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Eat well and improve nail health

Every day, our fingernails get put through their paces. From playing with the kids to computer work, to doing the shopping, nails can split, crack, or break very easily. So how do we keep them strong and healthy, and reduce the risk of breakage? While there are a number of remedies out there, the most effective preventative measure may actually be a good diet, including plenty of the following...

Vitamin B7

Vitamin B7 is also known as ‘biotin’, and interestingly it’s a vitamin that has traditionally been used in veterinary science to address defects in horses hooves. Scientists figured that if it could work for horses, it could work for humans, too, and it does! Studies have found a 90% success rate in treating brittle fingernails orally with biotin, which is found in green vegetables, grains, and in food supplements.

Iron

Fingernails naturally change as we get older, including alterations in colour, thickness, surface texture, growth rate, and so on. What’s interesting is that the composition of the nail also changes, with a much lower iron content. Adding more iron to the diet could be a good way to maintain good nail health for longer, so look to add more meats, beans, dried fruits, and some multivitamins with iron to your diet.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is very good for maintaining healthy skin cells, which makes it an excellent choice for people wanting to grow strong, thick nails. Vitamin D is actually one of the most popular forms of treatment for nail disease, and that’s because it targets infections at the nail bed, between the nail and the skin. This can help to prevent diseases from spreading further, and it's especially good for treating nail psoriasis.

Fat

It’s not just the hair and skin that need to be moisturised; it’s the nails, too. Hydration is key to reducing the risk of brittleness, so it’s important to include some healthy fats in the diet. Unsalted nuts, avocados, oily fish like salmon, and olive and coconut oils are all good choices. However, if you don’t enjoy consuming fats, then you can meet your RDA through cod liver oil capsules, which are widely available.

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