Dry, brittle, weak nails; ridges, dents and discolouration… we all experience them at some point. And, while it’s frustrating when our nails look unsightly, it’s also concerning when you consider that nail health is an indicator of overall health; demonstrating a lack of key nutrients in our diet.
Worry not. You can support your pursuit of stronger, longer and healthier nails (and, with it, more optimal overall health) with some simple – and tasty – food selections. Here are our favourites.
1. Protein power
Nails are made of a fibrous structural protein called keratin and, while keratin may be ‘dead’, its production is key to maintaining strong nails. Protein is, therefore, our first port of call for keeping nails strong, due to its essential role in boosting keratin production. As a vegan-friendly brand, we advocate sourcing your protein from tofu, lentils, legumes and chickpeas.
2. As strong as iron
Iron is vital to helping our blood transport oxygen to every cell in our body… including our nails. And if you’re starting to experience vertical ridges, concave or brittle nails, deficient iron is the most likely cause. Prime plant-based sources of iron include kale, spinach, broccoli, beans, peanuts and seeds. To boost their absorption, pair up with Vitamin C-rich foods like bell peppers, tomatoes, oranges and strawberries.
3. Mineral magic
Weak nails and vertical ridges can also be signs we’re lacking key minerals such as magnesium, zinc, manganese and copper. Our advice? Tuck into whole grain cereal for breakfast, add whole wheat, quinoa or black beans to your lunch and dinner choices, plus seek out healthy snacks in the form of edamame beans, almonds and sunflower seeds.
4. Boost Biotin
B vitamins are well known for the benefits they offer nails (as well as skin and hair); helping create red blood cells, which carry oxygen and nutrients to the nail bed. One particular B-vitamin, however, Biotin – also called Vitamin B7 – is essential for healthy nail growth. Known as a powerhouse for nail health, Biotin helps promote healthy cell growth and aid the metabolism of protein-building amino acids. Keep your Biotin levels up by eating yoghurt, avocado, brown rice, sweet potato and flaxseeds.
5. Moisture marvel
Dry, brittle or peeling nails are a clear sign your nails aren’t getting the moisture they need. Enter Omega-3 fatty acids – nourishing and lubricating, these help maintain the smooth, shiny appearance of healthy nails. To enhance Omega-3 levels, tuck in to tofu, chai seeds and flaxseeds.
While it may not be a food, water plays such a vital role in protecting nail health that it’s important we include it here. Top-up the hydration our body loses each day in its natural processes and keep everything functioning at its healthy best by drinking around 8 glasses or at least 1.5 litres of water.
A healthy diet works even better alongside some premium nail care… Smoothing, nourishing and strengthening, our award-winning Acai Nail Elixir is a perfect nailcare partner thanks to its fortified blend of Argan and Baobab oils alongside antioxidant Acai Berry, Vitamin E and Amino Acids. Explore it in detail and browse our complete range of outstanding targeted nail treatments in our Apothecary collection here.