Vitamin C. B-Complex. Zinc. Iron. What do these four vitamins have in common? If you are vitamin deficient in any of these four categories [as well as any vitamins that you should be taking as a part of your daily routine], you might have experienced a bit of brittleness and/or weakness in the general, over-all health of your nails. The basic characteristics of brittle, weak nails are of the following:
- Feeling of dryness
- Nails break, chip or split easily.
- Nails give a “sunken-in” appearance
- Nails curl around the fingertip
- Color changes and nail ridges
I have noticed a characteristic within myself that my nails have absolutely no lunula [the thin, which semicircle at the base of the nail growth also known as your “moons”]. Your nails grow from roots underneath the skin from the lunula. The group of cells produces keratin, the protein in your nails that ensures growth. Keratin is what makes up skin, hair and nails, and also forms a layer of protection to promote healthy growth. If your nails are brittle, crackled and discolored, as well as your cuticles being rough and dry to the appearance and to touch, this could signify a vitamin imbalance.
There are many causes of weak, brittle nails. It could signify an even more underlying health problem, and if this is the case, you would need to seek out medical expertise– I am not a doctor, and this blog is for more of cosmetic purposes. Hormone fluctuates and estrogen, especially when these levels are off, can cause many problems within the body, your nails being a major part of this. There are some treatable diseases that could be cause of concern, such as anemia [iron deficiency], poor circulation, infection, liver disease, and thyroid issues.
There are many things you can do to change this– and sometimes, an entire lifestyle commitment to change is needed to become healthier. I pride myself in being a relatively healthy person, but sometime, the unknown is the issue required to need that boost of fix. Almonds contain fatty acids that are shown to promote healthy nail growth. Eating as few as six almond daily can show significant, visible results. Eating a diet balanced in proteins, fats and vitamin C can improve the health of your nails and be extremely beneficial in your overall health. Stress can be an underlying cause of poor health as well, in which yoga and meditation can be a pretty healthy fix.
And make sure you drink plenty of water! It is recommended that women get at least 2.7 liters of water daily. This doesn’t just affect the nails, this affects your overall health and appearance, and it can take years off of your appearance just by replacing one soda or coffee beverage with a glass of water every single day.
Did you know that there are four very important vitamins that play a key role into the overall health and wellness of your nails?
Zinc is an overall important vitamin and aids in the health of your immune system and the growth of your nails overall. Try eating foods high in zinc content, such as oysters, wild rice, shiitake mushrooms, pumpkin seeds, wheat, lentils, cashews, chick peas, spelt, beef, and sunflower seeds, maple syrup, pecans, and crab to name a few.
I take iron every day because I actually do not eat red meat. If you do eat plenty of red meat, there should be no cause to concern. Iron is what promotes and produces healthy red blood cells. More than half of your body’s red blood cells are actually found in the hemoglobin, your blood. An iron deficiency can actually aid in brittle, spoon shaped nails that concave around instead of grow out The daily recommended value of iron is provided on this beneficial table below:
Luckily, there are plenty of foods rich in iron, whether you are a meat eater or not. Spinach, pumpkin seeds, masa, mung beans, chickpeas, lentils, cuttlefish, vicia faba, octopus, cocoa beans, semolina, cornmeal, cashews, rice, bagels, oysters, wheat, sunflower seeds, and potatoes are to name a few that you can consume to promote healthy iron levels.
Have you ever had a glass of orange juice and just instantly felt better after drinking it? Well, unless it was a screwdriver– not the best way of promoting your vitamins, through alcohol components. You only need 90 milligrams of Vitamin C daily as recommended, which isn’t too much at all. Some foods and drinks that you can consume full of Vitamin C content would be kale, kiwi, chilies, broccoli, bell peppers, Brussels sprouts, an array of fruits, oranges, and of course orange juice. Consuming one eight-ounce glass of orange juice gives your daily recommended value of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is a well-known vitamin that cannot be produced by the body, and must be had through food and beverage. A vitamin C deficiency can produce slow results of hair and nails, hair breakage, and nail brittleness. Vitamin C also is the key component in the production of collagen, which not only is the substance that produces fingernails, but it also promotes elasticity in skin, such as retinol.
And of course last, but not least, is your B vitamins. Biotin [also known as Vitamin H]. This vitamin is essential for healthy nails, and a deficiency can lead to dry, brittle, crumbling unhealthy nails. So in order to skip out on this deficiency, make sure you eat plenty of quality whole grains, egg yolk, and soy beans, carrots, swiss chard, almonds, walnuts, goat milk, cow milk, berries, fruits, halibut fish, and an array of vegetables such as onion, cucumber and cauliflower.
There are plenty of things one can do to fix the dry, cracking, brittle nails that are a well-known cause of vitamin deficiency. But vitamins aren’t just good for nails, they are good to promote overall health of the body and the immune system. It will promote a longer life span, and even has the power to beat the signs of an aging body. There is always something you can do to change– you just have to have the willpower to do so.