Nails are more important than you may realize. They’re important to help us look and feel good, but they also offer vital protection for our fingers and toes. If you want healthy and strong nails, then you should look into these five amazing nutrients and vitamins for nails.
1. Biotin, B12, and B9
Biotin is a B-complex vitamin, also known as vitamin B7, coenzyme R, and vitamin H. It helps your nails grow and keeps them from becoming brittle. One study on people with brittle fingernails found that 63% of participants saw improvements in their nail health in 6-7 weeks of taking biotin daily.
Food-wise, Biotin can also be found in egg yolk, dairy products, yeast, salmon, avocado, sweet potato, nuts, seeds and even cauliflower. You can also take it in one of our IVs!
B vitamins in general are just amazing for your health. B12 plays an important role in so many functions, including your nail health. This is because it plays a role in iron absorption and the development of red blood cells, both of which are necessary for keeping nails strong and healthy!
B12 deficiencies are fairly common, especially in vegetarians, vegans, and adults over 50. If you notice that your nails look blue or have dark streaks and brownish pigmentation in your nails, then you may be deficient!
B9, also known as folate, also contributes to the health of your red blood cells. Deficiencies in B9 are uncommon, but not unheard of. It can cause your nails to become rigid and brittle, which means they’ll split and break quite easily.
If you can push up or down on your nail and it bounces back, then they’re considered healthy. If your nail doesn’t have any “give” to it, then it’s too rigid and you should consider talking with your doctor to find out if you’re too low in B9.
You can get B12 and biotin in one of our IVs! Give us a call and we’ll send a registered nurse directly to you. You don’t even have to leave your home!
Magnesium is a powerhouse of protein production. Nails are actually made out of a protein called keratin, and magnesium helps synthesize them! Meaning, your nails can’t grow — or — without magnesium.
If you have vertical ridges in your nails — and a lot of people do — then you may have a magnesium deficiency. Don’t worry, this is very common. Despite worldwide availability of this mineral, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that less than 60% of the US population consumes the recommended amount. Most deficiencies are extremely mild too, so you may not even notice any other side effects.
Whole grains, specifically whole wheat, are a rich source of magnesium. Dark green leafy vegetables, as well as quinoa, almonds, cashews, peanuts, edamame and black beans, are good sources, too. You can also get it in IVs, which is very helpful for those with nut allergies!
You probably guessed this one based off of Magnesium, but your nails need protein to be strong, resilient, and healthy. They literally are protein, so without their fundamental building blocks, they will easily be damaged, stressed, and brittle.
However, interestingly enough, your nails are actually dead cells that your body sheds as new cells push up from underneath — which is why they grow. So, if your nails are dead, then why does any of this matter?
Your visible nails are dead, but the new cells that make your nails grow are not. Those new cells do eventually die off, and how healthy they were is what determines how strong your visible nails are.
Eating enough protein is essential for boosting keratin production and thus creating strong nails, whereas low protein intake may cause weaker nails. The recommended daily amount for protein is 0.36 grams per pound (0.8 grams per kg) of body weight per day. This equals approximately 55 grams of protein per day for a 150-lb (68-kg) person.
Protein can be found in animal foods like meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy, as well as plant foods, such as soy, legumes, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds and whole grains.
Why Does This Matter?
Your nails are great at telling you if something is wrong. Their color and rigidity are great indicators to changes in your health and vitamin deficiencies. If you have a great diet and notice that your nails are yellow or brittle, then talk with your doctor!
Finally, to really promote healthy nails, we recommend doing the following:
Trim your nails regularly
Scrub underneath them (when they’re long)
Sanitize nail grooming tools before use
Don’t chew or bite them
Don’t rip off hangnails
We hope these tips help you get the strong and healthy nails you deserve!
Your nails give you a picture of your overall health. Changes in your nail color or a disruption in their growth could be symptoms of a medical condition, poor nutrition, or excessive stress. Talk to your doctor if you’re worried about recent changes to your nails.