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Do you have brittle nails? Discolored nails? Pitted or ridged nails? If you do, these may be key indicators of a more serious health problem and should not be taken lightly. In addition to the health concerns this may bring, unsightly abnormal looking nails are also detrimental to a polished healthy and hygienic appearance. This is because the condition of our internal health is often a direct reflection of our outer health. However, when you are eating the right foods, you improve your overall health and appearance and the condition of your nails improve as well.
So what are the problems associated with unhealthy nails? Pale nails can be a sign of anemia, congestive heart failure, liver disease, and malnutrition. White nails with darker rims can indicate liver problems such as hepatitis. Yellow nails may be a sign of fungal infection. And if the infection gets worse, it may become thick and crumble. Bluish nails or clubbing of the nails may mean the body is not getting enough oxygen and may indicate an infection of the lungs. If you have spooned nails, this could be a sign of iron deficiency anemia. Rippled or pitted nails can be an indication of psoriasis or inflammatory arthritis.
There are many other warning signs your nails can tell you. One way to achieve healthy nails is by eating the right foods. Any kind of nutritional deficiencies can lead to a poor immune system and disease such as the ones described above. When your body is out of balance, your appearance will be out of balance as well.
So what are important steps to take in order to have beautiful healthy nails through healthy eating?
First of all, eating processed food has poor nutritional value and will not give you the nutrients you need for healthy nails. Cookies, chips, processed meats, desserts, soda, candy, fried food, and French fries provide zero benefit in terms of nutritional value. With poor nutrition, nail growth can be hindered and leave your nails brittle and weak. However, by including the appropriate foods that contain the important nutrients vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, zinc, iron and protein, you can maximize your potential for healthy nails. Here is a list of foods that have high concentrations of these nutrients that help to achieve healthy nails:
Vitamin B (vitamin B-12 and biotin): vitamin B-12 sources include meat, chicken, milk, fish, shellfish, and fortified cereal. Biotin is found in high concentrations in boiled Swiss chard, brewer’s yeast, fortified cereal, egg yolk, legumes, nuts, and milk. B vitamins, in general, are found in whole unprocessed food. Whole grains, potatoes, bananas, lentils, chili peppers, tempeh, beans, yeast, molasses
Vitamin C: orange juice, citrus fruit, berries, parsley, broccoli, bell peppers, papaya, kale, cauliflower, mustard greens, Brussel sprouts
Calcium: broccoli, collard greens, turnip, low-fat yogurt, mozzarella cheese, blackstrap molasses, sesame seeds, sardines, spinach
Folic Acid: spinach, black beans, navy beans, kidney beans, collard greens, asparagus, garbanzo beans, lentils
Zinc: seafood, meat, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, turkey, low-fat yogurt, boiled green peas, mushrooms
Iron: kale, whole grains, liver, prunes, molasses, soybeans, lentils, spinach, tofu, sesame seeds, kidney beans, pumpkin seeds, garbanzo beans, navy beans, protein foods
Healthy nails are a direct correlation of what you eat. Making sure you put the right foods in your body helps to achieve not only healthy nails but also a healthy inside so you can minimize your risk for serious chronic disease. Remember that your appearance is directly related to internal health. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and optimizing beauty regimens with the right beauty tools can bring out the best in your nails and overall health. If you are eating healthy, then taking care of your nails and hands with manicures is a secondary step to maintaining healthy nail beds and skin. See How to Do a Manicure at Home in 7 Easy Steps article.
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