Key Nutrients for Nail Health
Your nails say more about you than just which OPI shade is your fave at the moment. When the Nail Lacquer, Powder Perfection, Infinite Shine, or GelColor comes off, you can learn a lot about your overall health from looking at the state of your nails underneath.
Brittleness, ridges, and discoloration could all be signs trying to tell you that your body is in need of more essential vitamins and nutrients.
Not sure which healthy foods and supplements are best for nail health? No biggie! You're in the right place.
If you're looking for a supplement to boost your nail health, biotin is an easy choice. It's like the magic potion for nail and hair growth due to its B7 vitamin profile.
While most people don't technically have a biotin "deficiency," it's a great supplement to add to the mix if you want to see your nails growing stronger and stronger between each salon visit.
According to Healthline.com, "while there is no Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for biotin, the Adequate Intake (AI) recommendation for adults has been set at 30 mcg per day."
Biotin supplements are widely available and easy to find. In fact, you can even find biotin in your fridge! Nuts and seeds, egg yolk, salmon, avocado, sweet potatoes, and cauliflower are all foods that are naturally rich in Biotin. Yum.
Another key nutrient for your nails to look their best is iron. If you notice vertical lines or ridges in your nails, it could be a sign that you need more iron in your diet to boost the flow of oxygen to your nails.
Healthline.com informs, "Iron is needed to provide your cells with adequate oxygen, which, in turn, is necessary for healthy nails."
Try out an iron supplement for at least one month to see if you notice an improvement in the strength and smoothness of your nails. If you're sensitive to iron supplements (some people are), then opt for boosting your intake of iron-rich foods such as animal protein, leafy greens (the darker the better), beans, nuts, and seeds.
While we're on the topic of iron, boosting your intake of B12 vitamins can help your body absorb iron more easily. Think of iron and B12 as the ultimate power couple for your nails. Magnesium, zinc and vitamin C are also power players when it comes to nail health, and your health overall!
Many people unknowingly lack the recommended amount of magnesium in their daily diets, so a supplement is a great choice to boost your intake. You can also add in more leafy greens, nuts, and black beans to your diet.
If you're lacking zinc, you might notice white spots on your nails. According to healthline.com, "Zinc will support new cells being regenerated to your nails which should cause the white spots to disappear."
Vitamin C is the golden ticket to healthy nails AND skin because it supports collagen production. Collagen keeps your skin looking youthful and your nails growing strong. Without the proper amount of vitamin C, however, your body may be struggling to produce the collagen it needs to keep you looking and feeling your best.
Another positive about the magnesium, zinc, and vitamin C trio is that they can often be found together in multi-vitamin supplements. Win, win!
If your nails are brittle, flakey, and dry, it's time to step your omega-3 game up. Omega-3 fatty acids lubricate your nails leaving them feeling strong and looking nice and shiny. Your nail tech will be so impressed.
Want to add in omegas from food sources? Reach for fatty fish such as sardines, salmon, and mackerel. Flaxseed is another great source of omegas along with eggs, chia seeds, and walnuts.
When all else fails, if you're unsure of which mineral to add to your diet for ultimate nail health, start with protein.
Protein from both animal and plant sources can work wonders for strengthening your nails. It also supports with making your nails more resilient and reducing the effects of the daily stresses that we put on them.
Now you have a complete tool-kit to go back to when you're looking for ways to keep your nails looking strong and healthy. So, the next time your nail tech removes your GelColor, or you're getting ready for an at-home manicure, be sure to take a look at your nails. They'll tell you what they need!
Disclaimer: OPI is not a medical professional. Always check with your physician before starting a new vitamin regiment.