Top 5 Nutrients for Healthy, Beautiful Nails

September 16, 2018 | Wellness Resources

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 Top 5 Nutrients for Healthy, Beautiful Nails
Take a look at your nails. Do you have breaking nails, ridges, or white spots? Do you like what you see? Fingernails require a variety of nutrients to grow out strong, smooth, and healthy. Like hair, your nails are considered “non-essential” by the body are a good reflection of structural health.

Your fingernails are influenced by your nutritional status, medications you take, nail trauma, chronic disease, even normal, healthy aging. If you want long, strong, smooth nails you will want to make sure that you get enough of these essential nutrients needed for structural health and nail growth:

1. Zinc – Zinc is involved with the process of growth and division of cells. As a result, rapidly dividing cells like the skin, digestive system and nails are often considered good indicators for zinc status. Zinc is also required for the folding and function of many proteins, which is important for growing healthy nails which are made up of an abundance of protein. If you want your nails to grow out smooth and strong then be sure your zinc status is up to date. Sweating, alcohol use, and caffeine consumption use up zinc stores. White spots on the nails also indicate a need for zinc.

2. Sulfur – MSM Sulfur has been nicknamed the “beauty mineral” because it is a major component of the hair, skin, and nails. MSM sulfur works synergistically with zinc to form the protein keratin. Sulfur can help keep nails strong and prevent chipping or breaking. Sulfur is also highly concentrated at the hair follicles and can help strengthen hair.

3. Iron – Iron helps keep red blood cells healthy, which carry oxygen to all the cells of your body. Your nails must get enough oxygen to form perfectly, so imperfections might indicate a deficiency of iron or possibly even anemia. Nutritionists often refer to “spoon nails”, where the nails form with a spoon-like curve, a classic sign of iron-deficiency anemia. Vertical ridges in the fingernails, shortness of breath, or muscle fatigue also indicate a need for more iron. We recommend supplementing with iron bisglycinate, a highly absorbable iron that is easy on the stomach.

4. Collagen Peptides – Nails are primarily made up of a hard protein called keratin. As a result, if you want beautiful nails you will need to keep up your intake of protein. One of the best protein choices for your nails is collagen protein which offers additional benefits to your nails, skin, and hair. Collagen peptides help build your own collagen (another protein that makes up your nails) and strengthen your nails from within.

5. B vitamins – Several B vitamins promote the health of your nails. Biotin, also known as B7, plays essential roles in nail growth and strength. Plus, biotin works together with B12 and folate to support healthy cell growth. Folate and vitamin B12 work together with iron to make healthy red blood cells and carry oxygen to nails. Remember that B vitamins are water-soluble and easily used up and flushed out by stress, a poor diet, alcohol and caffeine intake, and more. Make sure you get enough every day.

Also ensure that your digestive system is working optimally. This will mean you have better nutrient absorption and healthier nails. Have you ever heard the saying, “you are what you eat”? The saying should really be, “you are what you absorb”.

Having an adequate amount of digestive enzymes is an essential part of digestion and nutrient absorption. Furthermore, essential fingernail nutrients like B12, zinc, and iron require adequate stomach acid to be properly digested and absorbed for use by the body. Unfortunately, our digestive power declines along with these stomach acid and digestive enzymes naturally decline with the aging process and when under stress. By mid-life, stomach acid is often depressed and insufficient. Elderly individuals often experience significant or complete loss of stomach acid production.

Healthy stomach acid production depends on having adequate zinc. Basic digestion tools like digestive enzymes, probiotics, dietary fiber, glutamine, and plenty of antioxidants from fruits and vegetables can help to support digestion and ensure you are absorbing all of the important nutrients needed to support healthy nails.

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