Effects of Nutrition on Nails

Nails need protein to stay strong and hard. Hard nails grow longer and prettier. When nails are brittle, they reach a certain length and then break off. Getting the right types of protein ensure that you have good-looking nails but also a healthier diet. Choose lean cuts of meat and also nuts, beans and legumes.

Nails also need zinc. If you have zinc deficiency, it can show up in your nails as white spots. Increasing your zinc intake will help to fight the white spots and also help new nail cells to grow. Zinc can come from shellfish. Eat more shrimp if you want an easy way to combat the problem.

Zinc is also found in nuts. As a snack, try eating some almonds or unsalted peanuts. To make it even easier, try a bit of flaxseed or bran in your yogurt or on your salad for an extra crunch of goodness.

Iron is another mineral that your body really needs. Many women are iron deficient, especially if they are in their menstruating years. Increase that intake by eating lean red meat at least twice a week. Dark leafy vegetables also contain iron. Steam them or eat them washed and raw to get the most nutritional value. Iron can keep your nails straight and thick.

Moisturize your nails. Vitamin E oil rubbed into the nail, cuticles and the surrounding skin can keep them looking well nourished on the outside. Cracks and splits are less common in nails that are not dry all the time. Vitamin E can be taken internally by eating vegetables and nuts.

An overall well-rounded diet will keep the nails growing strong and prevent problems with them. Eat five fruits and vegetables a day. Include superfoods that contain many of the nutrients that a healthy body needs: broccoli, yogurt, salmon, spinach, pumpkin, blueberries and oats - to name a few. Combine as many of these foods as you can into each meal.