5 Foods for Optimum Nail Health

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While each of these foods will help to promote nail health, they are replaceable to a certain degree. Spinach can be swapped with any dark green - the darker the better - and salmon can be swapped with any other fatty fish. This list serves as a base towards you making better dietary decisions about your nail health.

When winter rolls around, I do a full body check in an attempt to remind myself what body parts will likely succumb to the effects of cold, dry air. The first victims are usually my hair and nails – they go brittle if left unchecked. My nails, especially, are harder for me to take care of, because I am constantly using my hands and it’s not like I can hide them under a hat or keep them nourished with the proper conditioners around the clock. So, I figure the best way to tackle my brittle nail woes is from the inside out – with a diet full of foods that offer my best chance of defense against the winter elements.

Here are 5 foods that do the trick for me and will certainly help you keep your nails fab.

1. Spinach

Spinach is rich in folate, a B vitamin that is essential in making red blood cells, synthesizing and repairing DNA and regulating cell metabolism. Because folate is important for cell division and replacement, the vitamin helps to repair and restore dull nails, as well as skin and hair. It is recommended to take in at least 400 micrograms of folate per day. Dark leafy greens such as spinach are full of folate. Lightly cook the greens to breakdown and release the folate within. Raw spinach offers about 48 micrograms per cup.

2. Flaxseeds

Dull, flaky nails could also benefit from essential fatty acids. Nail quality has shown to improve with the administration of increased essential fatty acids in the diet. The fats nourish and heal nails so that they stay smooth, shiny and beautiful.

3. Salmon

Keratin is a hard protein that forms the structure of hair, nails and epithelial cells in the outermost layers of the skin. Protein is essential in building keratin in strong nails, so be sure to consume protein, such as salmon, at least once per week to fulfill your structural needs. Vegetarian high-protein sources include beans, nuts, legumes and some grains.

4. Eggs

Eggs contain biotin, otherwise known as vitamin B7 or vitamin H. The body uses biotin to produce energy and it is crucial for healthy nails, skin and hair. The RDA of biotin is 30 micrograms per day and one boiled egg will offer 25 micrograms.

5. Water

The best for last! Water is pretty basic, but many of us overlook it. Dehydration affects every system in you body, even nails. Drink 6-8 glasses of water per day and enjoy high water-containing fruits and vegetables to stay hydrated.

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Photo Credit: oh sarah rose

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