The Best Foods for Healthy Nails: A Nutritionist’s Guide

1. Protein-rich Foods

Protein is an essential macronutrient for the growth and repair of tissues, including nails. Protein helps create keratin, a structural protein found in hair, skin and nails that provides strength and flexibility.

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Eating adequate amounts of protein can help to keep your nails looking healthy and strong as well as prevent them from becoming brittle or weak. Some great sources of dietary protein include chicken, fish, eggs, beans (such as chickpeas), lentils, almonds, walnuts and other nuts.

In particular, biotin-rich foods such as eggs (especially egg yolks) and almonds have been known to provide additional benefits for nail health due to their high content of this important vitamin. Biotin helps metabolize amino acids which are necessary building blocks for healthy nail growth so having enough biotin in your diet is key!

2. Iron-rich Foods

Iron is an essential nutrient for healthy nails, as it helps transport oxygen to the cells that make up your nail beds. Animal sources of iron such as red meat (e.g. , beef, pork, lamb) and poultry (e.g. , chicken, turkey) are great options if you eat these foods in moderation.

Other excellent sources of iron include beans (such as black beans or kidney beans), and leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale. For vegetarians or vegans who don’t eat animal products – fear not!

You can still get enough iron through plant-based sources such as tofu, legumes, nuts/seeds and fortified grains like oatmeal with added iron content. Additionally, pairing a vitamin C rich food along with your meal will help increase absorption of non-heme iron found in plants; for instance try adding some orange slices to a bean salad or bell peppers to your stir fry dish!

3. Zinc-rich Foods

Zinc plays an important role in the production of collagen, which gives nails their strength and flexibility. Eating foods rich in zinc can help to ensure your nails stay healthy and strong.

Good sources of zinc include shellfish such as oysters, crab, shrimp, and lobster; lean beef; whole grains like wheat germ, oats, quinoa; legumes such as beans and lentils; nuts like almonds and cashews; seeds including pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. Vegetarians or vegans can get enough zinc from plant-based sources to meet their daily needs with a balanced diet.

4. Vitamin C-rich Foods

Vitamin C is a powerful nutrient that helps the body in numerous ways. It aids with collagen production which helps maintain healthy nail beds and cuticles, as well as helping our bodies absorb iron, an essential mineral for strong and healthy nails.

Some of the best sources of vitamin C are oranges, strawberries, kiwi fruit and bell peppers – all great additions to your diet if you want to improve the health of your nails! Vitamin C also has many other benefits including boosting immunity and aiding skin health.

So make sure to get plenty of this vital nutrient in your daily diet!

5. Vitamin D-rich Foods

Vitamin D plays an important role in helping the body absorb calcium, which is essential for healthy nails. You can get your daily dose of vitamin D from a variety of sources such as fatty fish like salmon or mackerel, eggs, and fortified milk.

You can also reap the benefits of vitamin D through natural sunlight exposure. Make sure to make time each day to go outside and soak up some rays!

Not only will it give you a boost of energy, but it will help maintain strong nails too!

6. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for healthy nails. They help keep the nails strong and prevent them from becoming dry and brittle, which can lead to cracking or splitting.

Additionally, omega-3s have a range of other health benefits such as reducing inflammation and supporting brain health. The best sources of omega-3s are fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines or anchovies; plant sources such as flaxseeds or chia seeds; walnuts; soybeans; pumpkin seeds; and fortified foods like eggs.

Aim for at least two servings per week of these healthy fats in order to reap their full benefits for your nails and overall wellbeing.

7. Hydration

Water is essential for keeping your nails healthy and strong. Aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day, but if you exercise frequently or live in a hot climate, you may need more than that.

In addition to plain water, electrolyte-rich drinks like coconut water or sports drinks can help replenish any lost electrolytes and aid in hydration. It’s important to note that these drinks should be consumed in moderation as they are often high in sugar content.

Finally, remember to avoid diuretics such as caffeine which can encourage dehydration and make it harder for your body to absorb vital nutrients necessary for nail health.