Health and nutrition experts share how to keep your manicure strong and intact this spring by ensuring your body has the best vitamins for nails.
Best Vitamins for Nails
The health and appearance of your nails can be a greater indicator of your health at large. If you have weak and brittle nails, it might be due to a vitamin or mineral deficiency. Here are some of the best vitamins for nails that HUM experts recommend.
Biotin is one of the most popular vitamins for strong nails. According to Dr. Shilpi, an integrative medical physician, “Biotin, or B7, works by acting as an enzyme or catalyst to help the reaction of producing amino acids. When these are produced, proteins can be created and ultimately this helps to generate new, healthy hair and nails.”
A lack of fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin D is a common cause of cracked nails. Unfortunately, an estimated billion people across the world deal with a vitamin-D deficiency. Thus, ensuring you get enough of this sunshine vitamin can be helpful for maintaining your manicure. Aside from spending some time in the sun, registered dietitian Jess Nelson, RDN recommends choosing food products fortified with vitamin D like eggs, milk, yogurt, and fatty fishes.
Another reason vitamin D is important for maintaining your nails is that it’s an essential mineral for your body’s ability to absorb and monitor calcium in the blood. This mineral is also beneficial for healthy nails, so Jess suggests looking for foods rich in calcium such as cow’s milk, fortified dairy-free milk beverages, low-fat Greek yogurt, and low-fat natural cheeses.
Fingernails are made up of a protein called keratin, which protects the underlying tissue. An iron deficiency can cause inadequate blood flow that deprives your nail beds of oxygen. As a result, this scenario can lead to weak cuticles and and brittle nails. For iron levels to support the growth of healthy strong nails, Jess recommends good-quality protein sources that offer a good amount of iron. Opt for soy milk, lean beef, oatmeal, fortified cereals, and legumes.
Omega-3 fatty acids are an essential nutrient to nourish and hydrate your body from within. According to Jess, “Your nails are just an extension of your skin. Choose foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids to help keep the nail bed moisturized.” For omega-3s, incorporate fish, vegetable oils, flaxseeds, and walnuts into your diet.