Can you please tell me what is missing from my diet as my nails are a disater. What can I eat to help them?
Thanks for your email.
Healthy nails, hair and skin are a good indicator of a healthy body, so any issues can indicate that the balance of nutrition in the body isn't quite right. It depends what issues you're having with your nails but the list below shows some of the nutrients that might be lacking if you're having specific problems:-
Brittle, weak and dry - Calcium, Vitamin A
White spots - Iron, Zinc
Cracking and breaking - Protein, Iron
White lines - Zinc, Protein
Curved nail end and darkening- Vitamin B12
Reddish-brown spots -Folic acid, Protein and Vitamin C
As with any nutrient deficiency, the best place to get the nutrients is from food. It's important to eat an overall healthy and balanced diet including foods from all the main food groups. In particular make sure you choose food from the following groups to get a good amount of nutrients related to healthy nails including:-
- Milk and dairy products are good sources of protein, calcium, zinc and vitamin B12, and can help keep your nails strong.
- Include lean meat, fish and chicken in your diet to ensure adequate intake of proteins, iron and zinc. Another good protein-rich food for healthy nails is eggs which are rich in vitamin B12 and folic acid.
- Enrich your diet with legumes (lentils, dried beans etc), which are high in fibre and provides you with protein, zinc, iron and folic acid reducing the risk of your nails from cracking and developing white spots.
- Increase your intake of green leafy vegetables (spinach, broccoli etc), which are good sources of calcium, folic acid and vitamin A.
- A daily intake of citrus fruits and vegetables (green pepper, cabbage etc), which are rich in vitamin C are helpful if you are having reddish-brown spots on your nails.
- Strong nails also need vitamin A that is mainly found in yellow or orange vegetables like carrots.
- Biotin is also an essential nail-building material that is found in liver, meats, milk, egg yolk and most vegetables.
- Don't forget to drink enough water (8 glasses a day) to keep your body and your nails completely hydrated.
I hope this helps. Please don't hesitate to get back in touch should you have any further questions.
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