It is important to take vitamins for nails, skin, and hair because as part of the body, they can also help indicate our state of well-being. Maintaining the health of your nails involves getting the right nourishment and protecting them from damage or infection. It does not only involve getting regular manicures, but also consuming a balanced diet and even taking vitamins for nails.
Have you thought of using nutritional supplements to prevent your nails from chipping, breaking, or peeling? Many vitamins in pharmacies and grocery stores shelf promise to bring strong, healthy nails, but which of them really work? Here we shall take a look at the specific nutrients which improve nail health.
Vital Vitamins for Nails
To be able to obtain the right vitamins for nails, it is important to include a variety of nutritious foods in the diet, since there is no one single food that provides all nutrients to the body.
Vitamin A or retinol is essential to the synthesis of a protein called keratin in your body. It is necessary to maintain the integrity and strength of your nails, avoid dryness, as well as in assisting in nail growth. Important food sources of vitamin A include:
- Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt
- Green vegetables
- Wheat germ
Vitamin B group helps maintain the texture of your nails. They also protect them from fungal and bacterial infections. Deficiency of B vitamin results in the appearance of vertical and horizontal ridges on your nails and increases fragility. Vitamin B12 deficiency leads to darkened nails and rounded or curved nail tips. Another type of vitamin B called biotin, is important for nail growth and prevents nails from splitting. Important food sources of vitamin B include:
- Dairy products
- Seeds and nuts
Vitamin C or ascorbic acid promotes nail hydration. Lack of this vitamin causes hangnails, as well as dry, dull nails. Tissues around the nails may also swell up. Aside from citrus fruits that are rich in vitamin C, there are other foods that are good sources of vitamin C, such as:
- Green pepper
Vitamin D aids in regulating keratin production. In addition, it increases strength of nails and prevents them from peeling. Some great food sources of D vitamins include:
- Cereals such as corn flakes
- Mashed potatoes
- Dairy products
- Leafy green vegetables
- Ice cream
- Organ meats (liver, kidneys)
Vitamin E helps improve nail texture and strength. Foods rich in this vitamin include:
- Brussels sprouts
- Whole grain products
- Sunflower oil
- Olive oil
Vitamin K is important to prevent nail cracking and splitting. Food sources rich in vitamin K are:
- Brussels sprouts
- Egg yolk
- Iceberg lettuce
- Whole grain
Other Vital Nutrients for Nails
Aside from vitamins, there are other nutrients that improve nail health:
Protein is essential for nails because nails are made up of keratin (a protein), which is found
abundantly in the skin and hair. Increase your protein intake if you notice white nail bands and brittle nails. Good dietary protein sources include eggs, salmon, turkey and chicken. Vegetarians' food choices include tofu, quinoa, brewer's yeast, nuts, algae, and nut butters.
Fruits and vegetables contain essential amino acids, which are important building blocks for protein. Adding protein powder to smoothies is another option to increase protein intake.
Minerals are also important to the nails:
- Iron and or zinc deficiency leads to the appearance of white crescents where nails meets the cuticle. Foods that are naturally rich in minerals include whole grains, pumpkin seeds, dried beans, green vegetables, meat, and organ meats like liver and kidney. Zinc-rich foods also include cashew, chicken, yogurt, milk, crabs, and boiled peas.
- Calcium is important for strong nails. Nails become fragile with calcium deficiency so be sure to eat more cheese, buttermilk, figs, milk, and almonds.
- Iodine, which may be found in iodized salt, saltwater fish and seafood, helps strengthen nails.
- Sulphur is found in foods such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli, onions, and cabbage help fortify your nails.