You know you love it. When you look down at your hand and see those long, beautiful claws painted to perfection! Or maybe you like the natural look of long, shaped and filed nails with a slight glossy glow. Then, you go to pay for those fake tips you just had glued onto your fingernails. In a few weeks, you’ll get them removed and start the process all over again. It would only be easier if we could grow long and healthy nails ourselves, right? Well, we’re going to learn how.
A big portion of our nail growth and health is about the composition of the nail itself. If what it’s made of internally isn’t strong, it’s not going to last. What am I talking about? Diet! Not necessarily going on a diet, but adding things in you may be missing that can promote strong and healthy nails.
what You Need
If you’ve already heard, your hair, skin, and nails are very similar in that they share a common protein, keratin. This protein is what forms the fibers that keep your hair and nails long and strong. In order to promote keratin production, there are few things we want to make sure we are including in our diet regularly. These include omega-3 fatty acids, protein, vitamin C, biotin, and cystine.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Best known for Omega-3 is fish. Those nasty fish oil capsules you see people taking are exactly for this reason! Salmon has one of the higher counts of Omega-3 weighing in at 4,123 mg per serving. Other foods include flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and soybeans.
Of course in order to produce protein, you need to be putting it in your body. It’s hard to make what you don’t have! Some more obvious foods for taking care of this include eggs, milk, or whey protein that you can add to almost anything! Red meat is a good one for nail growth because it contains high amounts of iron as well as protein. That doesn’t mean you need to eat it everyday, as it is linked with a whole bunch of other issues, but once or twice a week will give your body a good boost! You also have good snacks foods like almonds and other nuts, nut butters, yogurt, and quinoa.
The first thing that probably came to your mind was oranges. Other fruits are kiwis, strawberries, guava, and cherries. Vitamin C rich vegetables include any color of bell peppers, kale, broccoli, and brussels sprouts.
For some reason I didn’t put this first on the list, but next to protein these are the two main ingredients you should be worrying about most! This one is easy for me because I eat a lot of avocado and sweet potatoes, which are, of course, high in biotin. Salmon again hits the list, as well as nuts, dairy, and eggs. A good concentrated source can be found in liver (if you’re into that) as most biotin is stored there.
Cystine is a type of amino-acid that works in the forming of nail proteins. You can find a good amount of this in pretty much any kind of meat, also lentils, oatmeal, sunflower seeds, and swiss cheese.
Let’s review. You pretty much can’t go wrong eating these main staples: salmon, eggs, meat, and dairy products like yogurt and cheese. You also want to keep your fruit and veggie intake up for your vitamin C and biotin. Seeds and nuts can be a great way to get almost all of these important keratin building blocks in your system, as well!
Although it may seem easier to just take a supplement and call it a day, making these modifications to your diet is really an overall healthier option. It’s also easier than keeping up with 20 different pills a day! A few suggestions to get you started would be to have avocado toast and yogurt for breakfast, make a trail mix with nuts and seeds as a snack, and a meat of your choice with 2 or 3 roasted veggies on the side for lunch or dinner. Give it a few weeks, and you should start seeing the growth of your long and healthy nails!
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