis for nails is one of them. A lack of magnesium can also cause vertical ridges in the nails. Magnesium can be found in dark green leafy vegetables, quinoa, almonds, cashews, peanuts and black beans.
- ZINC – Zinc is required for many enzyme functions within the body including cell division. Rapid cell division occurs within the nails. A lack of zinc can present as white spots on the nails. Zinc can be found plentiful in red meat, fish, poultry eggs. Plant based sources include almond, cashew, seeds, chickpeas, black beans.
- B GROUP VITAMINS – Vitamin B12 is needed for iron absorption, vitamin B 12 can only be found in animal sources like beef, fish, poultry, dairy eggs or else supplement form for vegetarian / vegan. A deficiency of B12 can result in dark bluish / black / brown longitudinal pigments. Vitamin B9 Folate contributes to red blood cell formation and is needed for strong nails. Lack of folate in nails can present as rigidity or brittle nails as well as some pigment change. Sources of folate include nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, peas, avocados and citrus fruits.
- OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS lubricate and moisturise the nails making them shiny and prevent inflammation in the nail bed. A lack of Omega 3 can cause nails to become dry and brittle. The best food sources are oily fish like salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines and tuna. Other sources are fish oils, walnut oil, flax oil, walnuts, flax seeds.