Keratin is the primary component of the epidermis, hair, and fingernails. This means we need to have a healthy endocrine, digestive, metabolic and circulatory system to have excellent nail health. Why did I include the endocrine and digestive system? The cellular level of our internal environment is where all life begins.
Nutrition plays a factor in the health of our bones and fingernails. (1) In fact, if one is suffering from osteoporosis, poor fingernail integrity will follow. Food has the power to harm, but it also has the power to heal.
7 Foods For Fingernail Health Include:
- Foods that include EFA’s and good quality fats such as organic avocados, unrefined, cold pressed coconut oil, and flaxseeds. Trans-fats exert an inflammatory effect within the body that creates a stiffening of the arteries and constricted blood vessels.
- Herbal Horsetail Tea is known for its anti-inflammatory properties from manganese, calcium, and iron. You can drink it daily.
- Foods high in folates. Try increasing your consumption of organic lentils, beans, and kale.
- Foods rich in Vitamin C such as organic pears, berries, and lemons.
- For foods high in zinc and Vitamin B6 try organic sunflower seeds, and organic tahini.
- Biotin rich foods have been used to strengthen fingernails. (2) Choose organic carrots, spinach, raw almonds, raw walnuts, mushrooms, and swiss chard.
- Foods are always fresher from your local farmers market, so enjoy fresh organic green peas to increase your Vitamin K and B-Complex.
6 Tips to Increase Awareness:
- Your cuticles aren’t a pointless part of your finger structure.
They seal the spot where your nails connect to your skin. In fact, they help shield new keratin cells from harm as they age and add length to your fingernails. Without this seal, your fingers would be more susceptible to intrusion and subsequent infection by bacteria and viruses. (3) Serious attention should be given to avoid manicures that use metal implements on your cuticles and fingernails! When the skin becomes damaged, more toxins can be absorbed through the skin. (4)
- Alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and petrochemicals increase stress within our body.
These can stress your skins acid mantle. Blood cells suffer from nutrient depletion, poor circulation, inflammation, and dehydration when ingesting these endocrine-disruptive toxins.
- A good night’s sleep releases toxins in the skin and therefore rejuvenates our skin, bones and fingernails.
Before bed, you can rub in a dab of organic coconut oil on your fingernails.
- Wear gloves when gardening, working with tools in the garage or washing dishes, in order to avoid injury on your nails.
Your fingernails actually breathe and if your skin permeability has been compromised, passage of toxins through your skin into your body is even easier.
- Summertime fun means lots of pool parties.
Fingernails can get brittle from chlorinated water. A chlorine-free alternative is a salt water pool.
- And as always…exercise is important for bone, skin and fingernail health.