We often restrict nail care to manicures. However, manicure only ensures the external beauty of our nails. Manicures and nail polishes could do nothing to make your nails healthy. To have healthy nails, you should eat meals packed with vitamins and minerals that are essential for your nail’s health.
Diet for healthy nails
Nutritional deficiency makes your nails fragile. Vitamin A is needed to prevent your nails from becoming dry and fragile. The horizontal and vertical ridges that appear on the brittle nails can also signify deficiency of the B vitamins. Among the B vitamins, vitamin B12 and folic acid are specifically important for the health of your nails. Lack of vitamin B12 makes your nails, dry, dark and too much curved at the ends. Hangnails and appearance of white marks on the nail may be symptoms of folic acid deficiency. To prevent hangnails, you should have adequate amount of vitamin C in your diets. To maintain the structure of the nails, you need adequate amounts of vitamin D along with calcium and magnesium.
Deficiency of these nutrients makes the nails brittle. Protein is needed for the formation of the nails. White bands appearing on the nail bed is a symptom of protein deficiency. To have healthy nails you should also include foods rich in zinc in your diet. Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in abundance in cold sea fish, nuts and flax seeds, make your nails strong.
The antioxidant property of omega-3 fatty acids prevents inflammation of the tissues around your nails. Iron is another beneficial mineral for your nail’s health. Pale nails are a sign of iron deficiency. Iron deficiency also makes your nails brittle.
Protecting nails from infections
Fungal and bacterial infections are a common problem of the nails. Proper diet could halt infections to a great extent. Probiotics, such as yogurt, which promotes growth of healthy bacteria, are effective in preventing bacterial and fungal infection. The good bacteria in our body help to eliminate the infection causing bacteria from our bodies. To strengthen your body’s immunity take two to three cloves of garlic everyday. Garlic is a natural antibiotic, which is effective in preventing infections. To prevent fungal nail infections, limit consumption of sugar and refined carbohydrate rich foods.