Even if you are not the kind to get manicures or pedicures on a regular basis or to put much thought into the appearance of your nails, your nail health is important. Much like your hair or your skin, nails can be a reflection of your body’s inner health and when they are brittle, dry, and become weak, that could mean your body is lacking some serious nutrients it needs to promote overall health.

 

There are a variety of foods you can rely on as sources of vitamins, for stronger, healthier nails. Read on to see four of the best vitamins to improve your nails and your body’s overall health!

  

normalcooking.com

normalcooking.com

Protein

Nails are made up of hardened layers of keratin — a kind of protein — so it would make sense that consuming more protein will contribute to healthy nail growth and stronger nails. If you’re not getting enough protein in your regular diet, try to increase your intake of protein through consumption of animal products like chicken, beef, and eggs, or take advantage of meatless sources of protein like nuts.

 

 

fullcircle.com

fullcircle.com

Iron

An iron deficiency can lead to weak, brittle nails. This is because low levels of iron in your body may inhibit its ability to carry oxygen throughout your system, and this in turn causes an inability to promote healthy nail growth. An iron deficiency may also impact the shape of your nail, leading to flat or upturned nails. To make sure your body is getting enough iron, turn to foods like chicken, red meat, and different kinds of fish like salmon and tuna. You can also take advantage of the many iron-rich vegetables, including spinach, sweet potatoes, broccoli, or peas.

 

health.com

health.com

Zinc

A healthy level of zinc is important to promote healthy growth and to keep your nails from weakening. When you start seeing white spots on your nails, this may be a sign that your body is lacking the proper level of zinc it needs to promote healthy nail growth. Your best options when it comes to increasing your intake of zinc are poultry, red meat, and some seafood like oysters. Grains may also provide your body with zinc, but it’s important to focus on food sources that can be readily used by your body, such as oats.

 

nomnompaleo.com

nomnompaleo.com

Biotin

While experiencing a serious deficiency in biotin is rare, giving your body extra doses of the vitamin may be effective in making your nails thicker and reducing their tendency to break or split. Many people looking to increase their biotin intake turn to biotin supplements, but there are several foods you can eat to increase your intake naturally as well. Eggs, and more specifically egg yolks, are high in biotin, and other good sources include mushrooms, avocados, cauliflower, and soybeans.

 

Do you focus on your nail health as much as you do on other aspects of your health? Share your thoughts in the comments below or tweet me @tamarahoumi