Monday, April 16, 2012

Is your diet helping or hindering your nails?

Myth-Busting Monday  -  Can certain supplements like gelatin, biotin and calcium help your nails?

There are numerous factors that affect the growth and condition of your nails:  disease, injury, nutrition as well as normal aging.  Problem nails can also be caused by many different factors including frequent washing, exposure to harsh detergents, frequent manicures and certain climatic environments.
Today I would like to discuss yet another inane nail fiction.  “Eating gelatin, ingesting biotin or taking calcium supplements makes nail healthier.”

  • Fact is:  Like your nails or your hair, gelatin contains protein, BUT no form of food can go directly to the nail or hair to help it grow.  There are no studies or data showing that eating gelatin will improve the condition of anything.

  • Fact is:  The growth rate and healthy of your nails is reflected in your diet.  Poor nutrition can pave the way for brittleness or splitting to occur.  Weight reduction diets can be a cause of poor nutrition, and a vegan or vegetarian diet can be lacking in the necessary balance of nutrients to keep your nails healthy. The key here is to add nutrient-rich foods to your diet to improve the condition of your nails.

  • Fact is:  Your nails are made of keratin, a protein.  The proteins you eat are broken down into amino acids, which then circulate throughout your body, building and repairing muscles, organs and your hair and nails. 

What do nails really need?

Nails not only require trace elements, but key vitamins such as the B-complex, C, A, E (alpha tocopherol), D, calcium, zinc, iodine and iron.  When our nails are not receiving enough of these vitamins, or when our body cannot absorb them properly due to illness, stress or other factors, they will begin to become brittle, dry, weak and dull.
Which vitamin-rich foods should I be eating for healthy nails?

Eating balanced meals filled with fruits and vegetables, along with whole grains, free-range eggs, fish, seeds and nuts is an excellent way to ensure that your nails will get the nutrients they need.   By including the following fruits and vegetables in your daily diet your nails will be in tip top shape:  avocado, apples, grapes, asparagus, cucumbers, garlic, green leafy vegetables, celery, onions and sweet potatoes.  Additionally, a minimum of eight glasses of water a day will help to eliminate toxins in the body, thus allowing nutrients to do their job more efficiently.

Eating a balanced, low-fat, nutritious diet (meaning lots of fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains) is certainly an important factor in overall good health, but feeding the nail directly just isn’t feasible or effective in any way.

If you feel the need to supplement your diet with extra vitamins, look for a good multi-vitamin that contains all the essential nutrients for nail health. 

Just remember...... healthy, fresh foods are the best way to create a vibrant body that reflects itself in gleaming, strong and enviable nails.
We have all heard this before, yet there is a whole lot of truth in it:   You are what you eat.”    So, a healthy, well-balanced diet = healthy, strong nails! 
What do you think:  is your diet helping your nails?
Thanks for stopping by, Lisa M.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful! You ARE what you eat! Not only will your nails show it, but your skin, your energy level, your sleep patterns! You have hit the nail on the head, Lisa. There is no magic pill that will bring good health - a healthy diet is the best medicine!