Our nails are primarily composed of keratin, a very hard protein. They are very demanding when it comes to the quality of nutrients you feed your body: even the slightest deficiency can lead to dry brittle nails that split and flake, as when nutrients are in short supply essential organs have priority and our nails come last.
What beauty food actives do nails need?
- Vitamin A&B Complex -especially B Vitamin Biotin & Folate, the latter stimulates regrowth of cells for strong nails.
- Protein: as our nails are composed of it, white lines across canbe a sign of deficiency as well as cracking and breaking
- Essential trace mineral:
silicon/silica - strengthens connective tissues in nails
calcium - deficiency weakens nails and leads to brittle, dry nails
zinc - deficiency can cause white spots or lines
iron - without your cells cannot function properly. Deficiency can cause white spots and cracking or breaking.
What foods should I eat?
- Essential Fatty Acids for smoothness.
The stars: raw carrots, broccoli, brazil nuts, eggs, oily fish and brown rice
1. Protein: fatty/rich fish, meat, nuts and grains (especially quinoa) and eggs for their high content in all essential amino acids, omega 3 fatty, calcium, iron & zinc.
2. Antioxidant, enzyme and mineral rich raw fruit & vegetables: in particular raw carrots, broccoli, cabbage and onions are rich in calcium and sulphur. Asparagus, lettuce & cucumber rich in Silica and don't forget most brightly orange and red coloured veges are high in vitamin A
3. Whole cereals and pulses rich in B Complex vitamins, silicon and zinc, particularly barley, brown rice and soya.
4. Essential fatty acid and mineral rich nuts - especially brazil nuts, pine nuts and sesame seeds.
What else matters?
Nail don't like constantly being wet - so wear gloves when washing up, cleaning and laundry. And they are not keen on been abused by hair dryers so use a brush rather than tussling your (or little ones) hair with your fingers.