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Part 3: Beauty Foods for Healthy Nails

I hope you've enjoyed Part 1: Beauty Foods for Healthy Skin and Part 2: Beauty Foods for Healthy Hair. Today is the final part 3, beauty foods for healthy n
Feb 16, 2015 | Joy McCarthy

I hope you've enjoyed Part 1: Beauty Foods for Healthy Skin and Part 2: Beauty Foods for Healthy Hair. Today is the final part 3, beauty foods for healthy nails.

The best part of all the beauty foods I've talked about is that they don't benefit one area of beauty in isolation. Meaning, they have overlap. For example, nuts and seeds are not only great for nail growth but they are wonderful for skin as well because they are great source of zinc (especially seeds) and good fats.

You may have heard me say this before if you've heard me speak in person:

Eat the food you want to look like!

Meaning, eat foods full of life, vibrancy, energy and beauty. Real food, such as all the foods I've talked about in part 1, 2 and now 3 are all beautiful, real and truly "whole" foods rich with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and thousands of phytonutrient compounds with benefits such as reducing inflammation in the body and more.

A fast food burger and fries ain't very pretty. It's basically dead food. Dead food means it is nutrient-bankrupt.

If you eat dead food on a regular basis and therefore a poor diet, this will reflect in nails that are soft and/or brittle and break easily. Your nail completely renews itself every six months, if.. and that's a big "if", you are eating plenty of fresh "whole" foods.

Now let's get on to what this post is all about, beauty foods for healthy nails!

Nuts and Seeds

Eating a handful of nuts and seeds every single day has incredible beauty benefits because they are a great source of minerals. Zinc and iron are both important for healthy nails. If you have a lot of white marks on your nails this can indicate a zinc deficiency. Iron deficiency can manifest as ridges. Please note: I do not recommend popping zinc or iron supplements, unless you are working with a natural healthcare practitioner who has advised you to do so. Additionally, the good fat in nuts and seeds makes them a fantastic choice for blood sugar balance. A smart snack for the prevention of diabetes. Bored of hummus? Have you tried my Sunny Punchy Sunflower Seed Spread

Beans and Lentils

Beans and lentils are packed with protein which makes them a fantastic food supporting nail growth since your nails are made of keratin, a type of protein. They are also a source of biotin which supports your nails thickness and prevents splitting. Plus beans and lentils are an easily digested plant protein with tons of fiber and iron. If you find you get bloated and gassy from eating beans and lentils either sprout them or cook them with a sea veggie such as kombu. Kombu is a type of kelp and the amino acids help to soften the beans. Have you tried Ma McCarthy's Baked Beans?

Fresh Herbs

All green foods such as fresh herbs (and leafy greens) are a source of beta-carotene and vitamin C. A deficiency in both of these can result in dry, dull nails and makes hang nails more common. Eating a variety of fresh herbs will give you a variety of minerals. Deficiency of minerals manifests in ridges, both vertical and horizontal on your nails. I love herbs because they are such a quick and easy way to add a burst of nutrients to any meal. I love adding fresh parsley or cilantro to my salads and mixing them into veggie burgers too.

Chia Seeds

Of all the beauty foods I've talked about over these three posts, chia benefits all aspects of beauty -- skin, hair and nails! Chia is 100% gluten-free, complete source of protein (supports nail growth), high in fiber (in fact more fiber than bran and flax). It is a great source of beautifying omega-3s, great to keep your cuticles moisturized. In fact, it’s one of the greatest plant sources of a fatty acid called alpha-linoleic acid (ALA). I prefer sprouted chia, as it’s more digestible and higher in protein. Calcium is found in chia and a lack of adequate calcium can result in dry, brittle nails. The easiest way to get chia into your diet is to toss some in a smoothie.

Always remember...

Variety is key. Just because one food is healthy for your nails and you have brittle nails doesn't mean that you should eat it every single day at breakfast, lunch and dinner. You will find hundreds of recipes on Joyous Health, over 80 delicious and nourishing recipes in my book Joyous Health: Eat and Live Well Without dieting.

I truly hope you've found the information I shared for healthy skin, hair and nails to be beneficial. As always, please feel to comment below, I always love hearing from you!

Feb 16, 2015 BY Joy McCarthy
Melissa   •   February 18, 2015

I definitely need to make those baked beans! I am iron deficient and probably mineral deficient (zinc, magnesium) as well. I like beans---don't know why I don't eat them more often. Thanks for the recipe :)


Alanajones   •   February 20, 2015

We know a good, nutritious diet is good for our body, but did you know that it is also good for your nail too? Well it is. While you can make well nails magically and turn your nails to healthy by eating good food. I am agree with you, very nice post.


Mary Paolucci   •   February 26, 2015

Hi Joy I made your sunflower hummus and it was delicious. I enjoyed eating something different. Also I bought some heirloom carrots (purple-skinned carrots) to go along with the hummus . I wanted to know if these types of carrots are gmo? Can you let me know. Thank you for your help.

Joy McCarthy   •   February 26, 2015
Kate McDonald Walker   •   February 26, 2015

Elle   •   April 18, 2015

Really love this series! Thanks for sharing!

Kate McDonald Walker   •   April 18, 2015

Sandy   •   March 2, 2020

Having a terrible time with my nails...continuously splitting in my nail bed so quite painful. Eating beans twice a day but will add more greens and chia seeds and other seeds. I have been trying a supplement but I am peeing bright yellow which scares me a little so not sure if I should continue that! Thanks for the inspiration to eat more of the good things:)

Joy McCarthy   •   March 2, 2020

Sandy   •   March 3, 2020

No I don’t eat animal protein. Would there be anything else that I could try that would be plant based?

Joy McCarthy   •   March 3, 2020

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