Did you know that the health of your nails has everything to do with the health of your bones? That's right… The teachings of Ayurveda say our nails are a by-product of the bones (asthi dhatu). This means that the health of your nails can tell you a lot about the condition of your bones. If your nails are brittle, you can bet your bones are brittle too.
Now, let's look at how to grow strong fingernails (and bones) using diet and lifestyle.
How To Grow Strong Fingernails
Eat More Nail Friendly Foods
To grow strong, healthy nails eat more of these foods:
Vitamin D also works with calcium and bone health. Another important nutrient found in eggs is a protein that is highly digestible, unlike that of meat, and the body easily takes it up.
Eggs are also an excellent source of biotin, iron, vitamins A, B, and E. According to WebMD Biotin is particularly useful for increasing the thickness of fingernails, and preventing them from becoming brittle, thus cracking and splitting.
Additionally, eggs are a source of iodine, which promotes the healthy function of the thyroid. Thyroid issues, whether under or overactive, can result in excessive bone loss. While sulfur causes rotten eggs to smell, the sulfur in fresh eggs is another nutrient that is beneficial to the strength of your hair and fingernails.
As mentioned above, Biotin is a vitamin crucial to the strength and integrity of fingernail health. Beans are also rich in this vitamin. The National Institutes of Health points to a Swiss study where participants with brittle nails were given a daily dose of biotin over six months. This was enough to increase nail thickness by 25%.
Lima beans, which do not contain biotin, are alkalizing beans. They contain vitamin K, calcium, zinc, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, the B complex vitamins, and copper. This makes it lima beans a great option for strengthening nails, despite the lack of biotin.
Peas are high in protein, which is excellent for the strength and growth rate of fingernails. Additionally, peas are great sources of vitamin C and beta-carotene. Packed with vitamins K, the B complex, and omega 3 fatty acids, green peas are great for bone health.
Whether you snack on them on their own, of add them to your casseroles or baked goods, sunflower seeds are chockfull of nutrients. Magnesium is plentiful, and an excellent source of strong bones. They also contain copper and manganese, zinc, and vitamins B6 and E. Besides strengthening bones, the vitamin E found in sunflower seeds is an effective way to protect you from dementia.
Nutrition plays a vital role in your bodily functions; just look at some of the nail issues that can come as the result of a vitamin deficiency.
- Calcium and Vitamin A – These deficiencies result in nails that are dry, weak, and brittle.
- Iron and Zinc – Do you have white spots on your fingernails? Up your iron and zinc intake.
- Iron and Protein – Are your nails breaking or cracking? It could be a protein and an iron issue.
- Zinc and Protein – If you have white lines on your fingernails, then you may have zinc and/or protein deficiency.
- Vitamin B12 – A vitamin B12 deficiency can result in the darkening of nails, as well as the ends of nails curving.
- Vitamin C – Protein, and Folic Acid. Reddish and brown spots on your nails may be a sign of these deficiencies.
Lifestyle Remedies To Strengthen Nails
- Massage cuticles and fingernails with olive, coconut, or almond oil to keep them strong and shiny.
- Moisturize your cuticle area to prevent dry and cracking skin.
- Use a nail polish remover with hydrating oils like lavender or aloe-vera to neutralize drying effects of acetone or choose an acetone-free remover
- Up your vitamin B9 (folic acid) intake to boost nail strength and prevent peeling