5+ super foods for stronger and healthier nails
Nails and hair are the first to be cut off direct essential nutrients when on diet. If you want fabulous, strong hair and nails it is essential to maintain a balanced diet and more importantly eat enough.
When you don't eat enough food, your body distributes nutrients where needed the most. Spoiler alert; that's not your hair or nails. Nutritious food can also help grow your nails faster, transform your nails from brittle to healthy and strong.
Three essential vitamins and proteins will help grow your nails longer and stronger without needing to reach for supplements or special treatments.
1. BIOTIN RICH FOODS
Keratin is a basic protein that makes up your hair, skin, and nails. Biotin is the magic ingredient that improves your keratin levels. Biotin deficiencies are rare, there is plenty of biotin in everyday pantry essentials like egg yolks, bananas, mushrooms, whole grains, nuts, organ meats (liver, kidney). Here are our favorites, with the highest sources:
Eggs are a multi-tasker we all love. They are a good source of protein, Vitamin A. A single cooked egg contains 10 mcg of biotin per serving.
Cauliflower pizza or rice? (it can't replace the real thing obviously) But you might want to give it a try anyway. One cup of cauliflower has up to 4 mcg of biotin.
Sweet potatoes are A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Sweet potatoes taste great, are healthy, plus they help strengthen your nails. They are full of vitamin A that helps your nails form to get that sleek naturally shiny finish. A half-cup of cooked sweet potato contains 2.4 mcg of biotin.
Snack on almonds. A quarter cup of almonds has 1.5 mcg biotin per serving.
ALERT!!! Food processing can decrease the active levels of biotin in food, raw or less-processed meals are richer in active biotin.
2. VITAMIN C RICH FOODS
Collagen peptides can help maintain good skin health but also boost the growth of your nails. But how do you boost the production of collagen? Vitamin C is your new bestie. Citrus is famous for its high level of vitamin C, however, we have a better and sweeter favorite coming up - Strawberry.
One cup of strawberries contains more vitamin C (89mg) than an orange (51mg) and they are certainly sweeter to snack on.
Toss a cup of raw kale in your salad mix. A single cup of kale will serve you 80 mg of vitamin C. Kale is also rich in vitamin K, carotenoids lutein, and zeaxanthin.
Rose hips are packed with vitamin C. Approximately six rose hips contain 119 mg of vitamin C.
A single kiwi contains 71 mg of vitamin C - it's a great pick-me-up snack in the afternoon.
3. PROTEIN-RICH FOOD
We need to bust a myth here. Nails are made of protein, therefore there is a belief that consuming protein will promote nail growth, however this is not the protein directly that aid nail growth, rather is a special amino acid called collagen peptide.
To increase the amount of the-good-protein in your diet, choose eggs, chicken, and fish. Vegetarian and vegan sources of amino acids include lentils, peanuts, nuts, and dairy products, such as cheese and milk.
So this is how you can naturally help to promote the strength and health of your nails. It's a journey and for some certainly, a total lifestyle change as one healthy meal won't do it.
In summary; natural sources of Biotin and Vitamin C are your new besties. Remember, eating wholesome and enough is key for your body to spare extra nutrients to promote nail strength and growth.
Before starting any new diet please check with your doctor and clear any diet changes with them before beginning. We are NOT doctors, nutritionists, or registered dietitians. We do not claim to help cure any condition or disease. We do not provide medical aid or nutrition advice for the purpose of health or disease.