Want strong, glossy fingernails that look fabulous naturally and won’t crack or break when you pop open a can of soda? Regular visits to the nail salon can help, but great nails actually begin in the kitchen. What you eat is incredibly important when it comes to nail health.
To consistently generate the cells that form our fingernails, the body needs a constant supply of protein, fats, carbs, vitamins, and minerals from food. However, foods aren’t created equal, and some foods contain nutrients that are particularly beneficial for nails.
Here’s what you should be eating to make your nails strong and shiny…
Bell peppers of the yellow variety are a kitchen favorite due to their sweet flavor, satisfying crunchiness, and bright, peppy hues, but did you know that regular consumption can strengthen your fingernails?
Yellow peppers are packed with vitamin C. This is needed in the body for producing collagen, a structural protein that makes up a large part of our nails. The bottom line, eat more yellow bell peppers.
Sweet potatoes are another food you’ll want to eat to boost nail health. Why? Because these sweet little spuds are rich in vitamin A. Just one provides 550+ percent of your recommended daily amount.
Vitamin A helps the cells of the nails reproduce properly. When you’re not getting enough of it through your diet, your fingernails can become brittle, with ridges that split and crack easily.
The cashew nut is tasty and healthful. It often shows up on lists of superfoods because it offers numerous health benefits. One of those benefits is strong, shiny nails, thanks to the nut’s high zinc content.
Zinc is a mineral in the body that plays a key role in cell division and protein synthesis. These are bodily processes that are necessary for consistent nail growth and overall good health.
Some people like them poached. Others prefer them scrambled or fried. Whatever your preference, eggs are a powerhouse of nutrition packed with things that can strengthen and beautify your nails.
Eggs are rich in protein, iron, and vitamins A, E, and D. They also contain vitamin B12, and they’re an excellent source of biotin. Biotin increases fingernail thickness and reduces brittleness.
Ever had edamame soybeans? There are many good reasons to try and keep eating them (they pair well with many dishes), especially if you’re looking to improve the condition of your fingernails.
Edamame is a good source of folate – the body needs this to produce new nail cells. The beans also contain cysteine. This is an amino acid required to produce keratin, a protein that makes up skin, hair, and nails.
Leafy Green Vegetables
Alright, so you already knew that eating leafy greens on a regular basis is important for good health, but there’s another good reason to include them in your daily diet: strong, durable fingernails.
Leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale, collard greens, and broccoli are fantastic for strengthening nails, as they provide the body with significant amounts of folate, iron, and calcium.
When you want to cram loads of vitamins and nutrients into your diet, eating plenty of berries is a delicious and easy way to do it. What’s the benefit? There are numerous, including nail health.
Blueberries, in particular, do a great job of adding strength and shininess to nails, as they are filled with antioxidants that protect the body’s cells against free radical damage and inflammation.
Lean Poultry, Beef, and Pork
News flash: The protein content present in lean meats is good for more than just muscle building; it can also do wonders for your fingernails. That includes poultry and beef, as well as pork.
The fingernails on our hands are essentially made of protein (alpha-keratin), so when your nails are fragile and weak, one of the easiest ways to revive them is by adding more protein to your diet.
Here’s another lean meat to eat if you want lush, sturdy fingernails. In fact, salmon deserves special attention because it provides three essential nail nutrients: protein, biotin, and omega-3 fatty acids.
In addition to the above, salmon contains vitamins B6 and B12, which are good for keeping fingernails shiny and healthy-looking while preventing them from breaking or splitting apart.